The Club Coach
An online journal of the nightly (and daily) nonsense endured by a (former) bouncer at two of New York's most popular nightclubs.
I’m a link chaser. I chase links. I look at my blog stats sometimes, and when I do - when I see where you people are coming here from - I chase down links and see who’s referring you to me. I really do this. It can be fun.
One of these links, from someone’s personal page at
This may be true.
Whether or not it is, however, is irrelevant. It’s also impossible. This is a personal site, set up by me for me, for the sole purpose of writing whatever the fuck’s on my mind at any given moment.
There exist certain societal norms that must be adhered to within the context of the situations I describe. These norms must be adhered to because society – along with my years of experience in the nightclub business - says so. I know society says so because society becomes enraged and starts swinging, stabbing and shooting when these norms are not in their proper place. When people deviate from these norms, it’s often funny. When Guidos deviate from these norms, it’s hysterical and often results in violence, bleeding and people being punched in the nuts.
I love bouncers who punch people in the nuts. Why waste time? Why get hit?
I’m not being “self-righteous” when I say that too many people in the
When I complain about people smoking directly in front of doors, I’m not being “self-righteous,” even when I go on at length about how I wouldn’t engage in this practice myself because you’d have to be a fucking retard to smoke a cigarette directly in front of a door. Fuck people who smoke cigarettes directly in front of doors. Feel free to make your little political statement by smoking directly in front of a door. I’ll make mine by slamming said door in your face. At this point we’re even, and neither of us, at any point, was behaving any more “self-righteously” than the other.
The world is not a place where you can just go and do whatever the fuck you want. People will come and slap you down, hard and repeatedly, if you think it is. This is reality. When you bother people, it will piss them off. When you piss them off, they will react badly to you. They will try to make you stop. Occasionally, this will hurt.
I may be a very delusional person, but in my line of work you tend to get a very good handle on which behaviors tend to piss the world off, and you eventually develop the ability to explain to people what these behaviors are. Pointing out these behaviors is not an example of self-righteousness. When you’ve been victimized by them enough times – when you work in the service industry and pile up a large enough statistical sampling of bullshit - you’ll realize that humanity’s natural reaction to this victimization is anger.
Is it simply a matter of chance that my opinion and reality match up so very well when it comes to this shit?
I think not.
I couldn't really do this guy justice with my shitty Motorola Razr camera, because the fucking things don't come with a flash. White shirt, white belt, white Capri pants and white sneakers, and he wouldn't stop shouting about his "crew" the entire goddamned night. Even this nasty looking giant girl faked a conversation on her cell to get away from this dipshit:
I was on the opposite side of the ropes last weekend – the side you unfortunates have been on all these years since you started coming up to me in the middle of the night thinking I’d give a shit about you and the little lies you’ve told.
“I own my own company, yo! I make two-hunnit g’s a year, dawg, and that’s net! You need a job?”
What the fuck?
In any case, I was invited, last Friday night, to meet a group of people at Slate, an upscale Pool Hall/Lounge combination on
Not that Slate’s a bad place, mind you. I couldn’t tell you whether it is or isn’t, because I’ve never been there when I’ve wanted to be there. If and when I eventually do go there voluntarily, I’ll give you a full report. I’m very much looking forward to the day where I’ll forget myself and actually enjoy going out. I’m just having a hard time with the whole spending-drinking thing lately. This isn’t your problem, however, so I won’t burden you with it much.
“Sorry man, we got a dress code tonight.”
“Wait here,” said one of the people I was supposed to be meeting. “Lemme go inside and tell everyone what’s going on.”
To get into Slate, you need to wear a collared shirt, pants and shoes. This was the best news I’d heard all night. I was wearing a pair of cargo shorts, sneakers and a long sleeve t-shirt, and the bouncer at the door – Slate is to be commended for the “niceness” of their door staff, incidentally – was determined to keep me out. For my part, I was even more determined to help him do so.
“Dude,” I said, “you’re doing me a favor.”
