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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.