Monday, August 29, 2011

Further Adventures of being a Bouncer

I worked Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday night this week and still I have not thrown anybody out. I have yet to 'bust any skulls' or stop any fight. I have, however, done a very good job standing around, looking around. That is the essence of my job. Stand around, look around. That should have been in the job description: Must be good at standing around and also looking around, being able to do both at once well is preferable...

Anyways, Wednesday was pretty simple and easy. I stood outside with another bouncer and we greeted guests and carded them. Carding isn't that difficult, but if asked if I could spot a less-than-obvious fake, I would probably have to say no. Thankfully, there didn't seem to be any problems. It was busy for a Wednesday, but that's still pretty slow for a bouncer. That makes it pretty easy but also very boring. I worked 8 to 1 or I guess I should say 8 to Closing, because though we last call may be at 1 or 2, or we may close at 1 or 2, we as bouncers then have to go around and get everybody to leave. It is like herding sheep. Very drunk sheep who keep baa-ing over and over to each other. I don't know what makes people want to stick around in a place after it closes, yapping their traps off. The televisions are blank, the music is off, yet they stay, sometimes taking a step, sometimes maybe two, but then getting distracted, like a goldfish. Eventually, we get them out, then we make sure the place is clear, sweep, and get out. I usually clock out 20-30 minutes after last call.

Thursday night I got off because my girlfriend, my roommate and I went to Top of the Hub in Boston. We did this because it was Restaurant Week, which means fancy restaurants have cheaper menus, so we thought of the one place we would probably never go, the fanciest of fancy places, and so we went to Top of the Hub. If you do not know, Top of the Hub resides in the Prudential Center, which is a 52 level building, the tallest building in Boston I believe, and the restaurant is on the top floor. The view of the city is fantastic, fields upon fields of buildings and cars and lights winking in the night, meanwhile lightning flashed in the sky every now and then. The food was delicious, and they had a band playing jazz. It was a really good time and I'd recommend it to anyone, though I'm not sure I would recommend paying full price...

Friday night was very different from Wednesday. I started at 10, which is when we opened the downstairs, which is essentially a bar and a large dance floor and a dj. I was put in the wonderful position at the backstairs hallway. See, we need to keep a count of the number of people downstairs so we know when we are near or at capacity, so we make people use the front stairs. Unfortunately, in the back there is a hallway to bathrooms and to another set of stairs, the back stairs. I was put right there and given tickets. I was the ticket man. People who were already downstairs got a ticket when they went to the bathroom so they could come back through the back hallway and not have to walk up and around again. People who came from upstairs down the back stairwell and wanted to go onto the dance floor...well I had to tell those people no, they couldn't go this way, they had to use the other stairs. As you can imagine, this made me a very popular guy among drunk guys and especially girls with heels. All through the night I was constantly turning people away, and it only got worse as the night wore on and the place became busier. There was also the problem of people losing their tickets when they went to the bathroom, and I couldn't let them in either, the reason being they could have just handed their ticket to a friend, expected to get in because I remembered them and they 'lost their ticket', and then have their friend come in with a ticket. See, everything bouncers do makes sense. It has a purpose and an explanation, yet attempting to explain these concepts behind these rules simply is not possible for some people, especially if they are hammer-faced drunk. So everybody hated me. Actually that's not true. Some people were really cool about it, they realized I was just doing my job, they were nice and did what I asked them to. Others were confused, ignorant, angry. Some expressed disbelief that I would do such a thing as to stop them from going onto the dance floor. I'm not sure how many times I heard the word 'Seriously??!!!' It was many many times. Here's one conversation I had with a girl who'd been a problem all night.

"I lost it. Come oooon, you know me."
"Sorry, I can't let you in without a ticket. You need to use the other stairs."
"You just saw me leave, can't you just let me innnnnnn?"
"Sorry but you could've given your ticket to a friend and -"
"I can't believe this!" (She wasn't even listening to me) "Seriously? You're not gonna let me in? Seriously?"
"I can't let you in without a ticket."
"Seriously? I'll buy you a drink, I'll buy you a shot."
"No thanks. Can't drink on the job. You'll have to go around."
and on. Etc. unto infinity.

So that was my night, dealing with drunks attempting to get by me using whatever method they could think of. One girl was holding hands with another, the first gave me a ticket and simply dragged the other girl right past me very quickly. 'Excuse me! Excuse me!' I called out, even grabbed one of their arms but they simply took off onto the dance floor and I couldn't leave my post wide open. It irritated me. It still does. What the fuck is wrong with people? Apparently they feel entitled. Can't I just let them in? Them and their friends in? Can't I just look the other way? Apparently they're too good to follow the rules, or walk another two minutes around to the other stairs. Apparently they've got to make bouncer's lives hell. Can't people just listen, be polite, and fucking follow the rules? Nope. Drunken trashy girls and preppy guys thinking they own the place, they're special, confused about simple rules, stuck up bitches thinking they can do whatever they want. No wonder bouncers are assholes. It's the fucking drunken bitches and bastards that make them that way. If you simply follow the rules, bouncers are friendly nice people, just like anybody else. I got along with a bunch of people because they followed the rules, said thanks, recognized I was just trying to do my job, realized my job must be difficult, and made it easier by doing what I said. Easy. One guy said "What do I gotta do, give you a dollar or something?" I thought that was funny. Attempted bribery of one dollar. Another guy at least tried five. Neither worked. Like I'm going to risk my job for five bucks. My boss told me during my shift that I had the hardest job that night. Yep, I can see that. Any job where you have to say No to drunk people is a shitty shitty job. One thing this job has showed true, people are stupid.

Saturday night I started at 8, greeting people at the door, then carding, then I roamed the upstairs restaurant. Roaming is simply what it sounds like, walking around, standing around, looking around. I did that for awhile, feeling useless since it wasn't very busy because of the impending storm and rain. But oh well. I walked. I stood. I watched. Then, around midnight or so, I had to stand at the top of the back stairs and make sure people didn't have tickets. This was about the second hardest job. I forgot to tell you before, but tickets are restroom-only, so friday night, I had to attempt to ask people if they were going to the bathroom, and only give them a ticket if they were. If they were doing something else, I had to tell them they couldn't get a ticket and they would have to use the other stairs. Another great part of the job. Many simply lied about going to the bathroom, so the next night, here I am at the top of the stairs, asking people if they've got tickets. I confuse the people who don't understand, the people who simply came from upstairs to use the bathroom, and I have to explain to the people that have tickets that tickets are only for the restroom, and that they will have to use the other stairs. By the end of Saturday night I was going crazy because upstairs was super slow and I was doing practically nothing. Time ticked by so slowly, I felt like I was going to explode. Finally, finally, 2 am came, last call came, we herded the drunks out as quickly as possible, put up chairs, swept, and clocked out. That was my work week.

Woohoo. Good times.

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