Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wavelink and Paladium

After I got fired from Bliss I was unemployed for 3 weeks. I filed an unemployment claim but it got denied. After 2 weeks of being unemployed I got hired back on at Teleperformance doing tech support for Dell computers. Because I hadn't been trained on Dell's XPS line of computers, I had to go back into training. The next training class didn't start until Sep 3th. The training class was scheduled from 3-11:30 PM M-F. I was told that I would only have to go through the 1st week of training because that is when they trained us on the XPS computers. During my 3rd week of unemployment I applied for an intern position at Wavelink. They offered me a position working from 8:30 AM until 2 PM M-F. I accepted it. I started working at Wavelink on Aug 27th.

Wavelink takes care of their employees. In addition to good pay and benefits they also provide free snacks, juice and soda. They also have a break room with a HD TV, a Nintendo Wii, and four gaming computers with good games like Command & Conquer 3 and World of Warcraft.

On my first day of class at Teleperformance I told the trainer that I was told that I would only have to go through the 1st week of training because that is when they trained us on the XPS computers and he told me that the XPS material was now spread out through all 6 weeks so I was going to have to go through all 6 weeks. At first I wasn't too happy about that but I figured it wouldn't be that bad to get paid to get a review of stuff I had already been trained on.

After my unemployment claim was denied I filed an appeal. A week or two after starting at Wavelink, I had my appeal hearing with a judge, Wes, Wes's payroll guy, and me on a conference call. Wes exaggerated and lied and I was honest so I didn't stand a chance. A week later they mailed me a letter saying that my appeal had been denied.

Back in August I moved into a home that a friend was in the process of buying so he could rent it out. He was still renovating it and the sale wasn't finalized so he let me live there in exchange for keeping an eye on the place and paying utilities. In October I moved into a house that Brian, who had worked at GoodGame after I left when they couldn't afford to pay me any more, was renting rooms in.

On Oct 4th Wavelink offered me a full-time Tier 1 tech support position making more than Teleperformance was paying me with better benefits. I was still in training at Teleperformance. I accepted Wavelink's offer. Then I called Teleperformance and quit.

A week or two after my promotion at Wavelink, Phil called me and asked me to work for him at a Mexican bar that he was managing. I was hesitant to work for him again, especially when he told me that Larry was Head of Security but I went by to check out the place. I went there on a Friday night to check it out. It was called El Tucanazo. I was happy to see Brian Servatius, who is one of the best Security Specialists that I know, working the door. It was a decent size bar with Mexican bands playing. I helped break up three fights that night, one of them by myself out in the parking lot at the end of the night. I decided to work there. The pay wasn't very good but at least we got payed. Larry and I butted heads but the owner, Frank straightened him out. A few weeks after I started working at El Tucanazo, Phil talked Frank into turning it into an American dance club called Paladium. Phil and Frank closed the club down for 2 weeks for renovation. They promoted me to Assistant Manager while we were closed for renovation.

Around this time my car started acting up. It wasn't shifting gears smoothly so I thought it was the transmission. I took it in to get the transmission fluid flushed but it still wasn't shifting smoothly. I took it to the dealer, Menlove Dodge Toyota. It broke down as I was coming off of the highway by Menlove. Menlove had it towed and told me the next day that part of the fuel injection had burnt up. That part was covered under the warranty but that part burning up had caused 5 other parts that weren't covered by the warranty to burn up/break. The other 5 parts cost $1,200. I told the dealer that I didn't have $1,200 to fix it. I also explained that if the part that caused the other parts to break was covered under warranty, then the other 5 parts should be covered. Menlove Dodge-Toyota covered the cost of the the other parts! I had borrow $200 to pay the deductible on the $300 part that the warranty covered.

Paladium's Unveiling Weekend was Nov 16th & 17th. Our Grand Opening was Nov 17th & 18th. My car was getting repaired during our Grand Opening weekend. My warranty covered a rental. I ended up getting a GMC Sierra. It had a V-8 that kicked butt! We brought Playboy Playmate Barbie Murdock out to host our Grand Opening. I had found her on MySpace (I created and maintained Paladium's MySpace) and Phil recognized her because she used to be the owner of Club Axis's girlfriend. I got to pick her up from the airport, take her to her hotel, take her to U-92's offices for an interview, take her to the Ultimate Combat weigh-ins at Hard 8 Motorsports, take her back to her hotel to get ready, and then bring her to the club. I assigned one of our Security to protect her. At the end of the night I took her back to her hotel and walked her up to her room.

Saturday, Nov 18th was the premier of the Ultimate Combat Experience at Paladium. I went to the club early to help set up. Then I picked Barbie up from her hotel and brought her back to the club. At the end of the night I took her back to her hotel. Phil had lost the keys to his SUV at a strip club so I gave him a ride home out in South Jordan. Then I brought Barbie and her friends some Sconecutter (she loves Sconecutter) and hung out with them for a little while. She got a ride to the airport from a relative on Sunday. I really enjoyed taking care of her. She is really sweet and down-to-earth. We still keep in touch.

The week after our Grand Opening Money Mart's check fraud department called me and told me that if I didn't pay them for the check that Phil wrote me to cover the bounced check he wrote me at Bliss, they were going to turn me in to the cops for check fraud. I called Phil and he gave me the run around. After a week of me asking him to pay me, he told me to f*ck off and lose his phone #. I called Frank, told him what had happened, and told him that I wasn't going to work with someone that was going to treat me like that. I know that I've said this before but I will never work for Phil again. I don't hate him, I just hate the way he treats me. A couple of weeks later Frank called me and told me that he was going to be letting Phil go (you reap what you sow) and going in a different direction with the club. He offered to pay me to make some changes on Paladium's MySpace. I accepted, made the changes he asked me to, and got paid the following week.

I recently finished reading Patriot Acts by Greg Rucka. I'm currently reading Open Mind, Open Heart by Father Thomas Keating and The Guide to Making Huge Profits Investingin Pre-Foreclosures Without Selling Your Soul by Alexis McGee. I'm still working at Wavelink. I'll be working Security for a celebrity lounge at Sundance again starting tomorrow. I will also hopefully be working at Harry O's again. I'll let you all know how it went in a week or two.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bliss Nightlife

It's been over three months since I posted last. The first month was basically same "stuff", different club. If you've been reading my blog for the past year or two you should have a good idea what I'm talking about. I'll try to keep it short since it's not fun for me to relive it but I've got three months of catching up to do so here we go...

There are three couples that own Bliss Nightlife - Wes & Angie, Ben & Connie, and Ryan & Kim. All of them, with the exception of Wes, are nice people but none of them have any experience working in night clubs. When I met with Wes back in June I explained to him that I was getting paid $12.50 an hour full-time at Teleperformance so he would need to pay me more than that to get me to come work for him. After talking to Wes, I talked to Phil and he said that he would talk to Wes and convince him to pay me well. The following week Phil made a contract stating what my salary and responsibilities were and said he would have Wes sign it. I edited my contract to clarify that it was for working 3 days per week but Phil said I didn't need that. I later found out why.

On Thursday, July 10th I found out that Teleperformance wasn't going to get the schedule change that I had requested so I gave my 2 weeks notice. Because the owners and Phil were worried about Travis breaking into the club or having someone break into the club for him I slept at the club almost every night from Thursday, July 5th until Tuesday July 10th. They had an alarm system but the cameras didn't get installed until July 10th. During that time the girls that I hired to work at Voodoo (the 18+ part of Bliss Nightlife that I was hired to manage), a couple of the Security guys, and I cleaned and painted Voodoo. I also helped a little bit with getting Bliss Nightlife set up.

