Monday, June 26, 2006

Ahhh,

That's better.
After a very drunken, little sleep weekend running around all waking hours, talking serious amounts of s*it all of the time, I'm back.
Feeling as physically tired as if I'd been working all weekend but mentally as alert as I get. Good social rest has left me in a nice frame of mind after the weekend.

I did work last night and it wasn't too bad considering the football had been on. We weren't letting lads in England shirts in and most folk seemed ok with that. Some even popped home and changed, for which we thanked them.

The police on the other hand were having a mare it seems. 8 seperate vehicles drove past and, although not any of our of our punters, we saw two folk getting carted off and two more very nearly getting the blue light taxi service. They keep in touch with us by radio, which is meant to mean they will turn up if we call for them and they can give us a heads up if they spot something heading our way. Doesn't always work but it's another tool in the box.

They looked mightily fed up of drunks by the time we saw them, probably as a result of having been lifting them since the end of the match, 6-8 hours before I saw them. They've got a team initiative going on at the mo which probably means daft targets and all the rest of their paper chase nightmare, but it does mean they like talking to us more. Thankfully most of them just take it as a chance to say hello and chat sh*t for a while before chasing after drunks again.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Off topic,

I'm wandering well off topic here to post about something that's been getting on my nerves of late.
I was spurred by reading this and this from a goverment invited academic into writing.

I deal with scores of scrotes on a regular basis and encounter an awful lot of antisocial behaviour, some directed at me, but mostly directed at others or fixtures and fittings both inside and out.
It's petty criminality but it's illustrative of a few problems.
The massively understaffed, or is that staffed under massive officiousness, UK police do their best to deflect antisocial behaviour from ruining the lives of many. (see a coppers view ad nauseum) where the ambulance service deals repeatedly with those whose situation due to heroin or alcohol has become truly dire.
We hear from research, however casually preformed, that this is being done at a massive cost, to the taxpayer. These habitual offenders appear in the courts repeatedly but to no avail.

I see from my work that the vast majority of people are sensible, law abiding, reasonable folks. They will occasionally stray into misdemeanours and ocassionally punishment from the courts is proportional forthcoming. There are however those persons whose antisocial and criminal acts are endemic.
As discussed in the New Yorker article, the distribution of offences to offenders is not that of a Normal distribution, but of a Power Law distribution with a small number of offenders with a huge number of offences to their name. The fact that they all may be trivial doesn't bear on the minds of their victims, which for these habituated, serial offenders can number into the hundreds.

I feel the sentencing in the UK should reflect the offenders and not the offences. The fact that currently if an indivual appears only for a petty offence they can only recieve petty penalties despite their history of perpetual offending needs to be challenged. Guilt of offences, beyond reasonable doubt, should still be the bench-mark for each offence taken individually but the sentencing to time inside or rehabilitation is the sentencing or rehabilitation an offender not an offence.

I know this could lead to sobbing mothers in the tabloids saying their beloved little scrote of a kid was only ever up to harmless fun and didn't deserve 5 years of porridge for shoplifting but if the persistent offenders were taken off the streets for long periods of time, those streets would be better places to be. I also know this smacks of the three strikes and your out rule which I think is a prone to being a tad extreme, but 13 strikes, 33 strikes, 300 strikes? You get my point I hope.

In alliance to this idea I've had great difficulty seeing why a guilty plea should lead to a discount in sentence. I feel its origins are sunk in the christian prodigal son idea, returned and repentant, seeking forgiveness. When you admit your guilt before trial and co-operate with the police, fine let this be taken into account. When you only plead guilty in court because it's evident you're losing and will get a discounted sentence if you do, that's just abusing the system. Another point to slip in here is the need for only minimum tariffs to be reported. If your action in prison is below the standards expected, expect an extended stay but the idea of a 12 year sentence being served in 4 is just a 4 year sentence being served by someone who can follow the simplistic rules inmates live their dialy drudge by. Related to this is the trend for releases being withheld from those who don't admit their guilt. If the sentencing was clear and not heavily discounted this would not occur, the admission by an offender or guilt should not effect their sentence length. Again it's the prodigal son idea reducing guilt to a solicitor drafted admission constructed for maximum impact on reducing a sentence.

