Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I'm just a civilian, apparently...

I've been silent on this issue for a long time because I felt that there was something almost unpatriotic about complaining about members of our armed forces. But just like everyone else, they can get drunk and act like total idiots. And just like I normally do, I'll find time in my busy schedule to write on here about how it's ridiculous.

The real difference is that some of them seem to believe that their military service excludes them from certain things that apply to everyone else in the entire world. But with the Naval Academy right down the street, we get a lot of military guys in town, and eventually they discover Athens nightlife and pay it a little visit.

Now, before I go into my rant about certain behaviors which I find to be completely annoying and unnecessary on their part, I want everyone to understand that for every annoying soldier that gets under my skin, there are 100 other guys in the military that know a thing or two about common courtesty and how to treat another person. Just so that's clear.

Now, with that out of the way, here's my impromtu list of things that annoy the shit out of me when it comes to drunk soldiers:

"I fight for your freedom!" This creative and entirely unique line is typically brought out when a soldier is rejected at the door for one reason or another - usually it's because they're too drunk or they've been thrown out for fighting. They incorrectly believe that their individual service in the military has a specific bearing on my personal freedom. While in the overall picture of things, they may have some kind of point, the truth is that everyones freedom was bought with the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of soldiers, if not millions, over the past few hundred years. In addition, I seriously doubt that the soldier in question went into the recruiting office when they were 18 specifically to serve their country and "fight for everyones freedom". If that were true, then signing bonuses and college money after their dischange would be irrelevant.

It's simply tough to believe that one drunk 19 year old Marines year of service has made all the difference in my personal freedom over the course of my life and in turn, I'm obligated to thank them for that by completely ignoring rules and policies made by everyone who's my boss. How about you don't do shit to get yourself thrown out or rejected and then we won't be here having this argument on the sidewalk at 2 in the morning?

"I can fight for my country but I can't drink? That's bullshit!" This one is usually pulled out of somebodys ass because they're underaged and I won't let them in. A completely misdirected argument, the belief is held by some that I'm somehow obligated to let in members of our armed services regardless of their age. Wrong doesn't even begin to describe this. I'll reject you and anybody else regardless of what you do if you're underaged. And it's not even like I went and made up this rule myself. It's not even a policy of the bar. It's the law. You being in the military doesn't mean you're allowed to drink. Yea it might be a fucked up law, but I didn't write the damned thing myself, contrary to popular belief. I'm not an asshole because I refuse to allow you to break the law and risk my job simply because you just finished up basic and have an ID that says you're Army. So please, drop the attitude and write a letter to your polititian. And I'd be glad to give you directions to Level 131 since they're 18+.

"I'm shipping off to Iraq tomorrow at 0600!" At this point, if you don't know that signing up for the Army or Marines practically guarantees you a tour over in that hellhole of a country Iraq, then I have no sympathy for you. In addition, if you ship out at 0600 then you're gonna have a hell of a hangover for your day-long flight over there, which according to my watch, leaves in 4 hours. Sure you should really be out drinking right now, dude?

This line is even funnier when I see the same guy out the very next night using the exact same line on me. Even better, when they come out with that line in their dress blues. You don't have anything else to change into when you're out getting sloppy drunk?

"Soldiers get a discount here, right?" I don't know man, I'm the guy standing at the door, not behind the bar. And to try and answer your question, I don't think so. You can ask some of the bartenders but some of them are former military and did tours in Afghanistan and Iraq so does that mean you'll be tipping them more? I didn't think so. Pay for your drink, quit looking for a handout and go. Just go.

"I'm a fucking Marine!" I hate to generalize, but Marines are the worst. They travel in packs, they get fucked up, and worst of all they like to fight. They'll fight anyone. I guess if you go through all of that shit in basic, which I understand is a whole hell of a lot more involved than the other armed services, then you'd probably be pretty excited to try it all out on some unsuspecting drunk college kid talking shit to you in a bar - or a bouncer, too - as soon as you leave Parris Island.

I had a guy recently who came up to the door and refused to take his military ID out of his wallet. If you've ever checked a military ID, then you'll know that the date of birth is on the back. He figured being in the Army was good enough for him to get in. Again, everybody has a line and a reason that they should be allowed in without so much as a moment of hesitation at the door. Of course, this didn't work out for him and after making him take it out of his wallet so I could verify his age, he told me to "tell all of the bouncers that an airborne ranger is in the bar". I wasn't impressed.

That one was almost as good as the marine who told me I was "just a civilian".

