Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Here We Go Again

In the beginning of February I gave my 2 week notice at Convergys. Actually, it was a 1.5 week notice but my boss, Tony was treating it like a 2 week notice so I would be rehirable (not that I'm planning on ever working there again but why burn bridges). I was looking for another job and Phil had texted me a few times mentioning that he might be wanting me to come work for him again.

On Wednesday, February 14th Phil sent me a text message asking me to come in to Club Vortex and talk to him about working for him, starting that night. I had Wednesdays off so I went down and he basically told me that the club was not being managed properly and he wanted me to fix that. He wanted me to make sure that the bartenders, barbacks, cocktail waitresses, and shot girls were doing there job. In addition to their basic job duties, Phil wanted me to make sure that they did all of the closing work such as cleaning and locking up the liquor & beer. So I was basically a Shift Manager. He also told me that Josh was the Head of Security but that he had not been doing a good job of running Security. He told me not to worry about Security for the first week or two, just give Josh and his crew time to straighten things out but he didn't expect things to improve and thought that I would eventually be taking over Security too. Trent and Ryan were helping manage the club too. Trent was helping Josh run Security and Ryan was handling bills, payroll, cash, & liquor. I told Phil that I could work that night but couldn't work Friday and Saturday that week (the other nights that Vortex is open) because I was still working at Convergys.

At the beginning of the night Phil, Trent, Ryan, and I sat down with all of the bartenders, barbacks, cocktail waitresses, and shot girls and Phil told them that I was their manager. Wednesday went fairly well except for someone stealing some money out of Ryan's office.

That Friday Phil texted me and asked me to quit Convergys so I could work Saturday night. I talked to Tony and he made it so that I could quit and still be rehirable (what a guy!). Saturday was not the best night. It started off with one of the bouncers, Mike, trying to pick a fight with me. I went to Trent about it but he just went up there and talked to him. I felt that he should have been fired but Trent said it was my first week as manager so it was to be expected. It ended with Phil, Trent, and Ryan getting drunk and letting Ed, a promoter, do the close-outs for all of the barbacks, cocktails, and shot girls. Then Trent and Ryan took the money with them when they went with some of the employees to Wendover. They brought the money back the next day but Travis, the investor for Club Vortex, got mad about how things were handled.

After the dust settled Trent was told that he should just focus on Club Exchange and the transportation company that he was co-owner of with Ryan, Utah Transportation Management. Ryan was told the he should just focus on continuing to get the building ready for the Health Code inspection and Fire Code inspection. He was also there to sign the checks since he was on the checking account. Bills, payroll, liquor, and cash were now going to be handled by Brandy, who had been working the front door, handling cover charge and memberships. She would be still be running the front door.

On Saturday Phil had caught two customers that had taken drinks out of the club trying to bring them back in. This meant that the bouncers at the door had not done their job and prevented the customers from taking the drinks out in the first place. So on Wednesday Phil told me that I would now be over Josh straightening Security out. We had an employee meeting at the beginning of the night where Phil told the employees about the management changes that had been made. After the employee meeting I talked to Josh and told him that he wasn't being demoted, I was just over him as a manager. We went upstairs and had a quick Security meeting telling them that I expected them to stay on their post, do what I told them to do, and not use excessive force. That night two of the bouncers, Mike (the one that tried to pick a fight with me) and Tiffany quit half way through the night. At the end of the night another bouncer, Ashton quit.

