Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rock Star Lines V...

"Is Chris in there?"

"Excuse me?"

"Chris. You know Chris. He in there?"

"I have no idea. The line is over there. Please wait in it."

"Oh no. You know Chris. He wears a plaid hat. Is he in there?" She was all of 100lbs soaking wet. "I'm here to save him from getting his ass kicked."

"Then no, he's not in here." I have no idea who Chris is.

"Listen, if your lying to me then that's just rude. All I want to do is go in and get him and pull him out of here."

"That's nice. All I want is for you to go wait in the line right over there." I point to the end of the line that is about half a block away.

"Really? Your going to make me wait in this line? I'm not attractive?"

"I'll answer yes, you decide which question I'm answering." At this point I figured the whole Chris story was bullshit anyways. Seeing as how it went from concern for her friend to whether or not she's attractive.

"So I can go in?"

"You didn't ask if you could. Go wait in line."

Often times people make up such random stories to see if they can skip lines. It's never really made much sense to me. Often times it's so easy to trip people up in their own stories. Names change in mid story or they just change it entirely because they see it's not working. Granted, if the story is entertaining enough it works sometimes. Especially if it brings me out of a state of boredom for a minute.

"Really? I have to wait?"

"Yep. Just like all these other people."

She sighed, rolled her eyes, turned and walked away. She walked towards the end of the line and kept going around the block.

Her friend Chris must have been really important to her.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Buy your guns now!...

I'm sure by now you've heard about all these gun enthusiasts running out to buy guns after Obama got elected. It's due to Obama being supportive of the 2nd Amendment but also supportive of gun bans.

There are talks that Obama might reinstate the semi-automatic assault rifle ban that was enacted in 1994 under the Clinton administration and expired in 2004. Personally, I don't really see a reason to have that type of a gun in your house. However, I do believe you should have the right to own one.

I also believe that it should be ok to carry a pistol. Maybe not everyone should be able to but at least the people that are willing to go through the background checks and certain training. There are certain areas in the nation that open carry is legal. From what I've seen crime rates have dropped in those areas. Who's going to try and jump you if they think you might have a gun too? Now their mortality is on the line as well as yours.

For people that have the "no guns in a household with children", I have this to say. Take the initiative to teach your kids gun safety. Or keep the guns somewhere where your kids can't get to them. This is what they make gun safes for. Guns don't need to be left out and loaded. Use your head. If your not smart enough to keep your kids safe from the items that keep you safe then a phrase comes to mind.

"Thinning of the herd."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Written on a wall...

The other day I saw this written on a wall.

"Obama wins!! Racism is over! Down with the white supremacists!"

I couldn't help but think how out of touch this person really is. I have no idea how long this had been up on the wall. It could have been written on the very night of the elections as far as I know. Maybe they were just all jacked up on the high.

Just because a man is elected President and that particular man has certain qualities in his heredity doesn't mean that will change the way thousands of yokels think. Yea, it would be great if this accomplishment changed the minds of every single racist idiot. Realistically thinking, it might change the thoughts of a few hundred. If we're lucky.

If you truly want to see if racism is gone or not then talk to people. Offer them an intelligent argument or even make certain jokes. I warn you though, depending on the person this might lead you to getting your ass kicked.

In my line of work you run into it a lot. If a club has a dress code policy then that club is racist. It has nothing to do with the club trying to keep a specific style. It's a direct racist attack against the person that is wearing the wrong kind of clothing. At least that's what that person thinks.

Let's say you work at a club. Your duty is to use a hand held metal detector on every person that walks in. You skip a couple people because they're your friends or they walked outside to smoke. The next person that walks up is a black person with baggy clothes on. You ask them to stop so you can swipe them with the metal detector. They start the argument that you didn't swipe the last two people. Obviously your only swiping this person because they're black, your racist and you think they're carrying.

Now every person has different experiences in life. I've known a very limited few white people that were racist. I keep myself away from them. If I need to talk to them about something I will but I don't have a need to keep company with people like that. I've also known a lot of black people that are much more racist. Typically I've met them through work either from working together or from them being assholes at the door. I'm a big white guy that works the door and if I don't let you in for what ever reason I'm racist. I've heard it from blacks, asians, middle easterners and even white guys who think they're black.

