West Side Doorman
Jose Guichardo came to New York City almost 40 years ago from the Dominican Republic. He was working in a shop in 1983 when the work dried up and a friend who was a contractor gave him the tip about 175 West 70th Street. Guichardo interviewed for a doorman position, got the job, and started that night. “That’s how the whole journey started,” he says. “To tell you the truth I didn’t plan it.” He has been there ever since.
Guichardo takes care of packages, deals with contractors, handles guest keys and serves as a layer of security. He calls his job “rewarding, because you meet people from different backgrounds, different countries.”
“You hear their background, their family experiences, you learn about other cultures,” he says. Over the years he has built relationships not just with tenants but with housekeepers, babysitters and tenants’ families. He remembers how helpful residents were when he started out, having no experience, and credits a partnership of mutual respect with creating a great work environment. “They really embraced me,” he says. Guichardo is especially grateful for his situation because he knows not all doormen are so lucky. Guichardo credits his affable personality and willingness to go the extra mile with his success on the job.
Outside of work, Guichardo spends time with his wife, a teacher’s assistant, and their two children in Washington Heights, as well as with his two brothers. He has traveled to Canada and throughout the southern U.S. He also pursues his hobby of street photography, and belongs to a group of visual artists who put on occasional shows. He has been honing his skills for the past 15 years taking photos of events and doing street photography.