Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Shout

The time when doormen stand apart from other employees in a venue is when physical violence and threats of physical violence occur. Now most sensible poorly paid souls would think to themselves 'get me out of here' and quite rightly so. If you're not being paid/been trained/expected to/expect to get in harm's way then really getting out of there is the best plan. However this is why doorfolk stand out as a little different.

Although permanently under-rewarded for a quite frankly stupidly dangerous job we expect, nay enjoy the moments of adrenalin raising, glass breaking, blood spillings that occur at random intervals. Though often at the expense of our laundry. This may sound daft and for the purposes of running an establishment well, there should be as little possibility for violence as can be allowed human beings. However, economy, efficiency and imperfections in the management of both individual doormen and their management mean there are oft not enough hefty folk in bad shirts and clip on ties around to get everywhere before it happens. This means instead of a 'keep your eye on them' or 'make yourself seen over there' call we get 'Fight Fight, main dancefloor' which inevitably means dropping all but the most crucial tasks and fleeing into the affray.

Once there we are expected to soak up blows, prevent all punters from harm, including the ones throwing fists everywhere, cause minimum disruption to those punters who are unaware of the loud violent fracas happening within arms length, escort those necessary from the premises, calm and observe the remaining punters, do all this in the swiftest time possible, not suffer any personal injury and hopefully remember enough details about this 12 second event to write a page long report on the whole bloody incident. Not as easy as it sounds in a crowded, high noise environment filled with non-rationally thinking drinkers.

So we rely heavily on good communication, both verbally on radio and physically. The physical is scuppered by the frequent use of smoke to make two doorfolk 20 metres apart invisible to each other and the radio is just scuppered by every factor imaginable. This all leads to us spending our working life talking distractedly to punters and staff alike whilst always looking around at everyone else in the room, stopping mid sentence, losing the thread of even the simplest things and running off into the crowded masses without even a 'by your leave' to return minutes later with no real explaination and blood/beer/vomit on our shirts. We must seem like a care in the community work scheme. Oh well, it's better than pouring pints.

No comments: