Search This Blog

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.