Monday, August 28, 2006

Walk like a man

Talk like a man,
Punch like a little girl.

I for my sins was back at the gay night the other evening and had a whole world of fun dealing with the wonders of drunken protective tom-boy butch lesbians.

I saw one female push another clean off her stool, falling backwards and smacking her head on a step behind her. I went up and politely told her she was leaving. She gets up and goes towards the door when up pops, as much as she can do, 5' nothing of skinny angry friend/girlfriend. She tries to block me, hold me back and shouts at me. Another one for the exit and a quick radio call, to come, goes out. One of the others on the team emerges and this doorman escorts the initial one calmly out the front door. I attempt to guide the little one the same way.

We haven't made it 20' of the 100' feet to the door when she backs into me and tries to wriggle past me back to her table. I block her and wrap her arms infront of her. She kicks, screams and tries to struggle free. I don't have a clue what set her off as her friend was clamly walking to the door in front of her having been politely treated by both myself and the other doorman.

Anywho, instead of a wander out the main door, past other punters, it was straight to the nearest fire exit. Most folk just stop struggling at this point and get the message in the harsh strip lighting and white washed walls. This skinny little thing just kept cranking it up.

She was small enough I had to bend half over to grab her wrists. Once I had gotten hold of them however they went behind her back like bending a pipe cleaner. She didn't give up, kicking and stamping all the way to the exit door. On depositing her politely just off the exit steps, she turns back round and tries to throw another punch.

Not a good move lass. I'm big, fast and when you're 5' f*ck all and down a step on me, the last thing to be trying is to land one on my oversize, metal plated jaw. As she turned and swung with her fist already tightly wound I just had to push her away. Given the height difference and weight difference, I must have been easily twice her body weight if not thrice it, she splatted onto the floor in a most graceless lump.

I'd have thought that'd be enough but oh, no. Leaving her with the front door team I headed back inside to straighten my tie and get back to the dull part of the job. Five minutes later there's an all persons call to the front door where she, the original friend and another of their party were swinging at the two front door men. Cue a quick call to the blue light taxi service and after the inevitable delay found on a heavy drinking night one of them gets bed and breakfast courtesy of the government and hopefully a fine or two for her stupidity.

Very few lads, whatetever their state of mind think I'm worth trying to punch. Why this one small, light, weak and technically inept lass thought I was worth a punch is just totally beyond me. I always hope for a bit of verbal abuse that I've not heard before or that makes me laugh. Gay men have proven brilliant in this respect in the past, I just wish the gay ladies would follow suit.
Or at least get better technique.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Friends of

This week I've been dealing with more shit than is necessary from friends of the owners, friends of the managers, friends of the doorman who worked here once upon a time before they got fired for being shit.
All of them asking favours and all of them getting refused.
If I know a punter by sight, or even by reputation, then I'm happy to lend an ear and see if their favour is within my means. Good loyal customers are worth putting yourself out for a little as they'll keep the place going in the quiet times.

It's the random who walks up and asks for something using a name as a lever that winds me up. I don't respond well to that. If you think I'm just there to serve you alone because you know the name of the manager you're sadly mistaken. In most places I work it's written on a plaque about 3 inches above my head and although it's nice the punters can read it's not a guaranty of entry when I'm blocking the doorway.

The kind of leverage I respond to is realising you're not stuck so far up your own arse that you can't be civilised to a person who works in customer services at the most unsociable hours possible. I'd rather you talked coherently to me as a member of the human race and then I might take your desires into consideration.

It's only bitten me on the arse once and that wasn't too bad. I refused entry to a scruffy, drunken student looking tree hugger type. It was a nice bar late on a Saturday night. He says he knows Nel. I tell him that's nice of him but I'm not letting him in. He wanders off and calls Nel. Nel then has to come out of the office, through the massed crowds and to me on the door. He then says to let him in, he's alright. I smile, nod and becon the punter back. I send him inside and bite my tongue.

Got a growling at from the agency boss for that and told not to be so obvious in rejecting punters. How that's possible from the punters point of view I have no idea. Oh well, I think I'll just keep sending them away until I get fired. I think I'm good at selecting the the intended clientele for admission.

