Times Square hotel concierges Anna Drezen and Todd Briscoe chronicle interactions with their most bizarre, clueless and demanding guests on their addictive new Tumblr, How May We Hate You. For Drezen and Briscoe, both comedians by night, humor is a lifesaver when the job gets rough.
“It can start to grind on you,” Drezen says. “The blog was a way of having an outlet while getting yelled at all the time.”
Ticked-off guests may find themselves the anonymous subject of a post. Like the mother of 2-year-old Ava, who was saddled with an $810 phone bill when her toddler whacked a bunch of buttons and placed a seven-hour call to Russia. Or the guy who demanded to speak with a male concierge who could tell him when the game was on. “I’ll admit to giving him a bit of a hard time," Briscoe recounts.
Not all of them are angry – plenty are just confused first-timers in New York. In one post, a guest asked about eating breakfast at Tiffany’s. In another, a tourist inquired about three-day passes to the 9/11 memorial. No matter how silly the questions get, Briscoe and Drezen give guests the benefit of the doubt. “I try to put myself in their shoes,” Briscoe says. “They’re nervous, and they want to check in with someone. I try to give that kind of service.”
When they aren’t asking questions about what time Chelsea opens, guests are the best part of the job. “You meet incredible people from all over the world,” Drezen says. She even keeps in touch with some guests after they return home — like one 86-year old woman from the U.K., who so appreciated Drezen’s help and company that she invited her to the opera before she left town.
The blog isn’t the first time Briscoe and Drezen have drawn upon their hotel gigs for comedic inspiration. Briscoe has brought the experience to his graduate work in TV writing. Drezen has done bits about it in her stand-up. One quip was inspired by a guest who asked her if she’s always here: "Are you asking whether I’m always at this desk? Yes, sir. I actually died 60 years ago and now I haunt the place," Drezen jokes.
In the end, joking about a job can even make you better at it. “I don’t take it home with me anymore,” Briscoe says. “Now I put things on the blog and say, ‘Well, they may have been mean to me, but at least it was funny!’”