I could go on - oh, how I could go on - but I won't. Like I said, there are countless numbers of military guys who are respectful and are out for a good time and nothing else, but it's always the jackasses who remain the most memorable, unfortunately.

Again, just so I'm clear, I'm a big supporter of the soldiers over in Iraq and I couldn't possibly imagine doing it. Trust me, your military service might get you free drinks from people in the bar and some hot girl to go home with you, but it just makes us laugh when you think your military service means you can beat us all up. So try and behave yourself, and if nothing else, please spare us bar employees all of the lines.


Sunday, October 28, 2007


The only thing that's really worth talking about this weekend is that Georgia beat Florida.

Coincidentally, nothing noteworthy happened at the bar either.

While walking to work last night, I passed a sign on the sidewalk in front of Barcode that summed it all up the best, I think.

"Suck it, Florida"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Today, I thought I'd scour the internet for a few real life examples of what a doorguy has to put up with on a regular basis. It's all good and well reading about it here, but next to experiencing it in real life, a video can help translate it that much better.

This first video is one of the more popular ones. This takes place on the sidewalk out front of some unknown club or bar. The kid is wasted and he won't go home. I'm guessing he and his girlfriend got kicked out for something, but most likely it was just him who got booted. Why he doesn't just go home, I have no idea.

This next video is a trailer for a documentory that came out a few years ago called "Bouce: Behind the Velvet Rope". All about bouncers in big clubs in major cities in the US and England, it's a little extreme, especially since alot of the guys in the video, one especially, just love kicking the shit out of people. I own the DVD and was kind of disappointed by it to be honest, but the trailer itself is fun to watch.

This next one is a little longer. The black guy is trying to get back into the club for one reason or another, and eventually the guys inside get sick of his shit and come out. The ending is the best.

This one's kind of funny. Some girl is drunk and starting shit at a local bar while a band is playing, is generously given a warning about fighting and, I assume, told to settle down, and then later, takes a run at whoever it was she was pissed at initially. She's escorted out and told to "get the fuck outta here".

This last one is my favorite. Set somewhere in England, its some kind of documentory about bouncers. A guy is tossed out, and does the obligatory standing and taunting from outside the door, and unwisely tries to take a run at the half dozen or so doorguys. It doesn't end well for him.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More Tips From The Door

Despite whatever I've said in the past, the only thing that I really want to do at the door is check your ID and keep you moving inside. I really don't want to stop you and I especially don't want to spend more than 5 seconds looking at your ID.

I want you to go inside because that means money for me and, of much lesser importance to me, a good time for you.

So I don't want to have a conversation with you. Big deal. What I do want to do is usher you inside as quickly as you can stagger forward. And I especially don't want to argue about anything with you, really.

It pains me, every single time, when I reject people. The reason it pains me is because I'm required to stop the forward momentum of the line and explain to a drunken 19 year old why he or she can't come in.

I want you inside, but more than that, I don't want you lying to me. I get lied to on a regular basis at the door. Every other minute I hear excuses, reasons, explainations, and every tall tale under the sun that someone can concoct for why they should be allowed inside when I've told them they can't.

Please know this: I don't believe a damned word that you're telling me.


I'm not an idiot. Don't treat me like one. My first night working here wasn't last night. Believe it or not, I was in your position at one time in the past, so I know your games and I know your tactics.

When I tell you that your ID is fake, or expired, or simply isn't you, don't give me the wide eyed deer-in-the-headlights look and act like you didn't know. I'm not impressed and it won't work.

If you ask me the ever popular, yet completely ineffective, Are you serious?, question when I reject you, or any other argument for that matter, then I'm going to embarrass you by announcing loudly to you and everyone in line that we don't accept fake IDs, and they'll all watch you slither away from the door, head hung in shame.

And trust me, they are laughing at you. I am too, incidentally.

And the lies, the damned lies you all tell. No, there isn't a bartender named Madaline who works here. Even if she did work here, and even if she did give half a shit about you, then she would have let me know that you were coming. But she didn't. Claiming to be with someone who works here doesn't fly. It's an old, tired method for getting in, and I'm pretty sick of hearing it, to be honest.

And even if they do work here, and you get an attitude with me before they come vouche for you, then guess what? You're still not getting in. Because this is my door. Not theirs. Try some respect and common courtesy next time, shithead. If I believed every drunken frat boy that came up to the door swearing they're best friends with the general manager or the owner, then I might as well go home. Why even bother standing up there and checking?

