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Monday, December 29, 2008

The Disrupted

Over the Christmas and new year period the weeks are disrupted. Some folks have the full fortnight off. Others ended up with their Friday night on the Wednesday. Then we get a Friday and Saturday with no preamble and football playing on the Friday and Sunday. Then we get another mad Wednesday night. Taking us through to silly o'clock in the morning on Thursday. For some its back to work on Friday, other are off 'til Monday so is it a big weekend or has the January slump set in already?
With my reading of the credit crunch, Mytown's house prices and home ownership rate and one of the bigger employers looking skittish for the new year I think the last big party will be new years eve.
It's always in interesting night to work. Obviously there will be loads more drunken fun. We get to see all of our regulars out and about in full fine fettle. And we get to see a club full to the rafters with all the egos of the drunken male groups, the bitchy dynamics of the female groups and the unfathomable working of the domestics. I'm sure it'll keep me busy for the last night in a while.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ho Ho Bloody Ho

Yes I'm full of the Bah-Humbug spirit. Too many drunken fools with too much spirit in them. The gentlemen seem just seem to be too drunk too early to even enter the venue. The ladies are worse.
Pretty as the lady might have looked in the poster in the window. Most of our female customers do not look good in cheap red sateen with white polyester fluff. Especially when a drink's been spilt down it and the fake tan has turned the white to dun. Similarly stockings may be festive but fishnets looking like chicken wire and muffin tops on the top of each thigh make me lose my appettite.
I'll be thankful for the time and a half. Apart from that I'll be thankful when it's over. Only tonight, boxing day, the saturday and then the new ears eve and new years day to get through 'til the students return and a sense of normality can return. And a full working week.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

No really

When a tiny drunken, mentally special chav meets a cold, bored, tired me.
After a while too long standing in the freezing sleety drizzle I can loose some of my legendary patience. I normally don't let this mood creep past my professionalism. When faced with diminutive, socially bankrupt, intoxicated and aggressive chav what more can I do but have some fun and alleviate my mood.
'Good evening' as he approaches. He's thinking he's gonna walk straight on in.
'No sir, not tonight.'
'You what?'
'Not tonight, try somewhere else.' He's still kinda lodged half in the door beside me so I took myself a handful of horizontally striped sweater and returned him fully to the pavement.
'Walk away now sir, we're done'
'Who the fuck are you?'
My normal patient silence
'You fucking dare touch me'
More patient silence and he takes this as fear and steps right into my chest. It would be getting in my face but really he's not that tall.
I wheel out my last chance gambit with a 'Go away now. Just Piss off!'
A little bit of swearing just lets a muppet know you're ready to shift up gears and it could be getting personal.
A little stunned step back and a moment to shake some booze out of his undersized brain then he looks me directly in the eyes and I begin to chuckle. His adrenaline is making him shake. In a moment I'm shaking trying to hold my laughter in. He then does the most offensive thing I've ever encountered and flips me the bird. One whole raised finger.
I am still keeping eye contact and swat his hand down. He tries with the other hand and I think about bending the finger back. Before I get the chance his adrenaline loses the battle with his fear and he steps back to blow some more hot air.
'You don't know any real men in Mytown, do you?'
Not gonna rise to this one
'Who the fuck do you know?'
Probably more real men than you will ever in Mytown and beyond its apparently rather stagnant gene-pool.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thank-you note

Only once, and I'm not sure just how sane the writer was. In the doorstaff closet, next to the rota's and the incredibly poorly written notes to doorstaff not to use their phones, was a thank-you letter.
It was from a thankful a punter, after having an asthma attack in the venue she had been swiftly and carefully treated by the doorstaff and her handbag found and returned to her. Not a massive thing in doorwork, just the kind of thing a professional team does on a nightly basis.
Very nice for someone to write in. Probably the only one who's bothered out of the thousands who we help. Some folks we go really out of the way for and barely get a nod good-night.
It was a nice little reminder every time we went out into the venue that at least one punter, once, even drunkenly, thought we did a good job.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Same old Tunes

Even through the ear defender and radio earpiece I get far more volume than I require. In the 10 years of working in clubs almost all of the music has changed. Is it any better? Is it any worse?
I couldn't really tell.
What the music in clubs does is attract folks in to dance. They dance to enjoy themselves, they dance to pull. That's the theory. Club managers decide to pay DJs an awful lot of money for a few hours performing on the decks. Some clubs like a pop and prattle style, others like non-stop banging tunes. The tricks to getting them to the bar, filling the dance floor or keeping them in towards the end of the night are all fairly standard gimmicks. Not rocket science and not foolproof but enough to fool most of the people most of the time.
Is it getting better? I couldn't really say, I don't listen to it. It's just a background, a simple distraction, it helps pass the time on a quiet shift but can drag if its missing the audience and only the drunks haven't noticed it yet.
I do have tunes I think are well produced, well crafted and so on.
I know what music I like but you won't hear it in clubs, it doesn't suit being played at screaming volume, it's not what you'd call readily accessible.

Monday, December 01, 2008


It's very easy when you work for an agency to be replaced. If the manager doesn't like the look of your face, if they're trying to cut back, if they want to piss off the area manager, if they'd rather keep a good bar-staff or any of a dozen reasons, good or not. None have anything to do with the quality of your work.
All you can do to keep yourself settled is simple. Be polite and friendly to the boss, ask how they're doing, keep an ear to the ground, don't whine to them unless you really have to, don't show them up to their minions, friends or peers. Be friendly with the other staff, even the new glass collector who you don't give a week. Make yourself part of the team, when they have staff nights off, go if you can, enjoy yourself in context. Don't vanish like there's wolves chasing you at the end of the night, it's that bloody late you might as well spend five or ten minutes seeing how it went for everyone else. Don't be unprofessional, even on your nights off, you can do that in a whole number of places, not where you work.
And don't above all of these sleep with the staff, from area manager to bar-back. Someone will always find out, someone will always tell everyone and unless you get married and live happily ever after it will come back and bite you in the arse, hard, with teeth.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I am


A Wanker,
A Cunt,
A Jobsworth,
A Bully,
A Pervert,
A Twat,
A Fuck,
A Fucker,
A Fuckhead,
A Dickhead,
A Tosser,
A Prick,

Please feel free to add any I've missed. Folks will be coming out drinking for about their only time each year. Dragged away from children and partners to get drunk with their colleages. They don't meet doorstaff often, they don't know how to handle their drinks or themselves in public.
I'll get most of these hurled at me in the next few weeks. I may even make a bingo game out of it.
Prizes for avoiding any of them and still actually dealing with the public.
Prizes for hearing a new one.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Jacket Fillers

In certain teams you get settled staff. 6 of the same 8 people, week in week out. Someone doesn't work sundays and someone only does the Fridays and Saturdays. You get settled into a routine and you know how each other works. Everyone on the team may not be the best at everything but you work around that and use each ones' skills to the best advantage in the team.
In some places with an unsettled team or just a bigger team you get to rely on jacket fillers more and more. When one of the team has a stag do and all but 3 of the team go away for the full weekend, you're left with a very ropey looking gaggle of muppets and a full venue of the usual scrotes to keep in drink and out of trouble.

