Friday, November 30, 2007

Another one down...

I read today that Evel Knievel has passed on. He was 69 years old.

Although he had faded from the public eye during the 80's he was always a common name. I remember seeing him on videos and wondering why he did it. I'm sure there's a video out there somewhere of him explaining why.


R.I.P. Evel Knievel



Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bar Life..

I've said it many times over and it usually sticks true. In the smaller bars there is a "bar life" for bartenders. Especially if the bar has a more corporate feeling.

What I mean by this is that there is a turn over of employees every few years. A lot of owners and managers will do this to keep up with the neighborhood and to keep bringing in new clientèle. If you keep the same stagnant employees then the place never changes and never gets better. In the overall scheme of things it always comes down to the owners making money. Yea, it sucks for the employees but they're there to make the owners money. If your not doing that then you will be replaced. It won't be a hard thing to do either, there are always students and younger people looking to get into a bar to work.

So the process is slowly starting to happen. People have been slowly nit picked enough that they are starting to drop like flies. Some of them deserve it, others don't.

The typical bar life that I've noticed over time has been right around 5 years. Every 5 years or so there's new people at all my old haunts. This is where the management comes in. If they do their part right and keep up with the regulars they'll introduce them to the new kids. Regulars are good to have. Especially if they're the ones that make it good for the bartenders to be there. The ones that know how to tip and are usually never a problem.

If your a regular somewhere and never give more than a dollar tip then don't feel bad that you don't get introduced to the new kids. Your cheap and people shouldn't waste their time on you. Why do I say that? Because bartenders and waitresses don't make much more than 3 or 4 dollars an hour in the little bars. They make very little hourly and they rely on tips to make ends meet. So if your a cheap ass and don't tip for shit then they'll spend their time on someone else.

Sound crappy? Hey, give up the money you make now and start making $4 an hour. Let's see how you feel about people then.

Granted, in the bigger clubs where your paying $10 to $12 for a short jack an coke, maybe they make more per hour. I couldn't tell you if they do because I've never been one of them. If they don't make more than $4 an hour then they're making a lot more in tips because people in bigger clubs usually have the money to waste and there are a lot more people so the crappy tips add up faster.

What I will say. Give up at least $2 or more when you order a drink. If you open a tab then tip around 25 - 30%. These people are putting up with you all night. Your insults, your come ons, your drunkenness, your wandering hands and eyes. It's worth it in the long run so you don't get the "cheap ass" rep. That rep will keep with you for a long time. It'll also slow down their reaction time when you want another drink.

Remember, your just another face in the crowd. No matter what you look like it's how you treat the people serving you that matters. If you take care of them, they'll take care of you.

Good advice to take with you everywhere.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Taking it home...

When you live in an apartment building sometimes people decide to have parties. It's only a matter of time that the cops get called if you don't clear it with the rest of the building or at least the landlord. It's very rare that a big rave type of party happens in someones apartment.

"Yo man, 20 bucks man."

I stopped fumbling with my keys that were still in my pockets and looked up. In front of the doorway to my apartment building was a guy about 6'2" tall. He had a ball cap on turned sideways, an oversized white hoodie, baggie jeans, white shoes and a jean jacket. I stood there looking at him, "Excuse me?"

"Yo man, it's 20 bucks to get in dis party."

"Yea, that's great. I live here." I started up the stairs again.

"What? You din't hear me or somthin man?" His hand came up as to stop me. I grabbed his hand, bent it back towards his elbow and spun him around. Now his face was pushed up against the wall.

"I heard you fine. You must not have heard me. I live here."

About that time a few people came walking around the corner. I had a feeling these were friends of his fairly quickly and had an even bigger feeling that I was going to be hurting in the morning.

"Yo Ty! Hey man, let him go!" The two guys came running up and the girl was slowly making her way up. I started pushing up on Ty's hand making him stand taller and become even more uncomfortable.

After Ty gave out a little yell I said, "You guys stay back or I'm breaking his wrist." The guys slowed down and stood there staring at me.

"Yea, he gets paid to do that kind of stuff." The girl in the group came walking up. It was Janet, she lives down the hall and apparently is the one having the party.

I pat Ty on the shoulder and ask him if we're cool. When he agrees I slowly let the pressure off of his hand and arm. I go nice and slow so if he decides otherwise I can put him back in place.

Janet walked up to me, "I'm sorry Mike. This won't happen again."

