Monday, October 13, 2008

Keys On Main

I started working at Keys On Main in Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb 29th. Keys On Main is a dueling piano bar. I had found out that they were hiring through Craigslist. Ephraim, who had worked at Vortex and Bliss with me, was working there. There were 4 to 5 Security guys working there on weekends. We had 3 guys working the front door. We had one to check IDs and two behind the front desk - one to sell memberships, and the other to take cover charge and stamp. When I started working there it was me, Ephraim, Bob (the owner's father-in-law), and 2 guys from California - Nick and Jaren. After a month or two Bob left to go back home to Alaska and was replaced by Adam, who was in the Air Force Security Forces. Around this time Joe a.k.a. "Boston", who also worked at Bliss, got hired to fill-in when one of us needed a night off.

For the first few months, because we were the new night club in town, our Friday nights were busy and our Saturday nights were packed to the point where we had a line until 12:30 or so. After a few months it died down a little but Fridays were fairly busy and Saturdays were busy but not packed like they were when I first started.

We rarely had any serious problems there but there were a lot of people that were overserved. Although Josh, the General Manager, brought this up almost every night in our meetings at the end of the night, there was no disciplinary action taken so the staff continued to overserve people.
There were two customers that I had interesting experiences with. The first one, a lady that I'll call Clueless was standing in the front of the line with her friends when we were holding the line on a Saturday night because we had reached capacity. When checking IDs, I would stand just outside of the front doors of the club. Since we were holding the line and I had told the people in line that we were holding the line, I stepped just inside of the doors for a few minutes because it was cold outside. A minute or two after I stepped inside, Clueless came in and tried to run past me. I grabbed her by the arm to keep her from going past me but she tried to keep going so I just held onto her. I asked her where she was going. She told me that she had to use the restroom. I told her that we were holding the line so she would have to wait outside. When Jaren, who was working behind the counter walked up to us, Clueless read his name tag and said "I know Jaren." Jaren told her that she needed to go back outside. I told her to go back outside two times and when she refused, I moved her outside. A couple of minutes after I got her outside, Clueless tried to get past me again. After 5 minutes or so, Josh told us that we could start letting people in again. I then told Clueless's friends that they could come in but told Clueless that she wasn't going to. I began checking her friends's IDs and Clueless tried to go past me. I stopped her and told her that she wasn't coming in. She said "Yes, I am" and tried to move past me again. I grabbed her again to keep her from moving past me and she pinched me as if that was going to make me let go of her. I then pushed her back a little bit. I told her to leave but she refused. I didn't want to deal with her any more so I threatended to call the cops on her, hoping that she would just leave. She didn't so I called the cops, expecting to call them back once she got scared off and tell them that they didn't need to come. A couple of her friends had more sense than she did. One of her girl friends started walking her away from the front door. That friend's guy friend asked me to call the cops back and cancel the call. I told him that as soon as Clueless was out of sight, I would call them. So when her friends walked her out of sight, I called the cops and told them that Clueless had left. Shortly thereafter the cops showed up because Clueless had called the cops complaining about me. I explained what happened and they asked me for my driver's license. I gave it to them, they wrote down my info, and I never heard about it again.

Another customer, who I'll call Sleepy, was in line one night when I was working the ID spot. He was in the back of a group of 5 or 6 people so I wasn't paying too much attention to him. About 10 minutes after Sleepy entered the club, the Bar Manager, Dave, waved me over to the bar and told me that the guy at the end of the bar was falling asleep. They guy he was talking about was Sleepy. I approached Sleepy, told him that I thought he had drank too much so he needed to finish his beer and then leave. He said "How do I know you haven't been drinking?" I said "...or you can be a wise guy and leave now." Then I walked him outside and offered to call him a cab but he declined. There was no line so I stood just inside of the front doors. One of the doors was propped open. About 5 minutes after I walked him outside, Sleepy tried to walk back into the club. I stepped in his way and he raised his lighted cigarette butt towards my face so I grabbed his wrist, took the cigarette butt from him, threw it on the ground, and pushed him back. Sleepy decided to call the cops. When the cops showed up, they talked to Sleepy first since he was the one that called them. Dave saw the cops talking to Sleepy so he came out to see what was going on. I told Dave that Sleepy had called the cops. Dave went inside and brought Josh outside. After the police were done talking to Sleepy, they talked to Josh and I. They told us that Sleepy had complained that I pushed him when he tried to re-enter the club. They had told him that it was my job to keep drunk people from re-entering the club and told him to leave. They told Josh and me to call them if Sleepy came back and they would arrest him for public intoxication.