You phone the company bosses and beg for a couple more than you really need. This gets you on paper one more than you really need. In reality it leaves you about 3 short. Some folks you may have worked with before and you'll know what they're up to. Not all good, not all bad but it gives you some idea of where you're going to put them and how close you have to keep them. Then you'll get the randoms. You have to size them up in 30 seconds, give them the walk 'round before doors open and stick them somewhere and hope they stick. You never know. I've had randoms turn up and be top flight drunk spotters and trouble solvers. The kind you'd want back if you can get hold of them.

Then you get those with no clue. Sleeping in the staff room toilets, texting a good four fifths of the shift or just chatting with new ladies in a new town who don't know to avoid the filth ridden loins of the doorwhore from out of town.

I have places to put folks who I don't trust. We've a wonderful well lit, tedious smoking area to monitor, usually taken in turns by the regular team but perfect for a new muppet. We also have front of house watching the punters pay their way in and stamp them out. Well covered by camera, nowhere to wander off to and within shouting distance of my cold front doorstep.

It's not fool-proof, especially when you get some serious fools. Some are better off being told "to wander 'round, look busy and not stop walking". They may be chocolate fireguards but the punters need never know.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Don't look now

After the unusually hectic halloween this post is not about that. It's not about the things you find in the toilets when checking, it's not the over-amorous couples whose hands keep disappearing.
It is instead the affect of alcohol on certain ladies at a certain point in the night. Usually after most of the customers have headed home for the night there will be some strange characters left. These ladies will have come in with friends, gotten merry and then by misadventure or desertion have ended up on their own. These ladies then decide it's time to find male company and will resort to any measures. That even includes draping them over all the internal doorstaff, one after another as they deflect the undesired attentions by swapping posts inside. They attempt to seduce the male punters left in the building. All the nice-ones and 'catches' have been caught leaving the intoxicated and defective filling in time 'til the music goes off.
This leaves these ladies, to dance on and on. Rubbing themselves, rubbing their clothes, rubbing up against people, rubbing against pillars. If you're working inside you'll clock them, avoid them and breathe a sigh of relief when they shuffle off.
Before this happens, when a colleague radios in or taps you on the shoulder and says "don't look now..." you know they'll be doing something so horrific that you'll actually have to eject them. I don't want to see some one 'getting their rat out' or fumbling a hand job on the dancefloor or draping themselves over one of the bars looking like a promo-girl from the 80's and scaring what custom is left out of the building.
When told not to look now, you just have to and then bleach your mind later.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Once in a while I will splatter a punter. Not out of boredom, malice or anything other than a sense of self preservation.
In certain situations as soon as you approach a punter to tell them something politely, they react as if you've just shat on their mothers fresh grave and wiped your arse with the flowers. They don't have a rational response, they go ballistic. It's not the steady escalation of a situation as the clash of wills becomes apparent, after the the message soaks past the alcohol.
No it's the quiet word that, due to a punter's altered state of mind, they fly into a violent rage at. Feeling the situation will end up with blood and tears, not exclusively theirs, I have to attempt a quick restraint. This inevitably only gets half the required number of limbs to be fully effective. Then their unhinged adrenaline enhanced strength kicks in and the fun begins. Unless the radio call gets my colleagues flying in to me swiftly it's time to use some body weight dynamically. Usually employing walls, counters, floors and other very solid objects to gain an upper hand without releasing the punter or resorting to kicking, kneeing, punching, elbowing or butting them into submission. This is not usually pretty, though it can be fairly fast and fluid. It consistently ends with me on top of or behind the punter having established control. There's usually blood, grazes and often carpet burns. With their adrenaline spent it's just a case of making sure they've run out of energy before you risk moving them and seeing them off for the night. Then it's time to change shirt wash your hands and reflect upon another splattered punter and what you could've done better and more perplexingly, how did blood get there?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What's in my pockets

I can go through this as it's all fairly generic and in my case fairly static.
I have in my trousers,
front left a packet of mints and a lip-salve
front right my keyring. This is a small screw gate carabiner with flat keys, bottle opener, ultra-bright LED torch, assorted toilet door openers.
back pocket, small change, enough for a special burger, chips and coke at the end of a long night.
In my waistcoat or jacket,
left outer pocket, cigarettes and lighter (usually in packet)
right outer pocket, 2AA LED torch, big bright, cheap.
inside left pocket, Photocopy of door badge in police provided arm-band.
inside right pocket, spare pair of latex gloves and earpieces for my radio.
Coat pockets are usually,
gloves in the outside ones, 2 pairs, knitted and leather.
Inside pockets wage slips, notes about this or that.
On top of this I've got a belt mounted pouch. This has small pad and pencil, door badge original, latex gloves, spare ear pieces and a tiny first aid kit. For use on me, not punters. Silver plasters, alcohol free wipes, surgical tape, dressing pads, tiny pot of vaseline.
All of that and I don't clink, rattle or jingle even when flying up the stairs in a hurry.
Notice, I don't carry my phone unless I'm changing venues in the night. If it really matters they'll know my bosses number, otherwise it can wait 'til morning.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Frame of mind

To do doorwork well you need to achieve the right attitude, time after time after time. Whether that's as your heating kicks out as you shower for work, whether the last customer you just escorted out ripped your shirt and threw up on your boots or even as the music goes off and you find a sleeper in the gents.
There are tricks for this, some may seem like the acts of an obsessive but they serve a purpose. I like a shit, shower and shave, then straight into my work clothes. Plumb in the radio, tuck the loose radio end away behind the first aid kit. Fasten my boots, on with my jacket, on with the coat, fill and check my pockets then head out the door.
When I arrive at work, I try to get a sense of the evening. How many folks are out and about, are we expecting a late rush or are the fools queuing already? Then on with the radio, sign in, fix my badge, grab an ear-defender, pat down my pockets and get out there.
When I'm at work I try and be attentive, alert and detached. When my calm is disrupted I rely on the routines of routes, tasks, stances and venue checks to slip back into the right mental approach for work.
Keep focused 'til I'm back in my house and then as the uniform comes off, so does the work mind. Not until I'm in my vest and pants have I really stopped for the night.
All these little things help me to keep a consistent approach. It's not rocket science but by having a routine and sticking to it, you can with a quick action or thought regain your composure and be back on top in an instant. None of it is really important and none of it can't be skipped, but all of it helps to reinforce the cycle.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Some situations I deal with have more than a hint of repetition. The drunk bloke needing to leave is a typical example. The type of thing we do time and time again. Not something to get your adrenaline up but a bit of experience can tip you off on what to watch.
Once in my younger days, working a lively high turnover, vertical drinking warm up pub, I approached a gent and asked him to leave. It was busy and bustling but not really loud. I approached and asked him to leave. He muttered something, I lent in towards him to hear him better. He didn't tense or get angry, just lifted his fist straight up into my jaw.
I was a little stunned. I then had to come back and regain the situation. I did but spent a week with a very stiff jaw and a few sore teeth. That was a lesson learned. Now I take punters into a quiet bit, don't lean in and don't get fussed if I don't hear what they say. Even the simple things you have to get right. I've had a few sore jaws and throbbing heads, each one has to be a lesson learned. I try to be better by experience, mine and others, not making the same mistakes. If I get to the point I can't be bothered learning I'll hang up my boots.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Keep Pushing

