UPPER WEST SIDE — Five days a week, John Morgan mans the front door of Bed Bath & Beyond at 65th and Broadway.
He wears a vest, tie and white gloves, and his small braids dangle from beneath his cap. Local patrons know Morgan not just as the man who opens the door as they come and go, but for his reliably friendly demeanor and genuine concern for their well-being.
For Morgan, a Bronx native, bad moods and grumpy people are a welcome challenge.
“I try to say something nice to them so they get up out of that mood, so they can start their day out right,” he said. “The next thing you know they forget what mood they were in. It makes me happy to see another person happy.”
DNAinfo New York found Morgan and asked him a few questions to kick off our Neighborhood Celebrities series:
How long have you been the doorman at Bed Bath & Beyond?
I’ve been here since the place opened in 2005. I work five days out of the week, eight hours a day. I like my job. I like the people. You know, I like to meet with different people.
How do you stay so positive all the time?
Not everybody is happy when they get up in the morning. Me, I’m happy when I get up in the morning because I’m able to see another day. That’s what makes me happy. You got a lot of people around here looking like the world ended, so when I see that, I always try to attack that. I’m like, Oh lemme see if I can get them out of that. Some people be like, 'Man you made my day!' You know, it gives me those goosebumps on my arm and I’m like, 'Good. I did a good job for somebody today.'
Do you ever have bad days on the job?
I might be in a mood, but you can’t tell really because I know how to hide it so well. But I’ve got customers sometimes, I can be at the doorway in another world, my mind could be somewhere else, and they walk up and they’ll be like, 'Hey, hi sweetie, how you doing? You all right today? You need a coffee or something?'
What’s the best part of your job?
I like to see people happy besides me. You know we have one life. Enjoy it. That’s my thing. Every day when I come to work, I get up in the morning, I say yeah I got something positive to do, maybe I could make somebody’s day, or maybe they could make my day.
Do your feet ache from so much standing?
Oh, my God. I feel like you ladies do when you come out of your high heels from walking all day. Now I know! I gotta sit down. It’s no joke.
What would you say is your motto in life?
Like they say: You’re never too old, never too young, to learn something new. I always say to myself: If there's a day that goes by I don’t learn something, it was a wasted day. At least if I learn something it was a good day. And I try to have that every day.
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