Showing posts with label jobs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jobs. Show all posts

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.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Job Offers...

Every once in a while I get a few different job offers. Surprisingly they're usually from bands that I know or ones that are on the road. Usually they're just looking for someone to do all the heavy lifting but a lot of them want me to go with them as their personal security. I've entertained the idea and I've even talked to a couple of the bands about it. The deal breaker has always been the money.

When it comes down to traveling and going out on tour there's not much you really need to pay for besides fuel. Usually bands get food and drink at the venues that they play at. So you just need money for the days that they're not playing and any type of things you might want to do while in any certain locale. Then again, someone has to pay your normal bills such as rent, etc.

So when a band offers to take me on the road I put out the offer of how much money I need in order to do it. Money is always a very important factor and if the band isn't willing to sign a contract then the deal is off from the beginning. I have to watch my ass from the beginning because I'm going to be watching your ass the whole time we're on the road. Why? Because your paying me to be your babysitter.

They're also paying me to...
  • Keep them out of trouble.
  • Collect payments from shady club owners.
  • Lift heavy stuff as needed.
  • Drive if needed.
  • Sell merch if needed.
  • Handle money.
  • Make sure no bad ideas are made while intoxicated.
So yea, I'm gonna ask for more money than what I make now. Why not? I'm going to be cooped up in that same van or bus as you are. I'm going to be awake and securing the venue before you are. I'm basically going to be doing a lot more than just getting on stage and performing. Not too mention the number of illegal things that your going to want me to do for you as well.

So don't come to me and ask me to go on the road with you as your personal "bodyguard" unless your ready to shell out the money. The less money you put out the less your going to get out of me.

And if the contract says that I don't touch merch, don't drive or that I don't lift heavy things. I'll gladly tell you that when we're 3,000 miles from home and you have to pay for my flight back.

If I have a contract, I have the power to enforce it by a legal means. That doesn't necessarily mean that I have a lot of money but it means that things can get done.

I guess this is just a little reminder for the bands that think they're ready for the full staff experience. Full staff means more money out of your pocket. Don't think the label is going to pay for all the little things you want. The label will get it back in some way.

Friday, March 21, 2008


And there they stood. The few against the many. They knew that they did right and that's all they cared to know. The General was not there to lead them but they did it the way they knew how.

After all these years, Welcome to post #200. I know it took a while to get here but it's here.

A few years ago I was working in a concert venue. It was a slightly busy night and I was fairly new to the staff. Being the new guy I got the crap position. Well, they called it the crap position, to me it was the best seat in the house. It was the spot near the stage.

I thought it was the best spot because I got to see the show. I also got to be the one staff member to control the mosh pits and idiots. When I say one staff member I mean one staff member. I was the only person in the middle of a pit unless it got really sloppy. Which was one of the best feelings at the time.

I would step out into the pit and let it go. As soon as anyone touched me they got thrown out quickly. It usually entailed throwing them into a choke hold and dragging them behind me. If they're friend wanted to say anything or try to stop me then they would go under the other arm.

On one particular night there was a bigger problem. The band on stage brought up a friend from the crowd to help perform a song. As I watched the band pull him up from the front of the stage I had a feeling it was going to be a problem. The friend was very drunk.

After a few verses he was starting to jump around on stage and lose his balance. Next thing you know he trips and he gets caught by the audience. They push him back up and I walk out into the crowd. As I turn to look around I catch a glimpse of him running towards the front of the stage.

He stage dives.

No one catches him.

So I do what I believe is right. I grab him, make sure he's awake and check him out. He's fine. So I hook him under the arm pit and brace his forearm and I start walking him to the back door. Yes, I'm throwing him out for the night.

From behind me someone grabs my shirt. They start pulling me back. Then I feel another set of hands grab my other shoulder. I start to get pulled down. I step backwards and swing my open arm back, hoping that my elbow will make contact with who ever is pulling on me. It didn't and I lost balance. The drunk idiot and I both go down.

The two men that pulled me back started helping their friend get back up. Then the calvary arrived. Two former employees came out of the crowd and grabbed the guys that pulled me down. I once again grabbed the drunk idiot. As we started ushering the three out, more of their friends came out of the crowd. As more of them came out, more of us came out. Security, bartenders, barbacks, and even the sound guys all came running.

Next thing you know it was 12 -15 people all wrestling each other for control. Punches were thrown, police were called and people were arrested. The band even stopped playing during it all.

Half an hour before it all started the Head Doorman, TD, had gone home early because it was a mediocre night. He didn't think anything was going to happen. The next day when TD and I worked together he complimented me on a job well done. He also said that he wouldn't be going home too early on any more shifts that I worked.

Later down the road, I'd find out that those men were the security staff from a different venue. I also found out that they were all fired from their venue. The owner of that venue found out about the incident and didn't care for how they represented him.