I like to see how far I can push sometimes. When you've not a lot to do and you feel like flattening everyone in the room I like to find some muppet, generally a boy, who's doing something slightly naughty. Something petty like having his feet up on the leather seating, or wandering across the dancefloor to his mates with a drink in each hand. Nothing major, just the kind of thing I'd normally just warn and forget about.
I do warn, in a very obnoxious, brisk way. I use aggressive body language and follow it with a hard to read stare. The warning sticks but it ruins any good relationship we have built up. If I've got nothing better to do I'll keep the nasty stares. I place my oversize frame somewhere to block their view. If I have to I can keep this up for a few hours but I don't usually need to. I just keep pushing, when they head to the bar I deliberately chose then to check all's good with the barstaff. I give them a 20 second lead when they head for the gents. I let them know I've got it in for them and they get the gist very quickly.
They may come and front up to me, ask me what my problem is. They don't normally. They just take their frustrations out in beer or on anther punter. Then I get the fun of escorting them to the door and hear their pointless apparently paranoid ranting. All topped off with a 'good night sir' from the front step. It's not big, it's not clever but is it funny. Especially if you tip off your colleagues as to who you're pushing.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bitch Fights

There are more and more girl fights going on it seems. Not just the domestic skirmishes of the drunken butcher lesbians getting possessive over the even more drunken less butch lesbians. These always occur when too few Y chromosomes are present in the presence of alcohol and flirting.
No, this is the girl on girl scrapping over boys, ex-boys, drinks, dresses and the like which used to end in tears. Now its more often ending in full on bitch fights.
It's not just the hair pulling stand off where both parties get locked in an extended judo-like stance. These are always fun when you separate them and they both end up holding the other muppet's hair extensions and they have to hobble out in one high heel as the other shoe gets couriered to the front door by doorman express.
The type of things I'm running into more often are girls attempting to throw punches or each other around. I've seen a good girl on girl left hook but that was only once. Luckily the participants skill level is a lot lower than their blood alcohol or their anger level. This doesn't stop them attempting to bottle each other or even try and shove a broken bottle neck into the others face.
It poses an issue for the mainly male door teams though. If it's an old fashioned hair-pulling stand off you can see it's not escalating in a hurry. You can overwhelm both parties when support arrives and by bulk alone get both parties to submit to an exit in disgrace.
When it's a whole load faster and nastier, you can get a quick radio shout out but have to think fast. If I flatten one or both, they'll likely end up in A&E. If I leave it, crimes will be committed, A&E will still beckon and I'll have explaining to do.
What I do usually is move fast and light, enough to alter the situation in my favour but not incapacitate anyone. It's not ideal. I could end up with a punch or bottle coming my way but I feel better taking the risk than having to scrape bits off the floor every time. Others I work with seem to form a spectrum of views on this. I don't know what the right approach is but I'll need to find one with the increasing proportion of my physical interventions drunken chavvete fights are taking.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bad Nights

Some nights go tits up for a simple clear reason, others just go and go and go. You're short on numbers in the middle of the month and lower the bar for admission. All sorts of undesirable trash roll in and the inside teamroll's them out again. That's to be expected.
When the students return after a break, they roll in half cut and get rolled out fully cut an hour or two later. They're young and stupid and apart from the vomit they really don't cause any bother.
Other nights you just can't explain it. You let in a good healthy mix of locals, regulars and out of towners. You find a good male/female balance. The age range is fairly wide and you've not got too many big groups. All goes smoothly until one drunk gets his walking invitation, then 5 more in 20 minutes. Then there's one scuffle, then another then two at the same time. You might as well park a police van outside front door at this point as there'll be drugs finds, domestics and stranger scraps before the night is out. Where they come from, I have no idea. Maybe there's a fatal combination of songs that send people into a amoral state? Maybe there's a critical mass of incidents after which all bets are off? I've not got a scooby but it keeps me on my toes, even when I think it's going smoothly. It normally means a new shirt for me as there's only so much of other peoples claret I can be bothered to wash out of a cheap white shirt.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Feathers & Shit

I hate the pointless, low value imported chinese night out accoutrement that hen do's feel the need to adorn their entire party with before staggering 'round town to end up in the club I'm at. Stag do's occasionally have a bloke in a wig and a dress but they'll more than often leave in the dress and the wig is at least easy to make vanish.
The feathers from boas, deely-boppers, hat brims and garters get everywhere. By the middle of the night it looks like a flock of bright parakeets have been preening themselves to baldness inside the club. By the end it looks like the flock's been ripped to pieces. This despite the efforts of the glass collecting staff and sticks covered in gaffer tape.
This is temporary and highly annoying but the clincher has to be glitter. Be it body paint, sparkly hats or just sprinkled liberally on drunken ladies this gets everywhere. It clings to sweaty surfaces and hides in the weave of fabrics. After having to get close to many drunken glitter bearing fools I can find the stuff emerging for days. It doesn't wash out in a hurry of hair or clothes. It'll transfer from one thing to another endlessly. It likes to emerge on my bag of spanners face or simple dark clothing at any opportunity likely to cause the greatest embarrassment, interviews, dates or passport photo-days.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pulling my arm

When I'm working inside I'll occasionally be found standing still, just watching a situation develop. This is not the time for a drunken punter to be thinking that I need to be included in his drunken attempts at impressing his friends. He'll have said something funny or thrown some crazy dance move and then thought through the beer induced haze that I really need to be involved in his drunken moment. He'll wander up and touch my arm or god forbid put his arm around me to get me to play with him. I'll shrug him off and possibly shuffle off a little if it's practical. If he tries again I'll likely turn and advise him that I'm working and can't spare him the time. Then we have to see how stupid he really is. If he tries again I'll spin and possibly flatten him as I make it clear it's time for him to vanish, in a "there's the door, get through it" kind of way.
Hopefully whatever I'm watching will keep 'til I get back. If it won't, I'll sort it first then give the pillock my undivided attention.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Just go,

Why do the folk who've found themselves out on the street not just go away? Most will bimble about by front door, texting their mates still inside or just shouting abuse at us. They usually get bored and bugger off in a little while, once we've decided we're not letting them in, we are not letting them in. If they just go away and we don't have to see their pitiful faces for the rest of the night then the less chance we have of remembering not to let them in the next night they stumble round our way.
Some shuffle off, getting more abusive the further they get, that's amusing providing they move fast enough. If they move really slowly the police will often drive up slowly behind them, hear enough and have them cuffed before they realise it's not a taxi they've blocked by standing in the road to hurl abuse at us.
Others just don't go away. They sit across the road, or lean against the walls beside the doorway. They linger, occasionally trying to sneak back in or just lurking as if they've lost their purpose completely. They can linger for hours. Even after the doors are shut, the music's off, the dj's have left the building and the staff are emptying bottles into the bin. There's nowt for them but they just can't get moving or get over their ejection and the apparent social rejection this entails. Why they want to sit 'til they sober up on a vomit and beer stained street remains a mystery to me. They do go home, they're not still there in the morning. Why they don't take 5 minutes to gather themselves and sod off out of my night I have no idea.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Standing Out