So yea, I rejected your girlfriend. To guy who asked me why I "bounced" his girlfriend from the line last weekend, here's why: She had a fake ID. Simple. Not only was it fake, it was a piece of paper. A piece of paper. Are you kidding me? You could have scooped up a handful of dog shit from the sidewalk to show me and had a better chance of getting in than she did with her homemade scan of someone elses fake ID. So, heroic boyfriend, please explain to me how it's my fault that she had a fake ID.

In addition, my personal policy for fake IDs is this: If you have one and I catch you with it, then I'll reject you. But...I'll give it back to you. This means, at the very least, you won't get in to my bar for the night.

Here's where it gets a tad bit interesting. If you give me shit, then I'll take it from you and put it in my pocket. So now, because of your inability to curtail your urge to voice your displeasure at me, you're now fucked for getting into any bar for the night. This is why it does nothing but help you to take your ID back from me, keep your mouth shut, and quietly walk away.

Giving me shit for rejecting you includes, but isn't limited to, any of the following: Arguing about the authenticity of the ID, cursing at me, calling me names, walking away and getting back in line with a different ID or a quick change of clothes, threatening to sue me, telling me how important you or your parents are, threatening to get the cops, telling me how much money you were going to "drop" in the bar tonight, trying to sneak by me, telling me that "your friends are in there", or that you know an employee or the owner.

Basically anything other than walking away from me silently and not coming back for the night.

And finally, if I reject you, and you give me shit, and you continue to give me shit for rejecting you and confiscating your horrible fake ID, please keep in mind that I have a very important piece of information that the police would be very interested to know about. The odds of you spending the night in jail goes up substantially if I share said information with them.

Just give me a reason to, asshole.

You're underaged, you've probably been drinking, and even more importantly, you have (or had, since I took it) a fake ID. Doesn't matter if you have it now or not, all I have to do is wave over Officer Friendly standing several feet away from me and explain the situation, and you'll be in handcuffs faster than you can say I'm sorry, I just want to go home please, Officer.

As I told the friend of a kid whom I got arrested for violating these very rules I just wrote about last weekend, my best advice to you is this: If you're downtown, drunk, underaged, and on the sidewalk, the best thing you can do is to keep your fucking mouth shut.

And as a sidenote to all of this: If you're in possession of a manufactured ID (which means that you made it) and the cops find it, then you're looking at a felony. A felony.

Is that really worth it?

Happy drinking this weekend!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Friendly Reminder

With all of these stories about the guy in the white van driving around abducting women from downtown, and especially this recent story, I felt it prudent to remind anyone who reads this to take my recent advice to heart, and make sure you remind all of your female friends about it as well.

For the love of God, stay with your friends! If you DO get seperated - and it happens all the fucking time downtown when you're consuming way too much alcohol - then call your friends before you go out on an impromptu search for them in other bars. Text message them. Stay put. Stop drinking. Call other friends who aren't drinking to come get you.

If you find yourself being harassed by guys downtown, or you find yourself being followed or feeling threatened in any way, please find a police officer. Be aware of your surroundings. Call 911. With all of these girls as victims in Athens, I guarantee a quick call to 911 will have half of the fucking Athens-Clarke County Police Department at your side in less than a minute.

And again, bar employees are your friend, too. We can help you and get you to a safe place as well. Don't be afraid to ask.

Taking cabs home is still the safe thing to do, regardless of recent events. Just make sure you check that the van or car actually has printed on the actual car body that it's a cab, and not just an unmarked vehicle. On busy nights, random people decide to make some extra cash and cart people around town. Even I've been approached while walking to my car at the end of a busy game night by people in unmarked vans asking if I need a ride home. I've always declined, of course.

Legitimate cabs are safe, just make sure they're legitimate.

Please be safe, stay with your friends at all times, and make intelligent decisions, as best as you can, while you're drinking away your weekly grocery money your parents gave you.

This has...

...absolutely nothing to do with anything on this website.

I just think it's fucking hilarious. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Rich Kid

"I'll dominate you!" the drunk kid screamed from the sidewalk at us. His pink-shirted brother held him back, while he tried to make a run at myself and the other guy working the door. He did his best most most muscular pose, much like this, which ended up just making all of us laugh, seeing as he was a very unintimidating 6 foot, 175 lbs.

"It's true," said pink shirt, turning around. "He would dominate all of you motherfuckers." He pointed at us, as if to solidify his point.

With that, pink shirt turned and pushed his angry brother towards the street and to a waiting cab while he continued to rant and rave, making half-hearted attempts to come back towards us.