Bliss Nightlife and Voodoo had their Unveiling Party on Wednesday, July 11th. Bliss Nightlife opened at 8 and Voodoo opened at 10. After spending all day at the club, I went home to take a shower. When I got back, around 7:45, it was a mess. There was Security outside to I.D. and search people but there wasn't any Security by the front desk where the Door Girls sold memberships and collected the cover charge. There also weren't any Security on some of the doors. I brought this to Judah's attention and helped him get those spots covered. They also didn't have the stanchions set up inside to separate the regular line from the VIP line so I set those up. The owners had told Phil that they had already hired Door Girls so we didn't hire any at either Job Fair. When we opened the doors at 8 there was only 1 Door Girl there. I had anticipated being understaffed for Door Girls for Bliss Nightlife so I had asked Ally, who was over 21 but had applied to work for Voodoo because we had hired everyone we needed for Bliss Nightlife (except for Security) at the first Job Fair, to come in and be prepared to work as a Door Girl. She had been helping us get ready in the afternoon so she had gone home to change. Brandy, who was going to be a Door Girl and train the other Door Girls on how to use Doormate (the computer program that tracked memberships), wasn't going to be able to come in until later. Angie, who was also Wes's Personal Assistant for his other business, was there so I showed her how to use Doormate. She didn't have any pens to write down the Guest List for employees so I sent Mark, one of the Security guys that we had hired, to the convenience store a block away to get pens. My ladies from Voodoo were making name tags for all of the employees. The next 2 hours were crazy - I helped out in different areas making sure things were running smoothly.

Around 10:00 I programmed the cash registers for the Energy Bars at Voodoo and helped the ladies set up the Energy Bars. I was relying on Dan to be my main Bouncer at the door. I had to go find him because he was wandering around the club. I had another Bouncer searching people. Brad, who had worked for Vortex before, was on the checkpoint at Voodoo's main entrance that led upstairs to Bliss nightlife. His job was to make sure that no one under 21 got upstairs and no alcoholic drinks came downstairs. He did a good job. Misty, who I had hired as my Assistant, and Kendra were my Door Girls. They both did a great job. Part way through the night Misty pointed out a lady who had been drinking alcohol. I "interviewed" her, smelled alcohol on her, and kicked her out. Later on Misty noticed that a lady who had come in through Voodoo's entrance earlier, which meant that she was under 21 since we sent people 21 and over to Bliss Nightlife's entrance, re-enter through Voodoo's entrance later on with a stamp from Bliss Nightlife. I asked her for her I.D. but, what a surprise, she "didn't have it" (she didn't want to show me her I.D. showing that she was under 21). I kicked her out. She was with one of Rocky's friends. Rocky is one of the guys that cleans the club. Rocky's friend almost got kicked out for arguing with me when I was kicking out his underage friend. The night went smoothly besides those two incidents and the initial chaos. Bliss Nightlife was very busy. Voodoo was very slow - that's what happens when you do very little promotion.

Club Vortex used to be in the building where Bliss nightlife is now. Before I ran Security there, when I just did Security for the Go-go Dancers and VIPs, the whole bottom level, including the patio, was 18+. When we opened Voodoo on Wednesday the patio was 18+. There is a balcony overlooking the patio that is part of Bliss Nightlife. Since it was very slow at Voodoo on Wednesday the owners decided to make the entire patio 21+ on Friday. This meant that Voodoo was only 1 room on the bottom level.

The next day we were open, Friday July 13th, was our Grand Opening with D.J. Skribble. Bliss Nightlife was packed. I helped get things straightened out again from 8:30 until 10:00 since Bliss opened at 9:00 and Voodoo didn't open until 10:00. Voodoo was very slow again. If they had promoted Voodoo they way they should have it would have been packed too. Because Bliss Nightlife was packed and Voodoo was slow, and because one of Bliss's Door Guys called me up there to help enforce the dress code, and because the sidewalk was blocked which we can get cited for, I walked around from Voodoo's entrance on the north end of the building to Bliss's entrance on the east side of the building a few times to help control the crowd. One of the times I went up there Wes told me to go back to Voodoo and I did.

Around 11:00 D.J. Skribble arrived and he came in Voodoo's entrance since it wasn't busy. I helped escort him up to the D.J. booth. Then I went back down to Voodoo. A little bit later Phil came down and told me to go find Georgio, one of the barbacks from Vortex that he had fired, and bring him downstairs. I found a roaming Bouncer, found Georgio, told him that he had to leave, and walked him down to Voodoo's entrance where Phil, Wes, and Judah were waiting for him. Phil told him that they had busted his underage friend using his I.D. that he had given him to get into Bliss. He told him to go away and never come near the club again.

Dan, who had been my I.D. guy at the door and who I had told I was relying on to run my door had been missing most of the night. I had replaced him earlier on when I realized he was missing. I had also sent of of my Bouncers to go look for him and tell him to come back down. He didn't come back down. I eventually went upstairs to go find him. While I was looking for him Wes grabbed me by the arm and asked what I was doing up there. I pulled my arm away. He told me to come talk to him. We stepped off to the side and he started yelling at me. He asked why I was upstairs. I told him that Dan, one of my Door Guys, had left his post and I was looking for him. He said, "So your door guy left his post and you left the door to go look for him?" I told him that I had 5 people on my door (I had the I.D. guy, the Searcher, the guy watching the checkpoint going from Bliss to Voodoo, my Door Girl Kendra, and my assistant Misty). He yelled at me and told me to get back downstairs. I later found out that Judah had told one of his roamers to go bring one of my guys upstairs. The roamer pulled Dan upstairs. They should have checked with me first. Even if they hadn't checked with me someone with common sense would have pulled a roamer, not someone on a post, especially not someone posted at the main entrance.

Although Bliss was packed we didn't have any major incidents, at least none that I'm aware of. The Assistant Head of Security, Mikey, who I had worked with at Vortex and Axis, busted 2 or 3 underage ladies in Bliss that had come in through Bliss's front door (they had the Bliss stamp) and kicked them out. Voodoo was extremely slow again. At the end of the night the owners decided to close down Voodoo because they didn't think that the risk of getting shut down if a minor got upstairs was worth the relatively small amount of profit Voodoo would make. Wes told Phil to tell me that the ladies would get their paychecks on Monday. I called all of them and told them the bad news. They felt like the owners had wasted their time. They felt like the owners didn't promote it properly and by only giving it two days they didn't give it a fair chance. I agreed with them. The ladies wanted to make fliers and promote it themselves. Kendra wanted to talk to Ben about it so I called him and asked him to call her about it. I don't know if he did. Wes didn't want Voodoo there in the first place. He had made that abundantly clear to me before we opened. I'm sure that he was the main one pushing to kill it after only 2 days.

The beginning was the best part of working at the club because of the ladies that I was managing. I really enjoyed working with Misty, Kendra, Nixie, Cassie, Alyse, Erin, Ashlie, and Kira. Misty was a lot of help and her presence helped me deal with all of the chaos of opening the club. I still talk to her on a regular basis. Felisha, who had worked at Vortex and Vortex 2K6, was bossy and a little bit snobby so she didn't get along with some of the ladies. I had talked to a trusted source and found out that she had been fired from Vortex 2K6 because she was "accused of stealing". I told Phil this after he had hired her but he just blew me off and said that people don't always say nice things about people after they are no longer working somewhere.

Since Voodoo was no longer open I did Security for Bliss on Saturday. My friend Ed, who had done promotions for all of the other clubs Phil and I worked at, as well as Club Manhattan and The Hotel/ Elevate, was the VIP Host for Bliss. He wanted me to do Security for the VIPs. When I told Judah what Ed wanted he told me that he would rather have me roam around and make sure that all of the Bouncers were where they were supposed to be. Although Wes didn't want me to be in any kind of supervisory position, Judah realized that with my experience, attitude, and work ethic I was a good person to have in the position that he gave me. Most people in the night club industry would refer to my position as a Security Lead so that's what I referred to myself as.

