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Monday, January 16, 2006

New Doorfolk

Obviously, new folk will join the profession and old folk will leave it, not necessarily old or new by age, but to the game. The new folk often find that their perception of the job is significantly out of kilter to the work they're asked to do.

The biggest problems you see the wet behind the ears face is their place in the food chain. They thought they'd be cock of the walk with god-like authority to humiliate and intimidate those they disliked while showing favours to those who's knickers/pants they wanted to get into. This can be the case when a seasoned old hand with a small venue with them as head/only doorman but won't be the case for 99% of the fresh meat slung into the front line. First off you're highly unlikely to be on the front step, unless the night has been judged by those more senior to you as too damn cold/wet/dull for them to be bothered with. You'll likely get to gopher around inside checking toilets, keeping drinks off the dancefloor and watching the approved punters queuing at the reception desk/coat room. This is a polite and gentle introduction to the work, yes you will have to deal with knobheads, the hideously drunk and the quite frankly bizarre, but these folk have been sifted from the chaff (pronounced ChaV) at the front step. When you're working somewhere and the chaff isn't being removed, it's best to look for another place to ply your trade.

Occasionally whilst in this 'welcome to our world' transition from what you're taught to get your license to what you need to know to survive/enjoy/not piss everyone you deal with off, something hefty happens.
As a rule of thumb this will occur whilst I'm out the fire exit getting some FreshAir. Cue hopefully a radio call with concise and accurate details delivered urgently but clearly. Then all available doorfolk congregate on the sender, swiftly respond to the problem and a few more punters arrive at street level before blood is spilt/glasses are broken/tears are shed/doorman's pants need refreshing somewhat.

What actually happens is my FreshAir get's interrupted by...."BaAssThudWAA*"...."wooAHr"
Cue running around like black coated whirligigs getting eye contact with all visible doorstaff and barstaff, mainly looking for punter held awkwardly and struggling/rising panic in their eyes.
Then a penny drops, someone spots it and the amassed black coated horde descends.
Generally landing punters to street/chasing them round the club first whilst dealing with the bystanders who are wearing the spilt blood, treading on the broken glasses and in tears.
Cue new doorman thinking (a.) "This is great, I'm gonna do this 'til I die." or (b.) "Why do I put up with this? There's no way they're paying enough to make this worthwhile"

This is the catch 22 for doorstaff, no one in their right mind would think that toe to toe customer services is a good source of employment. Therefore the number of right minded doorman is usually one less after a hefty encounter. I've been doing it for years and have suitably shifted up the food chain to a point where this is only half true. I seldom take the cold/wet/dull shifts unless the money is needed/the other half is getting on my back.

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