Monday, April 24, 2006

Barriers

There is a phrase I was taught when training to work on the door and that was psychological barriers to communication. These are usually when some specific state of mind in a punter gets in the way of the message you are trying to put across. It can be their ego, their alchohol/drug influenced mind or their intent on pulling/having a good night/beating the crap out of someone. It does occur quite often but I have an arsenal of tricks to overcome this and usually they work.

I did encounter one gentleman on whom none of my usual tricks worked. Here's how it panned out. I was wandering about the club as I'm obliged to do and on returning from checking the darkest smelliest corner or our smallest most remote gents toilet I witnessed this lad, all five foot five of him aim his body at one of the pillars with a drinks shelf 'round it and after two failed efforts he managed to latch himself to it. Some other matter popped through the radio and I quickly popped over to see what was up. On my return three minutes later he was still propped where he had landed and seemed not to have moved a muscle. Far too drunk methinks and so I shuffled over and had my usual words.

"Y'alright there man?"
It's always best to ask something to see what level of numpty you're dealing with.
Him, no response. This despite the big ugly man taking up most of his field of vision.
A grasp of his shoulder and turn him towards me and a repeat of the previous,
"Y'alright man?"
"Yeah, I'm fine, just looking for my mates"
"Sir, I think you've had enough, it's time for you to leave."
"Nah man, I'm just waiting for my mates"
"Sir, you're leaving, make your way to the door"
"Why? I'm just waiting for my mates"
"You've had a good night, you need to leave, you're not in a fit state to stay in here."
I was quite suprised by how verbally coherent he was, clearly drunk from the neck down.
"I'm just waiting for my mates"
"Sir, you're leaving, now!"
"I'm waiting for my mates I'm fine"
Note the barrier, despite my persistent line he's just not getting it.
I place one hand on his shoulder and holding his jaw turn his head 'til he's looking me straight in the face and I repeat,
"You've had enough, you're leaving."
"I'm just waiting for my mates"

He's still not getting it and now one of the fabled mates turns up.
"You're mates had enough, it's time he was leaving" A point which the mate took on board in one effort and actually kept out of the way.
Time to put my arm aroundthis dimunitive punter and turn him towards the door. I toyed with pressing the radio and hauling him physically through the fire door but didn't think it was going to go that far so I held off.
"Sir you're leaving, get going"
"I was just waiting for my mates. Why?"
"I've told you already, you've had enough, you've had a good night, time to go."
"I was just waiting for my mates, no way"
"Make your way to the door now."

So with my arm around him and my hip half behind him I press him towards the door and with him possessing little or no control of his lower body he moves inexorably towards the front door.
"I was just waiting for my mates, you can't be kicking me out"
"You've had enough, you're going home"
By this point we've reached the front steps and with a draft of cold air and the egress through two rather large men the barrier to communicaiton is finally overcome and the ominous truth dawns on him he's been kicked out for being too drunk. It took a while but he got there.
"He's a fucking knob, he can't just kick me out"
were his parting thoughts to the two mildly amused front door lads who were hoping their rather quiet night would be picking up a bit.

As you can see, despite being reasonably coherent verbally and being told clearly and repeatedly what was hapenning and why he just couldn't get it into his brain.