On Monday Phil told me that the checks for the ladies from Bliss weren't going to be ready until Tuesday so i called them all and let them know. On Tuesday Phil told me that they wouldn't be available until Wednesday. On Wednesday afternoon I got to the club before Wes did. When the checks showed up Wes wasn't there to sign them. After Angie called him to tell him that the checks were there waiting for his signature Wes didn't get there until more than 2 hours later. Kendra got there before he did. When he walked in he didn't even ask about the checks. He had bought a remote control boat to play with in the "water feature" (pool) out on the patio. He sat down and started putting it together. I went to the office to get the checks and brought them to him. He set them down and continued playing with his boat and chatting with some of the other employees. After chatting with some of the employees he talked to a guy that wanted to do a fire show. He eventually got around to singing the checks more than 30 minutes after he showed up. His attitude about the Voodoo employees paychecks was a good indication of how little he cared about his employees getting paid for the rest of the time that I worked there.

My check for the work I had done between June 15th and June 31st was supposed to be given to me on July 5th but Phil hadn't submitted my hours to the payroll company. He had payed me for the 2nd Job Fair which was mostly for Voodoo out of his own pocket on July 5th because Wes refused to pay me for that one (further evidence that he didn't want Voodoo to succeed). That check bounced and I got over $300 in overdraft fees because of it. Phil covered the bounced check and only payed a little bit of overdraft fees. Oh, by the way, Key Bank is evil!!!

After he gave me the paychecks for the ladies and I gave them to the ladies that were there I asked him where my check was and he said we had to talk about it. He then went back out by the pool to play with his boat and chat with some of the employees. When he eventually took the time to talk to me he wanted me to explain what this check was for. I explained it to him and he said that he would have to talk to Phil about it before he decided to give it to me. He also said that since Voodoo was closed I was no longer a Manager. I was just a Security Guard but my pay would stay the same. I told him that Phil had me doing extra stuff like maintaining the club's MySpace, being in charge of setting up the tables and stools for Ultimate Combat, and other stuff. He told me that if Phil wanted me to do extra stuff then Phil would have to pay me for it. I also told him that Judah had me making sure that the other Bouncers were on there posts and doing their jobs. Wes said he would talk to Judah about that. To get my check I ended up having to come back to the club at 3 AM after getting off work and going home.

Here is a summary of the next month:

  • Because Phil told Wes that my salary was based on us being open 4 days per week (which they planned on eventually doing and are now open 5 days) in order to make it look like he was getting a better deal, my pay got cut when Wes switched me to hourly - so he lied when he said my pay would stay the same
  • Wes micro-managed everyone that worked for him; when I manage employees I hire competent people and let them do their jobs; although you do need to monitor your employees, you don't need to micro-manage their every move
  • Wes overrode me when I wanted to 86 Manu, who happened to be Judah's cousin, because of previous problems we had with him
  • Larry, who had replaced Mikey as Assistant Head of Security because Mikey couldn't work all three nights that we were open, overrode me and Judah backed him up when I wanted to keep a group that we had kicked out for fighting from re-entering; two hours later they were involved in a shooting around the corner from the club
  • Wes and I butted heads because he disliked me, I'm opinionated, and he's insecure
  • Too many chiefs - 6 owners that couldn't get on the same page
  • The paychecks that were supposed to be paid on July 15th were 1 or 2 days late
  • We brought my friend DJ Miss Joy to Bliss on Friday, July 29th - best night at Bliss for me

Since August 5th was on a Sunday, we got our paychecks on Monday, August 6th. I deposited my check on Monday. On Tuesday one of the bouncers, R.C. called me and left me a message saying that he couldn't cash his check at Check City (a check cashing store) because of previous bounced checks. He also said that when he went to Bliss's bank they could not cash the check because of insufficient funds. Another bouncer, Ephraim, sent me a text message saying that he couldn't cash his check at the club's bank because of insufficient funds. I called Phil and he said that he couldn't cash his check either and he didn't have any control over the club's bank account so I called Ben. He told me that the club's account was supposed to pull from one of the owner's personal accounts when there was insufficient funds. (When I called the club's bank the next day they said that was not the case). I explained to Ben that it wouldn't do any good for people that went straight to the club's bank to cash their checks. He said he would look into it.

On Wednesday I called my bank to see if my paycheck had cleared. I found out that it was being returned. I called Bliss's bank and they said that although there was not enough money in the account to cover the check before, there was enough money now and suggested I have my bank resend the check. I called my bank and requested that they resend the check. They did and it cleared. I called Ben to let him know what was going on. He didn't answer his phone so I called Wes. When I told Wes what happened his attitude was basically "It cleared now, so what's your problem?". I asked him if everyone else's checks were going to clear. He asked why I was asking about other employee's paychecks. I told him that it was because they were calling and texting me asking me why their checks weren't cashing. He asked why they were calling me. I told him that it was probably because I knew Phil and I usually knew what was going on. He said "Don't mess with my payroll". I said "I'm not messing with your payroll. I just want us to get paid". He again said "Don't mess with my payroll" and hung up on me. I called him back but he didn't answer.

I then sent a text message to some of the employees that said "Your checks will clear now. If your check was returned, have your bank resend it.". Within 10 minutes Larry called me and told me that Wes said that they were going to have to let me go for insubordination because I had texted the employees about their paychecks. I resisted the urge to laugh at the ridiculousness of their reason for firing me. After I got off the phone with Larry, I called Ben. He said that just one owner couldn't make that decision, it had to be a group decision. He told me that he would talk to Wes about it. Later on Wes called me and told me that Ben was not only his business partner, he was also his best friend and he supported his decision to fire me. I called Ben but he didn't answer. I called Phil and he didn't answer. I texted him telling him what had happened and he replied that he couldn't do anything about it.

To be continued...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Go, Baby, Go!!!

A few weeks ago Blackfive reposted an article by Doc Russia. In his post, Doc describes a recent conversation he had with his sister. In this discussion he uses a great analogy to explain that, despite what the mainstream media has been telling us, we are making progress in Iraq. I'm reposting part of his post here:

In other news, I got to spend some time with my sister while she was on R&R. It was really good to see her. We spoke at some length about Iraq and the war. While I realize that many people just do not want to talk about the war, I think that I need to say something here. While talking with her, I think I got a better understanding of the magnitude of what we are trying to do, and I must say that it is a daunting task. We are trying to drag what is basically a feudal society that had never experienced a renaissance or age of enlightenment into the modern age. It took Europe a hundred years to accomplish this, and we have been about it, making strides for only a few short years. It truly is a Herculean task, but we are doing it. This is why, IMHO, there is such a disparity between the optimism of so many troops and the negativism of the media outlets. It is kind of like when I was watching a C-5 galazy taking off of a runway when I was a grunt. The C5 is a gargantuan heavy lift air transport plane. I mean, you could put a row of apartments inside the damned thing, and have room for the tenants to walk their dogs. It is immense. Now, while it is immense, it needs the normal amount of runway to get off the ground, and has the normal acceleration of any cargo aircraft. So, one day, I am sitting on a hilltop, and I see this ginourmous craft lumber up to starting gate of the flight line. I was about a kiloometer from the craft, and it was pointed in my general direction, and I am high enough up on the terrain that I have a really good view of it on the runway. Well, I hear the engines roar, and I start to notice movement as it begins to slowly go down the runway, it taxies a ways, and starts going at a good clip, but I notice that it is not going nearly fast enough to take off. What's worse is that it is no longer accelerating, and it is about to run out of pavement. I watch, expecting them to throttle down, hit the brakes and turn around or something, but it just keeps lumbering along past the point of no return. Now, I start to get a little tense, since that huge thing will not be able to stop before it runs into a structure one of my buddies is posted in, and it will not be able to get enough airspeed to take off. I thought back to the plane that had crashed on that same spot a little lesss than a year ago, and my mouth got a little dry, when suddenly, this takiing plane just starts to hover up off the ground. Then it starts to climb faster, and banks left past the structure where my buddy is.

