Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Straight Talk

Here is some very good advice for bouncers. In a perfect club, all bouncers would deal with each other fairly and equitably. As we know, however, there is no “perfect club,” and some bouncers are scumbags. If I became Head Bouncer, I’d make certain that nobody on my staff could be described as a “scumbag.” I would do this by firing people left and right when it came to my attention that scumbags were on the loose in my nightclub.

Firings would happen indiscriminately. Innocent bouncers would be caught in the crossfire – bouncers with families to feed. I wouldn’t care. I’d pink slip every motherfucker in the place if that’s what it took to root out the “scumbag” element. This is because integrity is the name of the game in the nightclub business. We’re all about integrity.

You should believe this.

Bouncers should level with each other. There are several different ways to have conversations, but bouncers should choose the path that’s closest to what they’d really like to get across. If you’re talking about money, and there’s something you don’t want another bouncer to know, tell him that. Don’t lie. Tell him you’re not comfortable talking about it and leave it at that.

Instead of this, where we both know you’re completely full of shit:

“Hey, you making good money at this door?”

“Nah, man. I’m not makin’ shit over here.”

You should say this:

“Hey, you making good money at this door?”

“No offense, but I’d rather not talk about that with you, since we’re kicking back our money to different people. You understand, right?”

Don’t lie. Avoid. Even though I know exactly why you’re lying to me, the fact that you’re actually going through with it makes you look like an asshole. Sure, it’s all a big, fat fucking game, but it’s one that makes you look bad, not me.

“Why,” you’re thinking, “would you possibly ask a question you know won’t be answered? Better yet, why would you ask a question to which you already know the answer?”

You’re absolutely right on both counts. But when I’m asking a question of a bouncer I know – someone with whom I’ve worked for a few years now – I’d expect his answer to contain a certain degree of respect for our time served together. Extracting the truth is a longshot, but I might get it if he’s one of “my guys.” Evasion is fine, and I’d understand its purpose should someone choose that route. It’s the lying I can’t abide. The lying tells me he thinks I’m stupid. It tells me, in the most dismissive possible terms, he thinks I’m worthless in his grand scheme, because he doesn’t care anymore – if he even ever did – what I think of him.