It's an old and venerable system of justice in the UK but it is far from perfect. Those inside it from every angle know this and those in charge of it seem to be cottoning on. No one's being brave enough to come up with serious changes. Lets see how the home office react to this libery supported lady and her claims of human rights infringement

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Weekend off

This weekend I have comitments out of the city so I'll only grab short late Sunday night shift. This means I'll be getting drunk and abusing doorstaff for my own amusement in some other town and generally enjoying being able to get to bed on a Friday night some time before the sun's soming up Saturday morning.

Also a chance to improve my diet. In the early of the morning I often find I have to resort to kebeb wagon fodder. Whilst generally not toxic it is fair best suited to those whove numbed their tastebuds extensively with beer and spirits, not those on a diet of soda water and swirling stomach acid from too long chewing gum. I may indulge in post imbibing victuals but the key point here is post imbibing.

I'll return to the fold on Monday with more tales of derring do no doubt. In the mean time I'll leave you pondering the possibilites of bacterial growth in a food preparation vehicle with no running water, limited refrigeration and foodstuffs to be kept for the duration of at least my working shifts. That's 8 hours in the balmy heat that's been upon us. Thank god for the anti-bacterial/viral/life/hangover effects of hot chilli sauce.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Being set up II

Now there are always going to be times when to allieviate the immense boredom of a job, which basically involves watching other people have fun, leads to a prank or two. With the chopping and changing of staff this weekend saw a classic series of wind ups.

One I will divulge purely because the punter involved will be highly unlikely to even remember the incident let alone read about it here happened on the front door. The door pair were having a very quiet night so, on the arrival to the door of a very inebrated single male in his mid thirties one doorman steps to the side and lets the other repell the drunkard.

"Why you not letting me in?"
"I think you've had enough. I don't want you in here."
"Is is 'cos I'm a geordie, ya racist?"
No it's beacuse you're hammered, now go home"
"You're a bastard, you are"

All fairly run of the mill so far. At this point the punter takes a step back and prepares to launch himself onto a futile tirade. Here the other doorman intervenes but with a suprising line.

"You're right he is a bastard, I'd've let you in if it were up to me."

Here the punter turns to see who's supporting him. A good test of sobriety, as if one's needed, is whether he clocks his new found ally as a doorman or not. With his new buddy he carries on strenghtened.

"Eh? Yeah he is a cock. You know that, you're a fat f**king cock you are."
Doorman now gets the feeling of being the but of the joke and either plays along or loses it. This man plays along.
"You're p*ssed, you're wasting my time and he can't do a thing to help you get in here."
"You're a f**king w*nker, I'm not p*ssed and I'm coming in."
"No sir, you're going home, I'm getting bored and he's getting a smack up side the heed."
"You here that buddy, this cock's gonna take us both on."
Here the turncoat pipes back up.
"He is a fat cock and he's gonna get a kicking, I'm with you buddy"
"You're right man. You're gonna get a kicking"
One wink from the turncoat the end result is inevitable.

The punter launches himself at the straight doorman and is suddenly suprised that he's gained the power of flight. This is due to the wind up merchant grabbing a belt loop on his jeans and letting him levitate towards the front door. The look of terror in the punters eyes as the laws of physics break is more than worth the effort. Once back on his feet back a yard further away from where he started he wanders off realising he's been had and that in fact there were two fat w*nkers on the door.
It's one way to fill ten minutes on a dead shift.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Slow chaos

I thought sitting out of harms way, letting the egos battle and chips fall off oversized shoulders would be my best plan of action. It still may be so, but the down side is no-one knows what's going on with the rota. I usually pick up certain weekend nights with late starts at a certain venue. Now occasionally I'll be off to this door or that club to cover gaps but generally I know where I'll be for my weekend.

All that's gone tits up now. The rota monkey is one of those clashing heads and has taken to sorting the rotas to suit him. Fine, thats about the only perk of trying to sort out the bloody things. I've done it for a team of 25ish in 6 venues and am more than happy not to have to do it again. The thing is, he's splitting established teams up, deliberately putting friction into nights where he's not working and making sure all the inherently unrealiable folk land on shifts he's not. As a random bystander I'll just catch whichever shift is sent my way but inevitably I'll catch one of the disturbed and disfunctional teams. Time to consider moving companies methinks.