"You can't have some guy out here charging. That's just dumb."

"I know, I know..."

"In fact, how bout you get up there and turn off this racket and get everyone out. I want to get some sleep."

"But people are finally showing up. It's an after hours party."

"Well, we can do it the fun way. But you'll probly get in trouble for it."

"Your not gonna call the cops are you?"

"I'll give you an hour, after that it's fair game."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Other side...

A lot of people don't see everything that a doorman does for a bar or club. They see the blank face that asks for an i.d. and they see the guy that's dragging someone out by their head. They see the side of a doorman that is in conflict or seriousness.

Very rarely do they see the doorman that is smacking the face of a guy that went from talking up a storm to limp dead body in a matter of seconds. The don't see the doorman trying to stop people from going into a bar while he is crouched over a drunk guy and trying to make sure he's still alive. In fact, most of the fucking idiots that are trying to get into the establishment don't even see the guy sprawled across the sidewalk.

The other part people don't see is when the staff member is trying to get a drunk friend of the industry home safely. People think a lot of things and when they see a doorman walking out with a drunk female they automatically think that something is going on. That the doorman is taking advantage of a situation. My best advice, think what you want to think but find out what's going on before you say you know what happened.

A lot of people don't have the respect that is needed to understand the amount of things security staff go through in a busy night. The amount of insults one can take before we have to become the assholes that most people see security staff as.

Listen man, I understand I did you one favor by letting you skip the line when you tipped me. That's why you tipped me. It doesn't mean that I have to do anything else for you. It also doesn't mean that you can stand there and call me or any other doorstaff an asshole because we won't buy you a shot. If you want a deal on your drinks than over tip the bartender. They'll notice and do what they want to do. Stand there and call me an asshole. Well, I'll become that asshole that your looking for. If you really upset me, I'll throw you on your ass in front of the entire line of people outside and throw your money into the street for anyone to take.

People overlook the one person that can make or break your night. It's completely true, any person doing security at an establishment can get rid of you at any time. I know it sounds very corrupt but it's true. If there's some reason that we don't want you in the establishment then we can get rid of you. If you put up too much of a struggle don't worry, there's about 5 to 6 more people that are willing to help out and get you out.

Now I'm not saying all this so people can go to their preferred club or bar and to pat the doorstaff on their backs for doing good deeds. I'm saying it so people can recognize what the doorstaff is for. We're here to make sure you and the people around you are having a good time and there are no bad instances. We get very bored and we are always on point looking out for the establishments best interest but your best interest is not our responsibility.

In fact, I'd suggest that you don't talk to the doorstaff. More than likely they don't want to talk to you. They've been at work and are sober while you've been out having a great time and are probably half drunk or more. No one wants to talk to drunk people when they're sober. Remember your Aunt Edith at the family get togethers? She was always the one sitting in the kitchen with a cigarette in one hand and a gin and tonic in the other. She always had bad breath and pinched your cheeks way too hard. Yea, that's what you are to a sober doorman.

Go to your preferred establishment, drink, have fun, and don't cause any incidents. Don't do anything that will draw the attention of the staff and everything will be fine. Don't worry, if your in trouble or you need a problem fixed, we are here to help you as long as it's not something illegal.

Security staff is there to look out for the best interest of the establishment and to help if there is a problem. We try to keep everyone safe and happy without being the assholes. We're only assholes if we really have to be.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Expired I.D. - Get a New I.D...

"Listen, I'm gonna let you in this time but not again. Get a new i.d."

"Man, I've just been real busy with stuff. We just opened a new club and I just moved here 4 months ago and..."

"And your i.d. expired 3 years ago. I know who you are. I know where you work. I don't care. Get a new i.d. or don't come here again."

"Does it really have to be like this?"

"Listen, last week you said you've been here for a year but you've been too busy. This time you've only been here 4 months. You should know the laws if your opening a club. No expired i.d.'s. Go get a new one."

"How bout I just don't come back?"

"That's fine with me too. How bout we start right now."

"Sure. I'll just go get my friends and we'll leave."

"Not with that i.d., it's expired. I can't let you in. Hope you got their numbers in your phone."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving...

A day for thanks.

Thanks for everyone that keeps coming back for another round. Whether they come back for another round of drinks or another day around the clock. Give thanks to who ever you give thanks to.

Hopefully your families haven't drawn you closer to that insanity plea.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Shlepper...