Some time in June I ran into Kodi, who had been a regular customer at Todd's and Vortex. He is a bartender and chef at Orange, a night club in Salt Lake City. He asked me if I wanted to come work Security there. I went down to Orange to check it out the following Wednesday, which was their only busy night at the time. Kodi introduced me to the owners and recommended that they hire me to do Security. I created a MySpace for Orange to help promote the club. Two weeks after Kodi introduced me to the owners I started working there.

At the end of every night at Keys On Main, after all of the customers were gone, we always had a Security meeting with Josh in the office. On Saturday, July 12th, while I was watching the front door waiting for the last few customers to leave, Josh took the rest of the Security guys back to the office for the Security meeting. I thought that it was odd that he didn't wait for me. After all of the customers were gone and I locked the door, I went back to the office. They were finishing the Security meeting so I asked Josh what I missed. He told me to sit down. I assumed that he was going to fill me in on what I missed. Instead he informed me that things weren't working out and he was going to let me go. I asked why. He told me that they had received too many complaints about me. He said that some people were never going to come back because of me (so troublemakers not wanting to come back is a bad thing?!). He also said that I was talking to people too much (so I'm a friendly person that has had too many complaints?!; if a person has been doing Security in night clubs for 12 years, that person might know a few people that want to say "Hi" when they see a familiar face - so being approachable is bad?!). He also said that some of the employees complained about me. Some of the waitresses would get mad when customers wanted to pull tables together and one waitress would lose a table. I did my best to keep the waitresses and the customers happy. Sometimes a waitress might be having a bad night and complain about me - big deal. I did more to help the waitresses and customers than any other employee. Maybe if Josh was out on the floor helping the customers and waitresses instead of sitting on his butt in the office, he would be the one that the employees were complaining about. He also said that we were butting heads {you mean an opionated go-getter (me) that has been in the business for 12 years is butting heads with a manager that has only been in the business for 3 or 4 years? - you don't say!} I asked George, the owner what he thought about Josh's decision and he gave me some lame answer about backing up the General Manager. The real reason that Josh let me go was that he felt threatened by me because I am confident and don't say "Mother may I?" every time I see an opportunity to help a waitress or a customer - I just go ahead and do it. Oh well, it was their loss. I still had my job at Orange.

A couple of weeks after Keys On Main let me go, I got hired to be a delivery driver at Mountain Mike's Pizza. Although I kept looking for other jobs, I worked part-time at Orange and Mountain Mike's from July until October. From August 8-10 I took an Executive Protection/ Bodyguard course from Strategic Tactical Group.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My First Trip to L.A.

After working Security at Sundance, I went back to work at Wavelink. I got a credit card from my credit union, bought the parts for a computer from, and built a computer with the help of some of my co-workers at Wavelink.

I kept in touch with Emily and Jake in the weeks after Sundance. In the beginning of February Emily invited me to come out to L.A. for a Stupid Cupid Party, which is a party for people who are single on Valentine's day. I flew out there on Friday, Feb 15th. Jake's new boyfriend, A.J. €picked me up from the airport. A.J. took me to Emily and Jake's friend, Boss Ben's house which is where we were having the party. Ben is a cool guy and a great host! Friday night we just hung out & watched TV and then went to bed.

Saturday we got up, ate breakfast, and then ran errands to get ready for the party. Emily and Jake hired a D.J. and a bartender for the party. I don't remember the bartender's name but she was sweet and beautiful. She competed in the Miss America pagent this year. Jake introduced me to the bartender and told her to let me know if anyone was bothering her. Emily and Jake introduced me to their close friends and told them that I was Security for the party. During the party I kept an eye on Emily, Jake, A.J., Ben, the bartender, and the D.J.; kept an eye on the front door to make sure that everyone that came was invited; kept people out of rooms that they weren't supposed to be in; mingled & took pictures. We only had 1 incident - as the party was winding down two brothers got into an argument because one of them, the younger one, was really drunk and was spitting on the floor. The more sober brother told him to quit and when he got mouthy, the older brother punched his little brother. I seperated them. Then Jake came out to see what the problem was. The drunk brother knocked her drink out of her hand so I grabbed him and took him outside. Then I kept the brothers from fighting outside and got them into their car. After most of the guests were gone, I went to bed.

