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What Are the Best Concierge Requests You've Gotten?

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Doug G. of Blue Bell writes: As a concierge, what have been your most unusual/favorite requests?

Hi Doug,

Unusual? Hmm … I was once asked to arrange a marriage proposal in the middle of a company picnic. The intended lady would be at the function, while the proposer skydived into the event and presented the ring. The challenges involved logistics and permits: clandestinely getting her employer’s OK, along with approvals from the picnic park and the township. Thankfully, the daredevil landed right on his mark, and his bride-to-be happily accepted.

Then there was the gentleman who said, “I want to celebrate my one-year anniversary by taking my wife to breakfast at Tiffany’s.” This request was fun—and easier to fulfill than I had expected. The store’s manager, who was totally down with the idea, let me bring in a caterer and a harpist to the now-closed King of Prussia location. And the man felt like a king, dining on eggs Benedict amid all those baubles. His wife was quite the Holly Golightly, too.

But my most unique request probably was from a company wanting to send 10 hot-on-arrival cheesesteaks to a client’s office in Idaho Falls. Broomall‘s Drexel Hill Style Pizza worked with me on the task, and the client enjoyed them for lunch the next day.
 

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With regard to favorite requests, I’ve experienced several sweet victories in my career, such as the client who asked for two tickets to see The Irish Tenors at the then-named Wachovia Center, years after the group had been scheduled to come to Philly. Along with special seats in the handicapped section (her husband had been paralyzed in a car crash nine months earlier), she also asked if I could arrange a brief, private meeting between her husband and tenor Ronan Tynan, who is a bilateral amputee. (Throughout her husband’s therapy, his trainer had played The Irish Tenors for inspiration.) Via a contact at the venue, I was able to connect with Tynan’s manager, who immediately agreed to this heartfelt encounter.

And my favorite request (so far) was to score two tickets to The Late Show with David Letterman—for which taping was less than one week away. Now, the only ways to get tickets are to send for them months prior or wait in line the morning of (and hope you get in). As I was contacting concierge friends in New York City for advice—they all laughed at me—my father called to say hello.

“So, whaddya know?” he said.

“Well, unless you can get me two Late Show tickets for next Thursday’s taping, I don’t know anything, Dad,” I replied.

Letterman tickets?” he coolly responded. “Two? OK, I’ll call you right back.”

And he did. Five minutes later. “They’ll be at the door. They’re under my name.”

I can’t divulge how my old man was able to line this up for my client, other than to say, he knew a guy who knew a guy.

Hospitably Yours,
Ken

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