Why do we need doormen, and how did this profession become prestigious

Why do we need doormen, and how did this profession become prestigious

Categories: History | Society

A lot of people in the world are surprised by the very existence of the profession of a doorman. There is almost no practical sense in this work, but at the same time a man in livery at the entrance is of great importance. How did doormen appear, why are they needed and why is this profession considered very prestigious?

Why do we need doormen, and how did this profession become prestigious

At all times, the doorman was considered the face of the institution or house, at the doors of which he was. We can say that this person is the "soul" of a house, restaurant or club. This profession has survived for many centuries, and the demand for it remains high even today. However, it is not given to everyone to become a doorman — the requirements are too high and the number of people wishing to occupy an honorary post is too large.

Why do we need doormen, and how did this profession become prestigious

No one will say exactly when the doormen appeared. It is known for sure that in Ancient Rome, a special person met guests at the gates of the villa or the doors of the house. He also stayed on duty when the owner was away. This employee was physically strong and armed, because his work was directly related to the safety of the house and the people living in it.

In the Middle Ages, the profession turned out to be very popular. Not only robbers, but also envious neighbors could break into someone else's house with bad intentions in those dashing times. The guard could stand guard even in armor — it all depended on the capabilities and desires of the employer. Not everyone could afford such a guardian, so a special person at the entrance meant a high position and solid wealth of the owner.

Why do we need doormen, and how did this profession become prestigious

Later, this profession gave rise to others: concierge, butler and porter. But the doormen have remained persons whose main task is to emphasize the status of the house. The peak of demand for them came at a time when the hotel and restaurant business began to develop actively. It was the first half of the 19th century. We can confidently say that the history of this profession is ancient and glorious. Interestingly, these people began to be called doormen relatively recently, a couple of centuries ago, in Russia.

It's easy to guess that the "doorman" and Switzerland are connected. There are several versions of the origin of the word. The most plausible one says that men from a European country have long been hired to work in security throughout the Old World. The Papal Guard to this day consists of Swiss! Fit and disciplined gatekeepers were in demand and in Of Russia.

Why do we need doormen, and how did this profession become prestigious

But if you call a person at the entrance and a foreign guest the same word, then confusion may arise. Therefore, the profession began to be called "doorman", so that everyone could understand. Now everything is clearly described in dictionaries: a Swiss is a resident of Switzerland and a doorman is a person on duty at the entrance to the building.

The duties of modern doormen are very diverse. People of this profession meet guests at the front entrance, open the door, call a taxi, help carry things, provide information. In apartment buildings, doormen can perform the role of a universal worker. They do minor work to keep the lobby in decent condition, change the light bulbs, keep order.

Why do we need doormen, and how did this profession become prestigious

According to the state, doormen are assigned to expensive hotels, prestigious restaurants and elite residential complexes. The appearance of the doorman must match, because he is the face of the house or institution. At their post, these people stand in uniform — in the warm season in livery, and in the cold — in a coat with a cape.

The requirements for applicants for this position are high. A man should have a pleasant appearance, be friendly and well-mannered. This is very important, because the work of a doorman is connected with constant communication. Knowledge of one or more foreign languages becomes a big plus. In hotels and restaurants where foreigners visit, this is a prerequisite.

Why do we need doormen, and how did this profession become prestigious

It is interesting, but after the revolution of 1917 in In Russia, the profession of a doorman has not disappeared, like many others. An assistant at the entrance, and sometimes a part-time barker, as before, stood near the doors of hotels and restaurants. However, the liveries have become somewhat more modest. But the prestige of the profession did not fall from this.

The person opening the door to the guests solved many issues. Putting a couple of rubles in the doorman's pocket, it was possible to book a table, even if there were no free ones. These people could help find a free room in a hotel and the sign "There are no places" meant nothing to them. The Soviet doorman acted in close conjunction with the administration and was part of a well-established mechanism of "blat". The salaries of such workers were low, but no one cared. The lion's share of a person's income in livery was tips and "thanks" for services.

The doorman is a prestigious profession all over the world. It was almost impossible to get into the position of a doorman without good connections. There were plenty of people who wanted to fill this vacancy. And this, despite the very real risk of getting into trouble with the law. Even apart from bribes and tips, which always referred to "unearned income", the doorman always took risks.

Why do we need doormen, and how did this profession become prestigious

People of this profession often dealt with foreigners, so it was easy to accuse them of having ties with abroad. Doormen were attracted for speculation, currency transactions and even for pimping. And these people often found themselves "at the forefront" of all kinds of scandals, showdowns and fights. But this did not affect the prestige of the job — the opportunity to receive tips and "thanks" outweighed all the costs of the profession.

In the 21st century, there are no fewer people willing to work as doormen. This is especially true for the USA. For several decades, these workers have been protected by their own trade union. They are entitled to good medical and dental insurance. And how else, because the person at the entrance should look healthy and sparkle with a perfect smile!

Why do we need doormen, and how did this profession become prestigious

American doormen have good pensions, and their annual salary starts from 40 thousand dollars (2.1 million rubles). They are entitled to annual leave, uniforms at the expense of the employer, food and other benefits. Like us, this position in the USA is most often obtained by acquaintance.

Many world-class stars do not hide that they once stood in livery at the door. Among the former doormen are such persons as Jim Carrey, Bradley Cooper, business coach Anthony Roberts. And Guccio Gucci, the fashion designer and founder of Gucci, once worked as a doorman. Who knows, maybe he drew inspiration from looking at the stunning outfits of the ladies at the entrance to the Savoy Hotel in London?

Why do we need doormen, and how did this profession become prestigious

But the heir to the Gucci empire, Maurizio Gucci, did not know how hard it is to get a piece of bread. Perhaps that's why luxury and love for women ruined him.

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