Not all folks out on a night blend into the crowd. There are the hordes of men in light checked shirts and designer jeans. There are the horizontally striped seas of chav. There are the bottle blonde elizabeth duke catalogue wearing tribes and the cotton hot pants/ denim micro skirt armies.
Generally aside from these groups though occasionally in the middle of these are the few who stand out from the crowd. Not in their behaviour but in their appearance. Some folk just couldn't blend in in camouflage, in a jungle at half a mile. They just look odd enough that they catch your eye. I see a lot of faces in a night and most just blend into one unless their behaviour marks them out. Be it facial defects, absurdities of dress or just their ability to look massively awkward in a relaxed environment. These folks get more than their share of my attention and, if some predatory types in the drunken morass spy them, they get more than their fair share of others' attention.
Some revel in it but most find the spotlight a little too bright. I don't stare and point, I just note them and that'll be enough for me. Others do and sometimes if I'm not in the mood find that pointing and staring and deliberately making another punter feel uncomfortable lands them uncomfortably out in the street to early.
I don't know where the socially absurd come from of what they do or don't do during the day but they seem to emerge in the places I work. These fairly low brow provincial clubs where the disillusioned come in the mainly futile hope of finding love. The freaks and misfits follow.
It's easy to fit in and hide or disguise small things but if you don't have advanced social skills if you stand out from the crowd you're likely to be a victim, unless I'm feeling generous, but please don't feel you need to be my friend. I've enough of those without collecting them at work.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Morning After

Or as often in my case, the night after.

Sometimes, especially when you work at a few venues, you get that awkward recognition, sometimes weeks or months later that you know someone. Not in a good way. In the sordid drink fuelled world I work I toss people out onto the streets, sometimes literally, mostly metaphorically. When you switch venue you can be expected to let in and be friendly with the same person who you remember being a grade A muppet time and again at a different venue. This is fairly common for me. Most folk don't cotton on, either because they don't imagine doorstaff as individuals separate from the venue or because the drink addle memory just isn't up to focused recollection.

There are those times when they see you and they know they were being a muppet, you know they know they were being a muppet and then it can go one of two ways. They either come up and attempt an apology with differing degrees of success. Or they just kind of slide away, head down averting eye contact. It's like I'm the presence of an embarrassing ex-girlfriend or a spanner mate from primary school. They just can't get out of there quick enough. Unless they've felt the need to make it personal in the past, I'll just carry on being professional and following the venue policy. It is fun to torment them though, I can be like a ghost from a bad night out, come to douse their dreams of another foolish drunken night.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Rules

What are the boundaries for me when I work. The doorwork industry is regulated, It may be by a bunch of muppets, but it is regulated. This keeps door teams low on convictions and the old guard would say low on experience. The days of high staff to punter ratios where you packed them in, got them pissed and then flew in knocked 'em down and dragged 'em out are gone. I miss some aspects of this but times change. Licensing, extensive CCTV that doesn't vanish and 'no win, no fee' litigation have put an end to that.
I still get to knock them down every now and then but usually when I've missed something earlier on and not diffused a situation properly.
It used to be that if it got heavy a win was a win. Now even going dynamic is a loss before the fist start flying towards me. Now patience and politeness seem to be the order of the day. Unless it's absolutely imperative we like them all to walk out. Not happy about it sometimes but we do, those are the days we're in. None of the highly effective techniques I've gathered over the years leave the box nowadays unless coked up 'roid rage lumpheads are in need of a quick sleep.
I have to rely on patience and politeness.

No-one told the punters. They may be reacting to the change in our manner or they may just be the product of very low moral standards and cheap recreational drugs but they really have gotten a whole load worse.
Getting verbal abuse has always been par for the course. I am a fat Cunt/Wanker/Dickhead and don't really need a punter to tell me that. Whose giving me grief now extends to everyone under the sun. Not just from the '10 yards and walking backwards' brave type but from the small skinny chav whippet and his misses and cousin as you ask them to take their drinks off the dancefloor. Or the pilled up space cadet who's eyes are in different time zones but still thinks it's wise to gob off as he's stumbling out the front door.
In physical matters everyone thinks it's worth having a punch, kick or glass at our backs when we have to restrain someone and one ejection turns into 2 or three as a matter of course. Even with slow and easy to understand explanations before they're shown the door. It's getting more of a challenge. Punters aren't getting harder, we're not getting softer, the bloody rules have changed and we're playing uphill, into a headwind and they've gotten whole load more players on their side since we started. It really takes my patience and my politeness but this is the game and I still like to play.

Monday, August 11, 2008


I find I get some cracking bruises.
In the heat of an incident I'll fly in and get a punter restrained. I'll remove them with differing levels of help and difficulty but they'll get gone. What amazes me is the bruises and injuries that I get. Unless it's something that relates directly to the situation I'll have blocked it out until I find it in the shower or in the gym the next day. Then I'll be there, poking into a bruise in inevitably a silly place for a week without any clue as to who, why or how I got it. The only thing that give me solace is that if I've got these the troublesome punters, even through the alcohol cloak of invincibility, will be waking up with worse.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Ways and Means

I have a few ways of telling when someone needs to leave the venue. The obvious ones of fighting and falling over are only part of the picture. I watch people move around the venue. I watch who they talk to and how. I see how and who they dance with on the main dancefloor. I see how they make decisions, how they interact at the bars and with random punters.
I've been doing this a while now and can see what stands out. I watch body language from how a punter places their feet, how they hold their shoulders to how they move their arms and heads. All of us who pay attention can usually make a good assessment of how drunk a punter is in a couple of seconds. We're in the business of getting people merry in a social environment. We have a grey line of inebriation which we apply with a certain amount of judgement.
When I approach a punter to have a word with them it's not likely I've totally made up my mind. Unless they're very visibly battered I'll try and communicate. Sometimes just getting through to folks is impossible, then it's time to point, guide and occasionally give them a gentle push in the right direction. Sometimes they seem coherent and I tell them to take it easy and leave them to it, just keep an eye on them.
I recon I can tell the difference between just drunk, pilled up, coked or speeded up or on poppers. Mostly by body language but when I pull them into the quiet and the light away from the disco lights to have a chat I like to see their faces and especially their eyes. Then I'll know fairly certainly. Whatever I suspect, unless I think there will be value in doing something else, they'll get escorted out for having had one too many, whether that's strictly true or not.
They often don't like it but, when they're too pissed or smashed they're not good punters, the sooner their gone the better. I'm not a popular man with the muppets, I'm not upset with that. I am fairly popular with the good customers, I'm not upset about that either.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


