Wednesday, May 31, 2006

All done

Well that's done and dusted and I can breath a sigh of relief, 'til the next event of note arrives in the calendar.

Some of my colleagues have landed themselves in shit deep enough to need waders after screwing up at work. Thankfully I was off working for another club that night and have as a result kept myself unblemished. There's quite a few handbags being swung and it's not a pretty sight.

The mental image of the folk I work with in floral dresses swinging their handbags at each other is one I must cherish for the more stressful bits of my life.

All of the shennanigans, including my shuffling off to cover some shifts at another club on the door-companies books, are to do with the serious lack of doorfolk in this city. The training costs £400 and very few folk are willing to spend that on a career they don't know if they'll like doing.
Few employers will lay out that in one lump for the possibility that the one lump they've spent it training remains exactly that and not a useful member of a door team somewhere. This leaves it to wannabes and those with friends in the game. Not enough new folk coming in and always a few folk leaving, it's getting daft.


Oh well, time to ask for a payrise.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Joy, oh joy

The long weekend is nigh and I'm off to get some pre-emptive sleeping done. Hopefully I'll not get too tired/wound up/bored/hungry too early. However well I do by the end of the shift on early monday morning I'll no doubt be in the mood to rip the heads off babies and other such pleasantries.

I'm probably one of the few folk who would far prefer it to rain all weekend and thus make my life quieter. Instead of a 14 hour beer garden to pub to club session it'd be sitting in watching the telly with a crate of wifebeater and a take-away.

A friend asked me if I got extra pay for working anti-social hours. I simply replied I was a doorman.
By it's very nature I work when most folk are out having fun and being social. I by my very nature seem to be anti-social.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Suprised

In then middle of going toe-to- toe with a group of lads for 5 minutes of "We're coming in", "No you're not" type exchanges you don't expect a passing lady to barge through the tighly packed crowd of people and ask straight out for your phone number. Not a silly teenage girl but a thirty-ish well dressed lady at the end of her night out. It broke the mood somewhat and we were all laughing at the state of redened face this caused.

Even more suprising after this laughter and her polite rebuff came a resumption of the toe-to-toe conflict for a few minutes more of clashing perpectives. It was like players stopping for oranges segments during a street fight. Not something at all expected but then it had been one hell of a weird night.

Cat-fight

Once more I've been risking my good looks and physical well-being by wading in bravely between two women who collectively weigh less than me. Then using all the strength and skill I possess to forcibly separate them. Only a few hair extensions missing this time and doubtless some quality forensic evidence under both parties finger nails.

Unfortunatley when two ladies of average stature start to fight they invariably reach out, talons unfurled and attempt to scratch or slap then grabbing hair they retreat. This retreat brings both of their heads well below the height at which they would remain visible in the dancing throng, even by a big bloke one step up. So inevitably I miss the preamble and just have to wade in.

Now I believe in equality, even for useless females. I treat all scrapping drunken punters with regard only to their physical size, their level of inebriation, my level of tedium and the ease of getting them out of the nearest exit. Considering their individual sizes I just grabbed and ran. The other lads were on their way to deal with the aftermath but I was heading doorwards, one tucked up in one arm, their feet flailing, the other hand clearing the throng. Not graceful but effective and amply illustrated the power balance of the situation. Good clear demonstrations of power often de-escalate situations as the brain starts to tell the adrenaline flight is the better half of the pair when long term immobility is a serious option.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Out of toon

For some reason, I can't find the will power to deduce, this city gets seasonal influxes of groups from the industrial north east. They arrive by train or hired coach and proceed to stagger around town from one new pub experience to another in groups of about 20, wearing the smart end of casual clothing and being louder than a bunch or horny howler monkeys. Dropping bottles taken from the last bar on the pavement to likey smash. Singing very loudly and coarsely. Swearing, staggering and piggy backing down the streets as they progress to the next piss stop.

The ladies do this too but in less noisy gaggles, usually throwing in some shopping along with the drinking. It's left to the men of these north eastern industrial towns to wave the banner, sing the songs and generally let anyone within 200 yards know they're in town and intent on having fun. When I visit a city I like to gain some insight on each trip as to the place. Whether it's a visit to a sports ground or just a womble round the city centre, I like to enhance my knowledge of the place. I can't see any mertis to shuffling round a city from big chain pub to big chain pub. The piss light big brand lager here is much like the big brand piss light lager at home ya kno lads.

I don't like letting large groups in. I don't like letting loud groups in. I much prefer sending them to the anonymous large chain pubs which have the capacity and lack of atmosphere to not have it ruined by the presence of 20 pissed up smog living folk. I don't know a licencee in the city who likes their behaviour and the only thing welcome from them is their money and their departure.

If this sounds like an unreasonable gripe against a group of drinkers broadening their horizons consider all of the above happening at 2pm on a busy shopping saturday. Their bellows superinposed on the sounds of a city going about it's first day of the weekend.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Evil in bottles



Why oh why do people drink alcopops? These bright coloured abominations are so far from what a drink should be that the advertising genii who make punters desire these must have really pulled one out of the bag. The colouring, flavouring, sugar and caffeine all combined in one bottle should just not be drunk.

