There's a guy who is part of the management team at the place I work at who I really respect. He hasn't been around the "downtown scene" as long as I have (almost though) but he started as a door guy. Let's call him Bill. Bill started working in the bar business at a very young age, and is a door guy through and through. He sort of fell into management by accident. He drinks way too much, doesn't agree with everything management does, loudly proclaims that, often times publicly sides with the door guys on issues, and is the first motherfucker to jump into a fight.
Bill has a quality which I deem to be the most important quality of a door guy. It's called having balls. We get paid to enforce rules that the management decides. Try telling a 6"5 250lb thug that he can't come in. It's much easier to just let him in and hope he doesn't cause a scene. But we can't do that.
Collectively, as a floor/door staff, we have recently made known our desires to management to hire some bigger guys. We have some pretty big guys among us, but another big dude never hurt anything...especially us.
Management, of course, took what we had to say & tossed it directly out of the window, and hired the first 160 lb. guy that jumped through all their hoops, passed the classic "background test", said everything right and got the offer regardless of the employees thoughts. We all, of course, weren't suprised. Or impressed.
I can't blame management for doing what they do - they have a tough job and they do it well - but I have to wonder when the last time they had a half dozen UGA football players surrounding them threatening to play basketball with their head unless they were let in. In times like those, it's nice to have an extra big dude there. At least from my perspective as the recipient for most threats such as those.
I'll admit being big is only a small part of doing what we do. You can get by not being a monster. The best guys working downtown use their mouths, not their fists. But the time will come - and it always comes - when you have to use some muscle, choke the hell out of some guy, haul him out to the door, and toss him on the sidewalk. And a big guy who won't freeze up, or use too much (or too little for that matter) force to get the job done, sure helps. The intimidation factor is always a little nice, too. Pickin's are slim for big guys anyhow in this college town, though, since most kids interested in working at a bar are from the 18-23 year old range.
Bill isn't particularly big by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, he's fucking small. But I trust him completely. That's important. He won't freeze up when it comes time to get a little physical. He came from a background that not a lot of the guys working today came from. From one where we were threated with weapons, promised to be waited for outside for us to get off for the night, etc. etc. on a nightly basis, and throwing around ghetto-fabulous wannabee rap stars was almost an hourly occurance.
Bill recently picked up a few door shifts instead of bartending, to "re-live the good old days" - in his words. So there we stood up there at the door for the night, got way too drunk, fucked with people who weren't getting in, hit on chicks, made fun of classically annoying drunk asses, and generally had a great time. We didn't get the chance to really tagteam anyone (and we were looking, for sure) but I sure felt like I was working with a dude who was on top of his shit. And I guess that's really what I expect from my co-workers while working downtown.