It would be great if everyone could remove racism from their lives. I don't think it will ever happen. As long as someone looks at another person and thinks they might be bad in some way, racism will never die.

It's ingrained in us all from the very roots of our lineage. It can get better. People can forget about the color in people but they can't forget about the feelings they have towards certain character types.

They might forget that Chris is a black man but they won't see past what Chris wears.His baggy pants, unlaced shoes, hoody, vest and hidden face. They'll see how dirty his clothes are and how he walks in the dark lit streets. They'll stop to wonder if he's going to try and sneak up on them without realizing that he's just walking home from work. They'll never even notice if he's black. They see the character not the color.

And if you really want to know if racism is dead. Ask any non-white gentleman over the age of 60. They'll tell you tales that you can't believe.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


There are differences in positions when it comes to security at clubs. There are the doormen that are at the front door and the men and women that do security inside. There are some that stay in one spot and others that roam about. I've worked them all.

I hated being the guy that had to stay in one spot. Usually your stationed at a doorway that requires certain passes to get through. The most problems you usually get are from over eager ladies wanting to get backstage to meet their favorite bands. You get propositioned in many ways from money to sexual favors. None of which are really that important if your being taken care of properly by your employer.

I did like being the roamer. You get to walk around and see everything that's going on. If there's a problem called out over the radio you were to be there before the call was over. You get to catch the people doing drugs, break up fights, catch people sneaking in booze, and the people having sex in weird places. You basically get to walk around, keep your eyes open and mingle.

The front door position is usually given to the guys with the most seniority or best people skills. Mainly the guys that have been in the establishment the longest and know the most regulars. This spot can have it's benefits over the others. You get recognized more (which could be good or bad), possibilities of tips for doing favors, and you get to control more of the crowd. Not only is it your job to decide who comes in but you get to do it as you see fit. This can become more of a power trip then you would think. If abused it can give management a good reason to let you go.

Now, not to sound rough but until a person actually gets to the front door position your not a Doorman. If you take your position inside the club and stay there all night. Your not a doorman. Your just part of the security team inside the club. In the grand scheme of the ladder effect your close to the bottom of the security rankings.

It's not a bad thing. Every person that has ever done security at a club has been on the bottom rung. I was there for a few years. It's part of the gig. You start off at the bottom and if you can handle it you make your way up. Until you make it to that spot, don't try to play yourself off as someone more important, especially to your peers. It's not very nice and it's a little like lying. Doormen don't usually care much for people that do that.

I only bring this up because I was approached by a person looking for a job. He had told me about his days at a venue and how he had been working the front door there for close to a year. We got to talking and I let him talk and talk. He had plenty of stories about busting heads, women falling all over him and the deals he made at the door. Stories that no person in their right mind would tell a future employer if they really wanted a job.

If you go on about how many teeth you knocked out of a guys head or how you made an easy $400 to let people skip lines I'm not going to hire you. Sounds two sided since I talk about that a lot on here but here's the difference. I'm not out bragging about this stuff to regular people. I'm not going to tell any person I walk up to that I'll accept bribes at the door. I'm sure as hell not going to tell that to a future employer. And yes, I will tell all new hires that they can not accept money at the door. This way when I catch them doing it I have ways of taking a small part of what's mine. Sounds evil but so is life at times.

So old boy keeps going on about his accomplishments at this venue he used to work at. Thing is, he doesn't know that I used to work there as well. I know the head doorman there. I also know that this guy wasn't him.

"So you were the head doorman over there?"

"Yea man. It was pretty solid but the pay wasn't that great."

"I wouldn't think so if you were taking bribes."

"Yea, you know. All doormen do at some point."

"Not the answer I was looking for. How's TD doing over there?"


"Yea, TD. The head doorman that's been there for 10 years or more."

"He's doing good."

"He's still there? I thought you were the head doorman?"

"Oh no man.. I was a roamer in there. I never actually worked the door."

"Big difference. So you weren't a doorman, you were security. Sorry man, only hiring doormen."

