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Monday, December 28, 2009

Not Too...

Hectic. This past week had very early starts for me, midday even. This is not what I'm used to. I usually get time to watch the sun set, grab a reasonable dinner & then get into my boots and long coat.
The office christmas lunches that start at midday and roll on 'til only the lonely survive have passed. I've been watching them pass, occasionally letting some in if they looked awake but not too lively.
By the time I got to the nightclubs most folks had run out of stamina. With the mad friday offset by a nearly full week after and not too many folks having a lot to spend it's not been cracking. With boxing day only getting the dregs who really can't tolerate 48hrs in their own or their families company it has been quiet. Time to pull my socks up and keep sharp for all this abstinence from clubbing can only be a portent of a busy new years eve. All the pent up socialising will have to emerge and culminate in not snogging the one they want but getting a sympathy snog 1 minute into the new year before texting the world and crashing the phone networks so we can't use the non-emergency number for the boys in blue. Hopefully we'll have the numbers to handle the expected crowds though with trade having been quiet I can only imagine we'll be running on a skeleton staff and still get bollocked when we can't be everywhere at once.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cynical, Me?

Now I've been accused of being cynical. I am, I don't believe the nonsense bullshit of why I have to let anyone in to see their mother, brother, sister, cousin, mate, wife or husband.
I don't believe the "I'm connected, I'm gonna get you killed" spiel. I don't believe the "I didn't wanna come here anyway, it's shit" approach to rejection. I don't give a seconds credence to the "really, I'm 19, I forgot to bring my ID" appeals. I couldn't give a fig if it "wasn't me, I aint done anything man, you're well tight" when ejected for misdemeanours witnessed and ID'd by sober, reliable staff.
I do trust some people. Generally not punters unless their confessing in the adrenaline comedown. I trust my colleagues, not all of them, not at first but I do trust them. I trust them to back me up unless I'm over the line. To stop naughty people bottling me on the back of the head, to be shoulder to shoulder holding the line against verbal and physical abuse of all kinds.
I don't trust them with women, money or anything fragile but that's to be expected.
I trust a few friends, only within their limits but, I trust them to keep things to themselves, to keep me in mind at certain times, to keep me informed of relevant things.
I trust my boss, his job is to get enough bodies with enough experience in to get the job done well enough to get paid and not loose the contract. I'd trust him to do this, but like me, he'll have no loyalty when it comes to sending me on my way if the wind changes and I don't fit the bill.
I do what I can to be the best doorman for the role required. To do that I don't trust anyone I don't have to and yes I am a cynical bugger. I don't have to be but it suits me well.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tinsel & Baubles

The need for festive themed frolicking never ceases to bore me. The usual tedium of repetitive commercial dance music and large pop from the last decade is offset against the 20 pieces of Christmas themed crap. This change from the norm would be welcomed were it not for the fact that the 20 famous Christmas songs have been unchanging for at least the last 10 years. Maybe to qualify they need to have matured, like a bad malt, for a minimum period to concrete their Christmas credentials and in doing so they rule out their play outside of the brief festive season.
This tired mix is the soundtrack to the sad parties of sozzled folks seeking some warm company on the cold nights ahead. Apparently sitting at home watching Christmas specials with a bottle of wine and a lot of cured meat products is enhanced by having someone to do this with.
These jolly souls think the addition of tinsel or white fur trim will overcome their dreary personalities and defective personal habits and allow them to meet the partner of their dreams. This may occasionally happen but for the vast majority, however filled with Christmas cheer they'll be back in again on the hunt by new years eve.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Capillary Action

I must have stood on some broken glass. Not this weekend I think but one night over the last couple of weeks I have. A piece of this has clearly stuck in the sole of my boot, buried in the deeper tread left around the side by the ball of my foot. Over time this stubborn little shard has worked it's way deeper until it poked a tiny tip through to the soft absorbent sole.
This little piece of street or nightclub detritus didn't stab me with it's evil filthy point. It just let a tiny amount of water into the soft absorbent sole by the side of my foot. I felt this little chill intrusion into my otherwise cosy warm world of toes. This lead me to investigate. I spotted the angular pyramid of glass and with a clip from my key it departs my company. The flat slice it has made in my boot however continues to pump water into my foot for the remaining hours of the night. I am more than my typical little grumpy self as the night goes on and I'm bizarrely asymmetric in my cold. I had a hot foot, a cold foot and a really shit stomp-squelch-stomp home.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Christmas Parting

The time is upon us for the first of the office parties. The restaurants buzz with large groups ordering off reduced menus with turkey and stuffing all over place.
The bars fill with groups of unseasoned seasonal drinkers who associate together on their nights out because they have the fortune to work in the same office. This wonderful fortune sees the sad and single middle-aged men, the back to work mothers and the young and dynamic executives in waiting party hardened drinkers. This all leads to some very poorly folk being dragged from bar to bar as the self implied party leaders drag the rag tag bunch from one under-performing bar to the next. The flirting and dirty jokes kept under wraps in the drab offices are brought on by drink into a tense mess of hugs, tears and hissy fits.
All the more entertaining when the cock of the drinking walk leads his pissed up merry dance towards the club I've been standing outside of. By this stage its only the foolhardy left, all the others have legged it in favour of partners and warm homes. The group gets refused due to the majority being far too far gone after hours of drink in unfamiliar bellies.
There are some goodbyes, some get losts and some superbly timed vomit getting the bosses best winter boots and tights covered in red-wine, turkey and stuffing repeats.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Following from last weeks post I'm reminded of an incident that happened somewhere far more public.
I was working in a then busy nightclub. The place had floor to ceiling tinted glass walls that separated the VIP area from the main club. This allowed a much lower volume, options for private parties and a bit of anonymous people watching. The darkened windows however mislead one individual who had filled his bladder with beery evil.
He found a darkened corner in the crowded bar and thinking he was obstructed from every prying eye, undid his jeans and whipped his little fella out to water the corner. I was checking in with the bar-staff in the VIP and spotted the lads efforts out of the corner of my eye.
I checked his outfit and with a quick assistance call on the radio shot off out of the VIP, round the crowded bar and trying to track him down. I imagined he'd have finished his business by the time I'd gotten round the crowd to him. To my surprise and that of a colleague who'd joined me part way round he was still mid business.
I approached him from behind, tapped him on the shoulder and advised him to stop. He spun about, still mid flow and I tracked around keeping just back off his right shoulder. My colleague got his boots wet.
The pissing punter laughed at this and gave a little wiggle to finish the job. With his business concluded we told him to depart swiftly. He thought this most unfair. Now we know what had just been in his hands, some of it was on my friends boots, most of it was soaking into the hard wearing carpet. When he reached out to touch us, we both in sync knocked his hands away. He tried again, this time with fists. Probably cleaner but still not ones we fancied touching us. With some footwork he ended pressed up against the still wet glass with one of us on each shoulder. He really didn't get that it was time to give up so with an upper arm each, we escorted him to the nearest door. This did mean however going past the busy bar. Somewhere in the process he'd not re buttoned his jeans, as he kicked and stumbled in his futile efforts he did achieve the added humiliation of having first his arse, then his entire lower half down to his ankles on show. Strangely he didn't ask us to let him go to recover it, just kept struggling and thrashing out. Having spent his urine our patience he was deposited into the cold of the night where at least his member would appreciate the excuse. We departed before I think he'd even realised he was naked, he did realise he was angry but with only a locked firedoor while he shrank a little more.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Eyeball bleach