This type of work is really more for the person that can let things slide. You have to be able to take all the bad with the good. This goes for more than just the typical dealings.

"I don't know why Chucky let's Jack hang out after hours. I feel like he's stalking me."

"Stalking you?"

Cathy is a really good woman. She's a great looking girl and has a great head on her shoulders. Sometimes she's just too sweet and a little naive, even though she knows what's going on.

"Yea, when he found out I was single he started leaving me gifts."

"You gave them back right?"

"Well, I didn't want to be rude."

"I suggest you give them back or start refusing the gifts."

"Can't we just stop him from staying after hours?"

"Listen, I'll get rid of him tonight but you need to voice your opinion. He provides a service for certain employees so they want to play nice with him."

"Like what?"

"Let's just say they like his coca-cola."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Two Faced...

"Man I'm tellin ya, she's really into me."

Mark is a new kid to the circuit. He's around 24 years old and he's excited to get into the industry. Even if he has to start out doing security before he can get behind the bar. He's young, new to town and he's very naive. He's a work in progress and he's trying to keep up with everything that's going on both at work and in his personal life.

"Time will tell."

"No seriously man, we had a great time the other night."

"Just don't jump because she says to."

"What you mean?"

"Listen, you now work at a place that a lot of people want to get into. They'll become your best friend in order to do that. Don't get your hopes up and go with it."

"Really?"

"Yea. Ask her what she wants. If it's just you then she won't mind waiting in line until thats proven. If she gets all pissy about waiting then she just wants in. Your gonna have to build up your shell. Your new and people know that."

"You really think she's just gonna use me?"

"That's what they all do, guys or girls. So they'll get all nice until they get what they want."

"That's fucked up."

"Welcome to paranoia. Soon you'll start wondering why strangers talk to you in the grocery store."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Back Drop...

I've been getting a little attention lately. In some ways it's nice. In other ways it's not so nice. It's great to know that people are taking the 3 or 5 minutes to actually go through my ramblings and take notice. It's not so great to know that some people want to know more about me. Well, I'll tell ya. I'm nothing special.

I have a code of ethics that I live by. It's a hard one to explain and on a daily basis most people think it changes. In my mind it's always the same, it just depends on the mindset I'm in.

I'm not a very religious person but I do tend to believe in Karma. I do believe that if you do enough bad things that something is going to come back and bite you in the ass. It'll bite hard. I figure that if you do enough good things then you'll stay the same. Life is what you make of it and if you believe enough in yourself then it will become what you want it to become.

If I were to put myself in some kind of religion I guess it would be a mix of Satanism and Buddhism. Don't mess with me and I might save your ass some day. Mess with me and you'll never get a helping hand. I know, it's a weird mixture but it seems to be the closest thing I can think of.

I've gone through times of meditation and I've had my times of pain and hatred. Through the meditations I've been able to control the anger and the wantings of angry physical contact. I can honestly say that I've never thrown a punch in the years of working security at bars and clubs. I can't say that I've never thrown someone into a wall or table. It just seems to be a better option than to give them a reason to want to hit me. My face is no where near being pretty but there's no reason to make it any uglier.

I also believe that everything happens for a reason. I got into this business because I was enraged with life and I wanted to get back at it. So I went into a line of business that could afford me the ability to control my surroundings and the people that were guests inside it. Those days are gone now and it's only a matter of time before I move on.

I'm a man of necessity these days. I live mainly for the things that I need or want. Right now there isn't much that I need or want but there are things that people and organizations want from me. To appease these giants I might have to move on fairly quickly. Then I get to become a part timer again in the world of the night life. This will inevitably knock my status down but it will bring my life quality back up. Maybe even back up to the normal level.

So I hope that this kind of sheds a little more light on me. I hope it also appeases the gods.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Your not that cute honey...

"Yea, I used to use it in eye drops."

"Really?"

"Yea, it was the easiest way to do it and not get caught. What's your story?"

"My story? I guess I don't really have one. I'm the guy that's always around and rarely noticed."

"That sounds pretty boring."

"Yea... so does putting LSD in your eyes. In fact, that just sounds fuckin stupid."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Job...

One of the reasons a lot of guys become bouncers or doormen is for the pay. Some places can pay pretty well. Usually by the time you make the good money, your not doing the main amount of work. Your not dealing with the assholes and your telling other people to take care of the problems.

