- Former employees at Trump hotel said they had to pretend to support the president while on the job.
- The hotel staff said they would also face harassment from anti-Trump activists.
- However, one huge perk of the job: getting paid well.
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For employees at the Trump International Hotel who weren’t Donald Trump supporters, pretending to be one was an unwritten rule of the job, according to a Washingtonian report on Thursday.
One ex-manager at the luxury hotel in Washington, DC, told the local magazine that she quickly learned on her first days at work she’d have to fake being a fan of the former president. When given a tour of the place by another employee, they had commented that Trump was “such a kind soul” and “so good to the people.”
The former manager felt inclined to agree, but later admitted: “Inside, I was dying.”
Another past employee, Michel Rivera, who was a bartender at the lobby bar, told the Washingtonian that he had to lie in order to portray himself as part of the Trump crowd.
“I said certain things to play the part and do what I needed to do in order to avoid problems,” Rivera told the magazine. “A lot of times, I would end up being like, ‘Yes, I support the president. He’s an amazing guy.'”
The Washingtonian’s Jessica Sidman spoke to several past employees of the Trump hotel who detailed the pros and cons of working at a place owned by the former president while he was in office. Besides the feigned enthusiasm over Trump, another regular work occurrence was harassment from people who opposed Trump.
Sometimes, food suppliers to the hotel’s restaurant BLT Prime would send spoiled produce and poor cuts of fish and meat, former executive chef Bill Williamson said.
During breaks on the hotel balcony, one manager who was actually pro-Trump, said he’d get the finger from a passerby. While in uniform on his Metro commute, he’d get berated by other traingoers. Ultimately, he got tired of the public shaming and left the job, he told the Washingtonian.
Employees were also expected to abide by strict dress codes, with policies limiting the length of a man’s beard and the length of a woman’s fingernails. “I always tried to dress like a Fox News anchor,” one former female manager said.
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic triggered layoffs for all employees, the Washingtonian noted, yet once shutdown restrictions lifted and places started to re-open, workers said a new task became making sure Trump allies visiting the hotel — who often neglected public health guidelines — would wear their mask.
Still, one major perk of a job serving prominent public officials was the pay, employees said. Rivera, the former bartender, told the Washingtonian that it was the highest-paying job he ever had, earning over $100,000 a year with tips. Now, due to fear of backlash from future employers, his resume says that he used to work at the “Old Post Office” — which is what the DC building was before being renovated into the Trump hotel.