Recently, one of my co-workers witnessed a bouncer in a bar in Lowertown,
St. Paul Minnesota. This gentleman no doubt thought he was doing his job;
but in fact he was making matters worse by physically shoving patrons who
were already cooperating; buttoning up their coats, and starting to leave.
The bouncer was actually inciting more anger from the customers, and
creating more of a disturbance for the other patrons of the bar!
Now, I know that many individuals in the Executive Protection business
don’t consider door security or bouncers to be in the same league—I’ve had
individuals express to me that any connection between the two worlds is
somehow derogatory to the profession.
I would, however, like to point out that many a prior bouncer or club
security individual has gone on to become extremely successful EP
specialists (READ BGC ARTICLE: Interview with Elijah Shaw, July, 2008).
Bouncer work is a rung on the ladder; and for many, a stepping stone
towards a successful career.
Here’s my point; success in any job at any level, begets more success. If
you take pride in your work and educate yourself to be the best bouncer or
security guard for miles, you will be noticed. I meet people all the time.
I pay attention to the security folks and the people at the door. Only a
very few ever impress me with their work—but the ones that do—I remember.
I have made it a point to learn their names or to even obtain contact
information. These are individuals who are not only good at their work,
but show up looking professional, have fantastic people skills, and great
attitudes. They know how to communicate with people without EVER having to
put their hands on them. It’s so basic to understanding how to succeed as
If I can offer any thoughts as we approach a New Year, it’s this; assume
that at every turn you have the opportunity to move up in the world.
Conquer the skills needed for the job you do have, and learn all that you
can. Have as a goal that you want to receive the greatest letter of
recommendation possible from your employer. Make a strategy for yourself;
start at a small, local club and work up to more high-end establishments
where you can meet upscale clientele. Then, transition to a bigger city
where you have more opportunities for your fantastic, polished skills to
be recognized and rewarded. Go to where the wealthy, the famous and those
in need of protection live, work and play. Ready yourself for YOUR “big
break.” It may or may not happen for you, but if you don’t plan and
prepare for it, then rest assured, it will never happen!
Plan big for yourself for 2009—plan to take the small, very necessary
steps that will take you to the top.
Now I’ve worked in the Security field for 6 years now and I’ve seen the best and worst of”bouncers”-“Doorman” whatever you would like to call it but only the TRUE professionals get to move on to bigger and better things! A great way to move up from the “Bar scene” Is to network/Market yourself as much as you can, you can never market yourself enough! Try to move up into the more corporate side of things as in Private CEO parties, Weddings,etc… People will notice and you will be taken seriously. Always remember to dress to impress and keep a smile and a great attitude and you will get noticed. There are so many fakes out there that give the ‘”BOUNCING”
Business a bad rep! Great article Huck!
Unfortunately over the years specially in the 80’s, many people who worked as bouncers in nightclubs use to do exactly what the poster is saying and some probably still do it, for many years I have worked as Door Security, not a bouncer, because I was not there to bounce off anybody. Because of what others have done wrongly – Door Sucurity has developed a bad name, so it is time for all of those who work doing door security to start referring to it as “Door Security” not Bouncer! All of the door security people I know including myself are well educated people who know how to provide customer service to the clients of the establishment we work for, among many other skills of course!
First class post Hucky, well done. What many folks in the U.S. may not realize is that Door Security is a regulated profession in the U.K., requiring traning and licensing. There are plenty of British door personnel earning $300 per night.
No matter what you do, do it well. I recently heard a student make a comment about how many cash in-transit employees do not act professional because they are only paid $10.00 an hour. I quickly brought it to his attention that we live in a free society and when they agreed to accept the amount of pay for which they work, they were obliged to provide a first class service to their employer, regardless of whether they were receiving $7 per hour or $70.
Speaking about “moving up the ladder”, one of the finest examples I ever saw was in the United Nations. I had the honor to work for and to personally get to know a gentleman who had left his native Iran when he was very young some 50 years ago.
This man was hired by the U.N. in New York City and started off working in the mail room. I’d say it would be a safe bet to assume that many looked down upon him in his lowly postion as he wheeled around his mail cart. They weren’t looking down upon him several decades later though when I worked for him in Africa as he had risen unimaginable heights to become the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General.
The great thing about him – he never let his lofty position go to his head and always remembered where he had come from.
As a bouncer myself I never could figure out why the connection would be derogatory to the profession. Both EP and Bouncers need to have a good feeling on the crowds mood, knowledge of the closest exits, and have people skills that help them avoid conflict in the first place. In fact a bouncer has to be concerned with many people while the EP is only concerned with one. How I would love to just worry about one persons safety!
The idea that a bouncer is a meat head is far from the truth. A true Bouncer is a security professional who can use many tools to accomplish his/her goal. Just like in the EP field if you have to get involved physically you have almost certainly failed in one way or another. Most situations can be handled well before they escalate as long as you are paying attention and keeping your head on a swivel.
There have been many times that I’ve seen an EP professional paying more attention to the ladies than his own client while visiting the establishments I’ve worked at! As an EP you must give respect to those around you from the bouncer to the busboy, sometimes they have the information you need and/or they can warn you of problems well ahead of time such as when a person whose had conflict with your client enters or why one area may be better than the other. Without that respect anyone in that place could undermine your work for a small tip or just because you treated them like crap.
Just my two cents!