A doorman (or doorwoman/doorperson), also called a porter in British English,[1] is a person hired to provide courtesy and security services at a residential building or hotel. They are particularly common in urban luxury highrises. At a residential building, a doorperson is responsible for opening doors and screening visitors and deliveries. They will often provide other courtesy services such as signing for packages, carrying luggage between the elevator and the street, or hailing taxis for residents and guests.

Hotel doormen in London

History edit

The occupation dates back at least to the time of Plautus under the Roman Republic where its name was iānitor (from iānua, 'door', the root of both "January" and "janitor").

Modern era edit

The United States House of Representatives had an official doorkeeper until the post was abolished in 1995.

In New York City, doorpeople and elevator operators are unionized and typically represented by SEIU 32BJ. They last went on strike in 1991 and other strikes were narrowly averted in 2006, 2010, and 2022.[2][3] New York City doorpeople tend to be immigrant men. Historically they were Irish; in more recent times they are often Hispanic or Eastern European (Polish, Albanian, Montenegrin, and Macedonian).[4]

In Egypt, doormen are called bawab, and in modern times they have been described by the BBC as a security guard, porter, enforcer of social mores and general snoop, all rolled into one.[5]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ porter merriam-webster.com
  2. ^ McGeehan, Patrick (April 21, 2010). "Deal Reached That Averts a Walkout by Doormen". The New York Times. Retrieved February 8, 2023.
  3. ^ "New York's well-to-do avoid having to open their own doors". The Economist. April 23, 2022. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved April 22, 2022.
  4. ^ Kleinfield, N. R. (April 21, 2010). "The World of Doormen Is Obvious, Yet Mysterious". The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  5. ^ Dinham, Tom (October 28, 2012). "The doormen policing Egypt's morals". BBC News. Retrieved June 8, 2017.