Monday, August 4, 2008

Ways and Means

I have a few ways of telling when someone needs to leave the venue. The obvious ones of fighting and falling over are only part of the picture. I watch people move around the venue. I watch who they talk to and how. I see how and who they dance with on the main dancefloor. I see how they make decisions, how they interact at the bars and with random punters.
I've been doing this a while now and can see what stands out. I watch body language from how a punter places their feet, how they hold their shoulders to how they move their arms and heads. All of us who pay attention can usually make a good assessment of how drunk a punter is in a couple of seconds. We're in the business of getting people merry in a social environment. We have a grey line of inebriation which we apply with a certain amount of judgement.
When I approach a punter to have a word with them it's not likely I've totally made up my mind. Unless they're very visibly battered I'll try and communicate. Sometimes just getting through to folks is impossible, then it's time to point, guide and occasionally give them a gentle push in the right direction. Sometimes they seem coherent and I tell them to take it easy and leave them to it, just keep an eye on them.
I recon I can tell the difference between just drunk, pilled up, coked or speeded up or on poppers. Mostly by body language but when I pull them into the quiet and the light away from the disco lights to have a chat I like to see their faces and especially their eyes. Then I'll know fairly certainly. Whatever I suspect, unless I think there will be value in doing something else, they'll get escorted out for having had one too many, whether that's strictly true or not.
They often don't like it but, when they're too pissed or smashed they're not good punters, the sooner their gone the better. I'm not a popular man with the muppets, I'm not upset with that. I am fairly popular with the good customers, I'm not upset about that either.