Some common requests are effortless, but others… well, certain asks are just plain impossible.  Here, a humorous explainer for the confused traveler. 

By Brigitt Earley
Updated May 12, 2016

Restaurant reservations? Check. Guaranteed entry into the city’s most prestigious private club? You might think it’s an obvious no, but Todd Briscoe and Anna Drezen, authors of the new book How May We Hate You, have another story to tell.

After taking jobs as hotel concierges in New York City, the pair found themselves getting funny—and sometimes downright strange—requests from guests. The book, available this May, recounts those exchanges and gives readers a glimpse behind the curtain of the service industry.

Here, a cheeky excerpt details what a concierge can—and can’t—do for hotel guests, so you’ll know exactly what falls within the job description next time you’re traveling.

Yes, Sir, We Can Absolutely Help You

1. Help you get tickets to a Broadway show.
2. Tell you about the neighborhood around the hotel.
3. Make dinner reservations/recommendations.
4. Help you book transportation.
5. Help you guess which place you remember/have heard of/saw on TV.
6. Tell you that you look very nice in your tuxedo/ball gown.

We Don’t Usually Do This, But I Can Certainly

1. Help you find a broker to resell your Broadway tickets that you can no longer use.
2. Try to arrange a very-last-minute taxi/train/shuttle to the airport.
3. Make a last-minute rooftop bachelorette party tapas brunch reservation for 15 people.
4. Help you find the wallet you left in a cab.
5. Draw an entire map of locations from Sex and the City.
6. Help you tie your bow tie for your tuxedo/zip up your ball gown.

I Apologize, But Unfortunately We Cannot

1. Get you “cheap tickets” to The Book of Mormon.
2. Get you a “free limo/taxi/shuttle.”
3. Get you and your nine cheap friends into Bathlazar for an 8:00 p.m. res at 7:30 on a Friday.
4. Help you visit a location that is not in New York.
5. Get you a room with a view of a particular building that is blocked by a mile of other, taller buildings.
6. Tailor your tuxedo/ball gown, on the spot, as you’re wearing it, while someone is hailing you a taxi.

For more funny stories, anecdotes, and tips, you can buy the book here.