The alcohol level is not very high allowing them to avoid punitive duty in the uk. Their way of achieving the drunkeness required in punters to keep drinking these foul brews is to lace them with enough chemicals to send you gasping for more fluid while disrupting your body's metabolism to such an extent that the reduced alcohol level still gets you plastered.

The effects of which all come crashing down the morning after.
Waking to find your mouth, stomach and throat pickled by the pungent blend. You then finding the sugar has left your system, leaving in its wake the artificial colourings and flavourings that disguise the cheap alcohol which has cunningly converted overnight into eye-stabbing methanol in your blood stream.

Note to self: Stick to beer in future, it may be bad for the lean mean slimmer doorman machine but it's a better morning after.

ps. Thanks to you folk out there for reading this. Comment if there's ought you want to know more about.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Politic

This weekend I've been shunted to a bar that really gets on my tits. It's city centre, small, exclusive and privately owned. This should make my life alot easier.

Being city centre, there's enough passing trade to allow you to be exclusive in your admission policy, the punters realise this and those inside are thankful that the chavs, scrotes and scum have to drink elsewhere.

It's small enough that it takes only two door staff. Enough for conversation, also no need to be chatting shite continously. The two rooms can both be watched from the front door with only a minor sidestep either way. The cctv is high quality as is the general feel of the place, not a dive by any standards.

It's privately owned, which means a massive flexibility of stock makes for both good value product and plenty of choice. The bar staff are employed on a long-term basis and give the impression that they know what they're doing. All these things should make for a wonderful night's work.

But no, the sole owner likes to stick his oar in and on his fleeting visits slaps his foot down. Unfortunately he usually forgets to make sure he's not slamming his oxford brogue into a steaming turd. This is why I and another had to be drafted in this weekend as the previous doorfolk had spat the dummy and gone elsewhere. We had the joys of rejecting unsavoury, drunken folk who it turned out after length were mates with the owner and promptly phoned him up and he then got us to admit them. This does happen from time to time and you just kind of roll with it. When we're given a strict appearance and sobriety level to adhere to on our door we do it. It keeps the customers a more homogenous bunch with similar expectations of their night out. When we have to let in obviously bad apples it makes life a whole lot harder for everyone and makes very poor economic sense.

Oh well, I just keep my head down and pretend to look happy. If you ever see me looking genuinely pleased it's usually that the bars just shut and I'm edging closer to my burger. When a chance to jump ship presents itself I'll be first over the gunwales and off to sunnier climes.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Stoodents

They're back and they're drunk and they seem to spend very little per head.

Maybe their loans haven't come in yet, or more likely the cheque from the parents hasn't cleared but they still fill out the place to capacity. The student night admission fee is small but they seem to spend even less inside. It's a night of picking drunken students off the floor and herding them to the exits trying to avoid any bright purple vomit they've covered themselves in.

Their night seems to involve, waking up in time to catch the later edition of neighbours, eating toast/toasties/beans/yesterday's pizza, drinking a few cans, then drinking a few more cans, maybe get together in a subsidised student bar and get some shots, catch a bus into town along with 45 other equally inebriated fellow students, two scared sober folk and one increasingly irate driver. On arrival in town it's time to head to a cattle market bar on their quiet midweek promotions and drink discounted economy spirits in excessively large measures. Then after two or three of these identical looking places, with no doubt a different colour of alchopop in each, they stumble towards our door.

It's then that the sad economics of having a nightclub premises, which can only take money for five hours a night and can only make money when those five hours have enough punters in, kick in. It's a midweek, most regular, working and moneyed folk know not to go and have a big night on a school-night, so we're left with either the dregs or students. Thankfully they opted for students. The cleaners bill maybe more in the morning but how else can you get hundreds of folk eager to stand in a queue outside, waiting for an hour 'til we find the space to let them in, all to pay us their un-earned money.

This is all fine and dandy, but do they have to be such pricks about dealing with the staff. The mindset clearly goes, "I'm in Uni and therefore smarter than you" which may possibly be true, but I'm the one who works here and don't have to put up with you. Not even for one second. Now go back to your middle class parents and whine to them because I don't give a monkey's.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Summer Sun

Now that the seasons appear to have shifted to the days of burnt grass, sweat patches and the occasional cloud I'm becoming most perplexed at working these new later hours.

With the new licences only coming in last autumn, well after the clocks changed, I didn't notice the change but now the days are lengthening and the birds are breeeding I do. I'm finding that when I want to get to sleep after a night of watching other folk have drunken fun the skies are already lightening and the birds are up and getting territorial already.

In the good old days when everything, including the free pint after the last punter left, was done by midnight it would only be the nightingales and owls making noises to keep you awake. Then suddenly more and more places ran later and later. I get used to the milkfloats buzzing past me on my way home but it's a real pain in the arse to try and get to sleep when the world is becoming brighter and louder by the minute.

