A day in the life of our doorman

His is often the first face you see when you come to Claridge’s. Now, Roman Proboziack explains the ins and outs of his job, and why he loves what he does…

No typical day

"It's all in the eyes and in the smile"

I was thinking about a typical day, and you know what? There is no typical day.

Sometimes I work early mornings, sometimes I’ll cover the end of the day. But no matter, when I’m on duty, I make it a personal rule to catch the eye of, and smile at, every single person that comes into or leaves the hotel – regardless of who they are. And if I miss somebody because it gets really busy, I feel disappointed. It’s as if I’ve let myself and Claridge’s down. It’s just the way I am.

If I have a philosophy, it’s about an awareness of other people and caring about how they feel. It’s all in the eyes and the smile.

Ready for anything

“You can’t stand still for too long”

I never know who is coming or going, so I have to be ready for anything and everything. The unexpected is what makes this job fun – seeing old friends and meeting new ones, who eventually become old ones. It helps that I consider myself a people person. In this job, you have to care for people in a genuine way.

It’s busy work being on my feet. The secret to staying comfortable is to keep moving. Even on my days off, I don’t rest my feet. I play tennis at least twice a week and love beating the younger guys – not bad for a 66 year old! I’ve also met some of my tennis heroes at Claridge’s and all were lovely guys, real gentlemen.

A moment’s pause

“Taking time to smell the roses – I think that’s a good philosophy”

Even being so busy, I try to take some time to appreciate the finer things around me. The hotel itself is very beautiful, and it makes me feel special to be a part of it. And if you ask me for something nice to do in London, a short walk from Claridge’s, I’ll say,  “Take a stroll up to Hyde Park and stop to smell the roses!”

I think my background and family history has helped shape this part of me. My mum was from the Ukraine and my dad was Polish, and they were war refugees. I was born in Germany, but my friend and I moved to the UK in 1959 to go to school in Sussex. We really appreciated the opportunities we’ve had here. And when we left school, we took some time off to celebrate, hitchhiking around Europe for a year. Thinking about it, we probably invented the gap year that’s so popular now...

The highlight of the day

“I think family values are at the heart of Claridge’s”

One of the aspects I love about my job is meeting the children who come and stay. Claridge’s has always been a family hotel, and since I’ve been here for thirty-six years, I now meet adults coming to stay who I first met as children. Generation after generation stay here – I think it’s these family values that are at the heart of Claridge’s.

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