Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's Still A Mystery

There's a reason that I write this blog annonymously. I don't think I've ever said why, so maybe I can explain myself a bit. So for the handful of people who read this on a regular basis, I feel I owe an explaination.

First of all, it certainly isn't because I want to appear "hip" or "mysterious". As far as I've experienced, there's no reward that I'm getting out of writing this other than my own entertainment and the fact that I now can document the shit that I go through and laugh at it later when I read it myself. Occasionally, I get to piss people off online. That's probably the best reward so far.

There's exactly four people in the entire world that even know who I really am. So I'm definitely not shouting out from the rooftops that I write about my otherwise pointless job on the internet. I'm definitely not pulling in girls or money because of it. In fact, I'd probably get made fun of for it, if anything.

Working in a bar is a pretty low-level job - especially being near the bottom of the totum pole in the bar hierarchy - that's boring 95% of the time. It can otherwise be pretty funny, scary and occasionally violent the other 5%, which is the percent that I try to focus on. Because let's face it: do you really want to hear about me sitting at the bar talking about the hot ass of the girl that just walked by the front door with my coworkers at 9:30pm when we're mostly empty? Me either.

But mainly, I like to stay annonymous because I can write whatever the hell I want to about downtown, drinking, fighting, bars, customers, the greek system and their silver-spoon-in-mouth members, cops, and our wonderful elected leaders and justice system. And I can say these things without any risk of retaliation, against me or any of my places of employement.

Hopefully some of these people can read this from time to time and, if anything, perhaps it can help them to understand the plight of the lowly floor/door staffs of downtown Athens, especially when you hurl your bullshit in our direction for doing our jobs.

I'm sure my bosses wouldn't be thrilled to hear that their door guy is the one talking negatively about the people who ultimately make the decisions about the bars licensing, taxes, and all the other politically motivated bullshit that goes on around here, so I suppose that's another reason. That is, if I value my job on any level. Which I do. Seriously.

So there you have it. More regular stuff later. Drunkards never fail to entertain on home game weekends.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Heidi Gill

Anyone watching the news today has undoubtedly heard about the plight of poor Heidi Gill, also known as the latest victim of so-called "police brutality".

Before she was so unfairly tasered and "brutalized" by Officer Rich Kovach, Heidi was drinking herself into oblivion at local Warren, Ohio pub called Up A Creek tavern after a friends wedding. Shockingly, there was a reception at this wedding. I try not to make assumptions, so there's no way to tell how drunk she was, but she admits to having had "some drinks" at the reception before heading to the bar. If I were to make an assumption, it might be that Heidi had been drinking a fair amount by the point the staff at Up A Creek had a problem with her.

Apparently, drunken - yet still innocent - Heidi had what she called "a disagreement" with one of the bartenders at Up A Creek tavern. Put that way, her actions sound fairly innocuous, however, our innocent victim quickly found herself escorted out of the pub and tasered as a result of her actions.

Wow. That sounds harsh, huh?

The media sure can slant some shit in favor of our poor, drunken victim, however, having worked in the bar industry for a minute or two, I have another viewpoint that seems a little more believable.

In my long, illustrious career in the bar, I can count on one hand the number of girls I've had to escort out of a bar. And the worst of the guys who I've escorted out can't hold a candle to the attitude some of the girls have had with me. I'm fairly forgiving of girls in the bar, and I rarely kick them out, so to me, the fact this woman was escorted out of the bar is a huge red flag. She must've done something fairly serious to get kicked out. Something more than just a "verbal argument".

The nice little red cherry on top of her getting kicked out is the fact that the police were called. Officer Kovach responded to a "fight/disturbance" at the bar. So somebody called the cops on this girl. I've never had to call the police on any girl. Ever. So, in my mind, she must have actually been enough of a problem to warrant calling the cops.

At this point, the officer makes contact with our victim, and she responds by refusing to give her name and running away from the officer. He's there to determine if a crime has been committed and she's been temporarily stopped and now, by running away, she's refusing to cooperate. She then jumps into an SUV - one that wasn't hers - and refuses to get out. According to her, she "may have gotten into the wrong car" she says. I don't know about anyone else, but it's not typical for me to get into the wrong car. Hmm...drunk?

Ok, so lets recap: Drunk, got into a "verbal argument" with the bartender & kicked out of a bar as a result, police are called on her in response to her actions after that, she refuses to cooperate with police, runs away, enters a car that wasn't her and refuses to get out.

And out came the taser. Once secured in Kochs patrol car, it wasn't over. Oh, no. Our innocent victim kicks at a window before she's tasered again. She eventually hits her head and is knocked unconscious and is taken to the hospital.

So now Gill is angry. She feels she was mistreated. She feels the officer shocking her wasn't justified. She claims to have various after effects from the taser.