There are some things you just never need to see.
Getting an assist call to the ladies toilets is rarely a winner. Well that is unless it's to interrupt some cramped, dirty, sleazy romantic moment.
The usual is however when a female staff member, door bar or management, has found one unconscious. After announcing my entrance loudly and entering accompanied and slowly I enter and encounter the issue.
Now some ladies wake up, shake off their stupor, straighten themselves up and make their way out without problem. They're not usually the ones I get called to assist with.
I get the deeply unconscious. The ones covered in vomit. The one-shod wobblers. The piss soaked ones. The ones who've shit themselves. The larger ones wedged under the bowl. These all require patience, respect of modesty and a strong stomach.
When the only thing the female doorstaff spots is a pair of shoe soles sticking out from under the door, I get a call. This could be white powder sniffing so my colleague meets me at the door and describes the situation. We enter together, still no change in the situation. She pops the lock with her bolt sliding tool. The door opens inwards so she firmly opens it and bounces it off a buttock. A large naked buttock. This causes to slumpfurther the kneeling, firmly unconscious, knickers 'round knees, arse in the air, loo-roll stuck to thigh, face on the seat, vomit strewn, hair in the bowl partied out lady. My colleague hoicks down her belt/dress to cover most of here bare rear, grabs the back of her hair and tries to rouse her. This has limited effect. She's not enough strength in her arms to lift herself off the bowl and not enough control of her legs to get them under her heft in the restricted space.
Neither I nor my smaller footed workmate could get past her. Neither of us wanted to particularly get our hands, shirts, trousers and shoes dirty trying a clumsy lift. With a lot of shoving, pulling and twisting we got her sitting next to the bowl. From there we could get on either side, lift her with a hand each in her sweaty arm-pits. Once upright she began to recover and after washing her hands, face and cleavage clear of obvious chunks of vom and establishing control again over her shoes she was good to go. Slowly and carefully out the ladies room, out the nearest exit, down a short flight of steps and into the fresh air. We left her under the distant observation of the front door team and went back in to thoroughly scrub with soap, water and as much alcohol rub as we can get out of the staff-room dispenser. I still felt like I stank all the rest of the shift and way home. Put me right off my special burger.
According to the front door team, she sobered up, stole a few slices of pizza from a passer by and then jumped the taxi queue and was gone into the night.
The image as the door opened is however is not something I'll ever be able to get out of my mind without some strong mind bleach.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Too Late

I'm always amazed how many folk bow to a faceless invisible authority. The Milgram experiment showed the extent of this but every night I work I can see the effects.
If I refuse someone for being barred, too drunk, inappropriately dressed or even for the club being too full, I can expect grief. When I say they can't come in because it's a student night and they aren't students, they'll often give me grief.
What is surprising is that when I tell a group they can't come in because the licence on the premises says so, they don't give me grief. The licencing laws say I can't admit drunks, that never stops them whining on. It seems the impression of a faceless authority, under which we all apparently toil, is sufficient to suppress the whining and aggravation that usually accompanies a refusal.
This 'too late to let in' reasoning doesn't mention the fact we'll be serving for another 45 minutes or more or the fact we'll be banging out tunes for nearly an hour and a half. More than enough time to find the love of your drunken night and get more than a pair of drinks down your throat.
It doesn't seem to matter, if the authority behind the scenes says no, people accept it. Even drunk and potentially troublesome people accept it. Once in a blue moon the authorities will be on the premises. Even everyday they'd be very unlikely to notice one or two late entering punters but the mere suggestion that this faceless, usually limbless body says no is enough.
Not surprisingly the excuse is used as soon as we're towards the dregs of the night to dispense with unwanteds. Very effective if a little naughty but riding the coat-tails of the all powerful disembodied power sometimes makes up for some of the convoluted, arcane, pointless things in the law that grind with me.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Earlier every Year

It's happening already. Normally reserved 'til the snowy and frozen months of winter, this autumn, before bonfire night, before the start of November even. Some hilarious drinker has asked if they can borrow/have/steal my hat.
This was the first night I felt I had to wear it. It was cool and one hell of a wind was blowing through town. I've been wearing the big coat, gloves and hats for many years. My head gets cold due to my follicularly challenged male pattern absence of hairdo. I wear a hat, a simple, unbranded, knitted black hat.
Every year I'm asked time and again by punters both drunk and sober if they can take this essential part of my kit. The answer is the same as my answer to drunken ladies who suggest I swap my comfy boots for their painfully impractical tiny, pointy, high heeled hell shoes.
This year it's just too early and I'll be hearing it for four or five months to come. Oh well, at least I'm warm, so far.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hungry Bum

The cold weather has not prevented the lovely local ladies wearing very little.
The motif of the season seems to be sequins, a splash of neon and leggings. If not in leggings then it's tights, bright patterned or fishnet. The fashion faux pas' this season seem to be showing the band at the top of the tights beneath skirts or shorts and leggings that cling to every curve.
It's been cameltoes and mooseknuckles in all the long nights.
The shiny pattern leggings bring only two things to mind, box rot and two seals wrestling on a beach.
On ladies who don't know their size or just don't care you can see their hungry bums eat their leggings until I can see their every intimate contour highlighted in shiny black or silver. Not a good look for any night out.
On a rare occasion I have to give out the "badly packed sausage of the evening" to a lady who combines all manner of wardrobe malfunctions. From the dark roots under straightened straw like blonde hair. Heavy tan with shiny light coloured lips looking like a bad negative. The neon asymmetric top with grey bra over the naked shoulder. The top coming too short on the torso with a pale white dunlap over the top of the sequined shorts. The hungry bum eating the hot pants into a scrunched up sequined thong and leaving the thick band at the top of the tights bisecting a showing buttock before the rest of the fishnet glory looking like a highly patterned garrote leading down to the high heeled high ankled, platform boot. These take the small well painted toenails and make them look like pigs trotters.
A worthy winner of the badly packed sausage of the night award. Messy and serially minging for a lady who last season scrubbed up rather than scrubbered up. "Saucer of milk to the front door"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blindingly useless

This relates to something that happened a good while back but has needed a little distance and patience before posting.