Sunday we just went swimming and hung out by the pool. Emily, Jake, and A.J. had stayed up all night partying so they all crashed in the middle of the afternoon. Barbie Murdock was going to pick me up and take me back to the airport but she got stuck in traffic because of an accident on the highway so she didn't make it there in time to pick me up. Once I realized that she wasn't going to make it on time to take me to the airport, I called her and told her not to worry about it. I called the airline to get my flight changed. It was going to cost more than $700 to fly out on Monday, but only the change fee of $100 or so to fly out on Tuesday. I called my supervisor at Wavelink and left him a message letting him know that I had missed my flight and wouldn't be able to make it back to work until Wednesday because the flight on Monday was too expensive.

On Monday Emily and I returned the kegs from the party. Then we went to her and Jake's apartment for a little bit. In the afternooon we went to Cabo Cantina in Venice Beach. Jake, A.J., and a few of Emily and Jake's friends met us there. We got a table on the patio and drank and ate until late that night. The weather was great and I really enjoyed spending the day there with Emily, Jake and their friends. After we were done, we went back to Emily and Jake's apartment and went to bed.

On Tuesday A.J. gave me a ride to the airport. My trip to L.A. was awesome! I really enjoyed hanging out with Emily, Jake, and A.J.!! When I went back to work on Wednesday morning, I got fired because I had frequently been late in the month before going to L.A. and missed 2 days because I missed my flight. I wanted to just move out to L.A. but since I had maxed out my credit card to build my computer, had gone negative on my checking account to change my flight, and didn't have a job lined up, I had to stay in Utah so I started looking for a job. I ended up getting hired to do Security at Keys On Main, a new piano bar in Salt Lake City.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sundance 2008

I did Security for Debbie Durkin's Main Event Red Carpet Lounge & Green Suite during Sundance Film Festival from January 18th until January 22nd. I didn't work at night this year because the Tao, who runs Harry O's during Sundance, hired a security company to supplement Harry O's core security guys and Debbie didn't have any private parties this year so I got to play a little bit. On Thursday, January 17th I drove up to the Hotel Park City, where Debbie was having orientation for her lounge . Emily, who worked for Patron during Sundance last year, was there again. She is a really cool chick and good-looking too. Johnny Smiles, who was the photographer for the lounge last year, was there again. He's a nice guy and a good photographer! Kristen and Becky, who worked for Debbie as a hostesses last year were there with a few friends. Brady, a.k.a. B-Loc, a D.J. from Entourage Entertainment was our D.J. again this year. Debbie told me that I could stay in the living room of her Penthouse Suite so I drove back down to Salt Lake City to get my clothes and stuff and then drove back up.

Debbie had received coupons for free breakfast at the hotel so on Friday morning Debbie, her three P.R. girls (Carrie, Jen, and Liz), and I ate breakfast together. Friday was fairly busy at the lounge. Kristen & Becky brought a few friends up to help out. Kristen & Becky are awesome and their friends were cool too. Kristen was married when we worked together last year but she got a divorce last year and has been dating Chris who she met at the lounge last year. Emily brought here cousin Jake with her to help work the Patron bar. Jake is gorgeous and really sweet.

The hotel staff at Hotel Park City was awesome. Catherine, who is in charge of conventions, and Donald, the bar manager for the steak house at Hotel Park City - Ruth's Chris were awesome. Catherine and I got along really well but she is married. Miguel, the conventions guy that worked the lounge the most, was a cool guy. I don't remember her name but the manger of Bandannas Bar & Grill at Hotel Park City was great too. She hooked me up with a really good Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich. I also don't remember the name of the sales guy for conventions that helped us out a lot but he was cool too. All of the ladies from the Spa at Hotel Park City were really sweet.

At the end of the day on Friday, Sharon, who was working the WePluribus booth, told me that I scared her and asked if I knew why. I told her that I did and explained the difference between a protector and a sociopath. She asked me which one I am! I told her that I am a protector.