Another floor staff guy who came out to check out the ruckus decided to bid them goodbye and waved. Of course, this only irritated the situation and they both made their way back to all of us, which by this time was, by my count, 10 combined bar employees. Their odds of coming out on top of this one wasn't very good.

Back and forth we went. Them yelling and us laughing. Over and over. We were trapped in a never ending circular hell on the sidewalks of downtown Athens at 2am surrounded by drunken chaos, the target of some misguided intoxicated ranting and raving that started from a monumentally trivial matter.

It had all began because it was after 2am and we were closed. The pink shirted frat boy brother had wanted to come inside. His excuses went back and forth. His girlfriend was a bartender, but he didn't know her name. He gave his credit card to "some guy" and he was inside spending money on his card. He needed to close his tab. He tried to take a run at the doorguy to make it in, when we forcefully reminded him, in no uncertain terms, that the answer was no and it wasn't changing. And so pink shirts brother came heroically to his rescue.

And so we found ourselves squaring off with two brothers who, for all intents and purposes, wanted to fight us and hurt us. Over a credit card.

"I've got more money on that card than you'll make in your life!" he screamed. He gave us the middle finger. He called us assholes. He told us to go fuck ourselves. And yet we stood there, watching and waiting.

"You think you're a big tough bouncer, huh? You make $5 an hour! You're nothing. I've got more money than you'll ever see. Ever!"

We had heard it all before. Nothing new. Nothing creative. Nothing significant enough to even make us raise an eyebrow. These threats and promises were old, tired, and worn out, heard by all of us more times in the past to count. We had taken these threats before, considered them, and found them lacking in more ways than one. It was the drunken ranting of a spoiled little rich college kid, unaccustomed to not getting what he wants, when he wants it.

And so their night ended in handcuffs, surrounded by police officers.

Oh, and did I mention that his card wasn't even in the bar? Never was.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Shitty Practices

It doesn't take anyone with any kind of real intelligence to realize that bars are sketchy, shitty black holes out to get your money in any way they can. They want it and if there's a way to get that cash out of your drunken hands into their pockets, they'll do it.

They'll nickel and dime you to death and unless you know your bartender, the odds that you're getting shafted in some way greatly increases.

For example, there are bars downtown who water their liquor down. One bar in particular comes to mind, but I won't name names. One distributor was telling me that while he was making a delivery, a female bartender happened to be cleaning some of the coolers and freezers and informed him that the freezer was so cold, that it froze the bottles of vodka they had in them.

His response?

"Liquor don't freeze, sweetie."

Another one of my friends who works(ed) for another bar was so convinced that every bar downtown fucks over their customers by watering their shit down that he, hands down, told me that I was a liar when I said that my bar doesn't. He told me that, on numerous occasions, he watched and often helped them to swap bottles of well liquor with empty bottles of Crown, or other top shelf selections.

I got a drink very recently at a wonderful establishment and was very suprised to notice that employees were served exclusively out of one well rack, while normal customers were served out of another. Their long island iced teas were poured directly from a bottle that had a handwritten label on it that said "Long Island Mix". I thought I had the best tolerance in the world on that particular night.

Some bars teach their bartenders to "short pour" mixed drinks, thereby helping the bar to save money in the long run on product.

There are other bars who not only fuck over their customers, but also their coworkers. Several bars in particular take a percent of their employees tip money every night without their knowledge. Not only is this illegal, but it's downright wrong. It's stealing.

Beyond just matters that affect customers which is just the tip of the iceberg, bars out there will cut corners any way that they can. Skimping on insurance, paying employees "under the table", underreporting income, and not paying employees for hours worked are also common themes.

So when you see that common sign at a bar that says "Wanted: Honest Bartender". Just know that the only reason they want someone who's honest is because they're the easiest ones to fuck over.

A Few Short Stories from the Past

A few years ago at another bar, when we closed up shop at night and were finally done cleaning, stacking chairs and tables and doing all the things we needed to do in order to lock up, we would do a final "walk through", just to make sure doors were locked, lights were off, and everything was in order.

Well, on this particular night, apparently the walk through never was completed, because I was awakened several hours later by an angry phone call from the manager, who informed me that the closing manager (who was not me, by the way) had failed to remember that we had a passed out friend who was waiting for a ride home in a booth on the second floor. Apparently, the passed out kid had awoken several hours later to a darkened, empty & quiet bar. Understandably confused, he walked downstairs to see where the hell everyone was and tripped the motion sensor on the alarm, thereby summoning the police who took him down at gunpoint until the manager arrived to explain the situation.