One evening, on the door of a very busy bar, myself and 2 colleagues refused a gent. He was intoxicated and on refusal became very aggressive. He took on a fighting stance, I'd say amateur boxing not mixed marshal arts or anything that might kick. He swore a fair bit and then lunged in with a jab. Aimed at the doorman in the middle, not me in this instance. The lad on the far side shoved him off course, he missed the lad in the middle and I bounced him back out into the centre and away from the doorstep. My mate who'd been swung at was a little irate, the gent took another lunge at him. My colleague struck him, open handed, in the top of the chest. The drunk did a complete reverse in direction and fell backwards, onto his arse.
He got up and swore a whole load more, made some lovely threats and then on spying two high vis wearing members of the police accused us in a very loud tone of beating him up. The police invited him over the road and heard how he'd been punched, kicked and thrown onto the floor.
All of this had been done by my colleague, "yes officers, the one in the centre with the blond hair".
All of that is fairly common in this line of work. What's not is one of the officers, a sergeant, walking over, establishing the blond ones name and then arresting him. He called for a back up unit to whisk my colleague away. They did not ask to hear our evidence, they did not ask to see the ample CCTV. They did not ask if we were busy, they did not ask if this doorstaff's presence was necessary or more importantly if their absence invalidated any insurance or fire safety controls. They did not ask to see the doorman's licence and thus have full access to his criminal record and address details.
They lifted him off the door and went back to take a more formal statement from the drunk to support the allegation of assault. The chap in the van was more than a little pissed off, I was more than a little pissed off. The manager was more than a little pissed off. When the manager approached and asked if they would like to see the CCTV, he was told to go away. When he asked if he could expect the chap back that evening to finish the job he was paying him for he got told to go away or get nicked too.
The end of this story is long and pointless. The doorman was eventually charged, having not taken a caution. The case went to court, the CPS provided no case, he was cleared of the charges. The action against the officer for wrongful arrest was settled. All of this taking over 12 months.

All of it could have taken less than 12 minutes if he's asked to see the tape, 12 seconds if he'd have checked the badge, written down the details after checking the photo matched. He'd still be there at the end of the night, even if he vanished the club would have some contact with him, even if they weren't cooperating the SIA hold enough identifying evidence to get an arrest warrant. No need to pull him in on the say of a violent aggressive drunk.
If my colleague had hit him without restraint, without good grounds for fear of injury, without regard for the possible risks then perhaps a more front foot approach would be required from the boys in blue.

This is atypical, most officers we meet are professional, competent and pragmatic. Some are not.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Slow Working

I've had a very slow weekend. One lass with an ID that really wasn't hers. One lass lost her handbag and then we found it again. One lad rejected for being far too stoned. One lass emptying her stomach contents on the front step and again just along the street. Smelly but tedious.
I tend not to grumble too much when its non stop, when its non start I'm just gonna stay a grumbling grumpy man with too much time to dwell upon the unachieved, the unattempted and the unattainable.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

smelly buggers

After reading this from an amusing cabbie I can only sympathise. I get to play with a lot of sweaty hot punters and it is sometimes horrific. A little niff every now and then is expected but some folk could populate an entire nightclub with the stench demons lingering about their bodies. Being stuck in a closed cab with them is not something I fancy at all.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Please sir, can I come in?

Every other night we get a punter coming back tail between legs asking if they can come in yet. Usually after they've been kicked out the night or week previously. They ask if they are barred and what can they do to get let back in? If they turn up soberish, if they talk to us and don't try to sneak in, if they admit they were at fault, all these things help. If they think they can argue, swear and threaten us into letting them in they may find even a small infringement means a long time not getting in.
The kind of things that get help folks get back in is if they walked out without difficulty the previous time and didn't linger at front door. If what they were doing was out of character in terms of their drunkenness, a rare domestic or getting caught up in the side of a scuffle.
All these things will help a customer get back in earlier.
Longer periods out of the towns 'best' club get allocated to habitual fools. Those too drunk, falling asleep, having domestics time and again.
If the punter was very aggressive with the doorsatff we'll remember their face for a very long time. Similarly if they've stolen or damaged something or threatened or assaulted one of the other staff. If its smacking another punter then we'll see if they walk off and don't be dick. Some folks are pushed into a bad situation and welcome the doorstaff hauling them out. We're not too harsh unless they're going on and not coming off the boil when the situation is over. Staying on the boil is usually a sign of problems best left outside a crowded nightclub for a few years.
When a punter takes the chance to talk to the manager and explain himself he's usually going to get a shorter barring. That's not because the manager is soft, it's because he doesn't have to deal with them when they're a dick again.
What you really don't want to do is stagger down the street in a worse state than when you were kicked out, get talking to the manager who's outside, get into an argument with him and headbutt him in the face. This leads to getting folded up and detained 'til the police turn up, the cctv leads you to a quick caution and a rather obvious life ban. Turning up meek and sober next week is not going to help on that one.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Moving on

I've been doing this job for a while. From my student days in 1999 to date. I've had 5 different licenses to do exactly the same job. I've worked on so many premises I can only remember the names of the good ones and the truly terrible ones.
I can only think of a few venues that have kept the original name and none that have kept the original licensee or manager. There are a few doorstaff and barstaff who've been doing this as long as I have, I know them from drinking with them, working with them or throwing them out.
Every now and then I encounter a friend from the early days. They may have moved onto other things, settled down with a wife and kids, gotten a real day job.
If I see them socially we catch up and chat shit about old times until we run out of shit we're both interested in and realise that was the reason we didn't stay friends.
If I see these folks while I'm at work they usually look sheepish and nod a hello but don't hang around for a catch up. To be fair I usually do the same, I say hi and wait for the penny to drop but I'm not expecting much more, I'm there working and usually have my head in a very different place to them. I don't but they think I've gone nowhere and am likely going nowhere. This doesn't bother me, I've made my choices and learnt my lessons, I know my limits and where I thrive.
Am I quitting the door? Not just yet.
Am I moving on to different things on the side as well? I always have been, I always will.
Will I write about them? Not just yet.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


There is a certain type of bloke who is very keen on looking a certain way. An excessive amount of gym time. An excessive monitoring of dietary fat, protein and carb levels. An idiotic amount of time under the sunbeds. The careful choice of slim fitting small waisted jeans and the baffling choice of skinny fitting bright tops. The short cropped hair held in place with excessive amounts of product. The select use of large tribal tattoos across the major muscle groups.
This combined with a chemically enhanced metabolism and low alcohol tolerance leads to some very entertaining nights on the town. The customary other halves are by routine, small, young, curvy, dressed to attract attention and play the submissive role superbly. They totter around in the wake of their alpha males and bask in their matching tans.
I had myself a laugh when I encountered a prime example in another walk of life. In a more conventional meeting during the day at some firms offices who should I encounter but a complete with dyed hair 'roider trying to do his day job. I had to laugh when he did that alpha male assessment thing and pulled his poise straight in challenge. He quickly gave up when he realised his boss and my boss were both there too and his position in the food chain was very far from alpha male in that context.