Well you know what, Gill? I'm angry too. I've been mistreated too. I stand at a bar and get shit from stupid, drunken customers - much like you - all the time. Sometimes they give me enough shit to where I choke them and throw them in the street. Then the complaining starts. "I didn't do nothin'!"

Apparently, when one injests alcohol and acts retarded in public, they're not responsible for their actions. And they're surprised when I take their physical threats as real ones and a bouncer tosses them in the street or the cops arrest them.

This girl got tased and arrested for being a drunken, screaming, crying, unpredictable mess who had spent a majority of the day injesting a substance that substantially altered her mood and behavior before she was ejected from a bar and tased by the cops.

I say good for the cops. If that bitch shows up in court, I say pin her down and tase her again.

Can't handle drinking and the consequences for acting like a total and complete dipshit?

Then don't drink.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Believe it or not, I've quit the bar business several times over the years.

When I first started out at a small bar downtown, one in which I happened to be a regular in myself, I thought it was the greatest job in the world. I got to hang out with the people I'd normally be hanging out with while downtown anyway, have a few drinks, clean some stuff up, and get paid for it all. It didn't take long for it to totally consume my life. 5am bedtimes don't mesh well with 8am class. College, my social life (outside the bar, that is), and relationships quickly took a backseat to everything bar related and it wasn't long before my significant other convinced me to quit.

As it so happens, I actually missed some of the things that had lost some importance, so I wasn't totally opposed to the idea of quitting myself. When you're only a customer downtown, things are fun and new and drunken and exciting. When you become a worker at a bar, something gets lost in translation and before you know it, things aren't so fun anymore when you try to go out and pretend to only be a customer again. It's tough to go back to that point.

And so I quit. And things sort of went back to the way the were before I was an employee downtown.

For awhile, that is.

But I missed the friends I made downtown, so when I was called up before a home game the next football season asking me to "help out, just for one game", it wasn't long before I was helping out - "temporarily," of course - for every home football game that season. My temporary employement extended itself magically to every football game weekend, home and away, and then after season ended, I began working every single weekend. Before long I was behind the bar and the next thing I knew, I was in management.

However, relationships and a lack of a social life outside the bar made me walk away once again, and I also wasn't too thrilled at my 60+ hour weeks, so my management stint was short-lived and I again quit the bar business.

Like before, a phone call from some other folks downtown brought me back out yet again and I found myself working in the bar business. This time around, the relationships that had endured the hardships of me working in the bar business were no longer interested in going through a third stint of my bar career.

So now I continue to work downtown, years and years later though all sorts of ups and downs in my personal nightly employement, serving drunken college students and I have no idea how much longer it's going to last. Lets hope not much longer at this point.

But then again, who knows?

Monday, September 24, 2007

One Last Post for the Day...

I've never laughed harder. Taken from Overheard in Athens.

Well, there are chicks here, but...
Rating: 111
Fratty on cell: Dude, can you pick me up? I'm at this bar called (pauses to look up at sign) Detour. And something's not quite right.

@Detour Deck

Totally Not Bar Related

When I'm not at the bar herding cattle through the door or lecturing drunk college kids on proper behavior while out in public downtown I do several other things.

One thing I happen to love doing is lifting weights and staying in shape at the gym. I've worked out in countless gyms of many types: College gyms, mainstream "fitness" gyms, hardcore gyms, MMA gyms, etc. My personal favorites are the gyms with mostly freeweights - I admit, I don't mind some machines on occasion - and a bunch of big, sweaty, meatheads walking around getting chalk everywhere. But then again, that's just me.

I typically get in there 4 days a week. And just like anything else in the bar, I find the behavior of many in the gym to be sorely lacking. With the number of gyms in Athens, especially with The Omni opening up several years ago, I've noticed a prevelence of big dudes walking around downtown at night. Here's to them and anyone else who's thinking about "pumping some iron".

And thus, a quick guide to proper gym etiquette, specifically things that personally bother me. This is my opinion only and I'm only writing about this right now because I'm sick of writing about bar shit at the moment.

Attire. Why come in the gym in work clothes when you've been doing construction all day? Why, I ask? You dirty up the benches, you track in mud, and generally come off as too lazy to take 5 minutes to change into proper clothes. On the other hand, I hate, hate, hate, when people wear those tight shirts, like Underarmour. I used to say it was okay for the bigger guys, because skinny guys look exceptionally stupid wearing skin tight shirts, but even now, the shirts overall just bother the hell out of me for some reason. In addition, the sleeveless shirts where the hole for the arms is cut out extraordinarily large - as in all the way down to the bottom of the shirt - have also been popping up around here. Also normally worn by the skinny kids.

Unsolicited Advice. Normally this comes from the undersized kid who walks around spending most of his "gym time" talking to the people he knows and spouting off information from the latest Muscle & Fitness magazine. Or, they'll come up to you and say How'd you get so huge? As one of my coworkers recently said to someone who asked him the same question when asking him about creatine, he responded with, the only supplement I use is whey protein and....let me see, what was that other one? Oh yea - hard work. So leave me alone, please. I came here to lift, not to make friends.

