The beautiful young woman with long, dark hair stood with her large breasts resting on the counter of the concierge desk. When I looked up, her plunging neckline and erect nipples were staring me in the face. No, I haven’t started writing erotica. If so, that would have been a terrible stab at it. She handed me an earring and a large gemstone and said, “Can you fix this?” She reached up and put her hair behind the ear that was wearing the match to the broken one. “Can I have the one on your ear so I can look at it?” I asked. She took it off and handed it to me. I studied them both. I wasn’t a jeweler, but it appeared to be costume jewelry so I wasn’t too worried about saying, “I can crazy glue it.” She smiled and said she’d be back for it in an hour.
She was a prostitute hired by the Los Angeles Bond Club (bail bondsmen) to accompany a group of about 30 men to the hotel for the weekend. It was just she and one other girl. The men were there for their annual convention (golf/drinking/sex with hookers), and what was left in their wake were stories the staff would talk about for months, especially the Housekeeping Department.
Being a concierge was an interesting job. If you got the right gig, it could be very lucrative and you could be dialed in to everything going on, especially in a big city. The perks can be phenomenal. Later on in my husband’s career, he was managing a hotel in Los Angeles where we benefited greatly from the relationships the hotel concierge had fostered. But that was a little different from the job at Spanish Bay. A posh golf resort wasn’t the same as a big city hotel because of all the things a big city has to offer. Still, you never knew what would be thrown at you. For the most part, it’s talking about where to go and what to do and what to eat and scheduling dinner reservations and massages and babysitters and tee times, etc., etc., but occasionally you are hit a little sideways with requests that leave you slightly speechless while you process how best to accommodate.
Like the time a 40-something year old woman, who was very plain and soft-spoken walked up to the desk and stated that she had forgotten her compact at home. First I said, “Did you check the gift shop? We have some cosmetics there.” She said, “Yes, but you don’t carry Clinique.” I thought, So what the hell do you expect me to do about it, run to Macy’s for you? I hesitated, then said, “If you can tell me the shade, I can send a porter to Macy’s.” A month or so later, I found out this woman was a “secret shopper” hired by hotel management and in her report she described our interaction to the letter. It went something like this, “Jodee was very pleasant and helpful with getting the compact I told her I forgot at home, though there was a slight initial hesitation.”
On very busy days, the concierge staff would have to jump in and do some of the porter duties. Occasionally I parked cars. I once drove a Bentley to a parking spot. I also drove a 20-something passenger bus more than once. The first time the doorman came in and said, “Jodee, I need to you shuttle a group to The Lodge,” I said, “No way. I can’t drive that big bus.” Yes, you can,” he said. So I did. It was full of a group of golfers from Japan who spoke very little English, but tried to ask me questions while I held their lives in my hands and in that bus. It went okay, and truth be told, I often volunteered to drive the bus even though I don’t think I was legally supposed to. I seem to recall a special license (?), but maybe not.
On another busy day, the doorman walked in holding the elbow of a man holding an ice pack to the side of his head. “Jodee, I need you to take Mr. White to the ER.” He had been hit in the head with a golf ball and was actually knocked out briefly. He refused an ambulance, but the hotel insisted he get checked out. As I was getting in the driver’s seat of the hotel Town Car, the doorman whispered, “Don’t let him fall asleep.” That poor man. I talked his ear off and asked him questions the entire drive to the hospital. I could tell he was annoyed. I finally said, “I’m not supposed to let you fall asleep.” He said, “I know.”
I mentioned in the first part of the story that my immediate supervisor, David, would become my second husband in less than a year. So yeah, that was going on; his trying to “court” me, and me resisting (initially). He made it pretty clear from the beginning that he was interested, though he was always professional. I recall him saying, “There’s something I really want to ask you, but I’m not sure I should.” I said, “You want to ask me out?” He said, “No, I want to ask you to marry me and have my children.” I laughed and walked away. I had a crush on the bartender in the Lobby Lounge. I was once hiding behind the bar having a coke or something when I heard David walk up and ask the bartender if he had seen me. He said, “no.” That was my cue to go out the back door of the bar and run as quickly as I could through the back hallways to the employee lounge and act like nothing.
Eventually he won me over so we went to Tahoe and got married. Within two weeks, the General Manager of the hotel called David in and said, “I don’t think Jodee should be working here now that she is your wife.” And that was end of my stint as a concierge.