Oh well, it'll make for some fun in the mean time. There is a certain satisfaction to be had in knowing that a certain antisocial chav punter will queue for half an hour, get admitted to the venue by a new front door man and, after paying their entry and first drink, gets spotted by managment. Yours truly gets to escort the whiny sod off the premises without alcohol, refund or luck. If you're barred don't try it, you'll only get upset. A new face on the front door may not recognise you, that doesn't mean none of the staff/doorstaff/management/doorstaff on their night off will not and your speedy expulsion will follow.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Knife amnesty

There's been a hell of a lot of noise being made in the UK about inappropriate sentences for serious crimes. It's good headline grabbing stuff but it's highly unlikely to have any influence on most peoples day to day life. These extreme crimes are rare, thankfully, and most folk will get through their entire life unaffected by such events. That is as long as they don't live in permanent fear because of their skewed tabloid based perspective of the dangers inherent in the world.

This knife crime fear that's been stirred up by the media is just another pile of hyperbole and nonsense. A knife amnesty will not stop anyone who wants to get a knife, getting a knife. It won't save one carrot from being diced and won't save one kid from having their ribcage aerated. It's something I've worked with for years and it's always a concern. Thankfully using a knife properly is a very difficult thing to do. Taking a knife off such an expert is hard, taking it off some-one who hasn't a clue is a whole load easier. It's not something I want to be doing but it's something I've got to know and practice.

Even if you got every knife out of every pocket the risk from broken off bottles or even hair combs would remain. Life is never going to be 100 percent safe, you've got to get some perspective and take sensible precautions.
Thankfully it's so much less of a problem south of the border.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Dropping like flies

Well despite my best efforts I think we had a quiet weekend across town. There were groups of marauding drunken yobs but the boys in blue (actually very bright flourescent yellow tabards) sent them packing, after some cunning ground work, as soon as the match ended and they inevitably poured onto the street. I think most folk just got their mates round and had a barbeque and a few cans while enjoying a football game and getting sunburn/heatstroke/dehydrated/paralytic. Not any bother for me.

The staff around me seem to be having issues. There's a few too many ego's being knocked and a few big heads clashing all of which makes for some folk quitting, some switching venues and some, like me, left out of it all as the breeze blows by.

It doesn't really bother me as long as a viable team exists and doesn't change on a night by night basis. I think our only liability will not be coming back to us . This is after a night off when while sober he got pasted by a very small and ineffective lad who could barely stand. When you have to jump up to nut someone you'd better be in a fit state to stand up and handle yourself otherwise it'll go horribly wrong. He must be incredibly thankful he got his nut on the liability and no-one else. It's never a good thing to see a man lose so badly when, doing the job he tries to do, you'd think he could get out of the way or handle himself better.

As to the future, who knows. Two new head doorman for 'my club' who don't know the barred list will make for some interesting nights working inside. Or, with some sense they'll move me onto the front step too so I can get to pick and choose the wonderful punters. I have a good memory for faces and don't like chavs. Good times may be round the corner either way.

Friday, June 9, 2006

Hot

I'm off to work this evening to stand on the sunbaked doorway for the early part of the night then into a crowded, poorly air-conditioned sweaty dancefloor for the end of it. It will be hot. I'll be leaving the long coat at home and will likely make it back to my bed as the sun comes up still overdressed in just a short sleeved shirt.

The impending seven and a half hours work standing up with no official or unofficial breaks will begin with me seriously needing sleep. Last night with the window fully open and only the most transparent of sheets covering my body I still was too hot to get to sleep easily. After eventually getting off to the land of nod the fully open window let in the sounds of the morning far too early for my liking and curtailed any furher dozing rather effectively.

Methinks I'll be an even more evil git of a doorman than I usually am. Oh well be thankful you'll not cross my door tonight.

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Bottle?

Nah, I'll have a real ale and not anything in an undersized bottled at oversized prices.
Straying from the intended topic, a scots door steward writes recently of the need for bottle.

It's a fair piece and you can tell he's impressed by the efficiency and increased potency of good team behaviour.

We're essentially pack animals and it shows when in conflict situations. It's not size that matters when there's multiple folk having a set to. It's covering your back and getting the best outcome. In the end you've got to win or it's gonna be your last shift.