Posing in the Mirror. Now, I understand the bodybuilder has to work on their poses and whatnot, but the fact is, I can count on one hand the number of guys I know who actually compete in bodybuilding competitions. Flexing your abs in the mirror or checking out the peak in your bicep makes me laugh at you uncontrollably.

Curl in the Squat Rack. I can't stand to walk in on my leg day to find some 140lb guy, probably the same one I'll be throwing out of the bar later that night, doing endless sets of curls in the squat rack. I want to shove the barbell up his ass and point him to any other number of benches that he could use when there's only one squat rack that I can use.

Cleaning Up. Put your weights away. There's nothing more infuriating than having to do an impromtu search and rescue for some random dumbbell or having to unload 500 lbs off the bench press. Some people might argue that you should wipe your sweat off the bench when you're done, but for me, I wipe the benches down before and after I use 'em, just to be safe. It's the whole common courtesy theme that I've discussed before here in detail.

Beach Muscles. Ok. Fine. I've learned that there are jackasses out there who hit up the flat bench press 3x a week, and follow that up with 45 minutes of curls and 45 minutes of abs. I accept that, despite my years and years of bitching. So, if you choose to hit up those particular muscle groups every time you set foot in the gym, then all I ask is for you to get the hell out of my way when I'd like to use a particular "beach muscle" set of equipment.

Steroids. No, I don't use steroids. Never have. I don't know much about them nor do I care to. And I'm not interested. If you use them, then that's fine but really...I don't want to talk about it, especially not in public.

Slamming Weights. It's of my personal opinion that if you can set down weights carefully and without sound, then it's just not heavy enough. Granted, I don't dramatically grunt loudly and fling them away from me when I'm done, but sometimes people who actually go in there to lift heavy shit have to just drop 'em. That's because we're tired and it's heavy, so dont lecture me about that shit.

That's only the tip of the iceberg - I could go on and on about this shit - but that covers some of the more major topics. Perhaps I'll add onto this a little later as things come to me.

Reprinted from

LEVEL 131 Open

Anonymous Whore writes: "Now open, LEVEL 131, Athens only "true" dance club. Located at 131 W. Broad St. under the University Towers building, LEVEL 131 is a Miami/Tampa style dance club, with a fabulous sound system and huge dance floor. The decor is upscale with an industrial elegance. LEVEL is 18 to party and 21 to drink. Three bars on three levels, means you'll never have to wait in line for a drink. Look for guest D.J.'s in the months to come.

131 W. Broad St. Athens GA 30601

Doors open at 9:00 p.m.
18 to party, 21 to drink
Dress Code Strictly enforced
V.I.P. Room available"

Although I haven't visited this new place yet, the first thing that strikes me about their advertisements are the fact that they claim to be Athens only "true" dance club. What, I ask, makes a "true" dance club? I believe that Athens already has Rumor, The Loft, Firehouse and The Ritz...correct? I'm not intimately familiar with any of these places, however, as far as I understand, they play dance music that people dance to in a designated place specifically for dancing. How can you get any more "true" than that? More flashing lights? Glitzy decorations? A guy who sits in a box and spins records? It's fairly presumptuous on their part to assume they're the only ones in town offering a dance atmosphere. I can't stand when new bars open up and immediately proclaim to be the best without any kind of proven track record.

The second is that they're an 18+ club. This, I feel they'll find, will be their undoing eventually. When you put a bunch of people in a room with alcohol, and prohibit some of those people from consuming the alcohol just based on a big black X on their hand or a wristband of some type, they'll always find a way to get their hands on it. And 18 year olds drinking equals 18 year olds fighting. On top of that, when you make your club or bar 21+, the worst you'll normally get are some 18 year olds who manage to slip by with fake IDs once in awhile. When you lower the age to 18, all of the sudden kids actually younger than 18 are making it inside. This presents a slew of problems.

After they're inside it's only a matter of time before they wash off the big black X, or get their underaged little hands on a wristband or have their friends who have fakes, or those who actually are 21, buy them drinks. There's nothing like a 15 year old girl passed out in the bathroom stall. That's never fun to explain to the cops. Or even worse, the of-age club patron who assumes the staff are doing their job, meets a girl at the club and takes her home only to find the next day that he's committed statuatory rape because she's underaged. I hope the staff is ready for that.

But besides that, I wish them the best. They've got a lot to get over, especially in terms of location. The guys at the door will certainly have their hands full.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Must Have Been Something in the Water

Last night was, hands down, the most violent night I've ever worked. As I sit here writing this, my body is actually sore and my arms feel similar to tendinitis from all the people I had to pull out of the bar last night.

Things started off great with UGA coming from behind to beat Alabama in overtime. We all believed this would help the night be busier and keep everyone in a great mood. As expected, as soon as the game was over, the bar filled up quickly and shortly after that, things went downhill very quickly.

