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.