And as the nose passed by him, and I saw how quickly it went by, it occured to me that the plane was going real fast. That C5 had been going full boogie down that runway. The pilots at the stick had been sitting in their cockpit, pressed into the backs of their seats with engines roaring as it clawed its way down the tarmac like a high school track athlete pumping those pistons as it hurtled to liftoff, and they coaxed it "go, baby, go!"

but to me it looked slow. It looked to slow to be able to generate lift. The reason it looked slow was that at a distance, when your mind is used to tracking movement and judging speed by the time it takes a craft to pass it's own hull length, when you get a *REALLY* large craft, that way to guage speed is no longer useful.

I think that it is the same way with Iraq. While we, far from the being behind the yoke of the thing are, and unappreciative of it's size look upon it, what is actually a breakneck speed appears as a lumbering and lazy gait, but it really is not, and then we are shocked when the cockamamie thing actually gets off the ground. From our perspective, I do not think that we are very able to judge how fast or well things are going. From the media, we only hear of losses, and from guys like Yon and the folks we know over there, we hear of our successes. And, our successes are legion.

We are doing something on a grand scale. We really are trying to drag one of the last vestiges of feudal and unenlightened culture out of the darkness of the jungle and into the light. We must not, we cannot throttle back. It is time to bend the throttle forward, and through the howl and roar of turbines growl, through gritted and clenched teeth,

"Go, baby, go!!!"

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Peaceful Warrior Available on DVD

One of my favorite movies, Peaceful Warrior, has been released on DVD today! I've seen Peaceful Warrior twice in theaters, once last year when it was given a limited release, and again this year when it was given a wide release. You can buy Peaceful Warrior on DVD by clicking here.

I interviewed with one of the owners of Bliss last Wednesday. He basically asked me to explain why I'm the man for the job. I told him about all the experience I have - over 10 years doing Security in night clubs and at concerts; doing Security for the Super Bowl, the Olympics, and Sundance; running Security at Vortex, Players, & Natalies. I told him that I am good at filtering out the troublemakers. I explained that my Security philosophy is to be aware of what is going on around me and prevent things from escalating before they get out of hand. I told him that I am trustworthy. I told him that I am a Christian. I told him that although I am not perfect, I am honest. I told him that my purpose in life is to protect people. After I was done "selling" myself I asked him what kind of pay they were going to offer me. He told me that he was going to talk to the other owners and they would let me know.

We got our liquor license approved today. We also passed the fire and building inspections. If they can pay me what I am worth, I will be signing a contract later this week or early next week. Yes, I am learning from my past experiences (like this one, this one, this one, and this one) and will be getting a contract. They will have to pay me more than I'm making at Teleperformance to get me to cut back to part time so I can work both jobs. I put in a schedule change request last Wednesday. I requested to only work on Mondays and Tuesdays from 3:30 PM until 12 AM starting the week of July 8th through July 14th because Voodoo's Unveiling Party is on Wednesday, July 11th. This would allow me to work at Voodoo on Wednesdays, Fridays, & Saturdays and have Sundays & Thursdays off. I found out today that I won't know if my schedule change request has been approved until the end of next week. I have heard that our benefits at Teleperformance, especially the dental benefits, are not very good. I want to work both jobs so I have something to fall back on if Voodoo doesn't work out but if they can't give me the schedule I want, and if I can get a good contract for Voodoo, I might just quit Teleperformance and work at Voodoo.

We are having another Job Fair for Bliss and Voodoo this Friday and Saturday from 12-4 PM. We have hired enough bartenders, barbacks, cocktail waitresses, and shot girls for Bliss but we are still accepting applications. I will still be interviewing people for positions at Voodoo, the 18+ part of Bliss that I will be managing. I need to hire Door Girls and Energy Bar Girls. The Door Girls will be collecting cover charge at the front door. The Energy Bar Girls will be selling energy drinks, soda, and bottled water at the Energy Bars. I want to hire a few of the guys that I interviewed last week for Security. I also want to rehire Dan, who worked the last night Vortex was open. I will interview some more guys for Security this weekend and then they will have go to a second interview with one of the owners early next week. We will have some training at the end of next week.

Speaking of Security, I have been reading Clublife, a blog by a bouncer in New York City, off and on for a few years now. While reading the Bouncer (doorman) Wikipedia article last week I came across another blog by a bouncer working at a night club in a holiday park complex in the UK. It's called A Dirty Job. The Bouncer article also links to two other bouncer websites, Door Network and Working the Doors. You can also check out the rest of my blog for the club life from my perspective.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Two weeks ago, on Tuesday, Phil called me and told me that he had recommended me to the new owners of Vortex for a job. No, I didn't tell him to go jump in a lake. Wednesday, I finally went downtown to the Labor Commission and filed a wage claim against Travis Pera and his brother, Ryan Pera who is the one who signed the checks from Club Vortex that bounced.

On Thursday I met Phil and he told me that he was recommending me to be the manager for Voodoo, which is the 18+ part of the new club on the 1st floor. The 21+ part, on the 2nd , 3rd, and 4th floors, will be called Bliss. The owners have someone that they want to run Security for Bliss but Phil recommended me to run Security for Voodoo as well as managing the Door Girls, Energy Bar Girls, D.J.'s, and Go-Go Dancers. I still have to meet with the owners to talk to them about pay. I will be working there on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

On Saturday I was working at Teleperformance when A.J., the Head of Security at Harry O's, called me to ask if I could work the MySpace Party they were having. I told him I would ask my supervisor and call him back. I was on lunch so I asked my supervisor and he asked me if I could get him into the club. I told him that I didn't know but I would see what I could do. He let me go so I went home to shower and eat and headed up to Harry O's. When I got there A.J. had me work one of the VIP sections on the balcony on the stage left side of the club.

My area wasn't too busy because only the VIPs were up there. I always keep an eye on the Go-Go Dancers as much as possible without neglecting my area. Around midnight I saw one of the Go-Go Dancers who was dancing on the main bar below me talking to one of the barbacks. Then I saw the barback get up on the bar where she was dancing and talk to a customer directly in front of the Go-Go Dancer. I signalled A.J.'s brother, who was working one of the doors to the backstage area on the stage right side of the club, with my flashlight (Surefire's 6P with the P61 lamp assembly). He got someone to watch his post and then moved towards the Go-Go Dancer. A.J. must have seen the barback up on the bar, and I think they give radios to some of the barbacks, because he was on the pervert before his brother got there. I later found out that the pervert had been taking up-skirt pictures with his camera phone.

Later on I asked A.J. if I could get my supervisor in and he said yes and put his name on the list at the front door. When my supervisor called I told him that he was on the list. The next day (Sunday) I checked my mail from the past couple of days and my CCW was in there! Finally!

Last Tuesday Travis called me but I was working so I couldn't answer. I called him back and he threatened to sue me for check fraud if I didn't drop my wage claim. I told him to go ahead and try. Then he said that he was going to claim that I was an independent contractor, which he knows is a blatant lie, and get my case dropped. I told him that he was full of it and he knew I wasn't an independent contractor so go ahead and try to get the case dropped. He then told me that he would pay me $500 if I would drop the case. I told him that he owed me more than $1,000 so he would have to pay me more than $500. I suggested $800. He offered $600. I told him that I would think about it and call him back. I called a friend and asked him what he thought I should do. He suggested that I take what I could get, move on, and let go. I called Travis back and told him I would settle for $600. He told me he would pay me on Thursday. I told him that I wouldn't take a check because I didn't trust him.