If I had the choice, it'd be over 25s, smartly dressed, no loud groups, no scousers at every place I worked. I;d have sod all trouble inside and have a fun night of it on the door too. Oh well, best just go and get into a mood to kill everyone again.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ugly

Now as you may have gathered I'm not a big fan of the smelly side of the job. Be it drunken folks attempting to vomit on me or urine covered toilet floors I wrinkle my face and take a step back.

Now it's not always possible to avoid having to actually do some work where the odour is high but generally the punters don't like to linger in these places any longer than they have to so we don't see too many incidents here.

One incident was brought to mind though by a scary recurrence this weekend. Thankfully the one we got a call about this weekend was a wind up at the new bar-cleaners expense. In the original situation I was working inside in a repectable bar of a decent size, spread over 3 floors with toilets on each. Thankfully the basement toilet wasn't involved in any of this as it's a small dark box a long way from fresh air.

There was a private function in the place and they had one floor whilst they dined and had almost exclusive use of the toilets on that floor. As the evening went on and they dispersed around the building for fresh air, more drink or dancing one of the doormen felt the need to use the facilities. As was typical of all folk who worked there , for reasons of ease and tradition, he used the ones on the floor this private function had been using.

Cue a radio call of the nature, "Cough...can we get Matt to the rear toilet, there's a shit on the floor"
Uh-oh, those are words you don't want to hear, especially when given in the I'm about to blow chunks voice we heard from a typically husky, robust doorman.

The offending item was small, dark, glossy and quite soft, almost runny really. It had kind of flattened itself out a bit underthe heat of the halogen spots and in the enclosed vinyl floored toilets made one hell of a nasty smell. It lay a good two feet from the toilet bowl and there was no sign of paper. It'd been landed in one go and not mucked about with since.

We were more than a little perturbed. We all see the mess drunken folk make of toilets by the end of the evening but this little jobbie was a work of deliberate defecation for distressing those who would follow. Matt got the short straw bar cleaners get and got the gloves on and had to send it on it's rightful path down the white tubing to the sewers.

After a few moments collecting ourselves from our hysterics after seeing the green and shaken Matt curse and swear through a cigarette afterwards we decided it was likely one of the folk from the function but we weren't in a position to chase it further.

My wanderings later found me checking the main toilets on my route round the premises and lo and behold another little jobbie had been left on the cubicle floor in there. These were no manly logs, more small to middle sized dog efforts. We were most perplexed. My call went out for Matt went out again as I closed off the cubicle and awaited his arrival. This time the gods of bar work smiled on him and as he was off getting ice form a nearby venue the shift manager had to do it. Gloves on, scooping and tossing down the bog, cursing and swearing all the way through.

It was looking more and more like a deliberate attempt to damamge the good name of the bar or at least cause offence to someone. All of the doormen were now watching the group of function goers very carefully. All toilet trips being followed by a quick head and nose through the door from us to see if any more little presents had been left.

None found and after an hour we surrenered it to the shit happens pile and carried on as usual. Some scuffles, some ejections and next thing I know we're sweeping through the place getting punters back out onto the streets where they belong looking forward to the swift refreshment of the afterwork pint.

All punters out, time to check the toilets, unfasten the ties, turn in the radios and settle in for a slow cool beer.
"Ladies toilets clear"
"Gent toilets, oh-oh-oh, shit..ooooffh"

That sounds like a doorman getting floored mehtinks, time to shift.
Cue three large men who thought their night was safely over flying up the stairs from the shut front door into the main toilets. To find one doorman bent at the sink seeing how colourful soda water cna get after a few hours in the stomach and one more rancid little jobbie on the floor. This one alot more pungent and runny than the previous two.
We all left that one to Matt while we descended and seemed to loose our appettites for that after work pint.
All in all, we know shit happens but we, Matt especially, don't like shit to happen to us.

Busy

Been a busy little b*stard of late so sorry for the absence of a post. Will rectify this asap.

Monday, August 7, 2006

Fools

Some doorfolk just don't know when to keep their trousers closed. Either physically or mentally.

