Written by Glen Beck
Music, liquor, and dancing are some of the things you’ll find at every nightlife party or special event. These three are always accompanied by the ever-present bouncer, sometimes known as a bodyguard or doorman. This work, bouncing, is not as easy to perform as one might think. Too many patrons believe, for whatever reason, that they don’t have to wait in line, pay for entry, not follow the dress code, and show up with no ID, expired ID, or ID that doesn’t belong to them. We have rules to be followed for each of these situations and more. At the end of the evening, security has to plead, order, and sometimes threaten partiers to exit the premises who decide to stay long after the lights come on and the club has closed. These are some job details that bouncers get paid to do, as well as dealing with the 10 to 30 men brawls that break out from time to time that they have to engage and try to control.
Sure, the higher-end special events generally have a less hands-on approach or need. However, the weekly parties differ from the one-time special events significantly. In many cases, club parties are often separated by race or ethnicity. However, since the explosion of hip hop in the industry years back, many of the events are now more equally layered with a diverse mix of clientele.
The quality of people who show up is the one thing that remains the same regardless of how much the events have changed. In this, I mean the power drinkers, the local tough guys from every neighborhood, the raging steroid users, drug dealers, and the bullies. These types grace the nightlife industry, and they’re the ones that bouncers spend a lot of their time engaging and earning their namesake.
Doing this type of work, specifically in New York, a bouncer is lawfully required to work for a security guard company, although sometimes they work directly for the venue itself. Regardless of who pays their rate, every bouncer, at one time or another, often many times, answers the call of Lady Karma. Bouncers worldwide bend to her will as she guides our hands, and as there are quite a few martial artists in the business, our feet also.
Take, for instance, any of the meta-types mentioned above, specifically, the tough guy or bully who enjoys beating up the younger and smaller, those less capable of defending themselves. These weaker people are now forced to tread lightly and walk around, fearing where they grew up. I would guess they’ve done nothing wrong except for it possibly being a case of the “wrong time, wrong place,” sort of thing. On the other hand, maybe these unfortunates had a few bucks in their pocket and were forced to give it up under the threat of pain. This, as we all know, happens all too often. Perhaps, this has been why some martial artists, boxers, or even bouncers have gained their own need or want to train.
When these hard-persona men arrive at the clubs, they forget to leave their Bad Boy act at home. Foolishly they drag it along to the bar or dance venue with them. Big mistake. Huge. You see, they carry with them, whether or not you or they believe in it, a hip-full of bad karma. This is where our Lady comes into play. She’s a wicked soul with a long memory and believes in administering harsh penalties through her trusted servants: bouncers. These paid savages do her bidding and deliver her wrath with little worry, taking great pride in their duty and service to her.
Not giving anyone free passage, some of those working the doors or patrolling the club’s floors may have been the bully. In this case, sometimes Lady Karma has special treatment in mind for those individuals. Whether patron or bouncer, she doesn’t discriminate. I’ve heard the ‘call for backup’ blast over the radio and joined the bouncer train rushing to the aid of our fellow worker, only to find him busted and bloodied by a group too big or tough to handle alone. I often wonder if our Patron Saint, Lady Karma, has paid him a visit for his possible past digressions.
At the end, when we least expect it, as the saying goes, “what goes around comes around.” Especially in nightclubs.
Lady Karma: judge and jury.
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