Travis finally got around to paying me on Friday. He paid me $600 cash and had me sign one form that he was going to fax to the Labor Commission saying that I was dropping my case against him and another form saying that I wouldn't pursue any further payment from him. After getting paid I went to the pawn shop and got my XD 45 ACP handgun out. It had been in the pawn shop since last year. I had to pawn it to help pay rent because I went overboard in helping Chere and her kids. Then I went to my friend's house, who loaned me some money last year to help me since pawning my gun didn't get me enough money to cover rent, my car payment and food for a couple of weeks, and finished paying him and his wife the money I owed them. I spent Friday and Saturday with them. Friday night, on the way to see Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (A-), my car kept stalling due to some type of short in the electrical system. I got it back to my friend's house after the movie. Later that night when we went to Wendy's to get a shake it stalled some more. I called my car dealership, Menlove Dodge Toyota, and they got it towed up to the mechanic near the dealership in Bountiful. They finally got it fixed today and I'll be getting a ride up there to pick it up after I get off work.

I created a Myspace site for Voodoo last week. Today I started helping one of the owners of Bliss with Bliss's MySpace site. Bliss and Voodoo will be having a Job Fair tomorrow and Thursday from 12-4 PM. We will be hiring for all positions. On Sunday I created ads at and for the Job Fair. Today I created an ad at I'll be going in at 11:30 AM tomorrow to meet the new owners. I hope the online ads are enough because the owners didn't want to run an ad in the Salt Lake Tribune or City Weekly. One of them decided to run an ad in the Salt Lake Tribune a few weeks ago so they didn't want to spend more money running another ad. I have no idea why you would run a Help Wanted ad six weeks before you're going to be opening but I've realized that some things just can't be understood.

Sunday night I ordered a SmartCarry concealed gun holster. I ordered the Security V model. I had done some research online comparing SmartCarry and Thunderwear. I found out that SmartCarry has a better perspiration barrier and they don't have any downward facing seams on the top front of the firearm or tactical reload pocket for your gun to snag on. They're also less expensive than Thunderwear.

I finished reading Requiem for an Assassin by Barry Eisler. It was very good. Barry Eisler, who used to work for the CIA, has some good articles about personal safety and martial arts. If you're a writer or if you're interested in becoming a writer check out his articles for writers. While you're on his website check out his Links page. I haven't finished reading Old School-New School: A Guide to Bouncers, Security and Registered Door Supervisors by Jamie O'Keefe because I've been spending a lot of time at Gamerzz playing games and working on the Voodoo MySpace site. I hope to finish reading it soon. I also want to read Verbal Judo: Words as a Force Option by George J. Thompson, Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating, and Patriot Acts by Greg Rucka.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Fate's Wedding

Fate and Theorian are two of my friends that I used to do Personal Protection for when they opened for many different Hip Hop artists that performed in Utah. They opened for artists such as Method Man, KRS-ONE, Bubba Sparxxx, the Yin Yang Twins., and the Alkaholiks. They move to Las Vegas two years ago but I have kept in touch with them.

Two weeks ago, on Wednesday, Fate, Theorian (a.k.a. Dissaster), Paradise (Fate's wife), and Derek (their roommate) came up to Salt Lake City. Fate and Paradise had a small wedding ceremony back in February but Paradise's family, who are Tongan, wanted to have a bigger ceremony with all of their family. Fate called me several weeks ago asking me to be in his line for the wedding. I haven't grown (or shrunk) any since my brother's wedding and they were getting suits from the same place, Men's Warehouse, so I didn't have to get fitted again.

Last Wednesday night, after I got off work, I went over to Fate's sister, Teisha's house and hung out with them for a little while. Thursday afternoon I picked up my suit. After work on Thursday night I picked up Fate, Theorian, and Derek and we met Shane at Habits (where Player's used to be) for some Karaoke. They spent a lot of money renovating the club and it shows. After karaoke we went to Denny's to hang out with Shane and his friends. Friday night they wanted to rest so I went to Gamerzz for a couple of hours before going home to get some sleep.

Saturday morning I picked up Theorian, Derek, and "Little Man" (Teisha's son) from Teisha's apartment. Then we went to Fate's mom, Carol's house and picked up Fate. Little Man decided to ride with his mom to the wedding so Theorian, Derek, and Fate rode with me down to the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga for the wedding. Just before we got off the highway, Theorian said "That was brave." I responded "What was brave?" He said "Passing that cop like that." I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw a marked police car with his siren on. I'm usually on the look-out for cops because I tend to drive fast but somehow I completely missed this one. I pulled over to the side of the road, pulled out my driver's license, and asked Fate to get my registration and proof of insurance out of the glove compartment.

When the cop came up to my window he was upset because he was "going 65 and I passed him like he was standing still" and he "had to go 85 just to catch up to me". After he chewed me out and I explained that we were on the way to Fate's wedding he asked "Where do I know you from?" I said "I do Security at some of the clubs downtown." He said "Vortex?" I said "Yeah." He told me to slow down and let me go. As we pulled out Fate and Theorian told me that they were praying that I wouldn't get a ticket.

At the church I carried Little Man around to keep him occupied while we waited for the wedding to start. Fate told me that Little Man's sister, Dejanae, was sad because she wasn't in the line for the wedding so I invited her to walk around with us. Theorian was Fate's Best Man. Derek, Lam, and I were in the line with a bunch of Paradise's cousins.

Shane was in the line too but his truck broke down so he was a little bit late. He got there before Paradise though. Fate sang his song, Rest of My Life, to Paradise as her father walked her up the aisle while Derek played acoustic guitar. After the wedding we walked down the stairs and a bunch of people, including Shane, took pictures. After that we got into limos and rode around for a while. At 3:45 we got dropped off at Little America for the wedding reception.

This wedding reception was different from any other wedding reception I have ever been to. They had a Pacific Island dance group do dances from all over the Pacific Islands. The Tongans have a cool wedding tradition in which relatives on both sides of the family are given several expensive, beautiful, handmade blankets. Carol and Teisha received blankets. Most of my experience with Polynesians has been breaking up groups of them in fights while doing Security at clubs. In fact, several of the clubs that I have done Security at have limited the number of Polynesians that are allowed in to prevent things from getting out of control. I can understand supporting your family but when they are causing a problem you should straighten them out, not join them in fighting. It was good to have a positive experience with Polynesians and see how giving they can be.

Saturday night, after the wedding reception, Theorian, Derek, and I went to Gamerzz to play some Counter-Strike: Source. We were all not feeling good because it had been a long day and we hadn't kept ourselves hydrated so it wasn't as much fun as it could have been. After playing for a few hours I dropped them off at Teisha's apartment and went home to get some sleep.

Sunday morning I picked up Theorian and Derek and we went to the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga to be with Fate and Paradise at their first mass as husband and wife. The Tongan tradition is for them to attend church together and wear a ta'ovala. After church Paradise's parents treated a bunch of people from both sides of the family to a buffet at Crazy Jim's buffet, a really good Chinese buffet restaurant. After lunch Theorian, Derek, and I went to Gamerzz and played some more Counter-Strike: Source. We had a lot more fun because we were well fed and hydrated. Sunday night I saw Flywheel (A+) with a friend.

On Monday I saw Pirate's of the Caribbean: At World's End (A) with a friend and his family. Sunday evening I picked up Theorian and Derek and we helped my friend and his family clean up a house that they will be buying from a relative and renting out. On Tuesday I picked up Theorian and Derek and we went to Paradise's parents house to hang out with Fate before they went back to Vegas. It was good seeing Fate, Theorian, Teisha, Little Man, Dejanae, and Carol again. It was good meeting Derek. I hope to see Fate, Theorian, and Derek again soon.