Good times.

Another time we caught a guy, literally, with his hand in the cookie jar. Only, it wasn't a cookie jar. It was one of our tip jars. Filled with money. Filled with our money. Which is a huge, huge mistake in a bar. Or anywhere, for that matter. While I helped to catch him, I wasn't privy to what happened when several employees took the frightened thief into the back alley to "talk things over with him" as they put it.

As I understand it, his pockets were emptied of all cash he had on him and he was subsequently locked out back, left to make the long walk back around to the front door where he was promptly denied entry. While I'm glad that I caught the little fucker, I'm also glad that I wasn't an accessory to a strong armed robbery. Which is what I'm pretty sure what they did is called. Lesson to be learned? Keep your grubby little hands off of and out of things that aren't yours, like the employees money. Especially the employees money. He's lucky they didn't beat the living shit out of him and leave him lying in his own blood in a dark, empty alleyway.

Another time, we were informed of a fight going on upstairs (this was a two level bar that I worked at the time) so myself and two other floor guys jumped into bouncer fight action and started running in the general direction. I was first the in the line of three, so little did I know that the guy in the back tripped & faceplanted on the stairs, knocking him out cold. We were down to two men to break up the fight, which isn't a great ratio, but it's better than one. Only, nobody knew it at the time.

The pool tables were located near the top of the stairs, and in order to make it to the two guys who were fighting - who at that point we had spotted and were pretty big - we had to zigzag in between a maze of pool tables. Unfortunately, the guy behind me hit a wet spot going around a corner and fell, hitting his head and sliding underneath a pool table, completely out of sight and out of action. I myself also fell, but took it in stride and got back up running and jumped on the first guy I got to, expecting my two coworkers to jump in immediately and help me do the whole seperate, restrain and eject manevuer. It took a few seconds for me to realize I was the only one hanging onto the back of anyones neck before I looked around and saw that I was desperately alone, and the guy who I had in a headlock - bigger than I was, by the way - wasn't taking my actions kindly because now he was, more or less, being doubleteamed.

Let's just say it took some finessing on my part to 1) get him out of the bar and 2) do so without having a knock-down, drag-out fight with him one on one since my coworkers couldn't keep on their feet and stay conscious.

Just another night, I suppose...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Night in the Life of a Doorguy

I walked down the sidewalk towards the bar. I was still a few blocks away and checked my watch.

8:57. Shit.

Putting an extra step into my pace, I tried to make up for lost time. The parking downtown was horrible tonight and I had been forced to circle the block a few extra times in order to find a parking space that wasn't too far away and in a decently lit spot so my car wouldn't be broken into.

Walking into the bar, a few employees were already there, busy setting up their respective stations. The bartenders were setting up their tins and mats, and a few were cutting fruit already. Some of the floor staff were setting trashcans up and I caught a glance of Bill behind the bar, wearily going through the motions of the night.

"Whats up man," I said. "Hows it goin?"

"Dude..." he began. I could already see his eyes were bloodshot. "A few of us went out for dinner and I think I drank too much." He drunkenly laughed. So did I. He was going to have fun bartending tonight...until about 12 when his hangover hit. I was glad I wasn't in that position.

I was stationed at the door with Rob, another door guy, so we went to the door to set up the mats and other various assorted things that require being set up and flipped on in the forward section of the bar. After that was done, we settled in for the early night wait, which basically means we sat on our ass until we got busy.

Downtown, in the past few years, has taken longer and longer to get busy. Now, it's normally around 11:30 or 12am before it really gets going. Which, for us, means that we sit around for 2 or 3 hours waiting to do work.

Rob and I stationed ourselves at either side of the entry when the people started coming in. Shortly thereafter, a police officer rode up on a bicycle and got off, parking his bike and walking in our direction while saying something into his radio at the same time.

"You guys have a problem with a customer around here?" he finally asked.

"No...not that I know of." Me and Rob looked at each other and shrugged.

"Well, we had a report of a problem customer down here." He sighed and looked around. "Hmm...," he said, seemingly to himself. He looked like he was thinking.

About that time, a guy came out from the bar next door and informed the officer he had seen a homeless guy walking by with a knife in his hand. Apparently, he had scared a few people on the sidewalk and the police had been called. Upon being informed of this, the officer thanked us and walked away, off to search for the offending crackhead. We spotted him several hours later searching a guy down the sidewalk.