It's amazing what you can hear if you actually can be bothered to listen. In taking a break from the heat inside and the constant niggling hassles of the front door I do the odd stint on the smoking terrace, smoking area, building frontage or cattle shed depending upon the venue. Here the music is quiet to non-existent, the lighting is constant and better than dark and the punters congregate to kill themselves slowly, use the phone or just cool down.
I stand there cooling off metaphorically or literally, without my one ear defender in and with the radio in the other ear turned to a sensible level. I get overlooked and by not reacting to what people say I can hear some wonderful things. I can hear how this scummy lady is pissed off with another scummy lady for dicking about and not sleeping with her scummy ex. This picked up in overhearing her rant to the scummy boy she intends to slide into bed with tonight. Why he's even interested can only be put down to intoxication and the sad realisation that without both front teeth and barely able to communicate at all even before the booze there's little chance of better.
I once heard a very foolish lady asking a regular slightly scummy man if he had any charlie. By not showing anything on my face I heard her go on asking and him confessing that he doesn't do it in town anymore, only does it at parties now. I didn't believe a word but did get her watched and tossed out in a bit.
Most of my time is spent watching people in drink taking some fresh air and nicotine based refreshment getting very drunk and having to be walked out the premises to sober up away from the venue, not in the smoking area.
The favourite conversation I've heard is one gent on his phone telling his mate he can't come meet him at another venue as he's had 5 maybe 6 pills and is smashed off his tits. This was virtually shouted down the phone as me and the other 20 customers in the smoking area all looked on and laughed. He seemed unaware of the people, the lack of music and the big me in my high-vis jacket standing about 2 yards away. He seemed remarkably surprised when he got whisked out the nearest fire door, feet barely touching the floor. I nearly got a round of applause from the other patrons as I politely told him if he's that mashed he can't see me standing there he won't really notice he's not in the venue anymore and he can go play with his imagination for the rest of the night.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dress Codes

In working at a few different of venues over the week I've seen both the good and bad sides of dresscodes. When you've a clear idea of who you want in the premises a simple dress code works very well. No tracksuit bottoms, no bright trainers, no "chavvy" brand t-shirts/polo shirts. It keeps those who think it fine to drink around town on a night dressed like they've crawled out of a working men's club beer garden out. Where it fails is when the doorstaff don't look past the brands or exact descriptions and see the calibre of person. How you wear your hair and how you carry yourself can tell me alot about you, often a whole load more than the labels you choose to exhibit.
Where it fails due to doorstaff's laziness to make judgement calls and stand by them, you end up rejecting nice punters and deny them the chance of spending money in the premises and still let those of dubious intent as they happen to be wearing appropriate clothing.
For the ladies more tolerance is given. Shorts are acceptable, vests are ok. Wearing most of the Elizabeth Duke catalog hanging in shiny loops from your ears is not. However once again the front door staff need to see past just the obvious headline and see the punter in context.
When it works you can get venues full of diverse punters with very little bother.
When it fails you can get knee deep in uniformly dressed scum and have to throw a lot of weight around.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tooled Up

With all the nonsense in the papers and media about the massed hordes of knife-wielding teenagers taking over the country I think a little perspective is required.
It's not hard at all to get hold of a knife, it takes very little skill to hide one about your person and only a very brief practice to get wield it effectively. However the motivation to commit knife violence and the kind of injury or death offered by crude stabbings lies beyond most folk.
If you're in the confined controlled environment of a bar or club, with cameras, doorstaff, search policies and swift access to the police most folk would not want to be carrying, let alone threatening to or wielding a knife. We do find the odd pen-knife or spiked comb but more often as oversights or stupidity than with intent. Knuckle dusters, stilettos, screwdrivers and other things we occasionally find but not in numbers enough to make us worry.
If you're in the less defined environment of drinking cider on street corners where anyone could turn up and do anything un-witnessed, then I'd worry about it.
Having said all this, standing on a front door with all and sundry walking by you, if you've got enemies, as just about everyone in my business does, it helps to have your back watched and know how to handle a pillock with a knife.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


There are things you find lying around at the end of the night, some of them really unexpected. They always raise some questions about the night, some you maybe don't want the answer to.
My favourites have been the occasional used condoms on the floor of the ladies. A couple will slip under the radar some nights.
The two pairs of men's pants found together by the dance floor were clearly a hen night find but having seen the hen nights we had in that night I can only wonder what promises or threats extracted both Calvin Klein and Ted Baker under-crackers.
The worst has to be the large incontinence pad found on a dance floor at the end of the night. Who brought that into the club and what led to it being discarded? What led to it lying on the dance floor and who got to go home with miss pissy pants? I can only wonder in awe.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ups and Downs

It's the silly summer season. Not in terms of the absence of meaningful parliamentary politics but in terms of my work in this small city.
The students have gone away for the summer so the midweek sessions are quiet or abandoned. The odd local who can read and write or get a doctors note to say they can't may have been off to uni and be back for the summer but they tend not to form a coherent clump on any given night of the week. So generally the summer is quiet, easy work until the weekends. Then we see the stag and hen party season in full swing and we get a load of folks through our doors who we've never seen before and will never see again unless it's to identify them in a court room.
Add to this the fact that the city gets periodic influxes of large numbers of folk for assorted sporting events and festivals. Often they are drunk to such a degree that to still be standing and attempting to enter a licensed premises is almost miraculous. On a given midweek night we can see the club to capacity with high spirited, high spending folks away from home for a few days. We get to see the kind of behaviour people reserve for those situations where they feel they won't face the consequences.
From a quiet students and locals empty night you can by the next night be rammed full of folks with little moral compass and that bumpiness and lack of routine makes up a very frustrating hot sticky idiot filled summer season.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Look and Learn

You don't see me dancing when I'm working. My size 12 boots don't cut the rug. I don't squeeze past deliberately close to ladies breasts or arses. You don't find me texting, looking down at my phone, when I'm working. You don't see me flirting with punters, letting myself get distracted from the faces, movements and radio calls passing by me every minute. You don't find me sitting down with a table of friends and dropping off the radar for 5 or 10 minutes. You should find if you ask them that the others on the team know where I am and what I'm likely to be doing. You won't find me in the staffroom or back office eating pizza or just plain skiving.
This is not the case with every one I've worked with. Some folk who've been doing this a lot longer than me and folk who really should know better are guilty of all of the above.
This is not the greatest of sins in this game though. That is not getting to trouble as fast as possible. Even if your role is chocolate fire guard, you've got to get there and do it as fast and as well as you can when it goes off.
As to all of the first stuff, don't do it when I'm with you because it will all piss me off. I'll still be right there next to you at the next kick off but won't be telling the club manager you got it right when you didn't. I won't be telling your girlfriend you're busy with a first aid case when you're trying to hook up a first date case. The fastest way to get my respect is to be there when you need to be, the fastest way to lose it is to not be there when you don't need to be.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hands off

Over a number of nights recently we've had very little hands on work to do.
I've been not doing it and all the other doorstaff have been not doing it too. We've been asking if people would like to make they're way out and they're making they're way out directly. I've not had to get hands on other than to steer the drunken legged past obstacles and keep them on track for the door. I don't think that I or the rest of the team have been slacking and the ejection numbers are typically high. The punters just seem to be walking without being bothered to argue, physically or verbally. I can think of number or reasons why this is happening ranging from the worrying idea that they're afraid of us or the worrying idea that we're missing those we should be getting and only catching innocent bystanders.
Whatever the reason it's leading to a very jumpy team. I'm getting paranoid, seeing things happening that aren't. Trying to read some motives into the ant-like stumblings of the punters around the club. I try and not get lulled into the apparent sense of security and ease this easy work leads to. Others do slide into lethargy with little to do and less to worry about. The other reaction is from the red-headed chemically enhanced doorman. They've been running to every incident, looking for any and every opportunity to apply themselves physically, even to the point of trying to wind up punters. They're still happily walking out though. Sooner or later this is going to end and we'll be back to business as usual, throwing the body weight around and getting some real work done. 'Til then I'll just keep twitchy.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My eyes (pt II)

There are some things that no matter what your state of sobriety and outlook on life you just never need to see. A well dressed lady in light summery dress and linen jacket, apparently out all day wandered out past the front door after only about 5 minutes inside the place. This lady then takes a seat on the doorstep of the neighbouring business and takes off her shoes. Why women and shoes don't agree will never make sense to me. After 5 minutes or so I look back over to see her still sitting on the step, throwing up vigorously. Not a quick little vomit but pints and pints of alcohol laced chunky stuff. More and more of it. After about a minute of near continuous retching there was a good sized mound of the lumpy stuff and the rest was dripping off the kerb to the drain. While she was doing this, she'd gotten slightly more disarrayed than when she left. Her hair at the front was dripping, her jacket cuffs had caught some collateral damage as she tried to hold her hair back. On a light linen jacket it was very obvious. Her posture had slid from sitting to squatting, showing her thong and all that was not covered by it to all and sundry passing by. Potentially erotic were it not for the seemingly endless vomit now piled near her feet.

