Tuesday, May 22, 2007


When you write a book about some job you’ve had, the only perspective you’re really able to see things from is your own. If you’re capable of writing a book about a job from someone else’s perspective, you’ve a much more vivid imagination than I do. I didn’t do that here. I wrote about my job – and some of the things that happened to me while I was doing it – based upon what I saw and heard with my own eyes and ears. From my own perspective.

What perspective is that?

As I’ve said on this site countless times over the past three-plus years, I’m hardly a superstar in the nightclub industry. This, primarily, is because I can’t be. I don’t stand out in any way. I’m not excessively big, tall or attractive. I have no real connections in the industry aside from knowing some people from my neighborhood who broke me into the business years ago because they needed someone with a pulse to stand on a box for a few hours on Friday nights. One thing led to another, and I ended up working at a club in Manhattan. I have no New York nightclub calling cards to speak of other than competence and punctuality. That’s it for me. That’s all you’ll find in my toolbox.

The perspective you’ll be getting from me is that of an outsider. When I started bouncing in clubs back in 2003, all this stuff was foreign to me. I’d watch people do the shit that people do in nightclubs and I’d think it was completely bizarre because I wasn’t used to it. I’d see some drug addict having what appeared to be a seizure on the dance floor, and I’d point the whole scene out to another bouncer and say, “Holy shit! What the fuck’s wrong with that guy? He looks like a fuckin’ retard!”

I’m calling myself an “outsider” because that’s what I was, and that’s what I still am. I’m an outsider because clubs and the club industry had – and still have – absolutely no bearing on my life. I’ve never, ever been a full time club employee. I’ve worked my shifts, and then I’ve gone home and tried to get some sleep. I’ve never worked or attended an after-hours party. I live a daytime life, thank you very much. Never once, since I started bouncing, has nightclub work accounted for an entire week’s paycheck for me. And, in all likelihood, it never will. It was and still is a part-time job.

This book is not about the industry’s top five percent. Rather, it’s about the bottom ninety-five. The top five percent earn their living at the club. The rest of us don’t, so we see things a little differently. We’re not part of “the scene.” We’re transient, and we’re hardly what anyone would call “memorable.” We go about our business and we go home, because we have more important life-shit going on outside the meaningless world of nightclubs.

This book isn’t some glamorous account of what it’s like to “guard the gates,” picking and choosing the beautiful people who make it into Manhattan’s top nightspots. If you want something like that, you should look into this. I’m not writing about the face of the club here. I’m writing about what it’s like to choke people blue out back. I’m writing about what it’s like to reconcile a normal daily existence with a wacked-out part-time job where your colleagues debate the merits of punching people in the nuts. That’s the part I know about.

You may read my book and wonder if you’ve ever been to the places I’ve worked.

You have.

You wouldn’t have given me a second look, though. Trust me on this one. You wouldn’t have.

This is because I’ve never bought into the illusion that the New York nightclub industry has worked so hard to create for you. Clubs, despite what you’ve been led to believe, aren’t the bigtime. When you really think about it, nightclubs are simply places where people go to drink, dance, listen to music and meet people. They also go there to commit felonies involving drugs and prostitution, but that’s not the point. The main idea here is that clubs are glorified bars, and bars, in a word, are irrelevant.

The scene is irrelevant because so many more things of significance are going on in the world at any given moment. The country’s at war. We’re operating under the threat of terrorism every single day of our lives. Cancer and AIDS have yet to be cured. Gas costs $3.50 a gallon. Glaciers are melting. Who gives a flying fuck what’s going on at the club?

Call me crazy, but I’m not impressed.

The whole business was irrelevant to me from the start because I, like most guys I know, took a bouncing job to supplement the income I was earning at a primary, full-time day job. I wasn’t dazzled by the scene because I simply didn’t have time for it, and because I’ve seen enough of the world to know that the entire nightclub industry is a big, fat fucking joke. And the joke’s on you.

You won’t be reading about celebrities or socialites here. You will be reading about what it’s like to knock yourself off track with a series of bad decisions. You’ll be reading about what it’s like to take a shitty part-time job because you can’t think of any other legal way to make cash as quickly as you need it. You’ll be reading about what happens when a “normal” person, out of financial necessity, runs headlong into an “abnormal” environment. Hilarity does, in fact, ensue, but usually for all the wrong reasons.

Understand my perspective, and we’ll get along just fine.