Serving others*

Confidential: The Gloves Come Off—and the Secrets Come Out: Tales from the Man
Who Serves Millionaires, Moguls, and Madmen
Michael Fazio with Michael Malice
Totally fascinating brain candy.
Here’s the stuff you can learn from this book: People actually
hire other people to engineer their fancy date nights. And they expect them to
hire private helicopters at a moment’s notice.
I’m inclined to ask: Who are
these people?!
To this small-town Midwesterner, the idea of a concierge is
quite strange. So reading this book was like getting a glimpse into another culture.
The author includes lots of tips for how to get a table at the hottest restaurants, how to get hard-to-snag tickets, etc. (All of which was completely useless to me. Nonetheless,
it was delightful to read about all the machinations I am able to avoid since I
don’t want to go to the hottest restaurant in New York.)
Fazio tells all kinds of outrageous stories about the demands and
expectations of hotel guests, and the lengths to which a concierge will go to
meet those demands.
One of the dirty little secrets is that the concierge often gets a
kickback on the services he arranges, so there’s a serious incentive to setting
things up well for the guest. But heck, if the guest is willing to pay the
asking price, and the concierge has gone to hell and back to arrange things for
the guest, then what’s the problem, right?
I’m strangely relieved I’m a mid-level hotel guest whose main
concern is that the room be clean, comfortable, quiet, and smoke-free. If you
can throw in a view… man, I’m a happy creature then. So the expectations of the
very privileged just seem so very strange to me.
But—like I said—fascinating.

*Yup. Almost like the tuxedo people on Downton Abbey