As the night went on, we picked up considerably, and found ourselves time and time again in situations which required increasing patience and self control to deal with. I'm no researcher, but if I were to conduct any research into the matter, I would bet that has everything to do with the amount of alcohol that our wonderful customers had consumed.

A few examples:

Thug: "Whatya mean mah shirts too baggy? That's bullshit! You're racist!"

Us: "Sorry man. The thing comes down to your shins. You stretch it out or something?"


Sorority Girl: "Are you serious? I can't come in? But I'm 21!"

Us: "Well miss, your ID says you were born in 1983. That would actually make you 24. Skip math class today?"


The night breezed by fairly unevenfully, which Rob and I were both thankful for. That is, until 2am hit.

"See that guy leaning against the parking meter down there?" Rob said. "He's been like that for about 10 minutes. He's hammered."

We do this alot. We try to spot the potential offending customers before they've even tried to come in the bar. This particular guy looked rough. Shaggy, frat boy hair and a complete inability to walk in a straight line.

Rob called it well, because shortly thereafter, the drunk headed our way.

"Sorry," Rob said to him. "You've had a little too much tonight. I'm not going to be able to let you in."

"Wh-wh-whatt?" drunk boy slurred. "I'm not drunk! See?"

With that, the drunk kid tried to walk a straight line, much like the cops do when administering field sobriety tests. I'm no cop, but I think it's fair to say he failed when he nearly faceplanted.

We laughed. But drunk boy wasn't convinced just yet. He approached Rob again.

"Dude," Rob started. "You're not coming in. I already told you."

"But I'm not drunk. Really!" His eyes were horribly bloodshot and one of them was lazy.

Round and round we went for a minute or two, when the guy tried to brush past Rob and Rob shoved him back. The police noticed and came over, and this is when it got bad.

The officer grabbed the drunk kid and escorted him towards the street. The only thing was, the drunk kid wasn't having it. He squared off with the officer, ready to fight. The officer then told him to put his hands behind his back.

He didn't.

30 seconds later, I found myself stopping traffic in the middle of the street while a half dozen bike cops dog piled the fighting drunk kid, trying to get him in handcuffs. They finally did and I thanked them for their trouble and went back to the door just in time to see the exact thing happening again at the door.

"But my friends are in there..." the other drunk kid said, holding up an ID which said he was born in 1989 while simultaneously trying to stagger by Rob.

"I told you NO!" Rob said, and shoved him back onto the sidewalk.

The drunk kid cocked his right arm back as I stepped between them. I grabbed a handful of his shirt and drove him backwards through the crowd on the sidewalk towards the street where the cops were processing the first kid. They looked over and immediately jumped into action, taking the kid away from me and slapping on a pair of handcuffs. He found a place to go to for the night, only it wasn't what he had in mind I'll bet.

Finally, when the seemingly neverending line of drunk people marching out of the bar stopped, we packed our stuff up, went inside, and locked the door. After doing some brief cleaning and taking the trash out, I had a seat and drank a beer before heading home to get some much needed rest.

Just another Saturday night.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Don't Be This Lady

In keeping with my last post, I happened upon this little gem from Red Lobster Blog. If there's a God, then this lady will be sent straight to hell. It wasn't enough that she tipped a ridiculously low amount on a rather large tab, or her attitude, but she ultimately blamed the server and then proceeded to pull the race card.

Thanks for Coming In, But Let Me Show You The Door

Every once in awhile, I get a little feedback via comments, or more commonly, email, or I discover things written about me somewhere on the internet.

It's funny to me. Either I'm praised and heralded as someone who's "right on the money", or accused of being a heavy handed asshole who likes to get a rise out of people. One guy even referred to the customers who come into my bar as my "potential victims" as if I'm a bloodthirsty predator who's salivating just at the thought of tossing some unsuspecting drunken customer out on the sidewalk.

I guess the stereotype for my job, being a so-called "bouncer" is that we're all meatheaded animals, out to forcibly eject and beat up our customers on a whim. We should be licensed, they say, and apparently the Athens-Clarke County government wants us to get background checks, too.

Those "in the know", which is pretty much anyone in a service indutry-type job, can relate to the pain of dealing with asshole customers who expect to be waited on with the utmost respect and urgency. Customers expect so much, yet give so little back in return on all levels. A large percentage of customer service workers primarily rely on tips from the customers that we hate so much. These are the people who leave me nice comments and emails. It's because they know my pain.