Some places pay cash on a nightly basis. This is great for the guys that are hiding out from having to pay child support or are paying the child support from their day job and just need extra cash. It usually ends up being more money in your pocket since taxes aren't taken out.

Most places think of doormen as just plain bouncers. They hire you for what ever reason. Maybe it's because they know you can handle your own. Maybe you worked somewhere else. Maybe they've heard about your reputation or maybe it's because your a friend of a friend. What ever reason they hire you for doesn't really matter. If they don't like you or your not keeping your end of the deal they'll get rid of you. Why? Because bouncers are a dime a dozen.

They'll keep you around if your on top of your game and you don't cause any problems. Just remember, your easily replaceable.

Most pay rates in this area are pretty fair. It always depends on the type of place you work at, how busy they are and whether the boss thinks your worth it. If it's a really busy place then you should be making at least 10 or 12 an hour. If it's not a busy place and more like a neighborhood bar then be happy if you get 10 an hour. If you get more than minimum wage be happy too.

If you have a death wish and decide to work in a shitty dance club in the bad part of town, then I would say do it for 15 an hour and benefits. The shitty dance clubs usually have hip hop an house music running at full speed. They also usually have the whole place filled with gang bangers and 9mm's. There's no reason to work at a place like that unless your carrying a 9 as well. Someone shoots at me I want to be able to return the favor.

Benefits are definitely something that you won't get in this industry. Your not going to get life, health or dental insurance while being a full time doorman. Not until you hit the managerial level and even then you'll be lucky if you do. While the owners see fit to give managers these benefits they'll try to explain to you that it's too expensive to add a doorman on to it. Something about being a high risk.

If your really lucky you might make contacts with some doctors, dentists and lawyers. Then if you do them enough favors they might just be able to return the favors down the road. Which is what this job is partially about. Everyone knows bouncers don't make a lot of money and deal with a shitload of stress on a daily basis. They want to try and help you out so you'll help them out. Sometimes this turns into more of a pain than anything.

All of this depends on where you live. There are some areas that make you get a license to even work as security at a club. These places I have no idea about. I don't know how they work or even why it works that way. Maybe it's better for the employee that way or maybe it's just so the club has a better idea of who they're hiring. Either way that's how it is.

Like every other job, it takes the right person to succeed at it. If you actually do the job right and your not a slack ass, then you'll figure out if it's the right job for you. You'll know if it's something you want to do after that first person takes a swing at you or the millionth person to argue with you.

Then again, life might come at you and you need more money, stability, or help in some way. Then you might just forget everything and go back to the jobs that have more hours and pay.

It's not a job that you get just to be the popular guy in town. If that's what your looking for then this isn't the job for you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dancer...

No matter where you work there's someone that just annoys the hell out of you. The best thing about work is that it doesn't have to be someone you work with. Once in a while there's a person that is in the bar that annoys you.

"Hey buddy, move it over to the side will ya?"

"This is a free space."

"Your annoying me."

They come to the establishment, they drink, they start dancing around like an idiot and they annoy you. The best part is that if they annoy someone enough they can be removed.

"So that means I can't have a good time?"

"Sure you can, just do it away from me."

Of course, through a night of drinking their memory goes south pretty fast. Mine doesn't.

"Hey man, move it down. Your in the way."

"I'm good right here."

"I said, your in the way."

"What ever man, I'm havin a good time. You should try it."

So I took his advice. I grabbed him by the wrist and walked him to the door.

"What the fuck man!?"

"I asked you twice to move. Now you get to dance outside."

"I can dance anywhere I want."

"Then do it out here." I turned and walked back inside.

The little bastard stood outside the door and danced on the sidewalk.

I have to say that it did give me a laugh even though it irritated the hell out of me at the time.

Friday, November 09, 2007

A Letter from a Doorman...

I was jumping around on Craigslist the other day and found this letter written by a doorman in Washington DC in the Best Of category. Hits on some key points and thought you might want to check it out.

Read on.

Can I See Your ID? - Washington DC Doorman


More to come.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I'm 36!...

"Can I see your i.d.?"

The man opened his wallet and closed it fast and tried to walk past me. I grabbed his arm, "Hey man, I need to see your i.d. please."

The man stopped and pulls his wallet out again. This time he opens it up and starts going through it."Here ya go."

He pulls out a chain store discount card.

"Yea, that's not a valid i.d., you got a real one?"