That weekend Phil promoted one of the bartenders, Melanie, to Bar Manager. She was responsible for scheduling bartenders, barbacks, cocktail waitresses, & shot girls and ordering beer, liquor & bar supplies. Since I had been over the bar staff and bouncers, I thought that I was over her and the Head of Security. After a week of working together Melanie and I were having problems because I thought that it was my place to tell Melanie what needed to be done. To resolve this Phil called a manager meeting (he took Brandy, Melanie, and I out to eat). He explained that I am the Security/Building Manager, Brandy is the Front Door/Payroll Manager, and Melanie is the Bar Manager. So basically, in my opinion, I was hired as Shift Manager, promoted to General Manager, and then demoted to Security Manager. I'm on salary and I'm barely getting paid enough to do Security, much less run Security, so I guess I shouldn't complain. The problem is that Phil, who is an owner and the Promotions Manager, wants me to do things that are things that a General Manager would do but won't give me that title because he doesn't want to offend Melanie. Not to mention the fact that I'm the type of person that fixes a problem if he sees it, even if that means stepping on some toes in the process.

Melanie has been busting her butt with ordering beer, liquor, and bar supplies (which is very difficult because Travis is worse than Scrooge when it comes to money) but when it comes to scheduling & cutting cocktails & shot girls and making sure that all of her bar staff do their closing work, there's room for improvement. When I point out these things or tell "her employees" what to do, she gets offended. When Phil complains to me about things that aren't getting done with the bar staff, I tell him to talk to Melanie about it because it's her department, not mine. No more of the telling me to do more than my job and not giving me the title or authority to do it.

To make a long story short, a month later, I've fired several bouncers, had a few walk out mid-shift (including Josh), hired some new bouncers, promoted a new bouncer with some experience and training to Head of Security, fired a few of the new bouncers, and then demoted Sonny (the new Head of Security) this past Friday. On a positive note Phil has been treating me better than the last time I worked for him (he even apologized for how he treated me before), but he still isn't the best boss in the world. I pray that things will get better. Please pray for me.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sundance 2007

During the first week of January I called Steve Ketter, co-owner of Big Money Island Productions, to see if he needed any security for any events during the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. He told me that he did. There was a luxury connections lounge, called the Main Event Lounge, that he was providing security for. He wanted me to do security for the Main Event Lounge from Jan 18-24. He also wanted me to do security for some private parties in the same building that the Main Event lounge was in, the Montgomery-Lee Fine Art building. I agreed to work for him.

On Wednesday, Jan 17th the truck my roommate Dave had been letting me drive was overheating really bad so I couldn't use it to get to and from Park City. On Thursday a friend gave me a ride up to Park City. When I got there I met the lady that was producing the Main Event Lounge, Debbie Durkin, her publicist, Aunny, and her assistants, Adriana, Kara, & Mike and a couple of Steve's security guys (actually, one guy and one lady). Then we got set up for our first private party, the Xango Party. Xango was one of the sponsors for the Main Event Lounge. There weren't any celebrities at the Xango party but it gave us a chance to warm-up for the other private parties.

Friday was the Grand Opening of the Main Event Lounge. The Main Event Lounge was a luxury connections lounge where celebrities, V.I.P.'s, and media could come get gifts from our sponsors - Yellowman tattoo shirts & alternative clothing, Juvenesse skin care, Peninsula Hotel Chicago (with their world famous Chocolate Bar), Hint flavored water, Ginn Resorts, Gold Toe socks, Quintessentially (the world's leading private members’ club), GLAM jewelery, Polar Bear Diamond, Bob Hurley's six-star restaurant in Napa Valley, CA, Green and Black's organic chocolate bars, Seneca & Belden-Stratford Hotels, Boatman Geller luxury stationery, Millstone Coffee, Spa 415, Cherella USA clothing & handbags ,Patron, and Budweiser Select/Budweiser Peels. Turnkey Furniture provided furniture, DayNa Decker provided enviroments candles, Artichokes & Co. provided flower arrangements & rocky road popcorn, and Culinary Crafts Inc. provided catering. The Main Event Lounge also hosted the underground talk show, Indie Appeal, and was one of the venues where Poull Brien's Sundance Celebrity Swag Hunt was filmed.

I worked the Main Event Lounge on Friday and Saturday. Since we didn't have any private parties on Friday and Saturday, I did Security at Harry O's on Friday and Saturday night. It was extremely busy at Harry O's. I had worked with a lot of the same bouncers at Club Vortex. I worked the Main Event Lounge on Sunday and then I worked a private party that night for Slamdance that Debbie had scheduled that day.