“I don’t wanna come in.”
“Because,” I replied, “I work the door at ‘Axis’ and the last fucking place I want to be right now, on my night off, is here.”
“Shit, you work there?”
“God bless you, man,” he said. “Really.”
“Seriously, though, you’re doin’ me a favor. Please, please, please don’t let me in. I don’t care what these people say to you, I just want to get back on the train and go home, and you’re giving me a perfect excuse.”
Two guys from “our group” came outside. I didn’t know them, but they evidently knew me and wanted me to come inside. I was flattered, but I don’t know why they wanted such a thing. I’m not the world’s most sociable person when I don’t want to be out. I know I should be grateful that people want my company, but I’m not. Most times, I just want to be left alone.
“What’s the problem?” asked one of my new friends, addressing the doorman.
“We got a dress code. He’s got shorts on and he’s wearing sneakers.”
My incidental advocate reached into his pocket and peeled off a pair of twenties.
“Will this take care of the problem?”
When Dr. Generosity turned his head, I forced eye contact with the doorman, shook my head and ran my thumb across my throat to indicate my profound displeasure.
“What do you want me to do?” he asked, his arms extended with his palms facing skyward. “You can’t tell me not to take his forty bucks. You don’t have to come in if you don’t want, but forty bucks means it’s up to you, not me.”
I let out a long, deep breath and started walking inside.
“Thanks a lot, brother.”
So hard to be me.
Read this. I could not possibly have said it better myself.
Here’s what happens when you walk up to the door of a bar or club and make a federal case out of getting carded:
The bouncer – the one you’ve just alienated – is thinking you’re a dick because he likely just spent the entire day working at some shitbag job he hates, in most cases doing some hard-assed kind of manual labor that has his joints screaming to be put to bed, and now you’re acting as though he’s putting you out by asking you to take your lousy fucking drivers license out of a stupid fucking sleeve in your wallet.
You’re acting as though sighing and looking away will make him experience bottomless pangs of regret as a result of asking you to do this. If you behave in this manner, you are a dick – and your girlfriend is an even bigger dick for allowing you to ejaculate inside of her.
Here’s what happens when you walk up to the door of a bar of club and make a federal case out of not getting carded:
Motherfucker, you’re old. Trust me, the “Aren’t you gonna card me?” joke, coming from some forty-eight year-old divorcee operating on her fifth rhytidectomy, stopped being funny back in 1974. We’ll smile at you as you pass because, by dint of being “of age,” you’re saving us the hassle of having to scrutinize your license for fear of losing our jobs. For us, it’s a momentary relief. Smile back and move on.
I know a lot of bouncers read this site. Here is what I want you all to do from now on:
1. When people try to walk past you without acknowledging your existence – or, to be more precise, without acknowledging the legal necessity of acknowledging your existence – card them. No matter how old they appear to be, make them stop and show you some identification. And if there’s anything wrong with it – any little thing, whether it’s expired or the picture looks a little off – don’t let them in.
2. Here in
Strep makes me hallucinate, but the dreams, this time, haven’t been particularly entertaining.
Ten years ago, or maybe fifteen, when you saw some guy walking down the street wearing his baseball hat akimbo – sideways, with the brim unrolled – and sporting numerous far-from-creative tattoos and overly tacky forms of jewelry, you’d say, “Boy, there goes a disreputable character.”
Now, around here, every fucking guy looks like this. Dirty scumbag couture.
Do you know you’re getting old when you no longer understand the shit that young people do? Or, as I suspect, is the way people act and dress in
This whole Guido business is the worst thing yet.
And yes, I know I’ve mailed this one in. That’s what happens when you have a 102-degree fever and your throat feels like you’ve swallowed a bowl of broken glass.
It’s just…well…I saw one at Duane Reade just now and he bothered me.
Also, CSI: NY is, quite possibly, the worst television show I have ever seen. Hard to believe people get paid for shit like that.
