History at The Athenaeum : Dawn Geddes
This months Mayfair Insider series features Freelance Journalist Dawn Geddes, who tells of her family stay at The Athenaeum
1st June 2019
From the army to The Athenaeum’s door
Jim started working in London hotels after he left the army and being a doorman is something former army personnel tend to excel at, since their training gives them immaculate posture. At 6ft 6ins too, Jim has a stately presence on The Athenaeum’s door, and is always dressed immaculately in a top hat, waistcoat and tails.
Tricks for keeping warm
Being a doorman means being outdoors whatever the weather, and once the cold creeps in, it’s difficult to get warm again. Over the years, Jim has finely honed his methods for keeping warm – and this often comes down to tracksuit trousers worn inconspicuously underneath his suit, and insulation soles in his shoes!
Make everyone feel special
One of Jim’s goals as a doorman at The Athenaeum is to make everyone feel special. He says it’s all part of the five star hotel experience and that guests deserve it. He uses mnemonics to remember guests’ names, anticipates what guests need before they know themselves, and prides himself on being an excellent listener.
Being nice goes a long way
In Jim’s most recent interview for Insider, he was asked how guests can get extra special service when staying at The Athenaeum. He said he treats everyone the same, whether they’re an A-lister celebrity or not. And he’s met a fair few celebrities at The Athenaeum in his time, from Samuel L. Jackson, Steven Spielberg and Natalie Portman, to Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman and even the former British Prime Minister, Lady Margaret Thatcher. However, Jim’s simple advice is to be nice to people. “They will then want to be of service to you, rather than just be of service. It’s human nature.”
We think Jim is a London legend!
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