JAMIE COOPERSTEIN, EBP J. Cooperstein Hospitality Consulng, LLC the mom-to-be and even more chivalrous than

usual, always offering the house car for

drop-offs and proactively carrying their dry cleaning

and packages. Three couples had babies during my tenure and

A candid glimpse into the critical, compassionate, and confidential role of a community concierge

during the sub- sequent Shiva arrangements and later during the removal of personal items and

ultimately the selling of the units. I remember

As an employee in a residential setting we are given a rare glimpse into the personal and often intimate milestones that occur in someone’s life. This front row seat requires the upmost discretion at times. Our desk was often a stopping point for residents to voice personal frustrations, share medical diagnoses or brag about a new grandbaby on the way. Or to simply gossip. It was a privilege to have this up close and personal lens into their lives and over the course of the seven years I served as Lead Concierge there were a significant number of personal milestone events in our community.

Two residents passed away quickly from cancer diagnoses a little over a year apart, one living out his final days comfortably in hospice within the confines of his two-bedroom condo. Both residents lived alone and it was a highly emotional journey getting to know their family intimately, who were previously strangers to us, both

40 January | February 2021

distinctly having to educate the door staff in 2009 and again in 2011 what a ripped black ribbon on a shirt signified and how to appropriately greet and accommodate arriving friends and family coming to pay their respects. I hadn’t anticipated this being part of my job description.

When Mark passed away, our first community death, Alex reserved the house car for staff members to travel north on Broad Street to Rodeph Shalom to pay our respects. While I sat in the domed and ornately tiled sanctuary that day I thought to myself that this man had been a mere stranger less than two years prior. Before long new residents moved into his unit and his memory faded.

In the beginning there weren’t any children that lived full-time in the community. So when a resident first alerted us that they were pregnant, it was a huge deal. The door staff became unbelievably protective of

it was so special to be a part of their pregnancy journey and finally getting to meet their little ones when they were brought home from the hospital. We were used to grandkids coming to visit on many a weekend but having a baby in the community full-time was special.


Discretion was needed during pregnancies and I had the responsibility to keep their news secret before they were ready to share with others that they were expecting. Sometimes also before they were even ready to share with me! One expecting mama would book the house car twice weekly to be taken to a very specific address at 11th and Pine so I finally looked it up and discovered that she was going to Mama’s Wellness Joint, for prenatal yoga classes. I was bursting inside and wanted to congratulate her so badly but I had to wait until she was ready to share. Another expecting mama, who was a medical resident and relied heavily on online shopping, had numerous large boxes start to arrive from Pottery Barn Kids and Babies “r” Us. We received and logged and stored all package deliveries at the concierge desk and I had to find room for what I presumed to be her crib, stroller, etc. I was tasked with keeping a poker face until she was ready to share the news. Often times it was the proud husband that would share first.

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