End of Year Wrap Up!

Wow! Another year gone by and what a doozy. We’ve covered a whole range of topics from Situational Awareness to Who Works The Front Door. If you want to have some fun, go back and read through some of our past posts. I guarantee you will learn something.

I wanted to finish out the year by thanking all of those individuals who not only make what we do here possible, but who have supported me and the company as we continue to grow and improve!

MANY THANKS TO:

Asaf Dimant, Brennan Titus, Josh Lewis, and Eric Satterblom for their continued business and support.

The Security Staffers at Blush Restaurant and Lounge, TONIC Nightclub, Indochine, and EOS Lounge. Keep on keeping ’em safe!

Nick Conn and the coaches and athletes at CrossFit Goodland for keeping me motivated, in shape, and working hard.

Eric Malzone and Traver Boehm at CrossFit Pacific Coast for your coaching, and for partnering with me to create our Women’s Self Defense Class.

Shaun Lager for an excellent product, a great sense of humor, and actually “getting it” when it comes to working security.

Dax Gulje and Jeff Baker for allowing me to beat up on them occasionally and helping indulge in my quest for deeper martial arts knowledge.

Elijah Shaw and Robert L. Oatman for continued inspiration.

Nightclub Staffers and Patrons everywhere. Without you, we wouldn’t have the stories, topics, or jobs that we so thoroughly enjoy.

And last but not certainly least, my wife, Su. None of this would be possible without her devotion, understanding, and limitless support .

There are more than a few changes coming in the New Year. But for now it’s time for a little break, a little battery recharge, and a headlong dive into more adventures.

Until next time…

Who Works The Front Door?

As the year comes to and end, I thought it would be a good idea to dive into the world of Nightclub Politics. Well, ok, to be honest, this post is actually the result of several conversations with disgruntled Doormen, but it does have to do with the dynamics of the Nightclub/Bar/Lounge setting.

First off, a note to all Bar Managers and Owners: You can manage your Nightclub/Bar/Lounge any way you see fit. After all, it is your Nightclub/Bar/Lounge.

Second, a note to all Bar Managers and Owners: You should occasionally listen to your Security Staff when it comes to how to run your Nightclub/Bar/Lounge.

In this instance I am referring “management” of the Front Door. Anyone with any experience in an adult entertainment venue (Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter! I mean Nightclubs/Bars/Lounges) knows that the Front Door is where all of the “action” is to be found. All the employees want to work there, you might have to “know someone” to get in, and being “The Man” (or Woman) on the Velvet Rope is seen as incredibly cool. The reality is far different, but we’ve discussed that in detail in a previous post.

What I am most interested in here is the problems that arise when too many people try to run the Front Door. In a perfect world, the Doorman, Door Ins, VIP Host, and Door Outs should be the only people in front of your establishment. Believe it or not, you hired them for a reason: to run your Front Door! They each have responsibilities and if they are doing their jobs to the best of their abilities, will guarantee you a night free from hassles, Law Enforcement visits, complaints, and incidents.

However, this is in the perfect world. We actually live in the imperfect world. This is the world where:

The Promoter stands out front and waves his “VIP guests” in, without checking their IDs or levels of intoxication. “But they’re fine, I promise.”

The Cocktail Waitress drags in two of her roommates, who don’t have their ID but “…are both over 21, I promise.”

The Barback begs you to let in his little brother, who doesn’t pass dress code, but is a good kid “…and won’t cause any trouble, I promise.”

The Owners show up with a guy who was 86’ed last night, “…but will behave tonight, I promise.”

Do we see the potential liabilities in these promises?

Oftentimes, the Bar Manager/Owner stands out front and oversees his/her Staff and overrides their decisions in the interest of “doing more business”. Is this wrong? Not necessarily. But it is in the best interest of anyone who owns or manages a nightclub/bar/lounge to listen to their Security Staff’s concerns. Do you always have to listen to what they say? No. But if your Head of Security is voicing concerns about you, the Owners, the Cocktail Waitress, the Barback, and the Promoter…you should probably pay some attention. If your Front Door Staff are being constantly overridden, by individuals who believe they have a say, possibly with the “go ahead” from Management, it is a problem. And a problem that could come back to bite you in the behind.

