The concierge at The Fitzwilliam

Tony, the concierge at The Fitzwilliam in Dublin. Photo by David Lansing.


When we arrived in Dublin arrangements had been made for a driver to pick us up at the airport. My instructions said we were to “Meet driver at Yellow Structure outside baggage claim.” The Yellow Structure being a very tall and obvious piece of abstract art. So we collected our bags, found the Yellow Structure, and waited. But our driver never showed.


This has been bothering me ever since so this morning when I came down to breakfast and saw Tony, the concierge at The Fitzwilliam, I asked him if he’d ring up the company that was supposed to collect us and find out what happened. Tony was happy to oblige.


I stood on the opposite side of Tony’s desk in the lobby as he made the phone call. This is how it went:


Tony: “This is Tony at The Fitzwilliam and we have a guest staying here, a Mr. Lansing, who was supposed to get picked up by someone from your service at the airport. He says the fella never showed.”


Long pause. Tony rolls his eyes a bit and then covers the phone with his hand.


Tony says to me, “They say the driver was there and waited for 45 minutes.”


Me: “That’s impossible. Our flight was right on time and we got our bags and stood at the Yellow Structure for 20 minutes.”


Tony relays this information to the person on the line. He listens for a few minutes and then covers the phone with his hand again. “The idgit says you never showed up. Should I tell ‘im whatfor?”


Before I can say anything, Tony is back on the phone with the idgit explaining that Mr. Lansing was most assuredly at the Yellow Structure as instructed waiting for almost an hour for a driver who, no doubt, lost track of time while enjoying a second or third Guinness at the pub and it’s a shame, really a shame, that they even license businesses such as theirs because don’t they know it gives a black eye to all of Dublin and surely he, Tony, will never recommend them to any guest staying at The Fitzwilliam. And then he hangs up.


His face red, his brow sweating, Tony smiles at me and says, “Is there anythin’ else I can do for you, Mr. Lansing?”

I think Tony and I are going to be great friends during our stay here.

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