This in itself is highly unpleasant but not the kind of thing a doorman is unprepared for.
This 'lady' then regains her dignified pose upon the doorstep. The real problem however was the shoes, now filled with chunky warm stomach contents. Don't worry, she calmly grabs them from the pile and shakes the chunks out and holds them to drip for a while. This can only get worse as her partner emerges and asks if we've seen her. We direct him to the doorstep where she's recovering. She hops to her feet, which were dry, gives him a peck on the cheek, hops back into her shoes which were dripping wet and wanders on.
This left me with only the mound of vomit to catch out of the corner of my eye until the bucket of hot soapy water came and sent the chunks floating down the gutter slowly past my post on the front door.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Penny Drops

I was wondering the other night how long it takes folk to realise. I think everyone gets it eventually, it just takes others more time.
The loud bars and dark nightclubs which provide my living service the market of the pre-penny dropped.
The dreams that bars and nightclubs peddle are for the great majority of people, not real. You won't find Mr or Mrs right on the hot sweaty over crowded dance floor. You'll spend a lot of money on new clothes, cover charges, drinks, taxis and takeaways. You'll spend night after night listening to the same or very similar loud music. You'll keep me and all the others involved in the business of bars and clubs in jobs. Will you find happiness?
Not likely. The penny drops when you realise that this image and lifestyle the public is sold through all sorts of media isn't for you. When you see that finding the partner of your dreams is very unlikely unless you are massively vain and can be satisfied by looks alone. You can't really talk to folk and you certainly can't get to know someone in a busy nightclub. It's looks and dancing only. As I said, only the vain thrive.
For most this penny drops and folks start to see clubs as a way to celebrate with friends, a way to indulge in a naughty night out or just to enjoy a rare dancing in public opportunity. For others the penny takes alot longer. They file in every night they can an stumble out every morning. Poorer both financially and I would think spiritually.
I just get to oversee their journey through each night, night after night. Watching these deluded folks drop their pennies in the tills and keep me paid. Seeing the business of clubbing sell them a fantasy and queuing the believers up to lighten their wallets.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Team Work

If you walk into a group of over-excited beered up lads to tell them their night of revelry at the venue is over you either need to be mentally defective or very good at teamwork.
It helps to know where your team mates are, where their attention is, what attitude they've brought with them tonight, what their personal views on different types of punters and even whether they've been on a rest day or a legs day in the gym. All of these things will allow you to be more effective, know what you can stretch to without getting your arse kicked or worse.

When you work with a team that you know well most of the time you can tell how they're going to react to situations. You can see them tense, you can hear their voice change, you can hear what's said to them and guess pretty exactly how they'll take it. I much prefer working with a consistent doorman than a temperamental one. Even a supplement filled short fused potential death machine can be a good teammate in the right venue if you can reliably predict their actions. If you play to the strengths of each member the team can do everything at a level far higher than any given doorman.

Back to the wandering into a crowd of inebriated gents. Don't ever make threats you can't carry out and know how to get yourself out even if you have to fell some of the group to get your arse safely out of there. A tight team gives you the knowledge they'll be watching when you need them. They'll know what you can and can't handle, they'll know when you're about to blow and it might be time to step in. This stag night ended for them and went surprisingly well for us. I wandered in to read the riot act.
"Calm it down right now lads" This got all eyes on me and some agreement, some jeering.
"If there is even a reason to come over and speak to you again you'll all be out". This got nods and a lot less jeering. With people beyond a certain level of drunk only a little bit of what you say ever sticks and little of this sinks in.
While I wandered back to where I prefer to stand and keep an eye on things one of them flattened a glass collector in an act of drunken stumbling dancing. Now there's broken glass everywhere and it's time to shift the group. Dancing oaf gets a gentle guided stagger to the street. Half of the remaining group sup up and start out to join him. The last half stay fast and pose the annoying choice of struggling them one by one to the street or bundling the lot up and scrummaging them as fast as you can to the pavement. We chose option 2. They clumped together to stop a forced ejection and found they just kept on moving. In a tangle of punters with a generous coating of doormen they wound round a corner or two, down a short flight of stairs and out into the night where, when we scurried away back to work, they were left looking like a flock of sheep without a collie ready to wander off to pastures new or get maneaten by the wolves. Likely a hen night from Paisley.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Tools of the Trade

I was asked recently by inspector gadget about a new gimmick, these so called bouncer sprays. I don't know of any doorman worth his badge who enjoys being known as a bouncer. They're advertised as looking like CS spray cans or pepper spray cans. They smell bad and claim to contain a UV dye to aid in identifying the sprayed after a period of time. I don't know anyone who'd want to use this for work. If it acts as a reassurance for those who fear attack then I suppose it has some place. For any doorstaff who fear attack, another profession would seem sensible.

A few observations about sprays. Getting a dose of pepper spray when you're caught in the police crossfire as they attempt to chemically subdue a punter is no fun. The stuff gets everywhere. I can only imagine these low spec versions will do this as badly if not worse. If this got used inside a venue it would likely be smelling like a sewer for at least the rest of the night. That'd be walking orders for just about any doorman.
As to the dye element, that worries me a whole load more. I've seen the mess when a dye marker for cash transit is triggered in a busy bar. More ambulances and breathing difficulties cases than you ever want to see.

To be legal the spray can't contain any noxious chemicals. People react to all sorts of chemicals and even wristbands and sticky plasters can send folks to hospital. I don' think with aromatic chemicals, propellants, solvents, dyes and whatever else is in there. I would never be happy using one or working with anyone who did. I wouldn't expect any manager I know, from pub to bar to nightclub to let his staff use these.

It's a tool for the fool. I rely on being good at what I do, not on any gadget more complex than a one button radio system or a torch. Even then those aren't for subduing, annoying or restraining the punters, that I can do all by myself.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Old Haunts

I've been working a few nights covering an unexpected departure at a venue in the town I've not been at for a while. Things have not changed. The same chavs are still repeating the cycle of getting themselves kicked out, getting themselves barred for carrying on outside, getting 3-6 months of being refused. Then we let them back in and they behave for 1-2 months, then they have a bad night and they get kicked out again and haven't learned not to kick off and the get barred again. It's pointless. They spend a load of cash, buy a load of booze and end up causing a little bit of trouble a load of times.

