Few career paths garner the kind of uncanny respect and even fear allotted to the nightclub doorman. He's the first (and sometimes last) thing that you see when out for a night on the town and has the ability to make or break your evening (and possibly, arm) -- well before you've had the chance to down so much as a single Jäger Bomb.
So, what is it that this mysterious and illustrious figure is really thinking, behind that steely and emotionless gaze, as he waves you in or boots you out?
Hint: it's probably not something positive. Courtesy of a former industry GM, here are ten ways to earn a scowl (if not outright rejection), on behalf of the bouncer who may or may not have kicked you out for trying to smuggle that bottle of Smirnoff Ice in da club way in the day.
1. No (ID) means no. Oh, you forgot it at home? Your BFF must have it in her purse, back at the other club? Your pet saber-toothed tiger ate it, along with your passport, birth certificate and the neighbor's chihuahua? Cool. All of that means that you can't come in. No, really -- you cannot come in.
2. That fake ID should be at least semi-believable. That doesn't just mean making sure that the issuing state or country actually exists and is spelled correctly. It also means that the photo better be of you (or your long-lost twin), and the personal info listed better read legit. In other words--no "McLovin" à la Superbad, no celebrity monikers... and if you weigh somewhere in the vicinity of 210 pounds, do yourself a favor and don't fib your way down to 105.
3. The line outside is no indicator of the party happening inside. It is a notorious trick of the industry to force early birds and stragglers to wait outside in the elements, whilst allowing only the best-looking broads and best-dressed bros in through the front door. It's an illusion designed to make the club look popular and exclusive -- even if the bar inside is so lame that the only person getting drunk is the chick working behind it.
4. I don't care what you're wearing. Actually, to be precise, one person cares -- probably some full-of-shit promoter or possibly a particularly overzealous owner. Everyone besides that single stickler could really give a damn if you're wearing shorts, flip-flops or whatever other item of clothing has been deemed subpar for this particular douchebag-palace. But still... can't let you in with them shoes, brah.
5. If I'm standing here, rest assured that this is not a BYO establishment. Save yourself the embarrassment of trying to smuggle in your own booze, especially if it comes in a jug; yes, there are people who think that liter of vodka qualifies as inconspicuous. If you're just too cheap to drink at the bar, I suggest you chug in your car before even killing the ignition.
And for Christ's sake, if you are really gonna go for it anyway, pick something that the bar actually carries (cans of pretty much any domestic beer almost never count). Because the second you set down your Natty Light to chat up the hottie working the bar, she will be calling me to boot your ass out.
6. If there's a cover, just pay it. The fact is that no matter how cute you might be -- and there's nothing cuter than flirting with me just because you're cheap -- I'm just doing my job. And it just so happens that job is to collect the club's (i.e. my employer's) money. Also, more often than not, I am actually paid for my services directly via cover fees.
Therefore, I'm not going to let you and your gal pals "slide" just because you've taken one for the team and worn an outfit so tight that even your appendix is on display. On the upside, shaking it for the bartender inside may elicit better results; no need to be discouraged.
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7. On the same note as above, if you're going out, go ahead and hit that ATM during your pre-game stop at the liquor store. Because you will need cash to pay the cover. Almost always. This is not a new thing. Really and truly, no matter how technology might advance, it is highly unlikely that there's ever gonna be an app for that. And no, we don't take credit cards...
8. I am not here to deal with your drunk ass. If you are wasted on $2 kamikazes and having a bad night, I suggest you take it home and have it out with your boyfriend (or the coat rack that kinda looks like him right now). I deal with drunk people every goddamn night and have no tolerance for your temper tantrum. Just remember -- HPD's on speed dial, sweetheart.
9. On a different but similar note: No, I do not wanna high-five you, bro. Let's just keep one thing very clear -- we are not friends. Who cares if you come to this dump five nights a week and know my first name; I am not your drinking buddy. I don't care who won the game. And, so help me God, if you throw your pit-stained arm around my shoulders and break into a rousing rendition of "Sweet Caroline" on your way out, you may find yourself singing the next line in a whole different octave.
10. And last but not least, show a little love. Door guys don't exactly have the most glamorous job in the industry -- there are no tips, fancy equipment or sexy uniforms. No one ever bothers to say thank you to the gatekeeper. And drunkards stomp on your toes more often than is even fathomable. So, the next time you're out on the town, pay it forward and tell the big guy at the front: "Hey, thanks for being YOU."
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