New York City bouncers share the touching relationships they share with the residents of their buildings

Being a bouncer in NYC is sometimes referred to as “doctor, therapist and psychologist”.

video transcript


Sometimes we feel like a therapist. Sometimes we feel like the psychologist. Sometimes we feel like a doctor.

Hello, my name is Jan Eggers.

Hello, my name is Nelson.

Hello, my name is Jose Sorro.

Hello, my name is Ted. I’ve been a bouncer for five years.

For 24 years.

For 16 years.

I’ve worked as a bouncer/elevator operator on the Upper East Side of Manhattan for 25 years. We’re the first person they see in the morning and we’re the last person they see at night. So I feel like an integral part of tenant security in their own home.

This job makes me enjoy talking to people. I learn something new every day.

Sometimes I feel like a part-time therapist. The relationship, I try to keep it professional. But as you know, that’s part of the job. But it’s usually a good conversation. I love that about this job. The best thing is the conversation I have.

Some people make you feel like part of their family. You know what I mean? They fill you in on everyday life, the things that happen to their kids while they’re away, what they’re going through. Yes, the reason they talk to me– maybe because I’m easy to talk to, to relate to. And since they have known me for so many years, they also know my family. It goes back and forth.

So, on my typical day as an elevator operator, I get to work. Then I go ahead and clean the lobby and deliver the tenants’ newspapers.

A typical day is to greet tenants with a song as they leave for work – with a smile.

One of the most important things is the security of the packages and of course the security of the building.

We try to help where we can. And the taxi – when people leave, when they come back. And I go out and take the luggage cart, load the luggage cart, take it up, and maybe take it up to the apartment.

Then clean the lobby again. There is a lot of cleaning. There is a lot of cleaning. My favorite part about this job – I really enjoyed seeing what little kids were like when I started to grow into adults with families of my own who are now visiting their parents. I absolutely love this.

Of course, as a bouncer for 25 years, you have to enjoy that to a certain extent.

I definitely enjoy it. I love my job. Definitive.

why do you love your job

I just love the camaraderie with the people – with the tenants. I love them– it feels really good to know that I’m helping them out or getting something they needed fixed. Just seeing her smile, and– you know, I just love it.