An incredibly AMA popped up on Reddit last week. A Redditor answered questions about his experience working as a bartender and bouncer for six years in Morgantown, West Virginia, home to the undisputed #1 party school in the United States. Some of the shrekwvu's tales are hilarious about degenerate college kids acting like idiots, others are cautionary. Some are downright terrifying. Since Bros love to rage and have a good time, I highly recommend everyone jumping over to Reddit to read it. In the meantime, I've excerpted 18 of the best stories and takeaways. Enjoy.
Question: Long time bartender here, had to throw people out once for having a threesome in a ladies toilet cubicle... well attempting to is a more correct description I guess. The bouncers of course went into the two adjoining cubicles to look over the side and laugh their ass off before throwing them out though. I guess my question is, have you ever had to throw some people out but also wanted to congratulate or high five at the same time?
Too many times to count. Had to kick a kid out for getting a BJ in the dirty mop closet before. I was seriously impressed that he talked her into it, especially considering the location. I was nice to him and gave him a pound, and told him to come back tomorrow. Also had a guy I had to toss out for fighting. He helped break up a fight by knocking out 4 guys in a row that were kicking the shit out of a skinny little kid that he didn't even know. It was club policy that anyone involved in a fight has to leave. But I bought him a beer and a shot before thanking him and sending him on his way.
Question: Who's the most interesting/crazy person you met(if anyone really stood out)?
I met a guy one night as the result of a big fight. Huge 6' 3" 250lb jacked black dude, came sprinting up to me (looked like patrick willis) while I was in the middle of a scuffle. I turned and punched him in the throat as hard as I could as a last ditch effort to save myself, and broke my hand on contact. It was like hitting a refrigerator. He didn't even flinch, and proceeded to demolish the 5 guys I was scrapping with, knocking them out, kicking their knees out, and tossing them aside, before running off into the darkness.
Two night later, I'm outside by myself and I see him lumbering back towards me. I readied my pepper spray in my pocket, not anywhere near confident that it would help, as he walked up. He stuck his hand out, introduced himself, and apologized profusely for fighting in front of my club the other night. We get to talking and it turned out he used to work there years ago, and saw that I could use some help. He was a part time prison guard and an agent with the FBI, and he also did network security consulting for the military. Wildly interesting guy, and his stories were unbelievable. He would come back all the time after that, never drank anything, just walked around the bar or would chat with me. We did a lot of grappling and he taught me some fantastic techniques. From time to time I would see him calmly kicking people out for doing bad shit in the club. Never had to worry if that guy was in the building. Became a very dear friend.
When there was a situation at the prison he worked at, he would walk into the room and yell "Daddy's home," and the inmates would run back to their cells. A guy pulled a knife on him once, and he tried lecturing the man and telling him to put it away and go about his business, that it wasn't worth it. The guy came after him, and he said "have it your way, but lets at least make this fair," and he stuck his hands in his pockets. The man with the knife was expecting him to pull one out too, but he just said "well, come on." He proceeded to dodge the knife wielding maniac while literally kicking his ass. The guy refused to stop, so he kicked his knee, blowing it out, and then applied an americana to his arm and broke it.
Once, while I was with him, a drunk guy started trouble (he was fairly big). James warned him, and said stop what you're doing right now and apologize, or we will have a problem. They guy persisted, and james said "All its going to take me is this one thumb to put you down, and you don't want it." Guy swings on him, and james ducks it, and jams the thumb directly under his ear, right where your jaw connects to your skull, and pinned him to the ground. He literally made him apologize, and sent the gentleman on his way.
Question: As a bouncer, Is there a telltale sign you look for that shows that someone underaged is trying to pass for 21?
Absolutely - no eye contact. I've also seen kids try one EDIT (a fake ID) while also wearing their dorm key on a lanyard around their neck, dead giveaway. You also would be checking an ID and have the person's friend call them by a different name than what the ID says.
Tip - if you want to use a fake ID, make sure it's a good one (ie: a real one, someone that looks like you), and know the info. If I ask you what your street address is, zip code, school district, or graduation year - and you know it all (without it sounding rehearsed), and it even moderately looks like you, I'm letting you in. It takes a lot of balls to look someone in the eye and tell them that they're lying to you and aren't who they say they are. It doesn't matter if I know the answer to the questions I ask like that (unless they're on the ID), but if you hesitate or show any signs that you don't know, I know its fake. Approach the doorman confidently, make eye contact, and ask how his night is going, while holding your money and waiting for him to take it. It puts him on the spot, and he's in a rush anyway.
I had a fake like this for a while. Knew the whole ID, front and back. Could tell you anything and everything about the guy. Got me into a lot of bars and bought me a lot of booze. Then the lady at the door of a little shithole bar in Marysville, Missouri did the unthinkable. She pulled out a pen and a piece of paper that had about 100 sloppily written signatures on it. I never expected or anticipated this. I failed, she took the ID. I asked her for it back and told her I'd leave. She smiled, looked me in the eyes and said "you can leave, or I can call the cops and they can verify that this is yours."
She took it with a big smile, turned around and pinned it on her wall of other fake ID's. Bitch was good.
Yea not a lot of people do that. That's a technique usually reserved for liquor stores & gas stations. They teach that in the ABC classes. But most doormen are outside in the cold and don't keep a pen and paper handy. Call it a fluke. She was more of a bitch than smart. She fails to realize that you would have spent money in that bar (money that pays her wages), and now you'll never go back. I'm willing to bet you probably told a dozen of your friends about it, and they'll never go back. If a bar is to hard on fake IDs, word gets around (word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of advertisement) and they get a bad rep and underage kids will stop going. Believe it or not, underage kids can account for up to 20% of a bars revenue. They find a spot, stay loyal, and spend big.
