Monday, February 27, 2006

All quiet

on the western front. I’m not sure whether the doors I work on face west or not but perhaps on the western front there were stretches that faced in every ordinal direction.

All of the fun it seems has been going off elsewhere. The change of company has brought with it a change of staff at certain venues and whilst these have been bedding in the punters of a certain ilk have been wreaking havoc. Unfortunately I’ve had a very dull weekend of it.

Normally a good shout with some adrenalin lifting experience at the end can lift the anti-social work slump that hits the smaller hours of the weekend when seen sober. The gossip that follows and there is always some morbid entertaining to be had from discussion of the bruising and other less visible ailments accrued in the line of duty.

Alas, I spent the time checking twenty year olds IDs. They all had them and the photo’s weren’t even that entertaining. Limited to no flirting opportunities were only recovered from by the decent conversation from my co-worker.

Oh well, I’ll have to wait ‘til next weekend to see whether I’ll be dancing my size 12s around swinging punters or whether I’ll be slowly wearing a rut into the doorstep with them as I stand around and do nothing. Oh well, at least I’m getting paid to do nothing. All the while I’m hoping to get the punters in to make me earn my wage. Bizarre but what constitutes a good night at work.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The little fella

Now often you hear about how folk need to stand up for the little fella'. Apparently this is because the little fella can't stand up for himself. Don't be deceived.

There are fella's both little and big who can't stand up for themselves. In my line of work this effect is usually the body's response to a week's worth of sensible drinking packed into a couple of hours. There are however the little ones who do know how to stand up for themselves and this can lead to some very interesting circumstances.

A former fellow doorman who is very small indeed managed to suprise most of the drunken fools he encountered with his combination of bravado, certainty and the secret knowledge that he could maim most folks without giving them the time to notice. This skill set provided hours of mirth for us as time and again we'd get to see the drunk male's IQ test being performed as follows...

Little fella steps in between large doorman and medium sized very angry punter.
Large doorman smiles, little fella looks stern, punter looks up at smiling big doorman and then down to stern little doorman.

This is the bit where the IQ is tested. The smile on the big fella's face should send the cogs whirring and the punter questioning whether it may be a bad idea to attempt a pop at the little fella.
Those who don't find the penny dropping and think they've been given a free swing at a much smaller punchbag find themselves dropping and don't think much beyond that.

On occasion this situation can be witnessed between punters in their native state. That state is pissed up and brawling. On a rare occasion a doorman will face this same IQ test and thankfully only the very stupid ones fail the test when sober and with plenty of other options.

Nothing changes

Apparently the new company's tie will not suit our current shirts without looking like a neapolitan so we've been spared that change. All is good.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

All change

For the 4th time working in this city on the same venues I'm now working for a new company.
There seems to be an if it aint broke fix it approach to door companies with a perpetual, the grass is greener with us sales pitch. If a change of company brought with it an influx of new management, new policies and changes in working practices then maybe this would actually be something to herald. As it is, all it means is a new name on the payslip and possibly a new clip on tie. The problem is rooted in the finite number of suitably qualified folks living in a given place. This city has a finite and fairly steady number of watering holes calling upon a finite and fairly steady number of doorfolk to regulate these. Doorfolk come and go, venues open and close but the numbers are roughly stable. The same faces work the same doors for years at a time. This is a good thing for most management as the doorstaff know the regulars, the trouble makers and the distribution of the clientele and can save a lot of time and effort through this.

When a new company rolls into town, we don't get mass redundancies and lines of ex-doorfolk lining up at the jobcentre plus for cv makeovers. Instead we get the same folk working the same doors dealing with the same punters week after week with only a new clip on tie for their efforts and the confused look of the punters who recognise the change. Who'd have thought they'd pay so much attention to our ties.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The otha arf

Now working all the unsociable hours is a perk of work in the entertainment industry. While sheperds watch their flocks by night and everyone else without a tagging order gets themselves out and socialising, I'm getting showered and changed for a sober boring night watching over drunkeness, violence and vomit. This absence of a weekend night free and the ever present licensing laws mean I seldom get the chance to drink fine wines, discourse on matters of the world then shake my tail feather like a randy pig having a seizure.