Friday night Kristen, Carrie, Liz, Jen, and I went out to eat at Bandits' Grill and Bar, which is across the street from Harry O's in Park City. On the way down there my phone's screen went white with a black leaf in the bottom right corner. Resetting it didn't resolve the problem. When we got to Bandit's I was happy to see that Jordan was working there. I met her last year at Sundance. She is an awesome, gorgeous chick. We waited at the bar in the basement of Bandits' until our booth was ready. The food was good and the service was great. After we finished eating we went dowstairs to wait for Chris (Kristen's boyfriend). While we were down there the power went out. I went upstairs and found out that the power was out on Main Street. We just waited it out. I had my flashlight with me because I was hoping to get a phone call from Steve Ketter, who I had been in contact with in the weeks preceding Sundance, to fill-in for security at Harry O's. I whipped it out and helped the waitresses get through the crowd and helped them see so they could write manual credit card receipts. I also quieted the crowd down and shined my flashlight on the bartender who was making an announcement about drink specials. We left after waiting for Chris for 30 minutes or so. As we walked down the hill to catch the shuttle back to the hotel, the power came back on.

Saturday morning I got up at 9 to let the maids in. I went online and found out that the Sprint store in Park City was only open from 11 AM until 7 PM. I worked every day during that time so I was going to have to wait until I got back to Salt Lake on Wednesday to get it fixed. Saturday was a little bit slower than Friday at the lounge.

Saturday night Kristen, her boyfriend Chris, Kristen's friends Brandon and Melissa (they're an awesome couple), Kristen's friend Miriam (I fell in love but she's married), Jen, Liz, and I went out together. We went to Bandits' again. When we went downstairs to wait for a booth, someone was leaving their booth downstairs and the booth next to them was leaving soon so I went up and took our name off the waiting list. Shortly after getting the second booth Jen's friend Casey Connor, and three of her friends joined us.

Earlier in the day Emily had invited us to Rehab @ House of Hype, which was a private party. After dinner we headed over to the House of Hype. Jen went with Casey and her friends to another private party next door to the House of Hype. I called Emily from Liz's phone. She hadn't arrived at the party yet because she was driving up and down Main St looking for parking. Most of the people we were with were getting cold so they stepped into a room next to the entrance of House of Hype to get warm. I was only wearing my suit coat but it wasn't too cold for me because I'm hardcore like that. :) Emily dropped Jake off and continued to look for parking. Jake told me that Emily had more pull so we should wait for her. Kristen and Chris got tired of waiting so they took off. Sharon and a couple of the other laides from the WePluribus booth, who Emily had also invited, showed up soon after Kristen and Chris left. After a little while Emily showed up and got us all in. Mariam and the WePluribus ladies didn't stay very long. Brandon, Mellissa, and Liz were relaxing on a couch around the time that Mariam and the WePluribus ladies left so I followed Emily and Jake around helping them through the crowd and keeping them safe. They enjoyed having their own bodyguard.

Sunday I got up earlier than usual to let the maids in because they had to clean before the hotel's catering people set up for the Birds of America brunch to benefit Friends of Animals. Matthew Perry and Lauren Graham, who both starred in Birds of America came for the brunch. After the brunch the lounge was slow. Sunday night Debbie took Johnny Smiles and me to J.P. DeJoria's private party. J.P. DeJoria is the founder of Patron and co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems. J.P. and his gorgeous wife were great hosts.

We had a good turnout at the lounge on Monday. Monday night Jake took me to Harry O's for the Tava launch party with performances by Keri Hilson and One Republic. The C.O.O. of Harry O's had invited Jake there so we got to sit in one of the V.I.P. areas. After a little while the C.O.O. took Jake to go smoke. After that he took her up on stage to watch the show. I just chilled in the V.I.P. area. It was a good show. I enjoyed the little bit of time that I was able to spend with Jake.

Tuesday was a little bit slow at the lounge but that was to be expected since it was the last day. The ladies from La-Teed-Da hooked me up with a candle and a reed diffuser. The ladies from WePluribus gave me a t-shirt. Mike from Tahitian Noni had kept me supplied with Hiro energy drinks all weekend. Over the weekend the guy from the Lamborghini watches booth had given me a sleeveless shirt. Dustin from Red Stag lodge gave me a case of Playboy energy drinks. Debbi had given me a bottle of Patron but someone stole it out of my duffle bag. After we closed the lounge and everyone loaded their stuff out Debbie treated Catherine, Donald, Carrie, Liz, Jen, and me to dinner. After dinner I hung out with Carrie, Liz, and Jen before heading home.

We had several celebrities come through the lounge this year. Danny Glover came through a few times. Radha Mitchell (Man on Fire), Robert Knepper ("T-Bag" Bagwell on Prison Break), Rex Lee (Lloyd on Entourage), and Lil Jon also came through. There were others but I don't remember them right now. All in all, it was a good time. I saw some old friends, made some new ones, and got paid. I also got to play a little bit this year, which is good.