Yes I could get black out curtains and could sleep with ear-plugs but I like having fresh air to sleep in and sunlight to wake up to. Given time I'm sure adjustment could be perfectly possible but when you only do 3 nights a week then back to 9-5's all the rest it does really build up.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Being set up I

Doorfolk like to wind people up. We mock the afflicted and seek inordinate pleasure from the mishaps that befall the drunken fools we see. This may be a self defence mechanism against the almost intolerable boredom that standing sober watching other people have fun brings about.

Being the only bloke left on the door as a herd of drunken men from out of town roll down the street intent on entering is seen as poor form, but when this is the inadvertent result of having 5 staff gathered in the gents toilet to laugh/jeer/humiliate/escort from the premises punters, as a spitroast is rudely broken up is just unlucky. More amusing to me, when the story was fully explained, was the piggy-in-the-middle fleeing half dressed, half cut and half dead from shame straight through the rabble of rejected gents where in a moment of serendipity they offered to carry on the roasting.

Still not as fun as trying to kick the transvestite out of the gents only to turn around and find all of the remaining staff bent double at the horrified look on my face as I sharply made my retreat. I've since repeated this trick on newer members of staff much to everyones amusement. The poor he-she must be wondering just how often we check the loos.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Yoof

Though none of our punters should be in the youth courts the kind of low level persistent grind of petty stupidity noted by a criminal solicitor seems to be visible everywhere. I don't like putting on the tory-vision backwards looking rose tinted spectacles but I'm sure the upsurge in criminal youth and the assiciated disorder is a new phenomena.

The general lack of understanding of the world outside their own small sphere and the consequences of their actions upon others can only be from a combination of home, school and peer group conditions. I see them every night I work and depending upon the venue I can reject them with ease or have to suffer their stupidity. The simple yet revolting things like spitting on the floor or putting cigarettes out on tables, not ashtrays, are one sign of it. The other more violent end is the ability to get into scraps with folk without any awareness of their actions consequences.

I think in a post-thatcherite UK there is a greater separation between action and consequences in the minds of today's youth and it's time to buckle up your seatbelts and hold on tight as it's only gonna get worse as the little blighters start to drive/breed/work for you/work with you/vote.

How many times

I see from the blog of a UK policeman that it's not only me who has concerns over the drunken use of consent. When you've spent your last few quid on the essential kebab and not the taxi-for-one you can make very poor decisions.

I see this every night I work and I can't really lay the blame, as others would suggest, at the door of the predatory/more sober/rich enough for a taxi home folk. The british way of pulling seems to be to drink until you make bad decisions and then regret them or enjoy them as the drunken haze fades to a throbbing ache and sobriety rears its ugly head.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Image II

Now linking in with the visual nature of human interactions, it's not what you do it's the way that you look doing it, I want a little word on chav image. Now that as a start is probably unfair as any individual from any group can display this kind of behaviour it's jus that chav's do it so well.

The cause of my consternation is that, some partially autistic bit of some individuals gives them, along with an awareness that image is important, absolutely no conception of others perception of them. The wearing things that you think will make you more appealing to both potential mates and your peer group is a highly common and very obvious human trait. Using the size and popularity of a brand name across your clothing to rate its desirablilty is not the system I employ but it is a system none the less.

More concerning to me is the situation where words are exchanged in a crowded/dark/very loud nightclub which one chav takes to be demeaning. Now it's highly likely nobody else heard this exchange, however the rather autistic bit of the brain kicks in and thinks that the whole world will have heard and will think that what has been said is the holy truth. In order to right this apparently hideous evil comitted against them they will fight tooth and nail in very obvious places. This kind of false bravado to protect your idea of how you are perceiced is the cause of alot of the trouble we get.

To contrast, those employed in the customer service industry have enough skills to conceive of a fairly accurate picture of how we are perceived. We don't think the world is going to end when we're called fat, ugly, stupid, of duboius parentage or other choice monosyllabic anglo-saxon. The people that hear these fine words will not hold it to be the absolute truth, they'll make their own minds up. It may be noted that most of the comments are true if not debatable.

I think that's it, the key point being they can make their own minds up. They have the capacity to formulate their own thoughts and decide for themselves. It is those who don't have that ability who run themselves into trouble. It may start with a lack of differentiated dress sense but it's symptomatic of poor perception of themselves and others in the world around them.
It won't ruin my night if I get called a c*nt, it'll probably make me smile at a job well done.

Bank Holidays

Now for most folks the idea of an extra day in their weekend is just peachy. You've finally got the time not only to catch up on your sleep/housework/garden/decorating/car repairs/furniture shopping but you can also get some social life thrown in. However three nights and two days out on the beers is a little too much for most folk and by the end of Sunday night most folk were flagging horrifically.

I spent the weekend sleeping through the hours of daylight in order to work three full days on the trot after a week at work. Thankgod for Monday and the snooker.