Monday, August 24, 2009

You don't wanna

do it like that.
The manager takes a short holiday, his first in about 18 months. His assistant steps up to run the club she knows almost as well as her boss does. Just to keep the ship afloat another manager from in the area is drafted in for the weekend to add extra bodies to the management on the busier nights.
He's young, doesn't know the club, its punters or its staff.
He spots one of the doorlads, standing by one of the bars "flirting" with the pretty barmaid. He's heading that way and decides to interject that "both of them could do with doing some work."
Not ideal, but this he retells to me at the front door almost as if I should fly in there, slap some sense into my colleague and bring him into line.
He clearly wants to establish the pecking order, he may be tiny, inexperienced and out of his depth but he's management and that places him well above doorstaff.
He doesn't know my colleague and more to get out of his path than head in 'bollocks-on-forehead' to speak to my colleague I head up the stairs and track down my 'lazy' doorman.
He explains he's mildly miffed at the new shiny pillock but isn't going to get out of line. I ask what he was nattering about. All but one of us there know she's not the sort to take an interest in balding oversized doormen.
He explains that he thought this gent had been kicked out last week and as she was the nearest staff that night wondered if it was him or not. Fair conversation to have, not worth a bollocking or even a tut-tut. I looked over and I thought it looked like the same gent too.
I wandered over, asked him if it was, he said no, I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
Turned out it wasn't as his double turned up later on, pickled and not very polite.
As my colleague said, the temporary new manager may be a shiny pillock but it isn't worth getting out of line. Sanity and maturity will return.
I took the easy route by wandering in, I took the smart route by getting both sides. I don't mind being seen as something I'm not by those for whom I do not care. I'm man enough to know at least that much.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Friends and Mirrors

There seem to be two things missing in the lives of ladies in this town.
It's not opportunity to better themselves, two universities and a number or colleges of higher and further education.
It's not the retail experiences, we've streets of high street brands, shopping centres in and out of town.
It's not work opportunities, a string of national and multinational firms call this city home and some smaller government offices too giving the options of filling purses in many legitimate means.
We've got hostelries of every kind to entertain all kinds. There are opportunities for company of varied sorts, men, women and things uncertain.
What two goods the ladies of this town lack are friends and mirrors.
Mirrors would help avoid the dirty foundation line around the chin, the hair style that stops at the fringe. They would stop the clashing of colours and patterns, the short and lumpy tops, short and skirts that show bits best left hidden.
Friends would or should comment on all of the potential disasters above in such a way as to prevent a recurrence without diminishing the confidence of their perpetrator.
All it would take is friends and mirrors, a lot better than fake tan, fake hair and no concept of just how stupid they look.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Legging it

When a alarm calls goes out over the radio, we all come running, you leave one at the front door, maybe one on the cash desk but the rest of you get there as fast as you can. Sometimes you end up legging it in from one situation that might be kicking off to one that is only to be running back the first one one it has.
Shit happens, you live with it. All through the shift, from open to close you could get an alarm call. You get there as fast as you can, you do as much as you can and then you get back to doing whatever you were doing before that.
Some nights you find you're running up two flights of stairs, dodging past the slowly ascending and descending groups to get there at full tilt. You'll have to grapple sweaty, chemically altered, smelly chavs escort them in various states of agreement to the street only to turn back for a gently tour of the premises to be half a step into the building when the next call goes out. Nowt you can do but leg it.
End of the shift and I'm wondering if I really need to wear these comfy, heavy boots, the tie and long sleeve shirt and the kilo of radio every night.
Some shifts I'd prefer track shoes and a quick dry vest, not professional but far better suited to running around than the cheap black suit and boots.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Falling Fast

Trade is down. There are an awful lot less bodies through the doors. There are an awful lot less punter hours in a venue. There are a lot less pounds going over the bar. There is a lot less trouble going off inside. There are a lot less doorstaff being given hours. There are a lot less barstaff running around a lot less serving a lot less drinks to a much emptier bar.
From my end it's getting tedious. From a wider perspective are the pubs and clubs about to lose a key generation?
I worry that if the current set of young ones aged 17 to 19 go out drinking in quiet bars and clubs, with only the dirty fixed income benefits recipients for company only a certain style of person will carry this on into their earning years. I worry that the drink at home and share a taxi in gaggles of girls or boys get locked into that pattern and don't make the transition to spending when the time changes.
I know spending money in clubs and bars is unnecessary, its luxury spend and when jobs are short, money is tight it can be cut back. If they've already gotten into the habit of blowing fun money on big nights out then if the venues are still there when the fun money comes back so will they.
If they haven't then teasing them in after they've established a pattern will be tough. Thankfully
I only deal with the punters trying to come in, or going out. Getting them to come and play isn't my problem.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What line

"You're well out of order!"
"He ain't done nothing."
"Fuck off man, Leave him alone."

Not bloody likely. He may not be the greatest threat I've ever seen, in fact he may not even be the greatest threat I'll see this evening. Some of the barstaff probably pose a greater threat and that's only because I let one rip in the staff room earlier.
He is however rather drunk and feeling a little too inhibited has decided it great fun to pinch girls, ladies and pigs in makeups back sides as they move past the end of the bar he and his tribe have occupied. I've watched him for a few minutes and he's grabbed a handful of arse from 15 or so girls. Some have turned and faced him, called him a cock or worse and moved on. Others have just jumped, reddened and shot back to their friends swiftly. He's been grinning like he's won the lottery throughout.
I wander over, aware that he's in with a gaggle of lads. I've got at least one pair of friendly eyes on me from my team mate. I approach all smiles and open posture. I get his attention with a slow hand on his upper arm. I make eye contact and tell him "It's time to go home."
He stares blankly, smile starting to falter. "I think you've had enough now sir, time to go home"
More blank staring, "The doors over there sir, time to get through it"
His eyes wander past me, no doubt another potential victim has drifted by out of range this time due to my presence.
Staring straight into his face, when his eyes return to mine I say for the final time. "Sir, you've had enough. Time to go home. Lets go now." I place my arm around his back, still keeping a fairly open stance and slowly apply my size to direct him away from the bar and his mates towards the door. A slow walk to the front door being the plan.
His mates finally clock the plot and then start the shouting. Yelling the daft requests over the racket of the music.
My colleague emerges from the background and with the numbers better balanced the slow shuffle to the front door begins. The shouting continues though not from the prime nugget, he's just very bemused by the slowly approaching front door.
Out in the quiet by the front door the cheer squad were still bitching. Time for some crowd control.
"Gents, He's had too much, he's acting like a muppet, he's upsetting other customers. It's time he went home. He's leaving!" That was intended to end the conversation. Making it quite clear it was time he was off and why.
"You're out of line, you fat prick!"
What line is there that thinks upsetting customers whilst being insensible through drink is acceptable. What line am I out of when I think it's time this drunk bloke needs to be gone. What line am I out of when he's being escorted gently and slowly out as he's not a nasty threatening bloke, just a drunken dick.
"You're leaving now as well sir."