I used to play an awful lot of rugby, both codes, and you see there the importance of moving, acting and thinking as a team. It's instinctive to me to work in this way. Some folk don't get it and spend too much time thinking of themselves and miss the opportunities they need to take. If the team works the best thing you can do is get in there and forget yourself.

It's the same reason why large groups of lads are dangerous when trouble happens. If they snap into gear it'll take an army or some seriously evil use of force to subdue them.

Thankfully the places I work and the things I do there we're not gonna be losing in the end. A few bruises and dents are to be expected but the team works. Every now and then a new body turns up and we have to test the water. If they put in, they stay. If they've got a different idea they're free to try it elsewhere.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Crusaders?

Imagine your peaceful town having thrust upon it one day an influx of drunken debauched young men. Drinking foreign ales, shouting and jeering in terms unknown to you. All sporting the white tabard with red cross upon it. They arrive and insist on support from the natives in their pilaging activities or the thinly veiled violence they represent will be unleashed. Moving like squads from a rabble army, they wander from hostelry to hostelry, scaring the innocent back into their homes. Roaming the streets in their drunken gangs, spreading violence and disorder as they pass. Breaking property and soiling in all manner of excrement the pathways and premises they pass.

Welcome to the football world cup.

The louts and small minded who find it in some way appropriate to behave as a rabble on the pretext of national pride I find easily detestable. If you want to be proud, be proud, not a drunken abusive mess of violence, intimidation and disorder.

I will not be out drinking in public on days when games are on. I'll be working like a blue arsed fly, earning my pennies and having myself a nice summer holiday as a result. I'm a Scot and an egg chaser. Overpaid weaklings in bad hair-do's don't excite me at all.

Monday, June 5, 2006

Wiry one

Now as I've explained before, I'm not small. I'm fast, strong and far too ugly for most folk to even think about taking a pop. It just wouldn't be worth the effort trying to re-arrange a bag of spanners. This little incident however showed up just how far from ontop of the game we are.

Now I had my attention drawn to a situation where I spied one of the other useful doormen taking this diminutive lad by the neck towards the nearest fire exit. The fellow it transpired had picked up one of our heavy 3' bar stools and launched it at a punters back. I didn't know this as I ran in and saw him wriggle free from the strong arm Bob had round his neck and think about having another go at the stooled punter. I arrived and with momentum alone sent him into the wall near the exit and quickly applied a hold and sent him through the fire-door.

Here in the bright overhead neon light and the cool and quiet most folk recognise they're leaving and though swearing and shouting, start walking off. This little wriggler was having none of it. He was small enough that he never had a chance of physically moving myself or Bob but when either of us tried to grab an arm and get him moving he writhed like a conger eel and twisted himself free or into a position where we thought it best to release the hold.

For all of his size he was seriously strong. He didn't want to hit us, which in a way would have made our job easier as we could have just upped the game and incapacitated him. He just wanted another go at the stool catcher. He was bloody persistent. Eventually the larger mass and self control got him out of the premises into the night at which point he got the message and buggered off without a further word.

I had a glance back at the nights cctv and I think he'd just taken a snort before he went off on one. I like the 3' stools in our place, they're heavy enough that I wouldn't think of using one as a striking weapon, let alone a throwing weapon. He just grabbed it and flung it with no wind up. Oh the joys of illegal stimulants. The punter whose body stopped the stool was winded but intact and by all accounts pulled by the end of the night so all was well.

Friday, June 2, 2006

A Git

A bloke I met on the weekend while not at work asked me if I was a nice doorman or a nasty doorman?

I was quick to reply that I was a nasty one. I make young girls cry. I don't believe anything punters say, half of what management say and most of what other doorstaff say. I don't want to let punters in without a very good reason. I won't stop and listen to your grievances. I won't enter into conversations with you unless I'm after something. I will invade your personal space. I will intimidate you. I do not care about anything other than getting the job done in the best way possible.

I am clearly a nasty doorman.

I'm not a bad doorman, I don't hit people, I don't abuse the weak and innocent, I don't flirt/drink/text/deal/shag/steal while in paid employ.

Bad doorfolk last about as long as the nice ones. But the nasty ones hang around for ever.