Gun To Your Head Giving

 Perhaps I live in Oz, but I give strictly from the heart, so when the annual list of building workers is shoved under my door with how many years of service they’ve put in, my wallet and I wince.

Not very Pollyanna-ish, I know, but hear me out.

I never had doormen before, living in an apartment pretty much abandoned by its owner, so gun-to-your-head giving is new to me, and it’s not as if I’m not my kind, generous self on a regular basis, because I am.

I buy coffee for them.  Make it late at night for the midnight to eight man, feeling for him down in that drafty doorway.  I even bought them a heater.

My point is, now I HAVE TO GIVE them cash, and frankly, I’m resentful.

I’m not a cash giv’in kinda gal. It’s cold and impersonal, along with having zip to do with Christmas. Where does it say Santa handed out 50s as he slid down the chimney?

These entitled men remind me of sharks circling a pool.  My super, who as a friend said, farts and you have to pay him, is a very ungracious sort of person.  Never says thank you while acting as if he’s always doing you a great, big favor.  He doesn’t want random acts of kindness, like the heating pad I bought him when he hurt his shoulder falling off a ladder, or the brand new rug that was too big for my living room that now graces his.  And the 20s one gives him throughout the year apparently don’t count.

No, he and his merry men want cold cash, now.

Think Jesse James, with tools.

I will comply, but with a very empty heart reminding me that, without grace, it doesn’t much matter what you give since obligation replaces love that alas, is conspicuously absent.

See, if it were left to me, they’d all get cookies, scarves and warm socks, not envelopes, but that’s just little, ole Connecticut me, dashing through the snow, in a one horse open sleigh, so to speak…in a twinset of course.



About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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39 Responses to Gun To Your Head Giving

  1. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, does it really specify cash? OMG!
    I guess if they demand payola for working you could soften the blow by thinking of it as your yearly fee for their services.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let me put it this way…YES..baked goods, even wine, not appreciated. I know this from when I first moved in. No one said thank you, and I wasn’t even living here yet. How bold to give someone a list who they hadn’t even met. If I don’t comply, the next time I need help, it will be two days before it arrives.

      New York, it can be so snarky and charmless. sigh

      Liked by 1 person

  2. micklively says:

    I can’t help but wonder what happens if you refuse?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yikes! Isn’t this extortion? You talk kindly about the door folks. Would they really do that?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ross de Marco says:

    They take the good out of the season . I know a guy who is a doorman on Central Park West he makes thousands over the holiday period and I am not exaggerating ! The union they belong to 32b is one of the best in the city . They are paid very well and have the best of benefits . It’s sucks to be blackmailed like that , they should be thankful that they have it as good as they do ! They should be ashamed of themselves .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah but, you know how it is. MORE MORE MORE. And you’re right about their benefits. Pension, paid vacations. It’s not as though they work for peanuts all year round. However, it’s New Yawk…the gimme gimme capital of the world.


  5. Not certain what to say here. If I was one of the workmen, you might feel more giving because I WOULD HAVE let you know how very much all was appreciated all year and, in fact, might have made it a point to tell you to ignore that letter about the 50s. Also, and this is the “old charmer”, having someone like you bring me coffee and such all year – how could I ask for anything more?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with you. At that point it isn’t giving because you want to show appreciation to them, it’s little more than a surcharge on your rent. Not really the sort of thing to make anyone happy to give.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I LOVE giving, I do, when it’s my idea, at my own pace. But, this is what’s expected in doormen buildings throughout the city. There’s a 12 Step slogan: Expectations are premeditated resentments. I think it’s true. Thanks.


  7. I would feel really snarky if I were pressured like that. You did the right thing in letting off steam here. Write more if it makes you feel any better.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gail Kaufman says:

    I feel the same way when I get the dreaded card from my garbage collector who I’ve never met and the mail delivery person who often gets confused and leaves me the neighbor’s mail. It’s a “Please give me money” card disguised as a holiday greeting card. It’s irritating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so funny about the garbage collector. See, things could be worse, since the city trash is governed by the mob. Or maybe I’m reading too much. Yes, those cards say, tip please, or else. It’s a shakedown Gail, with candy canes.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. My mother’s place does this too. However, the management put a 10.00 cap on the giving. I think it’s so sad that you would have to worry about having a lightbulb changed based on a fucking forced Christmas gift! They’re NOT Jesus and YOU’RE not married to one of the Wisemen!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Michael W Feddersen says:

    Long time no see. Merry Christmas to you from an old admirer.



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