On one such rare evening I encountered a very sweet and mad individual who after the progress of time became know colloquially as my, otha arf. Now with great good fortune I've been able to maintain the relationship to date without the pressures of never having any time to go out and socialise. I've been provider of food and knock up a lip smackingly good meal with little notice though exclusively enjoyed without the bacchanal pleasures due to inevitably a work engagement later in the evening. The reason for the ease of this relationship is the otha arf's employment. The wonderful world of liquid based entertainment enhancement technician is where the otha arf is employed. Bar staff to you or I. Late nights, the smell of stale beer and cigarettes in our hair, a distinct lack of rising for early mornings and a free exchange of drunken punter tales is proving a suitable combination.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Bring it...

As a man who very often stands between drunken people and their desires I often get abuse. The vast majority of folk tend to restrict it to verbal abuse. This is partly because I work in a team of folk who all cover each others backs and partly because any facial rearrangement would only be an improvement.

I get all sorts of ingenious abuse, from an Italian giving me a Nazi salute and calling me a fascist to having a shoe thrown at my head. Sadly I can’t report whether it really hurts, it was poorly thrown and I get out of the way very quickly for a big ‘un. Most of the time the abuse is quite frankly boring ranging from “you fat c$%t” to “you fat c%$t”. Occasionally remarks are made about us being on a power trip, which when you’ve just had to reject/eject someone I can appreciate. We have the power.

Those in my line of work are frequently accused of being thick. This is a universal assumption from all of our punters, not just the troublesome ones. I enjoy the fact that I can get a good conversation from the people I work with. They have between them in excess of 15 years at university and a diverse range of day jobs from full time security to lecturer. Not universally thick, we’re probably just bored of listening to you and we will have heard it all before.

None of this really bothers me. I’ve had folk saying they know where I live and they’ll come round and kill me/shoot me/kneecap me/do me in. I always think this is a very pleasant means of expressing your dislike for me and thankfully no-one I work with knows where I live apart from the lass in the office and that’s only to keep the tax man happy. If you know where I work you could always offer to come back at the end of the night and “sort me out” though considering the number of us, the drunkenness of you and the sheer level of pent up violence coursing through a doorman’s veins at the end of an evening, you’ll likely find that baseball bat very uncomfortably placed for wearing anything other than a surgical gown.

It is amazing how many people think that telling you their name and where they live whilst making these threats is a good idea. It helps me as I’m always bad at putting names with faces. It helps the police too when they roll on to another place and sharply commit a more serious offence.

To conclude, I am fat, I am not gay/homophobic/sexist/racist/stupid/criminal/thug/f*ck/c%$t. If you want to insult me please make me laugh, a good insult will not get you back in but will keep us chuckling for a long while.
You’re so f*cking ugly your girlfriend makes you to do her up the arse just so she doesn’t have to look at you!

Monday, February 6, 2006

Great expectations

What do you expect from your night on the tiles? Are you after finding the love of your life in an ‘our eyes met across a crowded room’ kind of way? Are you after the love of your night ‘plenty of condoms and no sleep `til daybreak’? Are you after a drink with friends and the chance to shake your tail feather in an amusing way in company that knows to laugh with you and not at you? Or are you looking for the chance to buy/sell drugs/‘get proper pished’/have a scrap/do someone in/get arrested?

If you answered all but the latter you’re likely welcome into our fine establishment, we can’t guarantee you’ll find love or that your friends will be laughing with you not at you, but we hope to be the place where you can try. If you’re after the latter things go elsewhere or you’ll find we’re bad value for money and only likely to be able to provide a quick route to the street with a follow up blue light taxi.

This week I’ve found myself saying “I think it’s time you went home now” to a lot of folk and only a few didn’t take my opinion to heart. One proceeded to try and talk me into submission which is sadly all too common a ploy. This is where having been sat in training courses entitled ‘4 days of how to suck eggs’ has prepared me both physically and mentally for the job. Though I’m sure I didn’t think it was doing me any good at the time. I digress.

The exit began with a “Before you kick me out can I just say…” followed by a “No! you’ll only manage to bore me” before a swift delivery to the street and a long walk home in the cold where I’m sure he’ll have told every passing stranger how unjustly treated he’s been. Hopefully getting ignored or slapped for his efforts.

