Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Midnight Shift At The Shoreham Hotel In Washington D.C. Back In The Day

Click on the above pictures to enlarge them. They show the lower lobby of the Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. and a nice color view of the upper Lobby. The hotel has large fresh flowers in the Lobby every day.
The hotel is like a large ocean going liner. Beautiful in first class but the guests never see the 4 sub basements below the lobby. More on that another time. It is very much like the ship in the play The Hairy Ape. First class guests never see what goes on behind the scenes.

Here is a true story of the workings of the hotel Midnight Security  back in the day.

When I went to worked at The Shoreham Hotel in Washington 1977 they had 2 military guys working the midnight shift in Security The third guy was a young man who had been drawn into the scheme simply by being assigned to that midnight shift.
Only problem was the guys had it fixed so only one of them came to work and called down to the timekeeper and had the timekeeper punch all three of them in. The next night one of the other guys would come to work and do the same thing and then the third guy would do the same thing when he worked. So the hotel was paying for 3 Security Officers but only one was working on any given night from 11pm to 7am.

I worked the 3pm to 11pm shift and noticed that only one guy showed up to relieve me and the guy I worked with. He would tell us to go on home that the other 2 guys would show up sooner or later.

Nobody ever said anything about this and it went on for over 3 years.

The boss came in at 7am but he either knew what was going on or did not care. He would only see one in the morning and that was good enough for him.

One guy was an active duty Marine. One was a retired Air Force Sgt. and the other was  a young man who had another day job.

Once the midnight telephone operator lady called to Security to come over to the telephone room located under the motor inn behind the Hotel.
She said there were insects in her small room bothering her. She wanted him to bring her some bug spray.
 But the midnight Security(the Marine) was upstairs asleep in a
bed in an unoccupied room and did not want to be bothered. He told her he was coming but did not bother to go. She called back 2 more times. He finally got out of  bed and got some bug spray
and went over to the telephone room and sprayed bug spray all over the room and her as well. At least that is what she said when she complained to the boss the next morning. Nothing came of it.

Finally the boss got fired(because nobody could find a Security Officer on the Midnight Shift) by a new Hotel Manager and the new Hotel Manager hired a really serious hot shot Security Director who was a retired DC policeman who had worked in internal affairs on the DC Police Department.

It did not take him long to figure out what the 3 midnight guys were up to.

The new Security boss came in during the night and told me to say nothing. He hid out and observed the youngest of the 3 midnight guys punching all three of them in.
He called him into the office and fired all three of the midnight shift.

The young guy seemed to think I had fingered them or squealed on them. I had not. But he still thought I was the one that ratted them out. He said to me "Is your insurance paid up?" But nothing came of that threat.