Monday, July 13, 2009

In your home

In pubs and clubs I often wonder what the home life of some customers is like. Do the "blingin' gangsta" wannabe boys walk, talk and swagger like that when their mum's made their dinner and is ironing their overlong T-shirt?
Do the loud, singing swearing, threatening, football following types terrorising the whole pub and being crude and abusive to the staff in equal large measures speak to their wives, children or co-workers like that?
Do the skinny, shaven headed chav lads and lasses spit on the floor in their own homes?
I know a pub or club isn't a family or home setting but it's an environment people work in, some people like to have respect for it. If I see spitting on the floor/walls or abuse to staff, offensive behaviour of many kinds I generally advise the punter to make a swift exit. Most seem sorry and unsurprised at their unexpected departure. I think when they actually interact with people they remember they're part of the same species, locality and social group.
Most do. Some do not and have their own impenetrable ego so firmly established that only the swift removal of their drinks and their ejection into fresh air of the night illustrates the point to them in terms they can understand. Whether they bother to take it on is another whole matter.

Monday, July 06, 2009


This last sweaty week has been timed to coincide with the students finishing exams and A level students finishing their exams. Its meant all day drinking with a clubbing finish, sunshine, cider and alcopops. Sweat, beer and dancing all leading to an awful lot of drunken tomfoolery. It's the last time they'll be in so we have to keep an eye on anything not screwed down and somethings that are from wandering past us at the front door. There are old scores to settle. There are old girlfriends, old boyfriends to clear the air with. So amongst the very drunk and the very sweaty we've had domestics and scuffles and just folks causing havoc. All on nights too damn hot to be stuffed into a club with hundreds of sweaty students. Too hot to sleep during the day and too light to sleep well in the mornings.
I'm bloody glad that the heavens have opened and I'm not going to be boil in the bag again this week.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ticking over

One of the places I have the joy of working has seen a serious decline in numbers. Really over the past 12 months this has been going on. Part credit crunch, part decline in the number of people in the venue's target market, in this case the top end of the socially immobile.
We've not been getting the crazy nights when it's just a continuous conveyor belt of drunks to the door. The student nights packed to the gills still take place but once a term rather than once a week. The result of our diminished door and related bar spend is a serious pressure to reduce fixed costs. This pressure translates into being open fewer nights, this obviously means less nights when I can work there. The pressure to save also means less glass collectors and bar staff, this means when things get busy, the bars can't cope, the floor gets messy, broken glass and spilled drinks accumulate.
The worst consequence of this short sighted thrift however is the reduction in doorstaff levels on any given night. The punters are fewer, they're not miraculously better behaved. We're professional, we don't have jacket fillers, we can all do the job well, each in our own way but we can do it all well. When the door numbers are cut down and we get away with two or three weeks and no bother the change is cemented. Give it a few more weeks and maybe we drop another one. Our workload increases and we push harder but nothing goes wrong. So we go from a light mid-week team to two down on that. The money is saved, a few lads are out a few shifts but the businesses wage bill drops and all is good in the nightclub.
What we don't have is any spare capacity. We don't make widgets, we can't stock some up. We only work person to person and if two lads go at it we need a minimum of 4 staff to break it safely and get them out of separate exits at different times. The observant will note that we also require at least one on the front door and most likely one on the cash desk to stop the revenue walking away with a punter.
This kind of situation is common, we handle it as well as we can. We don't make it look pretty and we take risks but the job gets done and it costs less than doing it right.
What it will take for the business case to change? Until one of us or a punter gets it in their mind to sue for a lot of money they will not see a good business case for spending some money to save more money in the long run. Until they wake up to that we'll just keep ticking over, doing what we do, waiting for the sky to fall in.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Theres is not

to question why, there's is just to wheeze and die.
A very good blogger who's dealt with more of these than I will ever do has written more than a few posts on asthma. Maybe because I know about these and maybe because I've seen things go wrong really very quickly I get stressed with asthmatics.
When doing pat-down searches and handbag checks I get the feeling one in ten to one in twenty go out with an inhaler. Probably the same again don't bother to bring one when they maybe should. We have smoke machines, we have energetic dancing, we have high humidity all of which when taken in moderation shouldn't cause too many people too many breathing problems.
What we also have in most nightclub environments is emotionally stressful boyfriends, girlfriends, siblings and friends. We have legal and illegal drugs. We have alcohol and plenty of it, consumed over ever extended periods of time. This combination is enough to get us looking down at gasping punters, more worried and calling ambulances as three, four, ten puffs later they're still not slowing down and getting closer to passing out.
Other times its the kick out of adrenaline as they're boyfriends, girlfriends, siblings or friends fight with us or each other and they go from partying to wheezing in the time it takes to walk back from the nearest exit.
The speed at which they turn white and drop is scary considering how many they're could be in on even a quiet night. Thankfully they've had the decency not to turn pale and pass out inside for a while, they do that in the fresh air by front door where we can both keep an eye on them and not have to carry them far to the ambulance. The wheezing punter may not appreciate this but its a load easier than lugging a floppy punter out of a cubicle and down two flights from the top floor toilets on a busy night. That we try and save for the passed out drunks.

Monday, June 01, 2009


There's one lad I work with who's destined to bring chaos and confusion to a venue. The drunken muppets walking through exit only signs. Bar-staff muppets pressing the panic alarm when they run out of ice. The noisy dark understaffed sweaty, smoke filled pit of a nightclub is bad enough as it is. Getting enough people to the right location at the right time is hard enough.
When you've gotten a walking catastrophe working with you it only gets more difficult. When he's not sailing down a flight of stairs with half an armful of punter helping him to loose the battle with gravity, he's called the fight in the wrong room and wonders why we're all running away from him only to charge back on mass thirty seconds later. This benny-hill like effort does not go unnoticed and by the time we've cleared up the inevitably bigger mess than we should have if we'd have gotten there earlier.
The lad isn't comically stupid, impaired in any significant way or otherwise handicapped. He's just prone to disaster. He'll be the one who's shirt gets ripped, bloodied or vomit covered while everyone else just gets their boots thrown up on. He's the one who catches the punch with his face when it was aimed by a drunken fool at the bloke next to him's nuts. He'll be helping the 25 stone drunken hen night girl outside when she blacks out and pins him against the front desk with her bulk. He means no malice and provides an awful lot of humour for the rest of us as we hear his trousers rip as he bends to pick up a coin or as he slides his way out from under the large lady and gets his radio piece tangled around her bra strap and end up looking like a late snack on a leash.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Night Crawlers