He came in with his guns blazing thinking that the stories would get him the spot. The stories got him nothing. Most places these days aren't looking for big bruisers any more. They're looking more for the coolers. The people that can walk up to a situation and calm it down and take care of it without problems.

No place is ever looking for a person that lies about their position or previous employment.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Obama Blues...

"Iz blue..."

"Excuse me?"

"I tol you.. thad thig id blue..."

"Yea.. ok then. Have a good night man."

"Yea.. Id'z ok.. I live round tha block o'er dere. I'm good."

"I'm sure you are. You should start heading home now."

Sometimes drunks are just funny. They start off stumbling up with one hand on the wall and then they just start rambling off things that make no sense. This guy with his suit and tie made no sense the entire time he was standing outside trying to get in. He kept talking about where he lived and the color blue. Everything was blue to him.

As a rule, I don't talk about politics at work. As a rule, no one should talk politics at a place that serves alcohol. It usually turns into a heated topic and someone usually ends up getting upset. Then he started, "You vote for bama?" I just looked at him and didn't respond. Not because I didn't want to say yes but because I don't talk politics at work.

"You did.. din't you? Cocksucker... you jus kilt me..."

"Listen man, you need to walk away now. Your not coming inside."

"I make 2 million dollas a year... You jus killt me... cocksucker.."

This is where he can thank the new era of video. In the past I would have asked him a little less gently to leave. These days with video cameras all over the place it's harder to convince people to leave. He was drunk to the point that a feather could have knocked him over. He was falling between slurs and sleeping by each breath.

After a few minutes a few customers came walking out. With each one passing the man gave them all a warm friendly greeting, "asshole" "cocksucker". Then Paulie was the last one to walk out. "idiot"

Paulie had seen the guy walk up and seen how drunk he was. After hearing the man insult everyone as they walked out he took it a little serious. "Listen man, I can't have you out here being drunk and insulting my customers. You need to move on."

"Yea.. you voted for him too... You just killt me..."

"I don't know or want to know what your talking about. Move on. Walk away."

The guy tried to talk more but Paulie just turned and ignored him. Usually when you ignore someone long enough they'll either get really pissed or they'll walk away. This guy didn't do either. He just kept mumbling about where he lived and how stupid we were. As if we really cared that he makes so much money and now he's going to get taxed more fairly on it.

Honestly, I hope the taxes get raised on people making more than $250,000 a year. It might make things better for everyone else. Maybe it'll actually help people like me out with health care and other things that we need but can't afford. When you make $25k a year and your rent totals up to $15k a year it'd be nice to get a break somewhere.

A few minutes later the guy decided to try to walk in again. I pushed the door closed and put my hand up, "You can not come into this establishment."

"Yer fuckin racist.. Id's cuz I'm black right?" Right after he said that a few people walked up. "Fuck thiz guy.. he's racist.. he won't led me in cuz I'm black..." The first girl in the group stopped and looked at me. Then she turned and looked at him. Then she started laughing and walked in.

She started laughing because all 5'9" and 180lbs of him was white. He was white, bald and wearing a suit and tie. Any more white and I would have needed sunglasses.

Next 15 minutes was interesting. He kept walking up to people and telling them that I was racist. I wouldn't let him in because he was black. Some people played along with him and some people told him to get away from them.

He finally left, stumbling his way down the street. Tomorrow he won't remember a thing but I will. So if he does decide to come back I'll know not to let him in.

He was on a mission to upset someone to see if he could let out some of his pent up anger. He's not happy with Obama's idea of taxes. I am though, a person like that needs to put more money back into the system.

Maybe it'll help take out the "high and mighty" sensibility that he has.

Front or Back...

Have you ever noticed the difference a position at work changes the way people look at you? I have.

Between working the door and working behind the bar people look at you much differently. Recently I was offered a shift that I've had before at a different venue. I believe it was offered to me in order to keep me quiet and secure. In hopes that I wouldn't get pissed off and just up and leave.

Over the years of talking with Paulie I've made it clear the jobs that I didn't want and the jobs that I wanted. I've said that management was an interest. I've said that a slow bartending night was of interest. I've said that a barback position was never an interest.

