Monday, 1 January 2001

From a NaNo-post, on the subject of bouncing

Note: this is a gathering of posts I made on my old LJ, which is now retired. I've moved them over here, in case they can be useful for someone researching venue / band life. If you wonder about anything, feel free to ask. The posts are all gathered under the tag "I'm with the band" as well as in THIS POST.

I've been a bouncer at a bar for a couple of years. I'm a girl, so I got a lot less hassle from the men (but probably more from the women). The times I remember right now, on the top of my head, is:

* the time a punk picked me up by my shirt, held me against the wall and stabbed his finger through the air towards me, hissing that I should be *** lucky he was suck a *** nice boy, or else I would be pissing blood. I managed to choke out that I was glad he was a nice boy, then. He answered "yeah..." as if he suddenly remembered that holding someone against the wall, threatening them with a beating, wasn't a nice thing to do, let me go and threw himself out (aka. went home). I went to our break room and shook for fifteen minutes. That was the first time I was threatened by one of the guests, and I hadn't worked there for a long time at that point. After a while, you get a pretty hard skin for threats.

* the time a guy one of my colleagues had thrown out for being too drunk got in my face as I was trying to repair the door (the hinges were broken, it was winter, it was not a good thing) and asked me why he was thrown out. He was too drunk, he could hardly stand and was slurring his words, so I told him just that. He then asked me if I knew anything about physics. He probably meant physiology, but since I was studying biology at the university, I told him yes, I did. He said "ok" and stumbled home.

* another time someone was on their way home when they stumbled and fell into a metal door we had. Both me and a co-worker shouted "be careful!" as he fell. He scrambled to get up, and staggered over to us. "Don't you worry, girls," he slurred, "that door is solid metal. I can't harm it."

* then you have the time a band that was playing at our bar came to write their guest list. They were hard core metal guys, and one of them sang a song consisting only of the word "meow" sung in a very high voice while the others argued over who were to be let in and who had to pay.

* you have the girl who had a complete breakdown at the toilets, so I was sent in to get her out and home. Her friends were fortunately there when it showed that she was French, and my French was completely useless (je m'apelle Videur, j'ai vingt-quatre ans). I did understand enough to understand that this country, it's beer, it's men and all it's cats could all go fuck themselves, she hated them all and she was swimming home. I do hope her friends got her out of that idea, it's a pretty far swim.

* Then you have the time a girl who we had thrown out once already that night tried to get back in to fetch her jacket. One of my co-workers went with her, got distracted and the girl disappeared, bought a beer and continued to get insanely drunk. We found her, threw her back out, and she tried the same thing again. This time, we refused to let her in. It was December, she was wearing high heels, a belt and a see-through top, and shouted at us for fifteen minutes that if we didn't let her back inside to get her jacket, she would freeze to death in the park close by and it would be our fault. I told her I could call a cab for her, which she refused (by law, that releases me of any responsibility towards her, since she was clearly sober enough to take care of herself, only obnoxious drunk, not dangerously so, and she was with two friends who were as obnoxiously drunk as her, and they could take care of each other just fine). She claimed twice that she would freeze to death in the park, and when she did, she would call the papers and it would all be my fault (the second time she said it, I gave in to the temptation to tell her that would be more her problem than mine, which led to her increasing her volume and shouting even more. In the end, I went in with my boss (who is a weakling and gave in, even though I had no problem standing there getting the abuse. There were only fifteen minutes left of my work day, and I was honestly feeling quite entertained by her idiocy). We guarded her by walking one on each side of her, like best friends, only wearing day-glo yellow security shirts that made it very clear we were not her honour guard. She found her jacket after less than a minute searching (yet claimed there were no chance someone else would ever find it, and refused to tell us where it was or what it looked like) and staggered into the night wearing a sleeveless blue jacket that ended just under her breasts.

* then you had the group of fifteen men who sat in the bar, singing "they can't throw us out, because we are from [insert city here]". We proved them wrong pretty quickly by simply denying them any more beer (rule number one: never piss of the bartenders, they have the right to refuse you service and they know how to use it).

* Last, but not least, you have the man who a co-worker of mine found to be unconcious in one of the toilet booths. They fetched me because they didn't know what to do and couldn't find the boss. The locks were terrible, which unfortunately meant that the security unlocking thing was broken and the only way to open them was to kick them open, which I did... waking the poor drunk inside, who suddenly found himself sitting naked on a toilet seat with four girls staring at him. Never seen a drunk leave a bar that quick.

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