I don't think I live a particularly healthy lifestyle. I train a few times a week and eat a balanced if generous diet when at home. I hardly sleep during the hours of darkness. I eat a great deal of dirty early morning fried fast food. I also breathe in far too much 2nd hand smoke and more than occasionally get direct threats against my life.
In comparison with some of our regular customers though I must look like a vegan Buddhist.
I see the same folks, several times a week getting more than mildly intoxicated. They stumble in from warm up bars here and there, neck a skinful more inside then grab a late night takeaway to stuff into themselves as they shuffle home. They must be more nocturnal than me. They have two alternating skin tones, a washed out off white tinged with grey and sun burnt to lobster. They have the physique reserved for smack heads and those with serious cancers. They seem to exist only to be active in the drinking hours and spend their lives drinking cheap booze and covering their social failures with another night to forget.
This kind of regular keeps the tills turning in bars, clubs and takeaways all over the world.
I get to go home and am glad that even my twisted anti-social life with almost no usable free time I still don't have that bad a lifestyle. I could always be a punter.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Now some of the supplement taking gentlemen in my line of work do like their sunbeds. Seemingly the buff body beautiful is not complete without a large dose of melanin to enhance the apparent definition of their lean muscle. This usually doesn't pass unscathed the vicious wit of men who have nothing to do but stand around sober watching people get drunk. Some of the lads heed this, others can't deflate their egos enough to get in in to their muscle bound skulls.
Ladies at this time of year seem to think that sunbed orange or patchy bottle bronze is a look to be admired. A nicely tanned lady can indeed be pretty. A dripping orange mess however can be pretty funny. Wearing bright and light colours accentuates the depth of colour and makes the tan show to its best. The white bra's straps peeking through, the bright coloured tight tops and linen trousers getting patches of dull brown marks in an 'Is that tea or shit?' way are very amusing. After a few hours dancing in a sweaty summer club you can see the colour pouring off them. Sometimes it even drips onto the faces of pasty looking chavvy boys. This is how as they stumble past us we know that they've been tangoed.


For the first while in a long time I've taken myself a weekend off. I'm hanging up my long coat and clip on tie for a whole two busy nights off. I'm enjoying the delights of sane if not sober company.
I'll be heading out to enjoy the wonders of only drinking on rare occasions. 4 pints and I'll be merry, 8 and I'll be asleep.
There are problems with this seemingly simple plan. I don't fancy heading to a different town for a few so I have to contend with being recognised. I've been doing the 'go away you drunken twat' long enough in this town to be easily identified. I have to carefully select the venues I go to. No loud music or vertical drinking, no discount drinks and happy hours, no dimly lit hovels and no inexperienced bar-staff, all these kind of limit my choices. Luckily with a few years around town I know a select few pubs where I'll almost be the youngest there. The beer will be full price but well kept and I'll hopefully not have to prick up my ears to any bother.
When I'm out I can't switch off. I still keep my eyes open and tend to keep a line of sight to the door. I'll be checking out each merry punter as they bimble in and order their thirst quenching ales. If voices are raised or the language is inappropriate I'll sit up and listen. I think the years of working have tuned my adrenaline response to a very well used fast response. It can crank up my heart rate and focus my mind in less than seconds. Useful when working, a right git when out relaxing as a smashed glass or loud bang gets me out of my seat and ready to rock.
This said, by pint 7 I'll be very slowly rolling out of my seat and by 8 I'll be fast asleep in it, dreaming of loose women, machismo and takeaway food.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Taking your time

When I ask someone to leave it's not likely that they are the only person in the venue.
It's very likely there are a lot of people in. Some of these others will require my attention shortly, some I'll already have in mind, some won't have done something to catch my concerned eye yet.
I do have a lot of patience. I don't like to use it all at once, on any one customer.
When I've told someone three or more times in differing ways that they are leaving, I've given them time to let their mates know they're on their way out, I've waited while they get their cloakroom ticket out of their pocket, always finding it in at least the fourth place they look, I've waited while they stumble and wrestle their way into their outer garment and I've waited as they make it down to to the front door and stumble off the front step. I'll brief the front door folks and turn tail back to the many others awaiting my consideration.
What I'll not do is spend any-more time talking, arguing, listening to the insults, the excuses, the grovelling, the cheapskate attempts at bribery or the fantastical threats. I'll just leave them there and they can wander in in their own time, I've got better things to take my time. There may be a soda water to be gotten from the bar, or a toilet check or maybe, just maybe another drunk to be shown the door.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The good guy

When two or more idiots decide to let their testosterone run free and uninhibited from alcohol decide to attempt some non-invasive reconstructive surgery some other folk often get involved. We as doorstaff are paid to get involved and de-escalate the situation.
Sometimes a decent punter wades in and then it's a whole different story. Some rare occasions, these interruptions act to de-escalate the situation. Without the uniform and some of the Milgram experiment type authority that comes with it, its not usually successful. They can at best slow it down and allow us to get there before it's A&E for all parties. They can at worst be holding back one of the aggressors arms as he gets twatted by someone else.
Sometimes a prick of a punter wades in and that is an all too common story. They see the chance to land a cheeky punch or kick as the main protagonists tangle. Maybe the lead muppets had knocking into them as they were getting knock down, or maybe they'd crossed earlier and not been strong enough in spirits to start anything. They may just be scrotes who get a kick from smacking someone they vaguely know when they can get away with it.
When we've gone in and folded them all up into uncomfortable shapes we sometimes get the chance to unwrinkle them and their stories. If they are genuine, honest and not riled up so far that to let them back in would be dropping a firecracker in a bath full of petrol, they may be allowed back in. If they're scummy, drunk, shifty or just huffing and puffing a bit too much they'll be let loose to wander on. Not to keep on scrapping, we hold them back enough to stop them scrapping on our street. We try and send them that way and the other with enough of a head start.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Here comes the

Here come the drunken groups of gents who've spent all saturday afternoon in the beer gardens. Turning up to nightclubs to be singled out for their wearing of sandals and shorts with an all over body burn. The little patches of rain that fill a UK summer, even on a weekend, seem to do little to dampen their spirits, even if it does dampen their T-shirts.
Here come the hen nights, readying for the inevitable summer season of weddings. When fancy dressed and full of alcopops, wandering about the town from unsuspecting bar to unsuspecting pub or restaurant, terrifying the tourists.
Here come the tourists, in a long drawn out season of sight-seeing, over-indulging and re-capturing lost youth before encountering their real age in a club mainly packed with young locals.
Here come the mornings of walking out of the club when the sun is coming up and the chicks in the nest are squawking loudly. Trying to sleep as the sun stabs shafts of bright heat through my closed heavy curtains.
Here comes the seasonal sporting event guests to the city who always mean more hours and a load more bother.
I love the summer me.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sliding away