Does this mean that you as the Manager/Owner shouldn’t question your Staff on their decisions? Absolutely not. But allow them the leeway to make decisions as they see fit, as these decisions are generally in the best interest of your establishment. That being said, if your Front Door Staff are blowing it for everyone by allowing in minors, patrons who dont pass dress code, or their rowdy friends – by all means take charge. But standing in the doorway, double checking every ID, waving in every group of sorority girls, and questioning every ejection will not endear you to your staff. Promise.

It is of vital importance that the opinions of the Front Door Staff are heard, as objectively as possible. After all, it is in all of your best interests that the Front Door is regulated and controlled, with as few cooks in the mix as possible. Your front line  Staffers are the ones reducing your liabilities by not allowing in individuals who may cause you any number of problems. Observe them. Offer suggestions. And let them do their jobs. That’s why you hired them. Right? Besides which, 15 people working the Front Door is just plain crowded.

Until next time…

Because it is my job!

I would like to start off this post by not apologizing. I am not going to apologize for hurting anyone’s feelings with what I write next; for the basic reason that what I am about to write next is reality. And if you can’t face it, you should look elsewhere for guidance. I realize that this is a bit intense right off the bat, but sometimes that’s how things roll.

Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with individuals of high integrity, strong work ethic, and exceptional character. I have also had the displeasure of working with slackers, layabouts, whiners, and the occasional ne’er do well. (I will now brush off my own shoulder for the use of such descriptive words…thank you.) When you work the field of security, there are many realities that you have to learn to face – or at least should – at an early stage of your career. The main one is this:

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO WORK WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO WORK!

As a matter of fact, you will probably have to work EXACTLY when you have something else to do! Security is a profession in which your skill set is in demand ALL THE TIME. When most people are doing something else, you are working. Period.

First, let me clarify that I am not complaining about working wherever, whenever. It’s my job, I do it. Period. Have I missed out on fun, celebrations, vacations, and holidays due to work? Yes. Will I again? Yes. AND WHILE IT CAN BE ANNOYING, I WILL WORK. EVERY. TIME.

Why?

BECAUSE IT IS MY JOB

Anytime there is a big event (Superbowl), a holiday (Christmas, Thanksgiving), a vacation (Spring Break or 3 day weekend), or a big party (4th of July, New Year’s Eve), there is a good chance that Security will be needed to work it. Why? Because people need to be safe 24/7/365. And yet, as soon as Staffers start getting scheduled to work, the whining begins:

“Why do I have to work this year?”

“Bob always gets New Year’s off!”

“But I have a birthday party, BBQ, Bar Mitzvah to attend!”

#1 – Do you want a job or do you want convenience? Sometimes your job makes your life inconvenient. You aren’t paid to set your own schedule, someone else pays you to work THEIR SCHEDULE. Don’t like things that way? Start your own business. Actually, don’t. Because when you work for yourself, you work ALL THE TIME.

#2 – If you want time off, ask for it in advance. Way in advance. Like a month in advance. And remind your manager every week until the time you get off. Why? It’s responsible, mature, and shows initiative.

#3 – If your free time is more important than your job, especially when your job entails random hours and unpredicatble situations…you should find another job.

#4 – Sometimes in life we have to do things we don’t want to do. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. As the old saying goes, “Sometimes you eat the bear … and sometimes the bear eats you”. Sometime you have to work on your birthday. Or your wife’s birthday. Or your boss’ birthday.

#5 – Take one for the team. No one else can/will/wants to work? Maybe you step up and show the boss that you are willing to do whatever it takes to be part of the team.

Do I expect you to show up for work on time, dressed, and prepared? Yes.

Do I expect you to actually do your job when you are here? Yes.

Do I expect you to work every holiday, weekend, event, party, or birthday? No.

But don’t act like a whiny baby if you get scheduled to work, you haven’t asked for the time off, and it’s your job to keep people safe. The only thing that acting like that will guarantee is me looking to someone else for help.

Rant over.

Until next time….