The first situation to kick off the night involved a coworker trying to talk someone out of the bar for one reason or another. I noticed what was going on and walked over to help him out. Out of nowhere, it seemed, came a guy throwing wild haymakers and attempting to attack my coworker. This obviously escalated the situation and he was tossed out hard, as anyone should be who attacks a coworker of mine. A later witness said I "carried him out like a briefcase".

That alone would have been enough for me, given we were fairly short staffed, but it was only the beginning. Not 30 minutes later I found myself pinning a guy against the wall who had taken a swing at another floor staff member. The group of guys were unceremoniously thrown out as well, with small tussles here and there on the way out. The guy was arrested.

And things got worse after that.

Every turn I made for the rest of the night I found myself in the middle of some altercation. Every time we proclaimed things couldn't get any worse, they did. The police, apparently, were overwhelmed as well, as they quit arresting the people we threw out because of the numerous fights occurring all over downtown. One officer said they simply didn't have the manpower for the irregular night that apparently was happening at every bar downtown.

We never had a chance to catch our breath. I was soaked in sweat for the last hour and a half of the night. Every time I walked inside I'd get another call that a fight was happening. Every time I walked out I was dragging someone with me.

It was one of the strangest nights I've ever worked and I, for one, am very glad that it's all over.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Yes, Even You

When you come walking up the line into my bar, then take heart in the fact that I don't know you. Most people take offense to the idea that I, the doorguy, have no idea who you are. I tell them to step to the back of the line or to produce their ID and they rant and rage and ask me, disbelieving...

Do you know who I am??

No, sir, I don't. Do you know who I am? No? Ok, well then step to the back of the line. Unless you're greasing the wheels, you get to wait in line like everyone else. Oh, you know the bartender? Me too! Too bad she's not working the door. Maybe she'll buy you a drink once you get inside, but as for now, the back of the line is that way.

Many people are perplexed, or downright offended, that I possibly could have no idea who they are. Sadly, my mental rolodex is quite short, and unless you're a rockstar or celebrity of some kind then I probably don't know you nor do I care to know you.

On that note, you can use this to your advantage. Look at the bright side. I don't know you. I don't know how creepy or cheap you really are. I don't know the sketchy things you're going to do once you get inside. And if you can keep a cool head for just a few minutes while you stand in line waiting to get inside, then I won't know how shitty of an attitude you really have.

If you don't draw attention to yourself by louding proclaiming your disbelief at my not knowing the likes of you, the celebrity college student to which every door guy worth anything should apparently know and should immediately whisk inside without hesitation or question, then maybe I won't know what a shitty, drunken, waste of space you really are when you whine like a little schoolgirl for being made to do what everyone else on the face of the planet has to do when coming into my bar:

To wait in the fucking line.

And the thing is, I probably don't want to know you. Certain people feel compelled, for some unknown reason, to share their lives with you. As a doorguy, or "bouncer", you're in somewhat of a position of authority and certain guys like to talk to you about your job, or, talk to you about theirs.

A lot of law enforcement, usually the ones who I initially find sort of creepy and weird, start up conversations unsolicited and will whip out their badges and share with you all about their jobs. Then it will come to, hey if shit goes down, then I've got your back!

And I want to tell them that I find it all very uncomfortable. If you're a cop that I know and I can definitely verify, then I'm more than happy to speak with you. I probably want to talk to you and hang out. But some random guy who shows me a badge and talks about how he'll help you in a fight and then hints that he's carrying always freaks me out a little bit.

Random guys who come up to me and claim "bouncer status" at some other place is fine. But when they start thinking their bouncer status at another bar translates into having any kind of authority at my bar begins to creep me out. I'd love to have a 5 minute conversation with you, but after that, you become just another drunken customer to me, so please go back to the bar and do a few more shots.

The same goes for anything, really. But I'm getting off subject here. I don't know you and you don't know me. And that's the way things should probably stay.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Guidos in the Southeast

It seems, as of recently, that some of our customers have lost their way. These particular customers seem to look as though they would be more at home in the Northeastern United States, yet somehow, they've managed to find their way to Athens.

Down here in the south, sightings of what are known as "guidos" are rare. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times I've spotted a genuine guido walking around downtown Athens. They stick out like a sore thumb so they're really hard to miss, but when you see them it sure is a treat. We point and laugh and all have a jolly good time watching the unusually tan abnormality strutting around in "good 'ol boy" territory. Apparently, though, this weekend has been somewhat of an anomaly because on Thursday night and Friday night we had a real life guido in the bar, and on both nights they each were kicked out.

The first one on Thursday night we spotted walking down the sidewalk from some distance away, his strut and attitude very obvious from the start. He was with one other guy, who was much larger than he, but apparently fairly normal. I engaged him in some quick conversation while checking his ID - he had just turned 21 - and he even had the New York (Brooklyn, maybe?) accent to boot.