I've read more than half of Requiem for an Assassin by Barry Eisler. I'll finish reading Old School-New School: A Guide to Bouncers, Security and Registered Door Supervisors by Jamie O'Keefe when I'm done with Requiem for an Assassin. On Sunday night I was listening to 100.3 FM when I heard Susan Dermond, author of Calm and Compassionate Children, mention Christian Centering Prayer. I Googled Christian Centering Prayer and found this website. In the near future I want to read Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating.

I've been catching up on some of my favorite blogs and websites with Google Reader for the past couple of weeks. Blackfive had a good post about Good News from Iraq. He also posted about this article - Graying duo keep passenger in check. Click here to subscribe to Blackfive. Click here to subscribe to my blog.

Tonight at 6:30 PM my church, Calvary Chapel Salt Lake City, is having Church in the Park. We meet at Sugarhouse Park on the first Wednesday of every month from May through September (in July it's the second Wednesday because of July 4th) for a free BBQ, fellowship, worship, and a message. For a map and directions to Sugarhouse Park click here. If you live in Utah, you are invited to come. Bring your family and friends!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Facing The Giants

On Sunday night I watched Facing The Giants on DVD. This was a great movie with a great message! It is one of my favorite movies! This movie is about having faith in God and glorifying Him in all you do. My church, Calvary Chapel Salt Lake City, had a screening of Facing The Gaints as a fund-raiser for Easter at the E but I wasn't able to watch the whole thing because I had to go to work at Club Vortex. I'm glad that I finally got to see it! I also want to see Flywheel, another movie produced by the producer of Facing The Giants, Sherwood Pictures.

I used to play WoW (World of Warcraft) when I worked at GoodGame but when I quit working there (because they could no longer afford to pay me) I quit playing. This past January, when I was working at Teleperformance, I bought the expansion for World of Warcraft called The Burning Crusade. I've been playing WoW on a regular basis since January but I'm probably not going to renew my monthly subscription next month because I want to spend less time vegging in front of a computer and more time reading the Bible, reading other books, hiking, and playing basketball & volleyball.

Last Sunday I wasted two hours of my life watching 28 Weeks Later with Phil. He really wanted to see it. I didn't want to and should have just done something else instead. We'll probably watch Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End this weekend. I'm also looking forward to seeing Ocean's Thirteen, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and A Mighty Heart.

I've avoided posting about the Virginia Tech Massacre until now because it is a very negative topic. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the victims of the Virginia Tech Massacre. I do believe that if students and faculty at Virginia Tech with Carrying Concealed Weapon (CCW) permits had been allowed to carry their guns on campus, Seung-Hui Cho might have been stoppped before he killed 32 people and wounded many others. Mike Kinsey wrote a good article about this issue on the Ohioans for Concealed Carry Website. I took the training for my CCW permit last year and finally got around to submitting my paperwork and paying for my CCW a few months ago when I started working at Club Vortex. Because of the increased number of CCW applications following the Trolley Square Mall Shooting (where an off-duty police officer prevented the shooter from killing more people) it currently takes up to 100 days to get your CCW so I should be getting mine soon. I'll be getting my XD 45 out of the pawn shop in July.

Barry Eisler's newest book, Requiem for an Assassin, comes out today. I'll be getting it when I get paid on Thursday. Check out Barry Eisler's blog. I'm still reading Old School-New School: A Guide to Bouncers, Security and Registered Door Supervisors by Jamie O'Keefe. After Requiem for an Assassin, the next fiction book I want to read is Shibumi: A Novel.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I have been playing games online at Gamerzz in Taylorsville for about seven months now. I've been their unofficial Security guy for most of that time and, as of December 31st of last year, I am their promoter for their Lock-Ins (all-night LAN parties). I got Sky High Party & Pizza and FastKart Indoor Speedway to sponsor the Lock-Ins. This means that they provide passes to their business as door prizes and prizes for tournaments. I also got Dominos Pizza to provide pizza at a discounted price. Right around the time that Club Vortex got shut down, one of the employees at Gamerzz got let go (he got into a fight with one of the owners and I broke it up) so they needed to hire some people to cover his shifts. Another regular at Gamerzz, Finkle, and I got hired.

Let me back up a little bit here. Around the beginning of the year Gamerzz started implementing a "No Loitering" policy. This LAN center, being just a few blocks away from Taylorsville High School and Salt Lake Community College, was a "hang out" for several high school/college age students. This was becoming a problem to the point where sometimes there were more loiterers than customers. Sometimes this group would be so loud that it would be a distraction to the paying customers that were trying to conentrate on their gaming. They would also loiter next to the building. Because Gamerzz is in a strip mall, the owner of the strip mall complained to the owners of Gamerzz about this group loitering next to the building. The employees would have to repeatedly tell this group not to loiter next to the building. The rule (or "guideline") that was implemented around the time that I started working there was that these loiterers had half an hour to either get on a computer or leave the property for the day.

The leader of this group of loiterers is a 19 year old disrespectful, mouthy pothead whose nickname is Rick James. Rick James has, on several occasions, shown disrespect to the employees of Gamerzz by doing things such as flipping them off and arguing with them when they try to enforce the rules. On a couple of occasions we have wanted to suspend him from Gamerzz for a short time to punish him for his inappropriate behaviour but one of the owners, Jared, has not let us do this. He is afraid that if he punishes Rick James then him and his group will no longer come to Gamerzz. Rick James just "apologizes" and continues to be disrespectful. Although some of these loiterers, one of them being Rick James, are actually paying customers on a regular basis, some of them are not.

I worked there two or three days per week for the two weeks following Club Vortex being closed down. During this time I did a good job of enforcing the "No Loitering" policy. The other employees were not as consistent on enforcing this policy. When I got hired at Teleperformance my training schedule conflicted with my schedule at Gamerzz so the schedule was adjusted to cover my shifts. I am now just a back-up.

On Saturday, April 21st I was playing at Gamerzz and there were a lot of loiterers. They were being noisy. After two or three hours Finkle, the on-duty employee at the time, told the loiterers that they had half an hour to get on a computer or leave for the day. Rick James claimed that there were no open computers even though there were. Even if there weren't any open computers, Rick James and the other loiterers know that they can get on a waiting list so that as soon as a computer becomes available they will be the only ones that can log onto the open computers. The fact that they know about the waiting list and had been there for at least two hours but had not got on the waiting list proves that they were not intending to get on a computer. Rick James still wanted to argue and complain as he often does. At this point I told him to not argue with Finkle. Rick James's friend Spencer, who was sitting on a couch near the back of the LAN center about 10 feet from where I was sitting, told me to sit down and play my game.

Let me back up again. A month or two before this incident, I was playing at Gamerzz when Luke came in and told me that there was about to be a fight outside. I ran outside and asked Spencer, who was sitting in his car, what was going on. He said that a group of Polynesians, who were now standing next to their car, had tried to pull him out of his car and beat him up. At this point they got in their car and left. So I came to Spencer's defense when a group of guys were trying to beat him up.

Now back to the story. I told Spencer that he needed to leave now. He refused to leave and again told me to sit down and play my game. I moved closer to him, pointed towards the door, and told him to leave now. As an employee I was telling him to leave. By refusing to leave he was trespassing. He stood up, got in my face, and told me that he wasn't going anywhere. Technically by getting in my face he was threatening me. I told him to get out now. He told me "No" and stuck his tongue out at me. While that wasn't as bad as spitting on me, it wasn't the smartest thing to do. I spun him around, wrapped my arms around his shoulders and dragged him towards the door. At this point Rick James and his group of 6-9 guys rushed me and grabbed me. One of the smallest in the group jumped on me and was hanging from my neck in a futile attempt to throw me off balance. I stood my ground and told them all to get out. Luke, who works there and is friends with these guys, told them to get out too. Finkle, who is also friends with these guys, called the police. All of them, except for Rick James, left the building. Rick James was trying to provoke me to throw him out of the building. I just stood my ground and Luke and I told him to get out. After talking some trash he got out.