The other case to note was a large but generally cordial fellow who felt the ravages of beer a little too strongly and was putting tremendous effort at falling asleep. He once roused with the now classic line “I think it’s time you went home now” proceeded to sit reclined and debate the issue with such classics as, “I’m fine, just tired” and “I just need a quick sleep” to which the response inevitably was “No sir, you’re leaving now.” To which he vaguely considered being violent. This would have been entertaining given the size and apparent build of the man but beer had reduced him to the strength of a 12year old girl. Any way whilst grabbing firmly hold of the man his friend intervenes with a very pleasant surprise. “Mate, go on home, we’ll want to come back tomorrow and you don’t want to get yourself barred.” And promptly whisked the big pisticated lump off to the front door and true to his word stopped the big one from being barred. All in all a bout of unselfish, considerate behavior from a punter who I’d have put past such thinking by that stage of the evening.
Proving a good friend is a valuable commodity, especially when the power of speech has ascended from you and large evil men in long coats are descending.

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Any questions?

Not the prequel to a very poor piece of saturday afternoon radio but a chance for you to ask anything you ever wanted to know about the toe-to-toe job I do.
I won't be able to shed any light onto the "Why did they kick me out when all I did was...?" type question though I'll probably have a chuckle if you're honest about it and not give a sh*t if you're not.

Passing and out

Every now and then in the darkest corners of the darkest nightspot after more than a few too many units of alcohol some of our valued and friendly clientele take it upon themselves to bed in for the night. Some voluntarily, others by this point having lost any control over their free will.

We clip on tied creatures of the night normally find these folk on our wanderings around the place on our usual checks and we know where to be looking for those napping. The human creature seems to have a common sense of where's a good place to stop for a nap and where is not a good place to stop for a nap. Common sense however is not present in the pickled minds of some of our punters. The roosting spots of drink addled minds can be quite befuddling and on a rammed out weekend night they can be very hard to find. The best finds to date have included a lady found sleeping, sat on a ledge, head in hands on the main dancefloor propped against a bass bin, similarly a lady was found squatted unconscious in the space usually reserved for the swing of the double doors she was propped next to. To add a curious insult to our beloved bar staff there has been a gentleman propped at the bar sound asleep, clearly the wait for his next beverage proved to long and the teasing view of the harassed, sweating, nubile young ladies serving failed to keep him out of the land of nod.

What do we do when first we encounter a sleeping beauty? Well we usually shout a hello to the nice folk and hope they can hear us, if they can they may be able to pull themselves together enough to keep inside the venue. Some require a gentle shake and a stand well back, the punters occasional retort to being disturbed from their inebriated dreams being to redistribute some of their hard spent liquid wages upon all and sundry. This or any other response is usually accompanied by a "Time to head home now" and the offer of assistance, usually accepted, to help them to the door. The ones who don't wake up lead to a whole new level of concern, a quick pulse check to assure ourselves and if it's not racing like desert orchid or wallowing like an Orangeman’s slow march we proceed. With no response to verbal or light physical stimulation a gentle pain response is tried, even the most extremely hammered lump will likely respond to a firm pinch on the back of the hand or a twisted earlobe. We're not looking for them to bounce awake and start normalising Schrödinger’s wave equations but some movement/noise/vomit/change in gormless expression lets us know the brain is still in gear, reverse maybe, but still in gear. I’ve found that if there's a response to a little pain, a return to full consciousness can be achieved with a good knuckle crunched into the sternum. May leave a funny U.D.I. in the morning but it's always better to walk out than be carried, especially when you're nearer 20 stone than 6

This is when the radio call goes out to get enough muscle to extract the unconscious individual to the fresh air of outside and only if there's no recovery will the blue lighted drunk kidnappers be summoned to poke, prod and give a bed for the night to our punter. If their pulse is worrying or their brain has fallen completely out of gear then we'll call the drunk kidnappers and let them pick up the fools and cover our arses for getting them into this state. Now all of this is what I think the non-thinking punter expects from us though you'd be surprised at the number of folk who think that in our rush to take money from our punters and keep it from the hands of lawyers and their settlements we should let sleeping punters lie. We take a different view and the cold night air has remarkable restorative properties for those conscious impaired amongst the hordes.