Question: Worst thing you've ever seen happen?
On a night I wasn't working in the summer, I came in and saw a group of girls drinking at the bar. They were very young and one of them said it was her friends 18th birthday. The manager was the only one working that night and was feeding them drinks. I told him they were still in high school and he played it off like he knew and said he was just serving them grenadine and coke all night and tellin them there was booze in it. I believed him until they were all shitfaced an hour later. The birthday girl went to leave, and got to the top of the steel staircase and fell straight backwards, slamming hard on the ground. The sound her skull made when it hit the floor was nauseating. I rushed over and told everyone not to touch her and call and ambulance, and the manager said fuck that get her out the back door. She was at the very least, severely concussed, and out cold. Her friends also didn't want any cops involved, and they dragged her out the back and put her in a cab to go home. She ended up having a fractured skull, and was in the hospital for a few days, and didn't remember anything. Her parents called and threatened a lawsuit, but the manager deleted the security tapes and denied everything. It was some pretty awful shit. Glad that guy got fired.
Question: Best fight you've seen?
Best fight was my very first night working. It was not awesome. It was a "freestyle friday" rap battle contest, and I was the only white person in the bar of 400 people. Fight broke out for some reason, and it spread to the whole place. People were throwing bottles and chairs, stealing booze. A girl got her head stomped in by a grown man. It was a roadhouse style brawl. The bartenders all cowered behind the bar and inside the walk-ins. Me and 2 other bouncers pulled the fire alarm and and the cops showed up and pepper sprayed the entire place, hitting me with a direct shot to the face as I was carrying the injured girl out. The whole bar was trashed. The owner shut the place down for the rest of the month to rebuild and me and one of the other bouncers working that night were the only staff members that he retained.
I hardly consider myself (or other bouncers) a bad ass. Bouncer get a lot of cred for beating people up and fighting (which doesn't happen to often anymore) drunk people. That's the main issue here. You're sober, they're drunk - and probably really really drunk if they are trying to fight a bouncer. It's not an accomplishment, but it is stressful and a bit dangerous. I read a statistic somewhere that your body is about 60-70% less effective (physically, ie: in a fight) once you're at .08 BAC (no idea if thats true, but I'm sure there's substance to it). Reaction time, reasoning, power, agility, balance - all decline rapidly or are rendered non-existent when drunk.
Question: What was the weirdest, most random thing that happened while fulfilling any of the roles?
-Once found a kid sleeping in the urinal trough before, on a busy night
-We would find shoes while cleaning up every. single. night. It was always an odd number too. The floors and streets were fuckin disgusting to boot.
-After closing one night, one of the bartenders was unaccounted for. Wouldn't be a big deal usually, but she didn't close her register, and her tips were still out on the bar. We found her in the back room, passed out in an empty napkin box.
The box was even folded shut. Apparently she got shitfaced, and after her shift went to smoke in the back. We watched the tapes, she sat on the box, and fell through (she was a very tiny girl) and the flaps kind of sealed her in, and she passed out.
-some kid tried to come in with a 15" hunting knife, just weird.
-confiscated all kinds of strange stuff, full bottles, flasks, knives, a bong, whippits, and a welding torch, among others
-once caught a kid drinking underage, that got busted because his wristband fell off. we searched him out of curiosity, he had a roll of tape and a copy of every wristband color and design we had used in the past year (dozens). When he would come, he would find out what kind of wristband we were using, then go around the corner and tape it on his wrist. Then he would walk right in as a re-entry, without paying or getting his id checked. that's dedication right there.
I once saw a classy young lady bend over while on the stripper pole in the middle of the dance floor and drop a deuce without skipping a beat. Didn't believe my lyin' eyes until cleanup when another bouncer called me over to report the finding. About the size of a snickers bar. Kind of like caddyshack. Nobody saw it, I barely noticed it myself. I just saw the change in motion with her dance. Looked like she was just droppin it, but when she stayed squatted for a second I thought she might have dropped something or been puking. Trust me, in a packed, dark dance floor with 500 people, the guy next to you could be on fire and you wouldn't notice.
Question: Have people bribed you to get into clubs before ie. underaged kids, ugly people, old ladies?
Yes. I made $550 in cash one night from people bribing me to skip the hour long line when it was about 2 degrees out. I charged $25 per person to get to the front, still have to wait to be let in, get your ID checked, and pay cover. At the end of the night I gave every bouncer on the floor $50, tipped the bartenders $100, and kept $25 for myself.
I've been offered plenty of cash to let underages in and such, but I don't take it. Not worth the trouble.
Be careful, there are bouncers out there that take bribes to let people skip the security pat-down. I had a few on my staff doing it and they were all fired. Recipe for disaster. Ugly people, old ladies, etc - not a concern. Old ladies usually have money, and if the club is packed, what difference does it make if they come in? No reason to keep them out. The uggos? They are the ones that will spend money in the bar, they have to work harder (spend more) to get laid. But there's some situations that you don't want someone inside, in which case you don't need to refuse entry and make things worse. I could simply talk them out of wanting to come in ("It's beat inside, I hear everyone is at XYZ club down the street" - or "$20 cover, private party")
Why the bartenders? They're the reason you have a job, and for the most part, they're great people. In a college town, they might not make shit even during a packed night. And it always comes back to you - that bartender will hook you up when you come in on your night off, she'll bring you water when your working a post, etc. And yes, they shared tips with us at this place. They respected and appreciated us, and we all know that's a 2-way street.
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