Why wouldn't I want a barback position? Well, from my point of view the barback is actually the bartender that stocks the shelves and cooler at the end of the night. Your the bartender that does all the heavy work. Technically, the bartender that doesn't do the stocking is the senior person and only has to tip you out 27% of the tips. Usually on a slow night it's a 46 - 54 split because the barback does get tipped out by the waitress as well.

So of course, the position that was offered to me was the barback position. Which is typical of most clubs that I've worked with. You start out as security, go to barback and if you stick around long enough you get a bartending position. This would all be fine with me if not for one thing. I was promised a management position. Instead it was given to a different person. I was told that the position was given to the other person due to a lack of bartending experience on my part.

My argument is this.

How hard is it to walk up to a person sitting at a bar, ask them what they'd like, serve them, and then put the money in the register. It's not a complicated thing. I'd dare say a person could do this job without as much as a GED. Besides, I've worked in bars and I've worked behind them. Politics corrupt even the venue.

Despite my disapproval, I decided to take the barback position that was offered me. It was easy enough. I walked up to people, asked them what they wanted to drink, served them and put the money in the register. Strange that I could do that so well as a barback but not as a bartender. Throughout the night I stocked the booze and beer.

I did this for a very limited time. I ended up giving up the position on the simple facts that I didn't want to spend more time in the establishment. This shift was added on to all the shifts that I already had there working the door and I didn't want to be there any more than needed. Even though the extra $50 was nice, it wasn't worth being there.

After I gave up the shift I noticed other things. It's strange the amount of attention you get when you're behind the bar. I received phone numbers from women that are still regulars that never paid any attention to me before when I worked the door. Was I really that much different when I worked behind the bar as compared to working the door?

A couple weeks after giving up the bar shift I started getting questions from these same women.

"When do you work behind the bar again?"

"I gave up that shift. It just wasn't worth being here that extra night."

"Oh... ok."

After that I'd see them come in and I'd say hello but they wouldn't have anything to say. I even called one after she had given me her number while I was working behind the bar. She wasn't interested any more.

It's funny, a lot of people seem to think that working the door is the lowest position you can have at a venue. I don't really know why they think that.

The guy at the door talks to every person that walks in. He's the first person that every person sees when they walk in and a lot of time he's the one that will determine if you decide to come in. If he's nice and friendly then you'd come in. If he's pissy then you'll probably decide to go somewhere else. On a busy night, he's the one that determines if you'll be waiting in the line or skipping the line. If you're involved in an argument he can help determine if you leave or stay. He can use some influence in getting you cheap drinks at times.

In my opinion, it's a down grade to take a position where you might make $4 an hour and depend on tips. Especially with the economy in a rut the way it is now. I don't think my landlord or utilities would understand when I don't make enough tips to pay my bills.

Not to say that bartenders don't make decent money. I know some that make $300 - $400 in a 4 hour shift. They're the ones that have the weekend shifts when it's busy. The guys on the slow weeknights usually make between $100 - $200. So sure, if you have a few shifts spread out amongst a few different places there's an opportunity to make some cash.

For me, it's not worth my time to give up a door shift to take a shift where I could make between $50 - $100. Not to forget my $5 hourly... which comes out to be about $15 after taxes if I'm lucky.
Honestly, how many bartenders take any one that hits on them seriously? The bartenders probably get hit on by dozens of people a night. I'm sure there are a few exceptions out there but I'm sure most of the time it's a one nighter and that's it. Not too bad of a trade, sex for cheap drinks.

I found it funny how uninteresting I became after I gave up the shift. I also noticed how many more people wait in line to get in now.

Man, I'm an asshole.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Soothsaying from a Sayer of Sooth...

The big election night was last night. It was an event that gripped the nation. It was one of the biggest events this nation has seen in decades. No matter the outcome it was going to make history either by voting in our first African American President or our first female Vice President.

But I have to say, it bothers me to say African American just as much as it would to say Irish American. If a person is born here in the United States I'm much more comfortable just saying American. After all, is a person less or more of a person just due to their lineage? I don't think so.

