There’s a New Deliveryman in Town

Mike Harper, a TriBeCa doorman, remembers Christmas Eve three years ago as a turning point in his career. At 7:30 pm, he watched in awe as a United Parcel Service Inc. deliveryman carted 27 packages into the lobby of his building near the corner of Duane and Hudson streets.

“Someone was doing some last-minute shopping,” recalled Mr. Harper, 60 years old, who has worked at the building for nine years. He logged the arrivals in a notebook, stacked the packages neatly and kept watch over them.

The pace has picked up since then for Mr. Harper and the city’s thousands of doormen as the boom in online commerce during the holiday season has turned them into their buildings’ de facto postal clerks. They are expected to shepherd and track a constant flow of boxes from FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service through their lobbies — and are sometimes conscripted into a crucial, late-stage role in the gifting process.

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