Here is how I amuse myself at the door of the bar:
So, I’m still bouncing. I’m not really working anywhere glamorous at the moment – just a lounge in parts unknown and a popular local bar near where I live – but I still haven’t managed to escape what one Amazon.com reviewer/commenter claims I’ve repeatedly called my “personal hell.”
Two relatives of mine – along with numerous friends – have served multiple tours in
I’ve enjoyed going back to bouncing in a more “traditional” bar setting. It’s been good for me. Bar work is a lot less stressful, and the hours are exponentially more convenient. Working in clubs for so long, I’d forgotten the simple pleasure of getting home from work before the sun comes up. As a bouncer, there’s much to be said for deluding yourself into thinking it’s still nighttime when your shift knocks off. It’s a hell of a lot less depressing that way, especially when you’ve got a regular day job to report to in the “morning” – which, in the case of a club bouncer, is always right up your everloving ass. After your forty-five minute night’s sleep, that is.
People in bars, while still a gaggle of drunken, drug-addled louts, are much easier to deal with than the dickheads you’ll find hanging out in
I started working in this particular bar after leaving my main door spot in the city. I didn’t really want to bail on that job, but I had to because there was too much bullshit flying around over my head between management and ownership, and it wasn’t a pleasant place to work anymore. Several of us left at the same time, and the bar job, through an invite from an actual character in the book, was the first thing to come along. I brought in a few guys I worked with at the club, and we’re essentially running security there now. We’re probably the most overqualified bar security staff in
As usual, I’d rather not be bouncing at this point in my life, but the extra money isn’t something I’m prepared to turn down right now.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about what I’m going to do with my life now that all the book shit is over with. Not a lot has changed for me. I’m still working my regular job, still coaching football and training people, and bouncing a few nights a week. Same shit as always. The goal now, however, is to make some fairly drastic changes before the end of the year. This means that I’d prefer to live a little better than I currently am. I’d like to pursue some opportunities with writing – I’ve already started on a fairly significant new project – and get shit moving again instead of stagnating on my couch and letting everything simply fade away.
We’ll see how that goes. For now, however, the blog is BACK.
“Listen,” I said, leaning into a curve on the
“For what? Who died?”
“My Aunt Marie. She was my mom’s cousin, but we called her Aunt Marie.”
“Oh,” she said. “I’m sorry. How’d she die?”
“No fuckin’ clue. Does it matter?”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Just say something when you walk in the house,” I said. “It’ll put you in her good graces.”
“I’m not saying anything until you tell me what’s going on. I feel like this is another one of your setups.”
“Trust your gut.”
“I knew it,” she said. “Why would you want me to do something like that?”
“Because I’d laugh my ass off and so would my mother. She couldn’t stand Aunt Marie.”
“Because,” I replied, “her sister’s husband, who I misguidedly called my ‘uncle’ for my entire childhood, was cheating on his wife with Aunt Marie for years. It’s absolutely disgusting. That whole side of the family is trash.”
“You’re kidding me.”
“Welcome to it.”
“That’s horrible,” she said.
“No shit. And Aunt Marie had a ton of money that her husband left her, and my ‘uncle’ was the sole beneficiary in her will. He’s fuckin’ loaded now. That’s what he was after the whole time.”
“You know what I’m really wondering right now?” I asked.
“I’d love to know where the wake is.”
“Because I’d love to go there and start a fight,” I replied. “I can’t stand any of those motherfuckers on that side of the family. They’ve treated my mother like shit for years, and I’d love to just walk in the funeral home and clean house.”
“I’m serious. It’d be like in those old battle royale scenes in the WWF where Hulk Hogan would get all pissed off and just start chucking guys over the top rope, only this time it’d be me choking a bunch of junkies until they turned blue. That would make me really happy. I’d finish it off by nailing Crackhead Pete with a Stone Cold Stunner, and then I’d pour half a beer on his head and drink the rest.”
“And then,” she said, “they’d have you arrested.”
“It’d be worth it, believe me. I’d relish every last fucking minute of it.”