I think the only thing that we ask as customer service workers - besides a 20% tip, of course - is just a little common courtesy. A "please" and a "thank you" go a really long way. Just being friendly to a stranger who's waiting on your table or serving you a drink can mean more to them than throwing a few extra dollars their way.

Treating someone like sub-human garbage simply because they wait tables or bartend, or work the drive-through window in a fast food restaurant, is totally unacceptable. I don't give a fuck how much you tip me, if you can't have the decency to treat another human being like a real person and not just some anonymous robot who brings you what you want, when you want it, then I should inform you that there's a special place in hell for pieces of shit customers like yourself.

So, that's why it's so tough for a regular person who has never had the exciting opportunity to work any length of time in a customer service position to understand. They're normally the first to accuse me of being a dick to customers. Our drunken, staggering, fucking, thieving, lying, slurring customers are never wrong, but the sober "bouncer" is the one who really needs to be watched. We're the ones who are out of control.

God forbid I take offense at being called an asshole for escorting you out. God forbid I call a customer on his bullshit and tell him to settle down. How dare I?

Thankfully, my position lends me the authority to, and even an obligation to, make sure customers behave themselves at all times, and when necessary, escort them out. Sometimes forcefully and without apology. I feel badly for those customer service workers who have to stand there and take it, most of the time with a smile on their face, while a customer berates them for bringing them a cheeseburger that came with mayo on it and not on the side. Oh, horror of horrors.

They work for a corporate entity and violence against customers is not only unacceptable and would probably cost you your job, it's usually fraught with civil and legal liabilities.

For some reason, the bar industry gets away with it. And so they should. When was the last time a customer at a restaurant took a swing at a server for refusing him service? Not as many times as it's happened to bar employees, I bet.

I'm not saying that my job is any tougher than anyone else's. It's probably easier in many ways. I'm simply saying that my options in a situation like that, perhaps, are a little more all-encompassing than other jobs.

So to all of you customer service type workers, when I toss someone out, it's not just for me or the bar, it's for every other customer service worker that person has been a dick to in his life. Yell and threaten your server, you might get a free appetizer or meal. Threaten your fast food drive-through worker and you might get your money back, but threaten your bouncer and you'll find yourself face-down, ass-up on the sidewalk being placed in handcuffs.

And for those small things, I'm thankful.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Locals Weekend

The away game weekend was definitely a welcome relief to those of us working downtown. We didn't have to put up with a gigantic crowd, hordes of hammered-beyond-belief drunk kids, 12 hour shifts, and constant yelling and screaming in the name of football.

Don't get me wrong. I love football. I love game days. But it's nice to have a break.

The flipside of this, on the other hand, is that away game weekends are constantly "locals nights". This is when the kids from the surrounding counties decide to take advantage of the lack of college kids in town and go out and do some drinkin'. If you say that sentence in a really country accent, then it sounds a lot funnier. At least, it did in my head when I wrote it.

The bad part about this is that a majority of these kids are something we'll call less than desirable. Get about a dozen budweisers in them and they're a fucking nightmare to babysit. Get five or six of them in the bar and my otherwise relaxing weekend suddenly becomes a huge pain in the ass. I won't even go into the fact that these slow weekend aren't exactly making anyone rich, including myself, so essentially I'm dealing with these rednecks-gone-wild for less than I'd normally be making on a busy weekend.

And that's what I got to do this weekend.

Friday was relatively slow - I escorted out some girls for passing back IDs directly in front of me after they walked in, but that was about it. They were hot too, so I felt a twinge of guilt but it sure would be nice if these underaged kids put a little more effort into trying to sneak in the bar. Somebody give me a challenge!

Saturday is when the locals came out. I started off by kicking a few of them out before they had taken more than two steps inside the bar. Apparently mouthing off is not something their mothers told them not to do when they were being raised.

Later in the night, I made the joyful discovery of the use of illegal controlled substances in the bathroom by several others members from the same group of kids that I had kicked out earlier. After emptying his pockets into the toilet and making him flush it all, I reminded him where the door was. The worst part about it was the fact that he stunk up the entire bar. So, our efforts to make the place seem like a halfway decent bar were horribly thwarted because some shithead redneck couldn't wait to smoke a blunt. I swear I got a contact high just from being exposed to the shit.

I'm not a big fan of drugs. Never have been. My tolerance for it is at absolutely zero, honestly. I don't feel comfortable around people who are using drugs, and if I find you doing drugs in the bathroom at the bar, you should feel lucky if the only thing I do is make you empty your pockets and flush it all away. That's your best case scenario. Worst case scenario: I'll detain you and go find a cop who wants to make a felony arrest and take you and your cocaine away. It's normally coke or weed that I'll bust people with, but I've gotten more than my fair share of kids arrested who give me an attitude when I catch them trying to snort a bunch of shit up their nose.