When you're working you'll see all sorts of wonderful sights to accompany the tedium and the horrific things one sees. You just can't let yourself get distracted. You can't be standing watching the dancefloor for bottles/fags/fights/drunkeness whilst checking behind you for scuffles, sleepers and the like while catching the eye and flirting with some random sex godess who happens to have wndered in that night.

You'll get your job wrong and all hell will break loose while you're trying to catch the eye of a lady who doesn't think your IQ exceeds your bicep measurement, your job prospects avoid chokey and your steroid shrunken balls still function.

Some doormen have the reputation of sleeping around and having no morals at all, and it's true. Watching punters slag about every day just rubs off on some folk. Their moral compass is just heading toward the mean of what they see day in day out. Thing is, they just make bad doorstaff. If you want to be a sexual demon and do naughty things, do it on your own time, not when someone else is paying for you to do a different task.

I'm probably just narked I never get girls flirting with me. There's something about having a face like a bag of spanners that really just doesn't appeal to sane members of the opposite sex.
Insane members would be another whole blog but I'm not sure I'd be happy writing that one without some personal security to watch my house while I slept.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

a beating

Somedays in this job you just feel like you're waiting to get a beating.

I'm not vain enough sitting here behind my computer to think that I'm the hardest fastest brightest man I'll ever meet. When it comes to going toe to toe you need to think that to get the best out of yourself. On my arse behind a computer in the office I don't need to think that and the realism that you're perfectly likely to get a hiding sooner or later can kick in.

What can you do? We put ourselves deliberately in the line of fire for abuse, threats and realisitic probability of violence. You cut down the risks, you keep anonymous, you don't let it get personal, you be wary of everybody as they'll only be too happy to shaft you if it's their arse on the line.

You never plan on going into hospital with your work but this must be one of the only professions where a trip to A&E is perfectly expected every few months. I'd hate to see how the health and safety executive can justify this. We're not the highly paid professional police who get trained like crazy, given all sorts of cool toys to deploy and generous sick pay if dented in the line of duty.

We get a weekend off with no pay and are told not to be back 'til the bruising's gone. Everyone knows it's best not to get a beating but all of us know it's going to happen to us sooner or later and there's bugger all we can do about it but keep sharp.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Pretty

This weekend for some reason, one beyond my capacity to fathom, instead of the usual sausage fest we experience we had a skirt fest. More ladies than anybody but an honestly deranged person would want to shake stick at. Some very pretty and some less so but ladies in buckets full, actually clubs full but who really cares.

The usual way of things is this. We get a few couples in for a dance and a drink. They are not usually numerous but they often stay in for a while as they have company they enjoy and aren't chasing around after fresh meat. Most of our punters are groups of lads or groups of lasses. They arrive in threes and fours and meet similar groups inside. We get a few mixed groups in, either for an birthday/leaving/engagement/office party outing or small groups of friends who fancy taking their Saturday night drinking on a bit. These folks make up a good ninety percent of our clientele with single individuals the rest. There are usually more men than women with a ratio of about 3:2. This is probably just a reflection of who fancies drinking until 3 in the morning and unless we get proactive and up the lady ratio this is usually fairly invariant.

For some reason this weekend and Saturday in particular the ratio was off. We had considerably more ladies than men, possibly up to 2:3 and this reversal helped make for a trouble free night. With a more open playing field the men weren't squabbling over opportunities and the ladies seemed to thrive on the competition and take the lead to ensure they got the quality man-time they usually get when in the minority.

I've no explanation for the shift and no problems with it. Looking a the numbers we weren't down that much against a normal saturday though I don't know what the bar take was. There was little trouble and most folk seemed to have a good night. The pull rate was alot higher than usual. Some nights you barely think that people are there to pull. All you see are poorly coordinated men dancing with poorly dressed women while the more sober ones look on in mesmerised shame. This Saturday there were faces getting sucked off left, right and centre. Hands went wandering and outside it was taxis for two all night long.

I don't get it but I don't mind it. It's good to see folk getting what they are after from their night out, especially when it doesn't involve scrapping, getting too drunk to stand or chilli sauce down your shirt.