What gets to me is when they know they're barred for a while, they still come round every night they're out and try and get in. We have barred you, we will normally remember you. If not on the front door, we'll remember them when we see them inside, then they'll be shown the door and the barr extended. But every night they try. I've explicitly told a few, don't come back here 'til June, or go away for three months, then we'll see. It makes not the blindest bit of difference, these chavs are stuck in a pointless socialising, drinking rut. This return to the venue just made me aware of how little I miss the place and the poor quality of locals the town suffers from.
At least with stag and hen do's, they're from out of town and we don't have to see them every night of the week.

I never thought I'd welcome stag and hen parties but at least its not the depressing monotony of watching young and possibly capable folk drink and spend their way to social immobility. The lads never stop unless imprisoned, it's very sad to see 40+ men in sports casual wear. The only thing that seems to stop the girls is having a baby. That only works 'til they can leave the bairns with their olds while they look for baby father No. 2,3,4.....

Monday, May 12, 2008


Too many folk think that doorstaff are thick.
Some may not be too sharp but most are. This extends to remembering a face one night to the next. We see a lot of folks every night but the ones who cause bother, or the ones we think might in future, usually get logged in our sober bored minds, however tiny.

We're not likely to wander round the corner to listen to some drunken muppet 'apologise'. We'll keep where the lights and cameras cover. We don't like being out-numbered, out-gunned or out manoeuvered and we're normally bright enough not to let it happen.

If someone comes up with something new and interesting and it trips us up we'll find out about it sooner or later. Then everyone we work with and know from working with will find out fairly soon. Then the trick stops working and normally only shows it's face when doorstaff change and someone'll try it on thinking we don't pass on this kind of information between ourselves.

We're not infallible, we're not geniuses but we're not too dim to make our job safer and easier for ourselves. Obviously, if you don't like a fellow doorman, you can let them fall into something obvious just for shits and giggles but it's best if they or the punter don't end up with blue light taxis of either sort.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


The excessive sunshine, the extended absence of work, the ready supply of premium lager and the over-abundance of fancy dressed hen parties. Most folk see the bank holiday as an opportunity to get up to all the little occasional tasks they don't seem to find the time for on a normal weekend. Whether it's off to the DIY superstore, the in-laws or the weekend break by the seaside.
For those who don't have things saved up for the bank holiday, the three day weekend looms as a massive drinking spree. When you usually drink, as the lower end of our clients do, 5 nights a week only getting out of your mind drunk on the Saturday, you savor the bank holiday. When sunny, as the thing was this end, it's a full three days off work, with beer gardens, top end sport and the ever rotating groups of hen nights in fishnets and bunny ears, devil horns, nurse's uniforms or police women's outfits.
Then as the sun sets its off to throw up near me. Blowing colourful chunks in the queue, in the reception, in the bar, on the dancefloor or even for variety, throwing up in the toilet. By the end of the monday night, yes it still kicks off on monday too, the whole place stinks worse than ever and all I want to do is get to bed for a long un-interrupted sleep.
What I don't want in the slightest is to be clearing out on the monday night, really far too early on a tuesday morning, to see two scrotes, having survived the night sipping warm weak lager slowly, swinging for each other. I didn't attempt to talk this one down, I didn't attempt to separate and cool them off. I just scooped them up together, shouted very loudly to make some space and landed them clear of the front door to sort it out. Not my usual diplomatic self but hot, sleep deprived, physically expended and fed up with the stench of vomit you don't get the best of me but at least it was quick and relatively mess free.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Young Guns

This week I've been having some fun with a new lad.
He's unnaturally big, from injections, weights and 5 low fat protein meals a day at least. He's got a big gun show which he's more than ready to flash to pretty young vacuous things.
He gets stuck in, keeps trouble to a minimum and doesn't blow his top like alot of the other vein bulging freaks.
When it's midweek and we've got drunken students falling left right and centre with vomit appearing in random places every five minutes there was a slight scuffle. New lad gets there first. I leg it in and find him with one lad under each arm, looking to all the world like he's carrying a pair of carpets. He's grinning from ear to ear and it all seems under control. That is until we try and extract the two into a more exit friendly arrangement. The one I grab gives in and an anorexic pygmy in a tie could've gotten rid of him. The other one didn't. Finding the young one now had a spare hand the punter decided to see what he'd do with it.
The answer is to pin his two elbows together in the small of his back and steer him by his jaw into the un-open side of a double fire door. Young gun, still grinning, got his now mostly pacified punter to the door. The two thought about going at it again in the street but with me quietly saying it was a bad idea and young gun still grinning they wandered their way on without incident.
The phrase carrying carpets is often used to describe a certain over-built physique, young gun proved it's worth, this time at least. One day he'll get caught, but 'til then he'll still be grinning and making ladies swoon at his over-ripe biceps.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My arse

My arse is mine. My partner likes it. I'm not averse to it. I do enough hard cardio work to keep it tight. Running up and down stairs with or without scrotes under my arms keeps it in shape.
It's mine, it's not there for drunk girls, ladies and things that I'm not sure should be seen out in public to grab. Walking past me as I stand in fixed place anything female after a few drinks thinks it's fine to grab a handful. It's not. Once, I'll let it slide, twice I'll have a word. Not a nice word. Anything more, you'll be leaving fast, even if I have to radio a female member of staff to take you out.
If I did it to customers, I'd be fired. If a man did it to a female doorstaff or barstaff they'd be out double quick. I'll give you a warning but then it's my butt, and it stops now.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I saw a truly wonderful thing this week and it gave me some hope for the males of the species. The gentleman came in on a typically quiet weeknight. I can't imagine he'll have had work the next day as he was doing quite well for himself when he rolled through our doors. He seemed to have come straight from work or maybe he just dressed like that to impress the ladies, shirt, tie, suit-type trousers and proper shoes. He found himself a space at the bar and that was the last I saw of him for a few hours.

A little while later I get a call to meet with a member of the barstaff outside the ladies. I don't like going into the ladies but this one warranted it. I knock loudly on the cubicle I was directed to and let them know in my "I'm sure you can hear me" voice to get the door open and come out. No noise, no shuffling, and a pair of gent's heels suggesting he was standing with his back to the door. Out comes the magic door opening device and with a little application of my bulk, the door opened. To my surprise this smart gent has left his post at the bar obviously having had success and was now trousers open being fellated apparently oblivious to my presence. That was until the door moving sent him tumbling forward, almost cracking his head off the cistern. The girl providing the entertainment regained her dignity swiftly, pulled her hair straight and then scrambling to her feet, legged it. Straight down the stairs and through the front door according to the radio calls.

He however regained his balance, tucked himself away, straightened his tie and unsurprised at being invited to leave, walked to the sink, washed his hands, slicked his hair and walked calmly and pleasantly to the door. It wasn't the patience and acceptance of his departure or the attention to hygiene and presentation. No it was the patch of colourful vomit down the front of his trousers that he seemed oblivious to that wins him the schmoooth accolade.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Old Friends

This I'm sure has led to the long term damage to my hearing more than the hours of crap dance music has. When two girls see each other across a bar room, they both take a moment to recognise each other then. Tilting back to manage a slow run across the bar floor in very high heels, with arms held in tight to keep the bag with them they head towards each other. They begin the high pitched scream. If you happen to be in the middle, this scream both warns you to move and in it's rising stereo shriek can act to stun the unprepared. The two banshees then collide and merge into a ball of over-excited, alcohol fuelled jumping, screaming noise. This event from start to giggling, both talking too fast over each other overly energetic mess is is known as the dolphin hello.