For kicks, we allowed him inside. Some time later, I walked inside for a reason that I can't remember right now and found much of our staff gathered together, staring at our new guido friend who was using his time to strut around, give hard looks to the other guys in the bar, and occasionally break out in sporatic dance moves wherever he happened to be standing. The bar, on the way to the bathroom, standing with his friend, approaching a girl...anywhere. There was no telling when he would break out into a two-step, performing dance moves I had honestly never seen before. We were legitimately confused and entertained all at once.

Apparently our floor staff tired of him quickly and he was thrown out shortly thereafter. He glared at me for some time from the sidewalk before approaching.

"Yo chief, you think ah could go back inside right quick and get mah friend?"

"Now that wouldn't really make much sense seeing as you were just escorted out, now would it?" I responsed.

He quietly backed away, and moments later, when his friend emerged, his attitude did as well. His screaming at his friend for the injustices of getting kicked out combined with his screaming towards us at the door were more than enough to make us crack up. They both walked away.

Last night I happened to be wandering around inside the bar to notice two guys holding up their middle fingers at the back of the employee queing up songs on the computer. I watched with a fair amount of curiousity, not sure if they were serious or not, until I finally decided that they were two very unhappy customers. I went up to them and tapped the most aggressive one on the shoulder.

When he turned to face me I immediately realized that he was yet another guido. Spikey hair, diamond earrings, a super-tight white t-shirt with some weird tribal design down the side of it to show off his enormous biceps, and of course, the New York accept.

"Hey, is there a problem that you have with my coworker over there?" I asked, motioning to the guy at the computer.

"Yo kid, you need to step the fuck out mah face and keep on walkin'." he said, then turned his back to me and said something to his friend. They both laughed and ignored me, sipping their drinks.

I tapped his shoulder again and he turned to face me, this time squaring off. His friend did, too.

"You see man....I sort of have an issue with that. What's the problem?" I said.

"Listen kid, you need to get outta here before I go on and fuck you up," he spat at me.

"Alright dude. That sounds really fun and all, but you need to go ahead and leave."

"I ain't goin' nowhere, son."

"See, this is the thing. I work here, and I have a bunch of friends who work here with me and we're gonna go ahead and say you have to leave now," I said back to him.

I was having fun with this until the shoving started and the guido threw his drink all over me.

Then I got a little upset. This particular guido was acting really tough and when it came time to see how tough he really was, all he could do was shove us and throw drinks. Him and his friends were quickly swept out the door by us, and the orginial guy, I'm sure, was confused when he woke up the street with the police standing over him.

So now I can honestly say that I've choked out a guido and it was actually pretty fun. All attitude and no balls. Go back home, guidos.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Adding Insult to Injury

Some time ago, we had a somewhat large altercation that required the attention of most of our floor staff. I happened to walk inside as a rather large gentleman was being forcefully removed. The floorstaff member removing him was having quite a time getting him out, seeing as our good-natured customer was 6"5 (I checked his ID after this happened, so I'm sure of his height) and, by my estimates, weighed about 230 lbs, and the floorstaff member was much shorter and lighter. I was informed well after the fact that he had slapped a girl inside the bar and was confronted about it by one of our guys on the floor.

Being the nice guy I am, I took over the duties of continuing escorting the guy out, namely by wrapping my arm around his neck backwards, much in the same way as a rear-naked choke is applied. This is usually a great way to get someone out who is resisiting when you're doing it on your own, and as several of our other guys were busy restraining or keeping back some of the giants friends, I was on my own to get him out at this point.

Guys who are 6"5 often have long arms, and getting a gentleman out as tall as this guy was also invovled him grabbing onto whatever he could latch on to. Namely, window frames, bartops, and door frames. This made our journey out rather difficult, so, finally with the help of another door guy, I put him on the ground, gave the choking duties to someone else and grabbed both ankles under one armpit in a "figure 4" grip in order to give him less leverage.

This particular guy wore his pants in the popular baggy fashion and in no time, they came off in my hands and were around his ankles. It took more effort on my part at this point not to laugh at him hanging out everywhere than to keep him from kicking, as I had his legs locked up pretty well.

We threw him out on the sidewalk when we finally made it outside, just as several other guys were being tossed out. It was at this point that another floor staff member came out, bleeding profusely from the back of his head from a bottle that someone had been kind enough to smash over it while his back was turned.

The ambulance was called and he made a nice scene of bleeding everywhere before they took him away to the hospital.

This is a great reason why when doorguys are dealing with a situation, not everyone has to get involved and put their hands on someone. A good team always has those who hang back, acting as support, dealing with crowd control and watching the guys backs who are doing the ejecting of the patrons, making sure no one gets a cheap shot in. We had some new guys working that night and they didn't do what they were supposed to do, and someone ended up getting hurt. Inexperience really kicked our asses that night, and helped us find new and better ways of dealing with those situations when we're kicking out a half dozen people or more at at time.