It was my second shift at this venue. It proved to be one of the funnest venues I've worked at so far.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Winter time brings on many adoring things that everyone loves. The flu, common cold, coughing, sneezing and headaches. It's such a wonderful thing when your stuck outside of a doorway and it's raining or snowing and 30 degrees.

No matter what you wear there's really no way to protect yourself from sickness. If your lucky the establishment will put a heat lamp out for you. If it's like any other place, they don't care because your just a mindless brute that likes the job.

Needless to say, I'm sick. The good news is that this is my one time to be sick all year. It's very rare that I ever get sick. Of course this is also the time when I prove the point that I've said to many other doormen that have worked for me.

"Your never to sick to stand outside a door."

The only time your too sick to stand in a doorway and card people is when your heading to the emergency room at the local hospital. Why do I say this? If your too sick to come to work then your well off enough to not bitch about not having enough money. If you can handle taking the few days off due to being sick then you have the money to do it.

A typical sickness lasts more than a day. So if you take one day off from work you might as well take three. Just to make sure you get over it. Then if you bitch about having so many days off it's your problem, not mine. I honestly don't care, I'll work those days and keep the money.

So yea, I have enough mucus coming out of me in the past few days to fill a tub. I wish I could sell this stuff by the pint. I think I'd be a millionaire by now..

Still at it though.

Be safe.

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.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Shift Pick Ups...

Lately I've been picking up a few more shifts at a couple places. I've been pretty bored so I figure the best thing to do is just work. Even if it's doing the same thing over and over day and night. After all, how else am I going to afford that 74" flat panel high definition television?

Wait... Do they even make them that big?

One of the biggest differences I've noticed from working nights that I don't usually work are the people. It's a different crowd of people that show up on my off nights then the nights that I do work. It's a lot of people asking where Matt is and giving me the "Matt doesn't card me" spiel. Which, after you hear it a hundred times, gets really annoying and people get the "Show your i.d. or leave" answer. Which in a sense is good because now next week, when Matt gets back, he'll hear about how much of an asshole I am and how great he is from his regulars.

"Matt never cards me." The girl sets her purse down on my chair and starts to dig through it looking for her i.d.

"Sorry, need to see it because I don't know you."

She stops looking through her purse and looks up at me, "I don't think I have it with me."

"Come back when you have it."

"That's ridiculous, Matt knows me and always lets me in without carding me."

"No i.d., no entry. Bye."

It's great working different nights sometimes as well. The nights are slower and there's a lot less hassles. There are times that I wish I worked those nights but I know I'd get really bored really quick. A bored Mike is a Mike that looks for something else to do. So I guess it's probably in my best interest to not work the slower nights. Occasionally is fine with me.

The slower nights means I basically just sit on a stool inside the door and read the captions to what ever is on the t.v. Sometimes I catch up on some reading and if it's really slow there's the chance of playing scrabble or chess. It's rarely that slow though.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Nights off...

Having nights off is a good thing. Not knowing what to do with yourself isn't so much fun. There's a limited amount of things you can do when your used to a certain schedule. When you work in the nightlife industry for a long time and it's your only form of employment (besides odd jobs here and there) you tend to stick to a reverse schedule.

A reverse schedule is just that; you sleep during the day and you get up in the afternoon. Also known as a Vampire's schedule. When you do it long enough you can tell if the person next to you at the grocery store does it as well. You become pale because you rarely see the sun and you get annoyed with people a lot easier. Then again, sometimes it's hard to tell. There are a lot of cokeheads that are in the bar industry that can stay up for days on end and they're the ones with the tans and the happy disposition.

I remember when I first started working in the club scene and there was a "company picnic". Which just meant all the employees got together at the local park and we played softball, cooked out and everyone drank and sat around. I sat there and looked around wondering how all these people could actually get out there and run around. Not only that, they seemed like they were happy to be out there doing it at 10am after half of us had just locked the doors to the establishment at 5am. I stayed up to make it and stayed there just long enough to make my appearance and leave. I ate a couple hot dogs, said my hello's and then I was out of there.

On my way back to my car I saw Kate, Casper and a couple others sitting on a tailgate. I walked over and said my hello's. As I got closer I saw Kate put something down between her and Casper pretty quick. We talked a little while and that's when Stewart walked up and said hello. Then he reached down between the two and Kate grabbed his arm and looked towards me. Stewart looked over at me and asked, "Hey Mike, you don't mind do ya?" Then Stewart pulled up a little brown container and started unscrewing the little cap to it.

I looked at the container and realized what it was. It was a little brown vial used commonly for cocaine. I just stood there looking at the group and said, "Nah man, do what you gotta do." I then turned and walked away.

