Concierge services have a long and colorful history. A concierge is usually employed in an apartment building, hotel, or other prestigious business in order to cater to the ancillary needs and requests of the guests, renters or patrons. The term evolved from the French word "keeper of the candle." It was this person's job to personally tend to all visiting nobility that stayed in some of the more famous castles of that era. In medieval times, these attendants were designated as a high government officials, personally appointed by the reigning king. Their duty was to maintain order over the court and oversee police and prisoner records. Today, however, this job describes an individual whose purpose is to solve special service requests and desires of patrons of an establishment. |
The American version of the profession started out in sizable hotels located in larger metropolitan centers. Usually, there was a special alcove in the hotel with a desk that had a prominently displayed plaque that said Concierge or Concierge Services. If you needed some particular thing or service like tickets to a play or a car rental you would speak with the attendant at the desk and tell them what you required. They would then make sure that your request was taken care of and that you were satisfied with the service. This was just one of the ways that the large hotels could differentiate their quality and service from that of their competition.
The businesses that now offer this type of service have greatly expanded. Today, they can even be found in hospitals. The attending service in hospitals is similar to that of the five star hotels. The only major difference is that, in the hospital, the staff is served as well as the patients. Many hospitals justify staff requests by pointing out that it helps employees who work long shifts and provides a more balanced work life for the staff.
Another shift in the profession occurred recently with the marketplace of small and even national companies starting to implement this amenity. They hire staff to work as personal assistants to provide personalized concierge services to executives and other high profile professionals. There is a growing need for personal attendants as highly paid executives don't seem to have enough time throughout their busy days to take care of minute personal or social tasks. The number of people needing this kind of assistance in their lives has gotten so large that there are even people getting work as a freelance concierge.
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