But the best part of it all was watching the tapes later from the cameras and seeing the guy getting tossed out on his ass, pants around his ankles, in front of the crowd on the sidewalk. The way he jumped up and tried to pull his pants on after getting ejected was hilarious. It's bad enough getting tossed out forcefully, but with your pants down, too?

I laughed about that for a long time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


My thoughts today are with the family and friends of the victims, and the victims themselves, of the 9/11 attacks. God bless.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Back Behind the Bar

Since my departure from bartending some time ago to my recent return to "behind the bar" duties on occasion, I've recently been reminded at the different way the exact same customers will treat you depending on what you're doing, and more specifically, what you can do for them. the door I'm an inconvienence. An obstacle, if you will, to get by in order to get down to the business of doing what they're out to do. It's annoying, it seems, to take 10 seconds of their time to stop, pull out their ID and show it to me. They sigh and roll their eyes, sometimes verbally voicing their displeasure to me at how unnecessary it is for me to momentarily halt their forward advance into the bar in order to get the legal formalities out of the way.

They're 21, after all. Obviously.

I offer nothing tangible to most, unless of course, they have no way inside other than to try and persuade me to break the law or distract me to look the other way while they slip by me into the magical and mysterious world of one of the more popular bars in downtown Athens. The chances of it happening that way are typically slim-to-none, though.

I go through this apparently painful annoyance with these same people hundreds of times a night, and after awhile, it wears on you. You get jaded and say shit back. It gets tougher and tougher to hold your tongue. And so, I've decided to do a little bartending again from time to time. It breaks up the tired monotony of doing the same thing every night. And it brings me to my point.

Behind the bar, for the most part, people are friendly. They're nice. They don't threaten my life or tell me they're going to beat me up. I don't get the finger nearly as often and if someone tosses out any insults, out the door they go. They take the time to smile and, much more often than at the door, introduce themselves to me. The girls will flirt with me and the guys offer to get me shots. It's a nice little utopia of friendly, drunken college kids compared to what I deal with at the door.

This is because, as their bartender, I'm the last thing between them and their precious alcohol. That's the whole reason they're downtown, after all. They know they only have to try to butter me up in the hope that they'll get something cheap or free.

It's a hopeless endeavor for them, however. I'm painfully aware of the tricks that the customers try to pull, feigning a smile and a fluttering of the eyelashes by the girls, a wink and nodd from down the bar while I make their order, all in the hopes that I won't charge them as much or at all.

And it's funny to me. It's funny that after some time away from "slinging drinks" that I immediately notice the difference. And to be honest, I don't mind. It's a much more enjoyable game to me because behind the bar, it's a game of how they can get their hands on a drink for as little as possible. This is what they do downtown. They swindle and talk and occupy our time about something - anything - in the hopes that we'll forget they owe us something for the beverage we've just set before them.

It's much more relaxing because their game is to be nice to get what they want, whereas at the door it's to intimidate to get what they want. Both games, for me, are dead-ends.

However, those actually interested in getting to know the "real stars" of the downtown nightlife - the bartenders - are much more numerous. The girls will leave their numbers on their closed tabs, or tell you that they'll wait up for you to call them when you finish your shift. This, in my opinion, is because bartenders are held up on a nice, little pedestal by the wonderfully young and inexperienced customers that patronize downtown. While they're waiting to order or waiting for their drinks to be made, they're leaning against the bar and watching you, the bartender, while you're back there, hoping you'll notice them. Their attention is focused on the stars of the bar. Little do they know that the night before I was barely a blip on their radar as they raced past me at the door.

So it's a nice change of pace. One night I'll get to stand at the door and listen to insults hurled my way throughout the night by those refused entry, and for the rest, barely elicit any tpe of acknowledgment by the hordes stampeding their way towards me just so they can get inside to drink and dance and be merry with those who matter, and the next night I'll be one of the people who do matter as the bartender.

The extra money doesn't hurt, either.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Please Read

Something I've noticed, and have expected, is the influx of kids - girls, especially, because they make great targets - who have no experience, or business or that matter - being in bars downtown. They aren't aware of their lack of a tolerance, they're not totally familiar with downtown and the places they should or should not go after dark, and overall, to stay in touch with their friends when out drinking.

So if you or your friends are new to the downtown "experience", then please watch out for each other. Especially since there are so many freshmen around who don't know their limits, gamedays with 8-10+ hours of drinking, and a plethora of jerkoffs who have no problem taking advantange of underaged, drunk girls.

Keep an eye on your drinks. Don't leave them unattended. Recently, there was an instance of a guy being caught slipping xanax into a girls drink and was busted doing so. Thank God the cops were around because if it was up to me, we would beat these people senseless.