After everyone was out, Finkle called Jared, the owner. The police showed up within 5 minutes. We told them what happened. Then Jared showed up and we told him what happened. He then talked to the police and talked to Rick James and his group. After he had talked to everyone he told me that it should not have come to this. I should have called him. I explained that the customers should respect us and we should not have to call him to enforce the rules. I also explained that if we were all consistentt in enforcing the rules and if he hadn't overridden us when we wanted to suspend Rick James then he might respect us more and it wouldn't have gone as far as it had. He told me that if he suspended Rick James then him and his group might not come back. I told him that them not coming back would be a good thing. He explained that if they left, his business would suffer a major loss of revenue. I explained that as long as he let a bunch of troublemakers continue to break the rules and disrespect his employees, it was going to be hard to attract a good crowd. He again stated that it should not have come to this and told us to call him in the future.

Jared then went over and talked to Rick James and his group again. While he was over there Finkle and Luke took Jared's side of the argumnent basically saying that we had to walk on egg shells with these guys because we couldn't afford to lose them as customers. I explained that this "gang" of guys should not be running the shop, we should. They went into the whole "loss of our customers" spiel again. I said that I understood that but said that we had to draw the line somewhere.

Jared came back over and told us that he was going to let them stay. I asked Jared if he was serious and said that they should have to leave for the day, at the very least. They basically tried to jump an emplyee and Jared wasn't going to punish them at all. He said that he was going to tell them that they could either get on a computer or leave. So basically, after loitering for two or three hours, arguing with an on-duty employee, and then trying to jump an off-duty employee, they were just told not to loiter.

In a recent blog post, Luke claimed that I "snapped" and "assaulted a customer by putting him in a chokehold". He obviously doesn't understand what snapped means. Snap means "to suffer a physical or mental breakdown, especially under stress". Just because he doesn't understand the gang mentality and how to deal with a group of guys doesn't mean I "snapped". Just because I chose to physically remove a loiterer that had been trespassed and was challenging me doesn't mean I "snapped". If I had snapped, or lost control, Spencer would have been unconcious, I would have layed those guys out when they rushed me, and I would have thrown Rick James out when he was provoking me.

I didn't put Spencer in a chokehold. I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and dragged him towards the door. He wasn't enough of a threat to warrant me putting him into a chokehold. I knew that I could handle him without putting him in a chokehold (click here to read about a situation which did warrant me using a chokehold). Luke's lack of experience with physical confrontation, the loiterers being his "friends" (although I doubt that he spends any time with them outside of work and they don't respect him as true friends do), and his passive nature lead to him making an incorrect assesment of the situation. I like Luke and he has treated me well from the first day that I met him. I guess I just expected a more objective assessment of the situation from one of my co-workers that I have backed up on several occasions.

Rick James and a few of the paying customers from his group have still been coming to Gamerzz but the loiterers have not been there as much as they used to. So, while Jared and the other employees might not like my methods, they are effective.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

My Second Car

On Monday Preston called me to let me know that he had some family drama on Sunday and that was why he didn't call me. He picked me up from Gamerzz and we stopped by Auto Zone to get some fusible links and some wire cutters on the way to work. On our lunch break Preston replaced the two fusible links but the truck still wouldn't start. Preston game me a ride home.

Tuesday morning I called Scooter and asked him if he could tow the truck to his shop and fix it. He gave me the number to the tow truck guy. I called the tow truck guy. He was really cool. He came to my house and got my keys so he could go to my work and tow the truck. Tuesday afternoon I called Menlove Dodge Toyota, where I had bought my first car (the one that got totaled last year), to see of I could get another car. They said that I could and scheduled me to come in on Thursday at 1:15 to pick out another car. Preston gave me a ride to work and a ride home.

Wednesday morning Preston picked me up and we went to get our paychecks from work. Shortly after picking up our paychecks, Scooter called me to tell me that the truck was fixed. Preston insisted on giving me $50 because he had mistakenly told me that the battery in the truck needed to be replaced but it didn't. I told him that he didn't need to do that but he told me that he wasn't going to take no for an answer so I took it. After we ran a couple of errands Preston took me to the shop that Scooter works at and I picked up the truck. He only charged me $200 for the tow, the parts, and 3 hours of labor. He had to replace 3 fusible links (he said Preston had put the wrong kind in), and some wiring. He also had to wire the starter correctly because he claimed that Preston hadn't hooked it back up the right way. The truck started just fine but the radio wouldn't come on. Scooter suggested taking it to R.C. Willey to get it fixed. I went to R.C. Willey and Best Buy but neither of them could get the radio fixed that day. When I got to work I talked to Preston and he told me that his friend Travis could fix the radio for me.

Thursday morning I went over to Travis's house and he fixed the radio. All it took was removing it and replacing the fuse in the back. I tried to give Travis some money but he wouldn't take it. Then I headed up to Menlove Dodge Toyota to get my second car from them. I have been making payments ever since my car got totaled last year and still owed them $4,300. They waved $2000 of what I owed them and added the remaining money to the loan for the new car. I got a gold/tan colored 2002 Buick Regal LS. The car is what they call a "sleeper" because it is a luxury car but it has a 3.8 liter V6 with 195 horsepower and 225 pounds-feet of torque. It does 0-60 in less than 8 seconds! It has also traction control and a FF (front-engine, front-wheel drive) layout. The FF layout puts the heavy engine over the drive wheels which gives it better traction.

Preston gave me a ride up to Menlove on Friday to pick up my car. By the time I got done filling out paperwork I had less than 15 minutes to get to work. I made it easily. My new car handles really well!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Da T.R.U.T.H.

On Sunday mornings I usually watch Lift Every Voice on BET. Yesterday morning the guest on Lift Every Voice was a Christian rapper named Da T.R.U.T.H. In his song Who Am I? featuring Tye Tribbett & Kirk Franklin, which will be on his Da T.R.U.T.H. & Friends LIVE DVD (in stores May 15th), Da T.R.U.T.H. talks about something that has been bothering me lately. This song, which is similar to my friend Theorian's song What If featuring Ms PHD, asks the question "When people see me do they know that I'm a Christian?" I know that I am a Christian but I don't always act like one. When I curse, I'm sure that people don't think that I am a Christian. I pray that God will help me change my ways and be the light of the world that he has called me to be.

Training at Teleperformance is going well. We learned about Windows Vista last week. We had an assessment every day. On Friday we had 2 assessments and a final assessment. I aced all of them all week except for the final, which I got a 96.67% on (I missed one question). The assessments were open-computer and open-note. Also, my trainer gave a very thorough review before each assessment so it's nothing to brag about. I'm just happy that I am doing so well because the better I do on the assessments, the better the chance is that I'll get the schedule that I want when training is done.

On Friday it was raining so I had my headlights on in Dave's truck when I went to work. I forgot to turn them off when I went inside to work so when I came out at the end of the night, the battery was dead. Because it was dark I put the jumper cables on backwards so it wouldn't start. I didn't figure this out until Saturday evening when I came back with one of my co-workers, Preston to try jump-starting it again. It still wouldn't start so we took the starter to Auto Zone and they tested it. It passed the test so we assumed the battery was bad. I bought a new battery but it still wouldn't start. I called Scooter, the sound guy at Club Vortex who is also a mechanic, and asked him what was wrong with the truck. He said that it was probably the fusible links. It was dark by the time he told me that so I treated Preston to the buffet at Godfather's Pizza.

