What the bouncer knows.

Clint is a friend of mine and a bouncer with decades of experience. When I say “bouncer”, I don’t mean the guy babysitting on frat boys to make sure they don’t hurt themselves. I mean the guy who steps up when hardcore, bad-ass mofos want to do some dark deeds to each other or innocent (if such a thing exists) patrons. And then he has to watch his back for the rest of his life for when they might return…

In other words, he’s lived on the edge of darkness and is still around to tell the tale. So perhaps, just perhaps, he has some insights that might be worth listening to…

Here’s something he wrote and he kindly gave me permission to share it here.

OK, my birthday its coming up, 24 years of working in bars and at other things that’s best left unsaid. I am tired of the stupidity of the human race as a whole.

24 years I have fought, bled, lost friends, teeth and sleep trying to be a zookeeper/babysitter for the largest group of primates on the planet.
I am at my wits end so I am going to speak to the younger generation here, the older guys know this:

  • If a man makes a living riding herd on drunks, addicts and idiots, do not try and prod him into a fight. He is not a professional fighter, he just does this for a living. If he has been in the Biz any length of time he has seen your kind walk through the door a million times. You’re young, horny and there for a good time. Great, one more monkey to deal with…
  • When he ask for your ID, show it to him.
  • When he says calm down, do it.
  • If he cuts you off , you have had to much to drink.
  • The bouncer is there as a safe place for others to come to in a bad situation.
  • Don’t try to fight him, more than likely no matter how much training you have had, he has lived it. He or she can take a punch and for the most part keep on coming.
  • He’s not going to fight fair, clean or under the assumption that your just having a good time. No, he’s going to take you out as quickly as he can and get you out the door.
  • 90% of the time you are the one in the wrong.
  • If it takes 5 of them, that’s what will be used. It isn’t personal, it’s just business.

Guys I am serious: don’t let your alligator mouth overload your jaybird ass; you cant cash that check!

It makes me smile because just the other day, I was having a similar discussion with a client. About how so many youngsters in today’s society have a sense of entitlement and a total lack of awareness how their actions and words can land them in a world of hurt. I guess I’m getting old…


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  1. As a longtime bouncer myself (although not anywhere near 24 yrs!), I couldn’t agree with your friend more. The only problem with hIs advice is that, like so much other advice that elders try to pass down, the people that NEED to hear it are the least likely to HEED it.
    I guess I haven’t been doing it long enough though, as I’m NOT tired of the stupidity of the human race as a whole…yet. On a purely practical level, stupidity = job security. Otherwise, I find that drunk people can be endlessly entertaining as well as providing great opportunities to practice/apply my “conflict resolution” skills.

    • You’re right David, those who need the advice are indeed difficult to reach when you mention this. That said, I understand him being tired of people after so many years on the job. It took me my first couple times of working as a bouncer to get to that stage already. My tolerance for idiots is just low, so I wasn’t really cut out to do it as a full-time job. :-)

  2. Well I think the ‘stupidity of the human race’ shows itself in many ways.
    I worked at the Railways in Amsterdam for many years.
    The points Clint mentions cane also be said about the people traveling by rail, especially at rush hour…. I saw people going beserk because the train left (in time) and the guard didn’t (he couldn’t: becausre off his traveling schedule) not too wait for …them! And then I don’t even mention the trains with football/soccer ‘supporters'(also called ‘hooligans.’)
    So, I would say to Clint: please see around, you are not the only one, we live like that!
    And because of that we have too find a way to live with it ourself!
    And, as always, does Wim post very interesting items.

    • Thanks Ruben. Yes, this stupidity is all around us. Especially if you work in the public service sector. The way people act can be really disgusting…

  3. Back when I was young, my instructor remarked, “Every 20-year-old guy thinks he and his buddies invented violence and sex. Not only are they wrong, they’re usually not very good at either.”

    Nearly 20 years later, I can definitely admit that to be the case.

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