It's easy to become complacent in caring for your own safety, especially in an environment like downtown on the "college side" where everyone seems friendly and similiar in age, but trust me, there are people out who don't give a shit about who you are, where you came from, or who your daddy is. They're only out to get what they want, and they don't care who they hurt to get it.

If you have a problem, or you've lost your friends, or feel threatened by anyone, grab a cop. They're riding around on bicycles all night. Tell a doorguy or a bartender. Contrary to recent comments, nearly all of us are guys who will go out of our way to help anyone truly in need, and I don't know any doorguy who wouldn't do all that he could to protect a girl being harrassed by shithead guys.

So please, don't make yourself a target. Watch out for each other. Ask for help if you need it. Take care of each other when you've had too much, take a cab home or make sure you have a sober ride, and most of all, stay with your friends at all times.

This ends your friendly public service-type announcement.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I Guess They Nipped That In The Bud

Well, it happened. We don't need to get licenses anymore as doormen, but now it's required to be 21 years of age to work in a bar (But not a restaurant. Very odd. Don't they serve alcohol there, too?), bans drink specials after 11pm, sets a $1 minimum drink price, and numerous other changes.

My proclaimation, as of now, will be that underaged drinking will be just as rampant as it is now a year from now. These changes will do very little to stop underaged drinking.

Oh, yea. Chief Lumpkin. Perhaps the fathers of Georgia didn't send their daughters to Athens to get their IDs checked by sex offenders (God forbid such an act happen. It sounds horrible.), but I'm almost certain they didn't send them here to drink their own bodyweight in alcohol nightly, dance on bartops, go home with random guys and flunk out of college. That's something that can't be legislated through the bars by the wonderful Athens-Clarke County.

Until the county is honest and admits that targeting the real problem - the underaged drinkers themselves - would put quite a dent in the massive amount of tax money the county collects from the bars, then we have ultimately only had a lot of people going to meetings that didn't get anywhere, and voting about laws that won't stop Johnny the Underaged Frat Boy from shotgunning a case of Natural Light on the weekends with his fraternity brothers before heading down to Bourbon Street with his fake ID that his older brother gave him after he graduated. Don't worry though, the guy at the door will be 21. That'll show 'em!

Way to put on a show for the voters without actually doing anything! So, congratulations. This has all been a monumental waste of time. For you and us.

The only real victor in this is Johnny, who will go out this weekend for the football game and drink himself into a blackout unimpeded.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Athens Vent

Wow. Don't know how I managed to miss this for so long.

The longer reply in that link, and also the most accurate of them all, is right on the money. I don't matter. I work in a meaningless bar doing meaningless things. I've said that several times. I work a meaningless job standing at a door demanding IDs from my precious customers. And more often than not, I'm seen, and treated likewise, as nothing more than an inconvienence to those of you who are just trying to get inside, get past the formalities, and get fucked up.

However, this particular individual misses a crucial point.

You customers, who so often frequent downtown - and don't try to make a distinction between "college" bars and "real" bars, because the end result is all the same - you're just as meaningless as I. We all come together nightly - you drinking yourselves silly, injesting mind-altering substances and me being the one to make sure you don't do anything too embarrassing or stupid - in the wonderful geographical area of Athens known as downtown. But the difference is, you're there to spend money and I'm there to take it from you.

So who's really the lesser of the two? You decide.

Once again, I post on this blog because somebody reads it. My traffic stats show it. I, if for no other reason, also do it because I can go back and read it and remember the funny things that have happened. No one forces you to read this blog.

Yes, I blog about my job. It's not a unique or new concept. Just because my job blows doesn't mean anything. If you want to read about a job that matters, find a blog about a lawyer blogging about his latest victory in court. My blog is limited to the latest frat boy that I choked out and left in the gutter after he tried to hit me for being caught doing blow in the bathroom. Whatever's more interesting to you is up to no one else but yourself.

The beauty of it all, to me at least, is that no one knows me or where I work. I may or may not be in school. I may or may not have another job. This might be my moonlighting gig. You'll never know. Call me names, call me a failure, call me whatever you wish, but only I'll know the accuracy of it all. It's humorous to see people get worked up over my documentation of a job that I do at night.

And yes, I am a jerk, especially to those indivduals who have no sense of common courtesy to strangers, like some who commented on the Athens Vent, who feel privledged and deserving of special treatment simply because they have some cash to throw around. If defining yourself, like many try to do night after night when I'm at work - and proclaim it loudly and often - by the amount of money you have to spend, then there's a serious lack of any other quality thats important enough to brag about to other every day people who don't invest their time, money and energy in bars and things as meaningless as the nightlife in Athens. Or anywhere, for that matter.

So thank you, for those of you who came to my defense. It really doesn't matter, though. My job is meaningless. This blog is meant to entertain about the ridiculous things that my job entails. If my blog comes across as ridiculous and meaningless, then perhaps now you understand some of the thoughts going through my head as I stand at that door and watch all of you kill brain cells night after night.

