I was 23 when I started working at the Waldorf Astoria in the housekeeping department. I was just out of college. I lived at home in Paramus for the first three months until I found an apartment. It was a great time in New York.
I had keys to every room; that was kind of empowering. It was my job to go in and check those suites. I would go from suite to suite and a little knock and say, “checking.” I got so used to doing that, that I would wake up in the middle of the night and sit up and say “checking.” I’d think I was still at the job!
It was such a global feeling to be at the Waldorf Astoria. Frank Sinatra had a suite. One day I walked out of that suite not looking at all and ahead of myself, and I bumped right into a gentleman who was quite tall. I looked up and there was Superman! It was Christopher Reeve!
Having such an early experience in my career at the Waldorf Astoria was how I was able to be successful. It gave me this real root from which to branch out. It was a joyous place. A place filled with history. The people that walked through those doors, iconic. They were iconic and the place was iconic. It still is. And it always will be.