On Monday I worked the Main Event Lounge. Steve didn't agree with the way that Debbie was handling some aspects of her business and he was busy doing other things for Sundance so he was not there at all on Monday. Debbie was not happy with him being late on Friday or with him coming and going on Saturday & Sunday. The result of this was that by Monday both Steve and Debbie had told me that I was now in charge of Security.

Steve showed up late Monday night, part way through the Vox 3 Films private party for the films Broken English and Never Forever. Because I was in charge and he was not working, he drank a little bit. Debbie had told me how late the party was going but it was longer than she had originally scheduled Steve's Security guys to be there. Around 2 A.M. Steve came to me and was upset because the party was still going on and it was supposed to be over. While I was calling Debbie to sort it out, Steve told all of his other Security guys that they could go home which meant that I had to stay at the door (2 floors below where the party was taking place) and wait for people to leave. Steve came and told me that he was quitting and if I wanted to work for Debbie I could but he was done. Debbie wasn't happy with his job performance anyway, and she had already told me that I was in charge, so she wasn't upset about him quitting.

Tuesday I worked the Main Event Lounge during the day. Tuesday night I did Security at Harry O's. Wednesday day I worked the Main Event Lounge. Then I worked a private party that Debbie had booked for the film King of California Wednesday night. Adriana & Kara left on Wednesday. Mike left early and flew home Thursday morning. Thursday was the last day that the Main Event Lounge was open. Thursday night Debbie took Aunny and I to dinner and bought us some Sundance clothing. Then we went back to the suite and I helped Aunny pack the DayNa Decker enviroments candles so they could be shipped the next day since she was leaving Friday morning. She gave me a few of the candles to thank me for all of my help during the past week.

Friday and Saturday I helped Debbie clean up and pack everything that needed to be shipped out. Debbie paid me for working for her from Tuesday through Saturday. She also gave me some swag, a bunch of Hint water, and some cases of Jolt cola. Steve was pre-paid for providing security for Debbie at the Main Event Lounge. He finally got around to paying me a little more than half of what he owed me last Thursday. Hopefully I'll get the rest soon. Whenever I do private security in the future I am going to get a contract up front. I need to go up to Harry O's soon to fill out paper work so I can get paid from them. Check out my MySpace page for pictures from Sundance.

I would like to thank several people that I met during Sundance - Aunny, Debbie's publicist, for helping me get through the Debbie/Steve conflict and for being a beautiful, charming person; the people from Yellowman for the cool Yellowman shirts they gave me (one of which was stolen); Jeannette & Delores from Juvenesse for being there to brighten my day and for giving me a gift certificate; Kristen from Turnkey Furniture for supplying volunteer hosts & security; the couple from Peninsula Hotel Chicago for also being there to brighten my day (sorry, I forgot your names - email me so we can keep in touch), Johnny Smiles, an awesome photographer, for some great pictures; the employees at Clockwork Cafe for serving delicious breakfast sandwiches and Chai tea every morning; the ladies that work at Face and Envy (they are in the same building as Montgomery-Lee Fine Art) for being great neighbors; Greg (who is in charge of the security ministry at my church, Calvary Chapel - Salt Lake City) for helping with security at the King of California party; and Chester's Blacksmith Shop for selling me a really cool House shirt. I apologize for forgetting anyone else - it's been a while since the event and I am not very good at remembering names.

I canceled my membership with Blockbuster Online and got Dish satellite service. I got a DVR so I can record my favorite shows - 24, Prison Break, Heroes, House, & Bones. I've seen a few movies in the past two months - Apocalypto (A), Ghost Rider (A-), and Bridge to Terabithia (D+). I am looking forward to seeing Amazing Grace, 300, and The Ultimate Gift.

I know I said I would never work for Phil again but I am working for him again. Check back soon for details.