a concierge's job [besides the obvious]

Sitting in a house with no electricity sure gets you thinking.

Do you know [you, my dear invisibles], that being a concierge in Lebanon, is a pretty tough job? Okay, maybe not as tough as being a maid in a super spoiled and snobby household [notice the three "s"].
But really, think about it. A concierge in Lebanon needs to have good and fast driving skills.
Why, you ask. It's simple.
In a country overflowing with cars [others might call it a car-fest, although it is neither enjoyable nor healthy, and not even close to being a festival], not only is there a constant state of traffic jam, but also the phenomenon of the "one-too-many-cars-per-household." [more like ten-too-many.]
So the concierge's job, besides taking out the trash, and "protecting/guarding" the building, is to park the cars that do not have a space inside the building parking. [that is, if the building has a parking. For another fashionable thing in Lebanon, is the sacrifice of the building's basement to the lucrative benefit of random useless stores.]
The concierge hence, needs not only to possess great visual powers, that will allow him to perceive a parking spot the minute it empties, but also to be quick enough to handle the car and place it carefully in the spot, before any other car sees the spot and snatches it away from him. Otherwise, he will get a plethora keys in his pockets, and another plethora of cars double-parked, waiting for their turn to get a full spot next to the sidewalk. Yes, it's a pretty intricate and stressful task.
Of course, it is only destined to get worse in the foreseeable future, whereby more people will produce more people who will in turn want to buy more apartments and acquire even more cars in buildings with needless stores instead of a parking in the basement.
And let us not begin to talk about the very strategic positions that the new buildings have begun to take. Tiny empty pieces of land, shaped as triangles, circles, trapezoids, hearts, butterflies, gingerbread-men! You name it, and the building will be perfectly designed to fit the space! [I'm not saying it will be perfect, I'm only saying it will fit the space perfectly, and in most cases, it will be unpleasant and suffocating to its surrounding. But who cares, right? The more the merrier.]

Going back to our previous point, poor concierge.

Another task of his, is that of turning the electricity generator on, when the original electric currant gets cut off. Since this is also a recurring phenomenon, with the fortunate quality of coming in a patterned schedule, the concierge is encouraged to memorize the pattern and to be ready to switch between the two electricity generators as efficiently as possible. [excuse my lack of proper scientific words, I'm no engineer]. All of this, so that he could avoid the complaints raining on him from each and every floor, and sometimes from the elevators.
And he has to prepare himself to the constant buzzing from the housewives/maids who will overuse the small electric current of the secondary generator, by turning on the microwave, the iron, the toaster and the hair-dryer, and in summer, the air conditioner. All at once.

Until I remember what other assiduous jobs a concierge has to do, I leave you.

Takata Takata (voilà les dalton.)


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