After we ate he drove me up to Harry O's in Park City so I could get paid for the security work I did up there during Sundance. I got paid, and paid well. When we dropped me off at home, he told me to call him at his friend's house yesterday afternoon and he would come take me out to the truck and replace the fusible links. I called his friend's house yesterday afternoon but he wasn't there. I couldn't get a hold of him all day. I hope that I'll be able to get a hold of him today so that I can get it fixed without having to pay a mechanic to tow the truck and fix it.

Last night Phil and I saw Spider-Man 3 (B) and Next (A). Spider-Man 3 was good but it wasn't as good as Spider-Man or Spider-Man 2. It did have good special effects. Next was really good. It was very well written. Nicolas Cage and Jessica Biel played there roles very well. Jessica Biel is one of the most beautiful women that I have ever seen. I'm looking forward to seeing Home of the Brave (another Jessica Biel movie!), The Hip Hop Project, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Everything Will Be Alright

Yesterday afternoon Steve Ketter finally paid me the rest of the money that he owed me from working Securty at the Main Event Lounge at Sundance. He claimed that the money that he was pre-paid was not only for me and the other Security guys, it was also for work he had done for Debbie setting up the Main Event Lounge in the months prior to Sundance. His experience reinforces my prior conclusion that in the future, when doing private security, I should get a contract so both parties know what is expected and to help in collecting any money owed. Tomorrow I am going to finally get paid from Harry O's for the security work that I did up there during Sundance. Once I have been paid from Harry O's, I will be completely paid for all security work done during Sundance!

Back when I was working at Club Vortex, I bought Tye Tribbet and G.A.'s latest album, Victory Live! Listening to this CD really helped me through a difficult time. The songs that were especially uplifting were Everything Will Be Alright, G.A. Hymn, Still Have Joy, 1-2 (Victory Check), and Victory.

There are several good Christian events and concerts coming to Utah soon. The Akiane Art Tour and Gallery is coming to the Patrick Moore Gallery in Salt Lake City. The Akiane Art Tour and Gallery will showcase the art and poetry of Akiane Kramarik, a 12-year-old prodigy that has been blessed by God and gives him credit for her gifts. It will run from Saturday, May 5th to Saturday, June 2nd. Click here for more info.

The Jeremiah People will be performing at First Baptist Church of West Valley City on Sunday, May 13th (Mother's Day). They will be doing free concerts at 9:30 A.M. and 11:00 A.M. At 6:00 P.M. they will be performing their drama, Dear Diary. Check out their tour blog by clicking here.

Christian rock group Flyleaf is coming to the Gallivan Center Plaza on Saturday, June 2nd at 12:00 noon as part of 94.9 The Blaze's Viva S.L.C. event. Tickets are only $12.50 and can be purchased at Smiths Tix or any Graywhale CD location.

The Tooth & Nail Tour is coming to In The Venue in Salt Lake City on Monday, June 11th at 5:00 P.M. The Tooth & Nail Tour features several punk/rock bands (most of them are Christian bands). MxPx, Project 86, The Classic Crime, The Fold, and Sullivan will be performing. Tickets can be purchased at

To find Christian concerts and events in your area check out and

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Thought Crimes

Our “First Freedoms” to free speech and religious expression are under attack! There are two imprtant bills that have been introduced in the House of Representatives. The first bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 2015), would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote an employee based on his sexual orientation or "gender identity". Such acts would be considered crimes subject to severe penalties. This bill would force organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Veterans of Foreign Wars, day care centers, Christian business owners, adoption agencies, public schools, municipalities and a host of other businesses and organizations to hire homosexual applicants. For a list of the co-sponsors of ENDA, click here.

The second bill, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Protection Act (H.R. 1592), is a Thought Crimes law which aims to silence biblical Judeo-Christian speech and beliefs about homosexuality and “transgenderism.” This bill would inevitably create federally protected “class status” for homosexuals, bisexuals, transvestites, “transgender” and “transsexual” persons. H.R. 1592 paves the way to religious persecution – with “hate crimes” laws inevitably leading to “hate speech” laws targeted specifically at Christians and other faith groups who hold traditional beliefs on homosexuality. If this bill passes, it would be illegal for you to say that homsexuality is immoral! This has already happened in Canada, Sweden, Belgium, France, Spain, Ireland, Scotland, England, and New Zealand. Even here in the United States in Philadelphia, Christians have been arrested and jailed under a state “hate crimes” law!

Although these bills might look good on the surface if you just look at the titles, "non-discrimination" and "hate crimes", their goal is to normalize homosexuality and "trangenderism" and to punish those with opposing viewpoints. The vote for these bills could come as soon as tomorrow. If you oppose ENDA (HR 2015) and the Hate Crimes Act (HR 1592), please call your Representative at (202)224-3121 and let him or her know that you oppose these bills. If you don’t know your representative's name, simply give the operator your address and you will be given his or her name and connected with his or her office. You can also click here to send an email to President Bush asking him to veto these bills. Don't wait. Take action now!

To receive alerts via e-mail on similiar issues from the American Family Association, click here to subscribe today! You can also check out the American Family Radio website. If you're a father you should visit the website. Mothers, you'll want to check out Also, don't forget about Meet at City Hall and other National Day of Prayer events tomorrow! Click here to email this post to your friends and family.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Life's Getting Better

Life's getting better. I passed the A+ Essentials and A+ 220-603 (Remote Support Technician) tests at my new job at Teleperformance so I am now an A+ certified Remote Support Technician! The money that my Uncle George and Aunt Beverly sent me allowed me to pay Keybank the money that I owed them and catch up on bills. I'm still going to go to the Labor Commission this week to have them try to make Travis pay me for my bounced paychecks from Club Vortex. I'm finally going to get paid from Harry O's on Saturday for the Security work I did there during Sundance.

Last month I saw two other movies that I forgot to mention in my last post, Amazing Grace (A) and Pathfinder (B+). Amazing Grace is the story of anti-slavery pioneer William Wilberforce. It also told some of the story of Olaudah Equiano's life. Olaudah Equiano was a slave who bought his freedom, became an anti-slavery abolitionist, and then went on to write about his life as a slave in his bestselling autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano Gustavus Vass, The African. Pathfinder is the story of a Viking boy who was left behind after his clan raids a Native American tribe. He is then raised by the Native Americans and helps them battle his clan when they come back several years later.

I saw The Condemned (B) with Phil on Sunday. He still owed me $400 when Club Vortex got closed down (not including the 2 bounced paychecks) so I don't mind him paying for a movie every now and then. He still wants me to come back and manage Club Vortex when he gets it reopened but I'm not planning on working for him again. Phil really wanted to see The Condemned. It wasn't my first pick but it was better than I thought it would be. Although the story was basically about a live internet broadcast of several death row inmates put on an island with the last man (or woman) standing gaining there freedom, it had a good moral. It pointed out that people who enjoy watching people get tortured and murdered are the ones that are condemned.

Back when I was working at Club Vortex I ordered START Fitness's Fit to Fight DVD package. The Fit to Fight DVD package is a boot camp style workout on three DVDs. There is the basic level DVD titled Operation Wake-Up call, the intermediate DVD titled Operation Double Time, and the advanced level DVD titled Operation Fit to Fight. I did the Operation Wake-up Call workout once last week and I'm going to do it a couple of times this week. I'm planning to workout regularly starting next week. Hopefully I will be more consistent with this workout than I was with Combat Conditioning.

I'm currently reading Old School-New School: A Guide to Bouncers, Security and Registered Door Supervisors by Jamie O'Keefe. Although I'm not in a hurry to work at a night club again, this is a book that I have been wanting to read for a few years now. It applies specifically to working at night clubs in the UK, but it still has good information for anyone working Security in a night club anywhere.

This Thursday, May 3rd, is the National Day of Prayer. I encourage you all to Meet At City Hall from 12:20 to 12:40 PM to pray for a moral rebirth in our country! Click here to find other National Day of Prayer events near you.