"I'm 36 years old, I don't need to show you an i.d."

"Yes you do. No i.d. no entry. I can't let you in."

"Listen, would a 19 year old have an American Express card?"

"Man, I had 3 credit cards by the time I was 20. I'm gonna have to ask you to go to a different bar."

"What!? This is ridiculous. I've been coming here for years! Look, I have gray hair and I'm balding!"

"No, you haven't and my brother was gray and balding when he was in high school. No i.d. no entry. Good night."

"Man. You know what you are?? Your a fuckin dildo!"

"Thanks, have a good one." I gave the man a thumbs up and smiled with my head cocked to the side.

"I'm 36 years old, I don't need a fuckin i.d. your just bein an asshole."

"Listen man, I'm doing what I get paid to do."

"They don't pay you to be an asshole!"


Sometimes I wonder.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Down Time...

Sorry for the down time. I've been experiencing some technical difficulties with the computer. I had to reformat and now I'm on the hunt for all my information and all my old bookmarks. I'll be back to normal in a couple more days.

I guess you learn from mistakes and this one has taught me to start storing my articles on the external drive.

More to come. Soon.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Extra Fun Tips...

"Would it be cool if I got a ride home with you?"

There are times that I give people rides after work. I figure I'm up and awake anyways and I'm usually not going to bed anytime soon. I don't do it for everyone usually people that have been coming to the establishment for a while or friends. It's kind of a perk for them to want to come by. They know they get taken care of. If they're too wasted though I tell them some story and put them in a cab. I don't want them puking in my car.

"Sure, just give me a few minutes to finish up and we'll get goin."

She's a very attractive woman. She had on a sheer dress and she has a very good looking body. So I went off to finish the things I do at the end of the night and she sat at the bar to wait for me. I finished up rather quick since she was waiting and out the door we went. Conversation was pretty dull on the way to the car. I stop at the passenger side door, unlock it and open the door for her. She gets in and I walk around to the driver side, unlock it and get in.

I get in the car and she starts to say thank you for the ride when I look over. I quickly look away as I pull on my seat belt and say, "Hun, you might want to fix your dress." Somehow when she got in her dress magically moved up. It was up enough that the mystery of panties or no panties was solved.

Her face turned red and she apologized. I told her there wasn't a need for an apology. It's not like I haven't seen that region before.

So I start up the car and sit there for a minute or two for it to warm up. "Ok hun, which way am I going to get you home?"

"Well, did you want to hang out tonight?" She sat there smiling at me.

"Ok, what did you have in mind? Breakfast?"

"We could do that. I'm a big fan of just hanging out somewhere and watching a movie. Wouldn't mind having another drink but I don't have anything at home. I mean I'm not looking for a relationship or anything."

"I think I have a few beers at my house. Shall we?"

There's been a million opportunities for me to be in this very situation. I've been in this situation only a couple times. I don't really like it.

So we get back to my place, I grab a couple beers out of the fridge and turn on a movie. We sit there and talk a little. Well, she mainly does the talking, the girl just wouldn't shut up.

"I'm really glad that we get to hang out. I always see you at work and never get to talk to you. So have you ever been tipped so people can get in?"

"Sure, it tends to happen."

"I have a customer that comes in occasionally and he's always leaving me extra tips."

"Tips are always a good thing."

"Yea, he always leaves me special tips. I don't mind sharing them if you want." Her eyes kind of lit up when she said that. At the same time I realized what extra tips meant.

"That's ok, you should keep that for yourself."

"Well, I don't like partying by myself. We can have a really good time," she moves closer.

"My partying years are way past me. I have no need for it."

Then she just kept yapping away for the next hour. She went on about things that I didn't give two shits about. Her schooling, her background, her family, all the places she's lived and then to top it all off, her boyfriend.

"Wait, hold on. You got a boyfriend?"

"Well yea."

"So why are you here?"

"Well, we're just hanging out."

"Ok... but your still here. The bars are closed and your here."

"Oh, we don't live together or anything."

Then she's off on another tangent about something. I start to get really bored at this point. "I hate to interrupt but it's gettin pretty late. I do need to get up early to do some things."

"Oh... ok. I can go. You sure you don't want to share?"

"I'm good. At least now you have more for you an your boy."

I walk her to the curb and wait until she gets a cab.


Just another reason why I steer clear of women who work in the industry.