I am... Jagadeesha K., Doorman

March 15, 2015 04:52 pm | Updated 04:52 pm IST

Obero Hotel Doorman Jagadish. Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

Obero Hotel Doorman Jagadish. Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

I have been working in The Oberoi hotel now for 23 years as a doorman — I started almost when the hotel opened up here in the city. I used to be a security guard earlier but I liked the idea of being a doorman, where you get to interact with big personalities, specially cricketers.

I am originally from a small village near Tirthahalli in Shimoga district. I served in the Indian Army for seven years in the short service commission before I retired. I wanted a job like this so that I could interact with people through the day. I like human interaction and did not fancy the idea of a desk job. To qualify for this job, two important requirements are that you should be at least six feet tall and should have a good moustache. I used to have a bigger and better moustache, but now with age, it’s thinned down (laughs) .

I like this job because it gives you so much freedom. You get to see and talk to people from various countries. People respect us, and want to take photographs with us. My photos must be there all over the world! Recently someone from a big IT company recognised me and said ‘Arrey you are there in a group photo on our company notice board’. It feels good. I’m the first person the hotel guest sees on his way out in the morning and the last person they meet on the way into the hotel, after their day’s work, so my role is important.

My duty is to welcome the guest with a warm ‘namaste’, because after security, I’m the first person they encounter. So mine is the first impression of the hotel; it should be a lasting impression. The care and genuine spirit of my greeting should come through. My immaculate dressing and grooming are critical too.

I also act as a lookout, keep an eye on the security, help guests with whatever they want. Sometimes I help them catch autos, and even cross the busy M.G. Road. We work in eight-hour shifts that change weekly. The worst part of this job perhaps is that you always have to be on your toes and it’s literally a standing job – but, I am not complaining. The best part of the job is when so many regular guests recognise me from our earlier interaction. Many a times I have interesting conversations with guests on the city, their work and mine, as he or she waits for their car.

My wife is a nurse, and I have two daughters — one is in 12, and the other has just started working. They have all come to the hotel and have seen where I work and the hotel also organises annual picnics where we all get together with our families. My most memorable moments are when I took photographs with Shah Rukh Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, and in the earlier days with Imran Khan and Wasim Akram.

Bengaluru has changed so much since the days I started off here. M.G.Road itself has changed so many times over; I still remember M.G. Road being full of trees. From garden city it is now urban city with people from all over the world coming here. Earlier only large company heads and owners used to come to five-star hotels like ours. Now with so many software companies being around, office people and executives also come regularly to five-star hotels.

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