Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tips Bribes and favours

Now a fellow doorman from over the pond has been writing about name dropping and getting kick backs. This is one of those areas where your judgement really has to be sound.
We've been having some minor grief from punters turning up at the door from a specific warm up bar and saying "Mike from the P***er" knows them and can they get in for free. Now Mike (not his real name) did work at the P***er and will ask to let some selected staff from there in after they've finished work. This kind of favour is expected and promotes good business. What isn't expected is staff at the P***er to tell any punter they like to use Mike's name to get in for gratis. They don't get in for nowt, our management make sure of it.

As an aside, our retribution for this flagrant abuse of name is that we send all of our too drunk to come in folk down to them and hopefully they'll get the point. Whilst on this aside, when working the gay night we get the doormen from a nearby bar sending their waifs, strays and folk they don't like our way to give us a laugh.

Now when queues are long and slow we often get folk trying to circumvent the tedious wait and drop names on the door. "I'm a friend of Jacks" or the like, now the fact that Jack used to work here once upon a time at least 3 years ago and was at least 2 management companies past makes this style of attempt a little shoddy. Sometimes the connection to a current doorman does exist but can be as tenuous as I'm his hair-dressers boyfriend. Mostly these things are ignored and they queue just like the rest of our lovely punters. Occasionally you bother to radio them to the door and find out they don't know Dave from Adam and there's an even slighter chance of getting in than if they'd bothered queing instead of taking the mick.

Some folk think a pecuniary advantage will secure them entry, this is possible. Paying the doorman enough money to let him do what's in his discretionary powers is an option, though many a punter comes unstuck when they find out that, just because they've paid their way in, they haven't bought the place and certain rules still apply. They do seem most upset when the doorman, two notes better off, who whisked them past the queue in the rain , objects to the snorting of coke off the table or grabbing of our bar staffs tits.

In my experience this side of the pond, unlike in the service and tipping culture over there, it's best to let those who want to pay to wait like the rest of them. You'll often see that when they can't bribe their way in they turn into very obnoxious people and reduce their chances of entry to zero. If they think that they can buy their way in and buy doormen, they're probably not the sort you'd want in most nights. I'd far rather give a favour to regular, no trouble customers than a one off, cash rich, irregular. If I screw up and let in a proper numpty it could easily be my job, at least with favours to regulars the management know the value of £50 every single week fifty two weeks of the year.

There will be more on this shortly.