It was one of “those nights” when you are tested on many levels. First, my DJ was late. I handled it well. I had a new dancer (who has been in the business for over ten years) who has not worked with me try to rail road me out of the dressing room (the manager’s office is adjoined, you have to walk through it, and I was not hanging out). She seems to be the neurotic type so formality was tossed aside and I gave her a dose of Marine Corps authority. It worked. Then I had a guy in a wheelchair who works for us (the owner feels sorry for him) who needed to work to pay rent. So I gave him my shift doing the bouncing/door stuff and I worked for free tonight in order to keep labor costs down. Then there is a hit and run in the parking lot, the culprit we knew from the description of the car is the DJ at another club and who is friends with several of the staff. I don’t give a shit and I tell the victim to call the police to come fill out a report and that yes we knew who the culprit was and where he worked. I gave the info to the policeman. Turns out that they found him and issued three tickets to him. He put a nice little dent in the guy’s car when he backed up into it. Then I have a dancer who auditioned for me at Divas but I would not hire because she is too much out of shape. She started working at this club and I came over and she remembered me. Now she is pregnant, eating more junk food than ever, is so not the shape of a girl you’d expect to see naked on stage, of who I am told we have to start weeding out (among others) and I am making the schedules now and she (and the others) are screaming for more shifts. It is a hard part of this job to cut people out of dancing shifts based on appearance alone. It was also a bout of soul searching alone in the office while I considered to let the door man in the wheelchair work a shift tonight (meaning that the time we get rid of him, which I am told by the owner is coming, is prolonged and that I lose the money for the night.) Then I have another dancer who is going through a breakdown because she is sick and tired of dancing and what it means to her to be doing this. I sat with her and outlined a goal oriented plan to get her out of the business. Then another dancer was in a very sad and depressed mood and I let her go home early (I hardly ever let girls off of work early). Then it was a slow night and I went and bought some suckers at the corner store for the girls (I know, a cheap buy-off). They eagerly grabbed the suckers (small things add up). Then it was brought to my attention that a guy was cut off. I watched him, he was too drunk for me to let leave, I wanted him to sober up a bit. He had only 1 beer (was obviously drunk before he got in and it wasn’t caught in time by the bartender who thought he was just stupid at first, easy mistake in this case). He was completely obnoxious, gave coins to the dancers, said something obscene to one of them (and when she tried to act mad about it I called her on it. I know her well enough from working with her in the past that the comment was lame compared to what she says and what she gets from some of the regulars in the bar we used to work at.) The drunk was also near to getting into a fight. I stopped it, told the guy he could stay but the rules were this, “listen to me, I am not going to fuck around with you. Here is the rules. You can stay, but you’ve got to sit still and not talk to anyone.” He was only half successful. I gave him some coffee. I was outside and talking with a dancer that was having the breakdown and was waiting her ride home (who was running late) and she was near tears when I was told by the DJ (outside smoking) that the drunk was leaving to his truck (I had called a cab). I ran over to the guy and confronted him and told him in loud and clear language:
You are NOT driving
Yes I am
No you are not. I have a cab coming for you
I don’t need a cab
You are not driving
All I need is 25 minutes with you
You’ve got as long as it takes for a cab to get here
I am driving
When he got close to me, and we both were acting like men and puffing up our chests and crap, I saw the opening that I needed when he moved his keys around in his hand and I snatched them out of his hand. Then I turned and left into the bar and put the keys behind the bar. The cab showed up and I gave the keys to the cab driver. I told the drunk that his options were simple. Go with the cab driver who has his keys, or go with the police. He was still obnoxious and I lost a bit of my patience and I grabbed him by the arm and lead him out of the bar. Outside he still gave me lip and I was getting mad and I yelled at him “are you really this fucking stupid? Can you not gather the smallest bit of common sense”. He tried to talk the keys out of the cab driver, who warned him that he wouldn’t fuck with him but would call the police. After a few minutes I went to the driver, got the keys back, apoloigized for wasting his time, and yelled at the guy to shut the fuck up, that I was through fucking with him, and get the fuck off of my property, that he could come pick his keys up the next day, that I didn’t give a fuck if he walked home or slept in a ditch, that if I ever saw his face again I’d have him arrested on sight for trespassing. Then I turned around to go in side. He kept talking and I yelled back, shut the fuck up I am through with you and went in.
Twenty minutes later, closing time, he snuck in to the payphone at the front door and started calling friends. I knew he was there and I allowed it. He then quietly came up to the bar with a dollar and I gave him change. Then he came back and asked for a phone book. I gave him one and the company phone and listened as he called friends, all of them refusing to come pick him up. Then I he asked where his keys were, I told him, and he walked home.
I wish someone had been as pushy with Kim when she tried to drive drunk. Maybe she’d be alive today.
Then the door till was $35 short and I am wondering if the guy might have taken some because he is $80 short for rent and we pay him $45 a night. But I didn’t make him pay it, I didn’t confront him on it. He is a near homeless guy in a wheel chair who is about my dad’s age and has a slight mental condition.
After all was said and done, I feel I handled it all quite well. Easy… I’ve had worse than this by far.