Then it started making sense how half these people who hadn't slept were able to keep going. It never really made sense to me before. I've been asked a hundred times since then if I "party" and the answer has always been the same. "No." I don't party and I don't see the reason for it. I've seen plenty of good people torn apart because of it though.

So now I'm in the habit that when someone does come up and ask me if I party at work, I throw them out. If they come up with some retarded reasoning behind what they say then I just tell them that I don't like their shoes or something just as retarded for my reason for throwing them out.

Granted, I know a few doorguys that actually sell drugs. They do it because it's a very easy way to make extra cash while at work. Typically they get fired when the management finds out but it also depends on if the management is one of their customers.

So now that I've rattled off on a tangent...

Nights off are pretty boring since my schedule is the opposite. Sometimes I just jump in my car and drive, sometimes I just sit at home and do what ever needs to be done here.

In a few weeks I think a lot will be changing for me personally. Maybe I'll be getting some of that sun I've been missing out on for the past how ever many years. Cut my schedule down at the establishment and get one of those jobs that has insurance and such perks that I've missed out on.

Should be an interesting change.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Frankie the Chic II...

So on the rare occasion that I actual get to sit at home and enjoy a night of absolutely nothing, the phone rings.

"Hey Mike, Frankie here."

"Oh hey man, how's it going?"

"Pretty good man. How's things?"

"Good. I'm guessing you got my contract?"

"Yea.... I got it and gave it to my manager."

"He didn't go for it huh?"

"Yea... not so much. He said that he thought your price was a little high so I thought I'd give you a call and see what we could do."

"I tell ya what Frankie. Tell your manager to come up with what he wants me to do and what he wants to pay me and I'll come up with a counter offer. That's the best I can do. I'm already cheaper than any professional guys he could hire."

"Well yea, he said that but he said the label just wouldn't go for that type of expense."

"Well, send me his offer and we go from there. Easy enough."

"Ok man, I'll talk to him and see."

"Alright Frankie. I'll talk to you soon."

As much as I would like to go out on the road with a band I'm not doing it out of faith. I'm doing it so I can go out on the road and make money, just like everyone else that does the type of job they do. As much as I'd like to go out and do what ever I want to do without consequence, I can't. I have bills to worry about just like everyone else.

There are advantages to knowing guys who actually go out on tours and do this type of work. I know what they charge and what duties they have. I know when I'm low balling my fees and in turn I know when the label wants to think I'm a novice. This also gives me a good idea whether the label thinks the band is actually worth sinking the money into them.

All in all. It doesn't really matter to me if I get the job or not. It'd be nice to get away and go on the road. I'd end up with a lot more stories to tell and it'd probably be a really good time. I'm not going to lose money or sleep over it though.

I just didn't have the heart to tell Frankie that his label isn't going to pay for a "bodyguard" no matter how cheap I became. So I'll wait til the offer comes and refuse it. Then he'll forget about it and everything runs smooth. No need to put reality in his face when he's riding his 15 minutes of fame.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Frankie the Chic?...

When you work in a bar long enough you tend to meet just about every person that comes in on a regular basis. In some way you know each person that comes in. Usually they're just clones of the people that came in 5 minutes before. Every one fits in their own little niche.

Then there's the person that comes up and starts talking to you and asking questions. Then asks questions that are a little more personal than you like. Then you realize, you know this person but you thought this person was a guy.

"Wait.. wait.. hold on, Frankie?"

"Yea man, who'd you think?"

"Honestly man, I thought you were a chic."

Frankie's mouth dropped open, "What?!"

"Man, look at you. Your hairs all done up, your skinny as shit and what's up with all this make up crap on your face?"

"Well, the record went well. The label's PR guy said that if we did a few changes with ourselves that we'd get better exposure and more sales."

"Yea but come on..."

"Hey Mike, I'm still me just with a different cover. You always said don't judge a book..."

"by it's cover. Yea, yea, that was me, not so much me anymore. The job doesn't really offer much for that anymore."

"Yea I guess. You ever thought of getting out of this?"

"It's crossed my mind a couple times."

"Well, we're going to be going out on a big tour soon. Ever thought about being security for a band?"

"It's been offered a couple times but no one wants to pay me what it's worth."

"I bet we could."

"Well, check it out and let me know. I'll figure out what I need and email you the contract."

"Contract? We don't need a contract, we won't screw ya."

"Frankie, in this business there's always a contract."

Voice from inside the bar, "Francis!! Come on, I got your drink."

"Alright Mike, I gotta go. Let me know what's up and I'll get back to you about it."

"Will do."

Contracts are a great thing to have when it comes to personal security. You lay down your price and the responsibilities and then go from there. Offer - Counteroffer and so on.

When it comes to traveling and going on tour I don't trust anyone. I get a contract that way I don't get left behind somewhere. I'm gonna watch my ass first and then yours after you decide you want me to.

I'm definitely not putting on make up and doing my hair in a special way for you though.