Working inside a hot sweaty student night. The air conditioning gave up keeping the innards cool an age ago, its just dripping down the wall every now and again. The mirrors are steamed up, the walls are dripping with a combination of beer and condensed sweat. This is the time when I find myself hurtling onto the dancefloor as two small and skinny t-shirted and scruffy haired student types tangle. They feel its time to be as manly as 19 year olds straight from mommys table to pot noodles and lectures can be. This involves pushing each others chests and keeping a nearly safe distance away. That is until we arrive.
My colleague and I arrive from opposite times and scoop both up, spinning them away from each other. All good, his one goes quietly, mine sees the crowded, no overcrowded room and figures he'll make a dash for it. Not exit-ward, he tries to bolt for the corner packed with folks. He's skinny, sweaty, full of adrenaline and his drunken mind is focused on a task. I've got one hand around his wrist and one around his elbow and he's wriggling and pulling and twisting this way and that. I'm struggling to stay standing on a dancefloor mainly awash with drink, sweat and a fine sprinkling of broken bottle glass. He's got a serious passion to be elsewhere and enough sweat on him to make it a serious possibility.
This is not the way to control a situation. Time to improvise. He's small, he's skinny, he's wearing jeans. keeping one hand on his wrist I throw a hand out and grab the top of his jeans. I then levitate the bugger back towards me. It's alot more fun to watch someone try and wriggle away when their feet don't reach the floor. A quick redirection towards the fire door and the gent rapidly gives up, preferring the dignity of walking to that of twisting like a worm on a hook.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pick me Pick me

We've had a small tv production company in doing the usual drunken interviews. They've a production assistant who's clearly just out of a tv production degree and getting less than minimum wage to get drunken punters to do 30 second interviews on camera and then remember enough details to complete the release form. All the time you can just see them praying that some drunken lass, goaded by her vicious mates, is going to flash her tits at the camera or snog her equally drunken girlfriend.
They're aiming to film the kind of low grade filler crap that even low budget high numbered channels don't broadcast 'til I'm coming home from work. It does make our punters put on their best horizontally striped, big labelled polo-shirts/sweaters or if female, the biggest set of hoops and the smallest set of tube and shorts they still nearly fit into.
Seldom seem to get much bother while they're filming. I don't imagine once they've given their name and then a short well lit interview they really fancy breaking the law and having their details immediately made available.

Friday, March 06, 2009


When you're following your colleagues escorting someone out of the premises there are some things not to do.
You don't want to wander off and get distracted by another punter in case the 1st one decides to go ballistic. You don't crowd in and jostle the group going out, leave the lead in the situation to apply or ease the pressure. You don't try and get past to have your fag break no matter what's going on.
You just move long behind them, keeping good eye contact with the doorman leading and a feel for the body language of the ejectee.
What you really shouldn't do unless you're very naughty is to see the ejectee lunge for the doorman and in one smooth sweep, bend, gather the muppets ankles together and lift them backwards. It looks a little silly and you do have to drop them to sit on their back. The surprised looks on the punters face and the front doormen's is sublime as their angry punter flies backwards and spins in the air until an abrupt face plant stalls his aggression quite swiftly.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The solution

When on a quiet night on a quiet door I often find myself consulting my colleagues about various problems. Some personal, some political and most often social problems.
I believe I have found the solution to criminality.
How to stop criminal behaviour impacting upon the non-criminal.
I know rational members of the bar attempt to get it right, judging each case on its merits and obeying the sentencing guidelines.
The basic problem is the vast majority of crimes being committed by a small criminal minority who see crime and offending as a way of life. The law tries to be blind. Each cheap suited defendant could be up for the sole excursion beyond legality in their life or the umpteenth time they've been caught amongst the innumerable times they've acted criminally. When they've pushed a drunk over or nicked a few cheap clothes its only a minor offence. The maximum sentence will be puny, the reductions for guilty pleas, however late in the days play, takes that down further. The serve a third, probation a third for the inevitable not notably bad behaviour means they're back out bright and early.
For most folks who get a criminal record, it's a one off or part of a short period of poor behaviour, reality kicks in, rationality kicks in and reasoning about future prospects kick in. The system works, the sanction proves effective.
For the minority who don't kick in, the offending continues. They collect hundreds/thousands of offences. They are performing the vast majority of crimes committed. The public is suffering this directly and indirectly in too many ways to list. Insurance, retail prices, taxation, and deprivation of property are to name but a few.

The solution.

Cumulative sentencing. Clump offences into broad categories. Clock up an offence in any category. Serve all previous offences' sentences in that category after the latest one given by the courts.
Those who persist in drunken low level assaults, those who shoplift for a living, those commit fraud repeatedly, will in their own category get snowballed sentences.
Those who learn and quit, learn and quit. Those who don't could be facing longer and longer times away from the public unable to further offend.
It would also incentivise the police to pursue minor offences if they felt the offender would be away for a while instead of back out by lunch.

Your thoughts?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Give Up

Thinking back about stuff as I near a decade of being paid to watch drunken muppets I realise how much stuff I've given up because of it.
There are a few ladies who didn't appreciate me always being sober and heading out the door at 9.30 every night. There are a few more who didn't appreciate me never having a weekend off so we could go and do something fun on a weekend. I've not had a good holiday in a very long time. I've been rude to more postmen than I really thought would cover one round.
I've gotten to know who works night shift at my 24hour tesco's from popping by at 4am to get my breakfast far too often. When I'm out on my rare nights off I still drift to the part of the room where I get the best view and tend to stand crossed arms tutting at the drunken young ones and keeping an eye on the tension building in that domestic or the rowdy buggers at the bar.
I miss watching a tv film that doesn't come from the world cinema selection with subtitles and a bemusing and harrowing plot.
I've missed a fair bit of stuff but every road taken excludes others. I've seen and done things others will never do. I've learnt more about myself and others than many will ever know or want to.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


After the lovely romantic event of valentines night I am once again amazed by the number of people who feel the need to share their domestic stresses in public. Like a certain type of person who feels the need to fight with their children in supermarkets there seem to be plenty who argue their personal issues in pubs and clubs and on the streets.
With the increasing honesty and emotional openness that comes with drink and the application of gentle stresses of decision making and social interactions that come from nights out and its time to stand back and watch the fireworks. Well it's seldom physical fireworks but the screaming and threatening do provide quite a bit of street theatre. It keeps from getting to bored as the large gaggles of drunken boys and girls tend to have a night off on valentines. I didn't have the night off but spent most of it telling rowing couples to quieten down or take it outside. They generally did and I didn't have to put on my marriage counsellor hat once. I did direct quite a few stroppy singletons to the station and the taxi ranks.
Got back to a poorly missus whose idea of romance is a warm body and box of soft tissues. Suits me just fine.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Slip Sliding Away