Monday, September 03, 2007


I opened my eyes and immediately regretted having a few drinks after work on Friday night. I rolled over and grabbed my cell phone and sleepily looked at it.

Shit. 1:30pm.

I had planned on being up and ready to go by 11am. Oh well, I guess nothing really goes the way you plan on game days in Athens. Especially not on the opening game of the season.

It was okay, though. Kickoff wasn't until 6:52pm so I had plenty of time to kill before I had to be at work.

The night before hadn't been much fun, however.

Herding cattle. That's what I did Friday night. I had sat at the door, directing drunk people who couldn't and didn't care to see more than a few feet in front of them, to the guy standing at the door checking IDs. I tried to picture each and every one of them with a cow head sitting on their shoulders instead of their young looking college-kid heads, eyes glazed over and mouth opening, constantly screaming and yelling at each other, us, girls walking by, anything, anyone. Constantly. I had found myself in a trance-like state for a lot of the night, which I found to be quite satisfying and helped me pass the time much more quickly.

I occasionally found myself pulling people out of line who were out of dress code or who appeared too drunk. Sometimes people didn't want to get in the back of the line so through my magnificent power of persuasion, I helped them to decide to go to another bar. Sometimes they didn't want to, but ultimately, I always won out. I was overwhelmed with the number of people out and was fucking exhausted when it was all was said and done by the end of my shift.

That had led to my decision to drink after work. To relieve the stress and to help me relax, my few drinks had turned into a few more than I had planned and Saturday morning I was paying for it.

I got ready quickly and made my way to the tailgate. A 3 mile trip which normally would take 5-10 minutes at most, since I was coming from the East side of Athens, ended up taking me almost an hour.

After meeting up with some friends, we eventually made our way to North Campus, where there were easily several thousand people standing around, drinking and doing some classic college football tailgating. Suprisingly, I wasn't excited and didn't feel the normal anxiousness that the start of football season normally brings me.

I'm getting too old for this shit, I thought to myself. I had been thinking that for some time now, but for some reason, regardless of how repetitive I seem, I still continue to say it, over and over.

The game started and my attention eventually wavered after it was obvious we were going to win. I mingled with friends downtown for several hours and eventually work called my name and I went in.

The night was much like the night before. Problems, suprisingly, were few and far between, but drunken, exhausted football fans were everywhere. The fire marshalls came and went, their job to fight overcrowded bars a futile one, in my humble opinion.

I was glad I was outside just in case anything really happened. Some time ago, they came in and showed us a video tape of the band Great White playing in a nightclub in Rhode Island. The tape showed the band beginning their set with pyrotechnics in the background going off, setting fire to soundproofing behind the stage. In an ironic twist, the man filming was part of a local television crew there to do a piece on nightclub safety.

As anyone could imagine, the fire quickly became bigger and the tape continued to roll. It showed the initial reaction of the crowd - which was suprisingly calm - and then, a short time later, the panic that spread as the fire continued to burn and consume the entire building. The customers hopelessly surged towards the front door with many being left inside, trapped by the enormous crowd attempting to fill a small space not made for an enormous crowd. The cameraman miraculously made it out and filmed the rest of the scene from the outside. The sight of customers, stacked like firewood in the front door while screaming and slowly burning to death and choking on the smoke was chilling, to say the least.

100 dead.

So as you can imagine, on a busy night like Saturday, I was happy to be outside.

I could see almost all the way down both sides of the street my bar resides on, and it seemed to be a never-ending ocean of football fans leaving the game and coming downtown to continue the party. 92,746 people leaving the stadium after watching a winning game and wanting to celebrate with a drink or ten at a bar. Of course, my bar could only handle a very small fraction of that amount, but that didn't stop all of them, it seemed, from trying to come in.

And so my night continued. People were thrown out. People were arrested. I yelled at some frat boys. They yelled at me. The drunk littered the streets everywhere I looked, and they occasionally vomited on the ground, themselves and each other. Those who were passed out sat on the curbs of the sidewalk, eyes half closed, heads resting against the random tree or parking meter while their friends tried in vain to hail overworked and overcrowded cabs.

At one point, there was nearly a riot when a kid was arrested for disorderly conduct. Telling a police officer you could kick his ass if they were in the octagon is another quick way to jail. Several police officers, including myself, shooed away the genius' friends from the officer making the arrest as they drunkenly proclaimed that they would testify in his defense, come his judgement day. "You my boy, dawg...don'tchu forget that! You my booooy! We comin' to getchu out!" they screamed as he sat in the back of the patrol car. Over and over.

And so I stood, just for a moment, thinking silently among the drunken choas and bulldog chanting that went on all around me on the sidewalks of downtown Athens after a winning game, that another football season had arrived and I, just another gatekeeper of a bar, would have to endure another 6 weekends just like the one I was having at that exact moment before I would get another moment to catch my breath.

I let out a huge sigh and continued on with my job.