Remember that posh new nightclub, you couldn’t get into? Well, gear up to meet the man who stopped you at the door! Bouncers have been perceived as buff and stoic wardens of elite pubs for far too long.
Today we meet the man behind the muscle, Tony Lavern who talks about moonlighting as a bouncer for the hottest clubs in town.
On an easy week day, he’ll go ahead and let everyone in. “You want people to have a good time, refusal followed by a showdown or a scuffle is always something you want to avoid. Even club-owners who want to let in the cream of the crop understand that creating a scene means bad press. But look at it this way, refusal and a scuffle or a small argument is far better than letting in inebriated men who get handsy with the ladies inside.”
“At times, when you know a group of people well, they expect to skip the queue. However, this actually only happens when the guests are friends of the club-owner or on the guest list.
“Staying in shape is top priority,” affirms Tony whose workout comprises of Mixed Martial Arts which he has been practicing for eight years now.
“Self-defense techniques are critical on the job as you may find yourself in tricky situations. However, you need more than just brawn for such a gig.
“A course in first aid and CPR is advised. Most security firms conduct a background check and confirm the lack of a criminal record before they hire you. When you work at a club, quarterly drug tests are not unusual as well,” he explains.
Talking about some of the reasons why bouncers refuse entry, he says, “Clubs like to keep the sex ratio inside dominated by females or even a nice mix. Most busy nights at some point, they’ll pull me aside and let me know we need to let in more ladies. So that is when we turn away gents or even a group dominated by men.
“It isn’t favouritism on my part and I’m not picking out ladies I fancy from the queue, contrary to what people believe. It is just orders from up top,” he explains.
“I get a little squirmish when I realized it was a birthday celebration or if the guy just got fired and wants to drink with his pals. But I’ve got to stick to what the manager wants,” he gloomily admits.
Quiz him about tricks of the trade, and pat comes the response. “Undoubtedly it is discerning how much someone has had to drink. First off, you must avoid letting in drunk guests. Most people know their tolerance level, so they may enter drunk and just want to party. This makes them poor customers as they may turn rowdy. Besides, then the club makes no money on food or drink sold.
“You also need to know when someone has had enough. Especially ladies. City pubs are against barely conscious women just lying around their premises. It is a recipe for disaster as the guy she met may just take her away semi-conscious. As a bouncer, you have to keep an eye on the crowd and realize when someone has had too much. Sometimes we get them a cab and set them homeward,” he adds kindly.
“Apart from city clubs, the private security firm I work with also has me tackle gate crashers at weddings. We also patrol the jewelry transport and other valuables at such times. But a club bouncer’s job is by far the most interesting. Just last weekend, we had a gang of teenagers trying to look older for access to the club and alcohol. One of the youngsters even tried to bribe me. He barely looked 16,” he chuckles signing off.
# The views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondent and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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