It's been cold and icy and a little bit snowy 'round these parts of late. I know I've been standing out in it a fair bit. I've got a hat, big coat and heavy warm boots. I'm not trying to totter past in high heels after a few pints wearing a belt and best wishes to keep the cold out.
It's such fun to watch punters shivering and shuffling in with bright red frozen legs. Even more fun to watch them shuffle out, a little less steady on their feet, hitting the cold air and the now even harder iced streets. Then they slip, stumble and slide their way kebabward, then slip slide and stumble their way back taxiward all the while getting colder and in just about every case more bedraggled and bruised.
Ho hum, salt does really take the polish of my nice warm boots.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tickle me 'ell-no

When ladies of an age to know better are left outside by their mates to finish their fag it'd be rude not to say something. I can stand stony faced and immovable when needed but for punters who've yet to warrant it I'll try not to be rude.
I'll often say some banal line to asses whether their up for conversation or happy in their own company. However ladies of a certain age and inebriation are a little too eager to talk and in about 3 seconds I'll be regretting opening my mouth. 3 hours later I'll still be regretting it.
In my head I'm answering. No I'm not single, no I'm not interested, no I'm not interested in your 4 children either. I'm not bothered that your ex used to cheat on you, nor am I bothered that you're really horny, or that your mates have all pulled. I'd rather rip off my own ears than have you flirt with me. I am not cuddly, sexy, or ticklish.
In reality I'm giving monosyllabic answers and hardening my body language and avoiding eye contact.
This is not easy to do when my colleague, who wisely kept his trap shut for the first 5 seconds, keeps rotating between telling the drunken tart details about me and sniggering and snickering like a tit or making lewd suggestions down the radio for only my ears and the rest of the team to laugh at.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Put it away

When you work in a team, each brings their own skills and assets. They also bring their flaws.
One former colleague used to bring his love life to work. He was old enough to know better, had an ex-wife and kids. He also had a haircut not usually seen on anyone over 17.
He'd be energetic and keen at work, when stuff was kicking off or going to. He belonged to the 'he ran into my fist repeatedly' school of doorwork but wasn't at the top of the class.
He would however spend quiet nights having extended text flirts with his current stock of ladies. I think they may not have been very ladylike but they were female with a pulse and usually big shoes, fake blond hair and a conspicuous absence of sense. On some nights, I speculate here, but ones when he was out of battery he'd be chatting away to ladies, continuously. Not the 'how you doing?', 'what you been up to?' kind of nattering, more the 'do you wanna sit on my cock?'.
This got tedious when these lines worked. Instead of taking the early bath offered as the club calmed down, he often did this to drive his small loud car too fast to his lady for the night, he'd stay on, getting paid whilst sitting in a dark corner, ignoring his radio and getting some heavy petting done.
He wasn't the best fun to work with unless it was rammed and hectic. Every other time you just wish he'd taken the bromine rather than the pro-plus.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Go Blind

Working on your own, will only lead to one thing. If you're working on your todd it really has to be a small venue, with little trouble, probably little passing grief and a sensible clientele. Potentially you'll have other staff nearby to lend a hand if needed.
It's not recommended but in a small place the manager just can't justify a pair and are asked by the local plod to obey the letter of their licence and employ doorstaff when asked to by the self same local plod. Would be corrupt if any plod ever moonlighted as doorstaff but they don't, ever, it seems.
You'll never get everything right. If you're on your own it's only your judgement keeping things as they need be. There's no need to be superman. You're not expected to turf out a full football team's worth of drunken muppets. Maybe don't be letting them in but if they're in, just turn off the beer and be polite and on your toes. If they go aggressive keep the other punters safe and wait for the blue light taxi tag team to get there.
You do have to have good self confidence, a good manner with folks and a good few ways to keep yourself amused. The one thing you will always face is boredom. Having done open 'til close shifts on a football saturday on my todd, in the grey winter, it is all about boredom. It's the one thing you're going to have to beat every hour of every night every week.

Monday, January 05, 2009


As a fellow blogger describes sometimes you just connect. Not through planning and considered application of power, just through the developed reactions and subconscious movement.
In one venue I don't see the inside of much nowadays I was just standing watching the dancefloor when I felt a splash against the back of my head. Turning and legging it up the stairs to the balcony floor above I see one gent on the deck holding his face, one gent running up to him and delivering a kick to his head. I'm still closing the distance and contact the upright gent and give an open two handed shove in the chest. This makes some space between me standing over the victim and the other gent reeling backward. He kept going backward and collided with a balcony rail. This rail, set at well above waist height is not an easy obstacle to clear. The gent I had shoved kept going and going until there were no feet on the floor. One hand on the rail, one grabbing the air in front of him and one bloody big fall onto stairs below. Somehow gravity hadn't quite been overcome and he returned to the floor on the safe side of the rail but it did have me worried my night would have added an accidental death to add to the GBH with intent I'd just witnessed.
Similarly when static in a doorway with 6' of pavement between me and the street one gent didn't get the gist of 'not tonight'. He kept walking up and I kept placing an open hand on his chest and reversing his course. After a couple of efforts he tried running at the door. I set a foot backward, applied myself more energetically and much to both our surprise he flew backward a lot faster then he approached and with flintstone like twinkle toes shot across the road. He came to a halt when he found the far curb, and landed unceremoniously on his arse.
Sometimes you wish you'd connect like this but you can only improve the odds. You can get all the pieces in one place but you can't get that slick connection every time.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


When you work at venue it's really important to have a consistent door policy.
If you know it's spit and sawdust and upright is about the only criterion for getting in, you'll need to have a numerous heavy team possibly light on the conversation.
If you're keeping out the chav's and going for an older better dressed audience you'll need less staff, more communication and conflict resolution skills.
If you stick to young ones you need staff who keep their eyes and ears open but don't dismantle everything in sight.
Whatever your policy choice, you tailor the numbers, skills and team approach to it. If you want to chop and change policy night by night and week by week expect a team that doesn't match the venue and more importantly you'll have numbers that don't match. Too many staff and you'll get teams cut back when you'll be needing them all when it kicks off next week. Too few staff and you'll get your arses handed to you on a plate.
I don't like that happening. There's only so many folks you can hold back while pinning a coked up 'roider brute in the fire exit. Then you see that every member of the team's doing the same. and there's still half a dozen coming on. Not a good night but one to remember.