I'm sure the beachings of vast numbers of cetaceans can be attributed to these noise events happening too near open water. It's when you witness the 4th or 5th of these in a night, you are thankful you're a sober emotionally retarded male. A handshake, a manly hug even and you won't be heard above the football commentary.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Long Long Long weekend

This weekend is not fun. It's easter, but it's not really as it's too early in the year for the schools to have broken up for easter and it's too cold for the tourists to head out and about.

Instead we've got local drunken men and women with a few single-sex alcohol tourist groups landing in the city for a serious 4 day drink. Thursday night's Friday night. Friday night's Friday night. Saturday and Sunday nights are Saturday nights and Monday just a no work day with early drinking all day.

It's not chocolate and over-indulgence with the family. It's just beer, spirits and an extended period of alcoholism. We're having far too busy a time of it all. I dread to think how busy the drunk-kidnappers and blue light taxis are. I'm just taking it one night at a time and keeping my head well down. Another night, another set of idiots, another wage earned and hopefully intact forget the thing and get ready for the next one. No night off this week for me.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Still awake

I know I work daft hours but the ever earlier sunrise and the stressful beast that was last-night has found me still awake at midday, about 6 hours after I'd usually be in the land of nod.

I got back, all ready for bed, then the sun came up, the randy birds started and I'm wide awake and sleep is still no closer. If it gets to 4 in the morning with no sleep I'm likely going to snap. Either that or dose up on caffeine at the start of my shift and hope I don't crash down too early.

The stresses of last night were all of my own making. I took an interest in watching some-one specific and made sure everyone was keeping an eye out for where they were and what they were up to. It's a fairly common thing for us to do but this one was more care in the community off his medication than possible drug dealer. He just had the strangest social pattern. The chatting selectively with one group then another then another. It stands out and that got him watched.

It then didn't help when some little chav thought he'd take the lad's drink. He got most annoyed, the chav got tossed out but this lad was on a mission. He clocked the fact he was being watched and once his aggravated self was out on the street went off on one. Not physically just verbally and persistently. Not enough to get nicked but enough to leave me quite highly stressed hence he delayed my sleep long enough for the dawn to kick my arse.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Hot Pants

Now the days of smoking inside nightclubs are over, alot of young, daft little punters spend a fair amount of their night standing in the cold. They are all tarted up to the nines, though doing this with the least square inches of cloth possible.

One of the many tasks I have to perform is to monitor the smoking area and make sure no-ones killed themselves or anyone else in a faster way than tar and cancer. It's still bloody wintry and I was struck this week at girls, ladies and things older than my mother that decide to wear hot pants and no tights. This is what some male punters think must be the best part of the door job. It is not, it gets tired fast especially when you work with more than just the martini beautiful people.

What struck me was this. Pretty young and shapely ladies in hot pants can be appealing. If your legs are a good feature, work with them, maybe even brave the icy cold and get them working for you. All fine with that, it's marketing and will work for some folk at some level.

What gets me is very large ladies, often squat lumpy ladies who really need to use mirrors, common sense, dignity, shame and taste before thinking hot pants. The idea that size 24 hot pants are manufactured and sold means something is wrong with the world. For the one 7' 2" lady with good legs who likes to get them out, I'm sorry. For the vast podgey, doughy, stumpy ridiculous hordes who wear them, please for the love of sanity, don't wear them in public and please don't try and come anywhere near where I work. I will laugh in your face until you go away. I'm not nice but why make me suffer plus sizes in hot pants. It's like shaving two blubbery seals and dragging them round town to get drunk.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

The recent cull of doorstaff I talked of has left me with less time on my hands. Alot less than the jobless few who seem just to lurk around popping in every now and then to see how it's all going.
It must be sad if doorwork's all you've got or had.

I've got a missus who'd be more than happy for me to get the boot but as it is I'm crawling up the
greasy pole. There have been some gaps in the ladder above me and I've been filling them. Getting paid for it but not getting the permanent post or the respect. May have to town hop to get that.

What has struck me is, now I'm filling in up the ladder, the jobless and the useless are trying to get me to play for them. All of the lads I work with I have time for. You can't work, night in, night out, with a team who you'd rather see caved in than kicking arse. The thing is, the job is about business. Not about the business of picking up pretty blondes, or kicking arse better than someone else. It's about punters in and drinks spent and money taken and made. If you get that, then maybe you'll know why when trade's slack, doorstaff get culled. The ones with the least business friendly manner first. I'll talk and chat and honestly hope you're doing well. Ask me to make a call that's bad for business and I'll tune out, very fast.
As to whether I'll be climbing the ladder, who knows.
Off to earn my crust and enjoy the end of the month payday.

Friday, February 01, 2008


I work sober, don't drink red-bull or even coke as I value the few hours of darkness left when I get home to sleep in. Towards the end of my shift I really start to feel sleepy.
By 3 or 4 in the morning, why does anyone have any energy left?
I shuffle around the club for 5 hours with the occasional adrenaline fueled dash and wrap effort I don't really do too much. I've had a good mornings sleep beforehand and I still feel the natural urge to sleep as the night draws on.
If someone's still looking lively at the end of the night it's time to think about columbian marching powder or dance all night pills.
Anyway, off to earn a crust, then eat some fried chicken. I hope I don't have another thrilling Friday night. The less adrenaline released this shift the better, I may not have my infinite pit of patience to draw upon after the efforts of team reshuffles and new staff this week.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Keeping in

People have been getting fired left right and job-centre in the last couple of weeks. Not that doorwork has ever been a stable source of employment but I think the quiet of January may be the reason.

What does a manager do when they've got no-one in the club. They can't just hide in the office all month. Well they can but they tend to watch the cctv all night. This leads to small things getting up their noses. Then they fly out of the office in a cabin fever rage and start coming out with all sorts of excuses to get rid of doorstaff. The easy way to stay in the job is not to be the tallest fir-tree and of course to do your bloody job. That's not too tricky but that's why so many of the lads have been collecting their final payslips this month. Not me I'm glad to say. I don't think I'm indispensable, I'm competent and as such I'm hard to replace.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


You need an awful lot of patience to do this job. You need to be patient with other team members, managers, bar staff and external bodies like the police and ambulance service but this isn't usually too bad. They've all got jobs to do and they all get them done in a fashion.

The big need for patience is the punters. When you've asked them to do something don't expect them to hop to it. They won't understand what you've asked of them. They won't understand why you've asked it of them. They won't immediately recognise what they need to do to satisfy your request. Then they'll have a long time thinking whether or not to do as you ask. Then if they do decide to do as you ask, they often do when I ask, they'll take a while to figure out what they have to do to satisfy your request. This can take some serious time. You need patience, and even more patience. If you don't have enough patience you'll end up wrapping a punters arms up their backs and making an enemy you needn't have. Too little patience and this job becomes a battle every night.

If I'm on the door, I'll be patient, but the longer I'm patient waiting for a person to get the message the nastier the message gets. If you stretch my patience too far I won't hesitate to make your night a mess. Well I'm not really that nice when you've shown me the disrespect to try my patience to its end.