It's not very often that the establishment that I work in turns off the music and turns up the television. The whole place was so quiet that people looked over when someone ordered a drink, as if their quiet voiced order would take away from the experience. It was also strange to hear the customers chant along with the "Yes we can" during Obama's acceptance speech.

I have to say, the speech that Obama gave was very good. It covered all the aspects that it possibly could. It drew from Martin Luther King JR and Abraham Lincoln. It drew from the people that started it all with their $5 donations all the way through the entire process to the people that were the most important during the entire campaign. It even went so far as to cover his ass when things might not go the way they're wanted to go in the next 4 years. It was a speech that kept you interested and kept you listening.

In January the new Camelot begins. The White House will have it's first young children since JFK. Along with them will also be the new puppy that their father promised them during his acceptance speech. Which, even I have to admit, brought a smile to my face.

A big part of me is pretty cynical. I tend to look at things through a different gaze then most. I look at a lot of things in a bad light. Maybe that's from the years of work that I've done where I have to expect the unexpected. Maybe it's from looking at people as they walk up to the door and in less than a minute I need to decide if that person is going to be a problem. That's right, I have to make a judgment call on every person that walks up to the door. I have to decide if I think that person might start a fight or be too intoxicated to even come in.

Granted, this has nothing to do with intoxication or an anger assessment. After you do this type of work it just sticks with you and your every day life.

Now onto the conspiracy part. A conspiracy is known to be an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot. I wouldn't say that this conspiracy is necessarily an evil or treacherous thing. In fact, I think this nation needed a jump start. I think it needed a person of darker skin to take the reigns in order to let a few things come to an even playing field. Not to say that it's not close to that now but nothing is perfect.

I do believe there were no problems with this election. I noticed that all the votes were in much faster than ever I remember before. You could say that's due to the early voting but I could say that would be a good cover up.

I don't believe it was a landslide victory. I just believe that all the right states were reported at the right times in order to make it seem like it was. A stronger reason to make the public believe that they wanted this very badly. This done in hopes that it might help to stifle the thoughts of the weaker minded racist faction.

Part of me believes that the Republicans went with McCain and Palin because they knew the outcome. McCain is older and not so healthy. Palin's thinking is completely backwards. Her views on abortion, classroom sex education and book banning were all very backwards and old. Let's face it, a large portion of the public thought they had a lower mentality. Which could sum up to be an easier win for the good guys.

So in a way, a person could believe that this was all put together to try and make the people believe that they've taken back their government. When in reality, we have a new President but how many of the lawmakers in the rest of the government will go along with their ideals?

Now what if Obama hadn't won? If he had lost, would it have pushed the nation farther back into a racist state? Would there have been riots? I think all of that would have happened. In fact, I heard from a reliable source that there were McCain supporters that were beaten down just for voting for McCain. Which is asinine. I'd even venture to say that the people involved didn't even vote.

Would there have been another civil war? I doubt it but I do believe there would have been many riots and even more talks about how racist America is. Yet, after electing Obama it opens the door to many other nationalities to run for the Presidency. It allows the country to be more open to newer views.

So overall, if this was a giant conspiracy to make the nation more open, to make the people believe they regained control, or even to try and hide the mistakes from the last three Presidents; then maybe it was a good thing.

Next on the agenda? Maybe revoke NAFTA so we can get our jobs back and our nation's strength. Maybe a health system that can benefit people, like myself, that work 40 hours or more a week but can't get insurance through our work. Maybe more thought into solutions that will last decades or centuries rather than quick and inefficient.

Dreams can become reality. Yes, they can.


I've tried to keep up with this blog but I've not been doing a good job. There are still many that come here on a daily basis to see if there are updates. I've even received a few emails about this.

Over the years I've tried to make it a priority over other things but that's not working very well. Life has a way of being more demanding than we'd all like. So I'm opening it up to more interesting things and I'm not going to try and keep it focused on the main subject of the work that I do.

I'll be intertwining it with popular subjects and posting my thoughts. That's what this whole thing was based on from the beginning and if you can't change with your thoughts then you can't change at all. Maybe more things will come to light.

So as the nation banked on Change, so will I. More posts on the way.

Be safe.