On the rare occasion I'll find people snorting crushed up pills or, in a handful of cases, meth. Drug transactions happen all the time downtown, and the drug dealers are constantly out. I happen to work at a few places that have a zero tolerance policy for drugs, and we've made a lot of headway in keeping out the drug users and especially dealers. Not every place is like that, though. There are bars who tolerate users and dealers - if you know anything about downtown, you'll know the places I'm talking about - and nothing kills my buzz faster when I'm out drinking than feeling like the drug dealer in the booth across from me is going to pull out a pistol and rob me at some point.

All to say, I have a serious distaste for drug users, and that ended that particular rednecks night earlier than I'm sure he expected. Later in the night, I found the remaining girls that hadn't been escorted out trying to sneak into the guys bathroom because "the line for the girls room was too long". They were the kind of classy, redneck, trailer trash girls that every bar employee wants in their bar. A short conversation and a few smartass remarks in my direction found me marching the girls out to join the rest of their friends out on the sidewalk.

Did I mention it was one of the girls 21st birthdays? Well it was. And I made sure to wish her a happy birthday after I kicked her out.

Yea. I'm an asshole.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I've drastically cut back my hours working downtown recently, for several unnamed reasons, so for those of you who are still interested in reading, I will continue to post things as they happen.

But, realistically, I'm sure I'll have a little less to share considering I'll be downtown a lot less and thus, will probably miss out on some of the alcohol-fueled college antics that go on between 9pm and all hours of the morning in our wonderful downtown district of Athens, Georgia.

Advice for your Drunken Handbook

If there was a handbook on going downtown for drunk college students in Athens, I think a good rule to include would be one that stated the following:

"When attempting to enter a bar after closing time and being told by the staff member at the door that the bar is, in fact, closed, an incorrect response to news of said information would be to exclaim, I'm going in, I don't give a shit! and charge the door. The odds of physical confrontation and, in your (the customers) case, injury, greatly increases."

That being said, it is recommended to not physically challenge the staff at any bar downtown over a trivial problem, because let's be honest...do you really think that's going to solve your problem?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Which One to Choose?

Good Idea: On game day Saturday, you and a half dozen of your best friends get up a little early to grab a tailgating spot on north campus. You might bring a grill with some hot dogs and burgers, a bulldogs tent, maybe a radio or even a TV if you're feeling especially excited about the tailgate. The game starts around 3 so it make sense to start tailgating at 12pm.

A few burgers, beers and hours later, you all make your way to the stadium which is just around the corner and have a blast watching the dogs kick the shit out of some SEC team. It's been a long day, seeing as it's about 6:30pm, so you all head back to your tailgating spot, pack up and go home to get some much needed rest. It was a great gameday in Athens.

Bad Idea: There's a home game Saturday afternoon? Fuck yeah. The weekend starts after class Friday (well, technically, the "weekends" in Athens starts closer to Wednesday night or Thursday night, depending on who you ask and how old they are) so you and your best friends pool your weekly grocery money together and all go in on a keg of natural light! After draining half the keg friday night, you head downtown and proceed to drink until 3am like you have nothing to do the next day. Oh, contraire!

Despite drinking copious amounts of alcohol the previous night (in fact, you're still drunk) you manage to get up around 12pm and head down to a friends tailgate where you continue to slam beers until it's game time. You stagger to the game with a bottle of Jack Daniels that you "found" at the tailgate and manage to smuggle it inside. You and your friends pass it around while watching the dogs kick the shit out of...wait, who are we playing? Who cares. Let's get fucked up! By the time the game's over, nobody wants to sleep! You head back downtown and continue to drink. The last thing you remember is heading to Walkers around 11pm. The only small flashes of memory you have of the rest of the night involve laughing alot, getting angry at some doormen who won't let you in, taking a few shots at Generals, and talking some shit to a few kids and, oh...of course the cops.

You wake up the next morning face down on your bed, still completely clothed and stinking of vomit and beer. You're bruised all over and completely exhausted. Your wallet and cell phone are missing. Somehow your car made it home, but its parked halfway on the grass and halfway in a parking space. The headlights are still on. You search your pockets and find a citation for urinating in public. Oh, well...who the fuck cares? The dogs won and you've got another home game to get ready for this weekend! Yeah! College rules!