Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Door Wisdom II

Want the job? Approach it like you’re interviewing for Goldman Sachs.

Yes, I’m serious. Again with the clichés, but you don’t get a second chance at a first impression. Even though most bar and nightclub managers are soulless automatons I wouldn’t piss on in the desert, showing up to meet them wearing a do-rag, sweats, and Timberlands is a surefire way to not get called back.

You don’t need to wear a suit, but you should at least consider a collared shirt, your best pair of jeans, and a pair of black shoes. Make sure you’re well-groomed, too. It’s cool if you’re rolling with a goatee, or even a beard, but try to look like you just came from the barber shop—and not like you just rolled out of bed and popped a molly (note gratuitous attempt to show that I’m still in touch with this shit).

Bring a pen and your security license, fill out your application neatly and coherently, and when your turn to talk to the manager comes up, make eye contact, shake hands firmly without breaking it, and try your best to be “casual-serious guy” for the thirty seconds he’ll spend talking to you. Don’t act tough, don’t talk about what a monumental shit-kicker you are, and emphasize the fact that you’re sober, punctual, won’t call in sick, and won’t be a problem for anyone if you’re hired.

Remember, most bar and club managers would rather hire a guy who’s worked without trouble in some completely unrelated job than some dick who’s a fifth-degree black belt in sixteen different martial arts, but looks like someone who doesn’t understand the concept of showing up on time and doing what he’s told. Give off a “good soldier” vibe, but don’t act like a lap dog. That’s the best way I can put it.

It’s a shitty job, where you’ll be working for shitty people, but you’ll still have to convince them it’s worth their while to pay you to do it, so make yourself look the part. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Door Wisdom I

You want to be a bouncer. 

You're a bouncer and you want to get better at it.

You're a bouncer and you want out.

Here is some advice.

Do something else.

Bouncing is not a good job. It’s shit. When this blog was at its peak, I’d get dozens of emails each week from otherwise well-meaning guys asking me if their “training” would make them better bouncers. They’d send me their weight training routines, I’d hear about their MMA classes, and I’d have guys send me pictures of all the homemade weapons they used on the job.

So, here’s Tip #1: Who gives a fuck? You’re wasting your time if you put that much thought into it. Your best move is to apply your intelligence and creativity someplace else. The nightclub industry doesn’t deserve it.

I know what it’s like to need the money, believe me. If you’re currently in a situation where bouncing is one of your only viable options, just make sure you’re always thinking ahead to what you want to do next. Pardon the cliché, but for me, it was nothing more than a means to an end. I always had a plan to do something else, and bouncing was a way to bring in a nice little second income in order to get where I wanted to go. The fact that it indirectly led to a new career was due, in large part, to blind luck.

Yes, I spent several years writing this blog for a half dozen people, which doesn’t exactly square with the “blind luck” explanation, but the point here is that I always knew my stay in the nightclub industry would be temporary. I did nothing to prepare for it, I didn’t train to get better at it, and I didn’t give a rat’s fucking ass about any of it other than making sure I didn’t get shot on my way home.

In fact, I ripped the armpit out of my blazer in a fight, never sewed the thing, and spent over a year wearing it to work without even having the fucking thing dry cleaned. It didn’t even occur to me to fix it or clean it until I was putting it on before work—and by that time, it was too late. That’s how little I cared. I was too busy thinking about the rest of my life, and the things I was working on, to give a flying fuck.

So, that’s today’s advice: Unless you’re a total fuckwad, the bar or club is not your life, so don’t treat it that way. Show up on time, do your job, then spend the rest of your time working on your next move. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013


My right eyelid has been twitching continuously for the past six months. I’m fucking tired of it. The twitching happens on my lower eyelid, in the outside corner. I pinch and poke the fucking thing to make it stop, but it keeps going. The other night, in the car, it tried to blind me while I was trying to make a left with a shitload of fast traffic coming at me. 

I’ve heard this happens because of a sodium deficiency, so I tried eating a lot of food with sodium for a while, but the fucker kept twitching. Someone told me it’s because I’m not getting enough sleep, but I’m sleeping just fine these days, so that was bullshit. Another guy told me it’s a reaction to being stressed out and pissed off. That sounds about right.  

I blame this Obama. He did this. 

Monday, February 04, 2013


I want you to do something for me right now. I know a lot of you work in cubicles, surrounded by coworkers of varying degrees of competence and tolerability. I just did the same for a few years, so I know what goes on. There’s irony here: my reward for a few years of entertaining bored people working in cubicles was a job where I was given a cubicle of my own.

Anyway, I’d like you to stand up, turn around in a deliberate, observant circle, and ask yourself the following question:

Do my coworkers suck?

If you’re good at your job and you give a shit about what you do for a living, chances are your answer will be yes. And chances are it won’t take standing up and looking around for you to figure this out. You already know.

You don’t want to be surrounded by people who suck, believe me. This is because nobody in their right mind would want to work alongside a collection of incompetent dipshits. It’s no fun, it makes every day feel longer, and you won’t learn anything or get any better at your job. If you think teaching others will help you learn your material better, think again. When you’re instructing a gaggle of anuses who are incapable of grasping even the most basic concepts of what you’re trying to get across, it won’t do jack shit for your skills, either.

It’s a waste of your time, and it’s frustrating as hell.

If this were the only problem, things wouldn’t be so bad, but there’s far more to it. The overriding characteristic among people who suck is that they don’t like being told how bad they are at their jobs. The competent man welcomes criticism because it helps him get better. The mediocrity breaks into tears and files an HR complaint. Such is life.

In some jobs—professional sports, for example—it’s acceptable and customary to tell people they suck. If you write a bad book, you’ll be told how sucky you are again and again, for years. In other occupations, however, it’s somehow unacceptable to tell people they suck, even when they’re taking home a competitive wage for mediocre work—and here, the “you suck” declaration comes long after repeated attempts to get these people to not suck. This is where shit starts to go sideways for the competent man.

In the latter case, you have two choices. You can either stay silent, suck it up, and do your work—although you’d better hope your work isn’t dependent upon your mediocre coworkers, lest you find yourself lumped in with them when it’s time for upper management review. Or, you can make some waves and say something about how badly they suck. This, too, is dicey, because the one thing people who suck are proficient at is survival.

People who suck at something find employment because they know how to survive. In stark contrast, competent people—naïve ones, to be sure—often don’t develop these same survival skills because they haven’t ever needed smoke and mirrors—or someone who misguidedly and thanklessly lobbied for them, in some cases—to either get or keep a job.  

When the attentions of the mediocre are focused on you, you’re bound to run into trouble. Here’s the thing about mediocre people: They’re either too lazy or too stupid to get any better at their jobs, but they’ll very quickly develop a laserlike focus and intensity when it comes to their own survival. Ask them to write a simple memo, and you’ll receive a steaming pile of hot garbage in return. Tell them the truth about their work, however, and you’ll see more effort in an hour—designed, of course, to snuff out the truth—than you’d seen over the past five years combined.

The solution? Get the fuck out before it’s too late. This may sound like cliché-ridden bullshit, but life is too short to tolerate mediocrity—either from your employer or from the people you have to work with every day. I did it for far too long, and I feel like I lost a year or two of my life as a result. What I eventually gained was a knowledge of what I sure as hell didn’t want.

How do you get out? You work at it. Figure out where you want to be in a year, tune out the noise from assholes like the ones I’ve had to deal with, put your head down, and work. That’s all you can do. The rest of it doesn’t matter—especially when you’re banging your head against a brick wall to make money for someone else.