New York City has a reputation for having rude citizens, but Ralph Body, a former doorman at a luxury Long Island City apartment building, said he was fired for being too nice.
Body, 41, said he was a devoted doorman for the building, called "27 on 27th," since it opened two years ago in Queens, New York. He went above and beyond by checking on residents’ pets, cleaning litter boxes, watering plants and holding packages.
“Everything I did, somebody asked me to do, or there was a need for it,” Body told the New York Post.
He was fired last Sunday. “They said, ‘We know you did it for the right reasons, but unfortunately . . . you’re too nice to the tenants,’” Body explained.
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Body tried to fight for his job. “I told them, ‘When the tenants ask me to do something, I’m going to say yes.’
“But they said, ‘You do things for them which you shouldn’t be doing. And unfortunately, in this case, nice guys finish last,’” Body explained.
Tenants have rallied to save Body’s job, creating a petition that reads, in part: “Going above and beyond your work duties shouldn’t be punished — it should be praised. We stand with Ralph.”
The petition continues: “Most tenants ... can attest to Ralph’s kindness and eagerness to make people feel safe and welcome. In a transient city where most people are from other states and countries, 27 on 27th was a unique building that truly felt like ‘home’ from the moment you stepped through the front doors.”
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The tenant who started the petition said: “Ralph made this different than other luxury buildings … I would definitely have to think twice about my [lease] renewal now.”
Tenants blamed building management Heatherwood Communities for Body’s termination, not the staffing company, PBS Facility Services.
However, an email from Heatherwood to the tenants of 27 on 27th reads: “It was recently brought to our attention that Ralph did not follow PBS’s policies and procedures and after being spoken to several times, it was their decision to reassign him to another building.”
Tenant Dr. Michael Dardano believes that wasn’t the case. “Heatherwood wants impartial professionalism,” he said. “I don’t want to live in an environment like that — where there are robots at the front desk.”
Heatherwood reportedly refused to comment on the matter.