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Now Ye're Talking - to a Nightclub Bouncer

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  • Registered Users Posts: 134 ✭✭CorkCBR6


    Is it standard practice to stand next to the big lads on the dancefloor?

    Seems to always happen to me


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,737 ✭✭✭hynesie08


    I work in security myself, and I've always avoided doors because it seems like too much hassle, so fair play.

    My question is, do you find it difficult to switch off? Like if you go for a pint on your day off, are you always watching for signs of assholes about to kick off? I've been told I've developed a subconscious stance when people are getting rowdy, where i never have my back to them, I'd be interested to hear if you do something similar.....

    Also, how are other door staff who come to your premises? sound or always stepping on your toes??


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    I have worked in bars/ clubs in my student years and I have know a lot of bouncers from going out and know that most have normal human responses. But why are some such pricks about going to the loo before leaving?! I have IBS, the last time I was in a club the bouncer spent 15 mins fighting with me before thankfully the manager came over and said let the girl down to the loo.

    If he had just let me down it would have saved us all a lot of time. I was in no state to drive a car, but neither was I falling around the place.

    I find the issue with this is that every night, people leave it until the very last minute to go to the bathroom. We could have an entire area of the nightclub cleared out and somebody will run over screaming that they’re going to pee themselves if we don’t let them into the toilets.
    This is often difficult as this area has got the all clear from security. This means the individual will have to be escorted, and you can be guaranteed there will be dozens of people wanting to do this.


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    begbysback wrote: »
    I have a question sir - why, in the name of holy baby Jesus, would anyone want to work on a door of a nightclub?

    It’s a few euro above minimum wage and a handy job to do on the side!


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    Bummer1234 wrote: »
    Interesting AMA so thanks,

    Since you started bouncing,Has yourself seen the nightclub scene change in anyway?

    Also....When your finished on this thread, Could you shout "right folks please!" :pac:

    I haven’t been working that long that I can see major changes, but rising insurance costs are most definitely killing off clubs.

    Of course I will, it’s like instinct at this stage!


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  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    What type of self defense or joint lock manipulation or otherwise do you have. is that the standard training for someone in your industry.

    Also do you feel you have had the support from An Garda Siochanna you feel your role deserves. I will always remember seeing an incident of bouncers vs customers in a nightclub. GardaI arrive and I here one garda say two loads of scum tearing strips off each other.


    What I mean is if there's violence does AGS back security or do they assume a neutral investigators role.

    Not a whole lot of self defence, we were just shown the best locks to use. I’m not even sure what you’d call them.
    I must say now that Gardai in general would always have our backs as we have a fairly good reputation. That’s not to say that they would be as friendly with every other club.


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    Goodigal wrote: »
    Thanks for doing this. Very interesting responses!
    What do you think of the constant phone use these days? Would the chances of being filmed (and potentially going viral) change your behaviour in a situation?

    You certainly have to be very careful. Things on video can also often look very different to the reality of the situation, and people will cut out the parts of the video that make them look bad.
    The upside of this is that many of us carry body worn cameras, so usually if somebody is recording, our cameras are also on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 523 ✭✭✭dealhunter1985


    Will all the silly drunks you must have to put up with when doing your job, what's the funniest thing thats happened/ that you've witnessed whilst on the job?

    And which in your experience are the more difficult groups? Soccer fans or rugby fans? :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 603 ✭✭✭eoins23456


    What's are the worst nights of the year to work?
    Have you ever had someone play dead to avoid being moved out of a club?
    Have you ever had people that were refused sneak in alternative entrances?
    Have you ever seen people try to steal items from the club?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,238 ✭✭✭Esse85


    Do you work for the venue itself or a security company?

    Are you on the front door or inside, which do you prefer?

    How hard is it to hear instructions via your ear piece when the music is pumping?

    I've a couple of mates that pal around together, both big lads what train regularly in the gym, drink little, both over 6" 2 and 100kg plus, dress well, good jobs etc
    They were on the dry last week, and got turned away from 2 places because they'd "too much to drink" both pulled out car keys to demonstrate they were in fact not drinking. Both venues didn't care.
    I said to the lads, the reason they were declined entry was because security would look at them and observe that if them 2 big lads kicked off tonight, security would have a big job in on their hands removing the guys and they'd cause carnage so its easier to eliminate that risk at the door.
    What's your thoughts?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,426 ✭✭✭✭freshpopcorn


    When I used go to clubs in Cork a few years ago. The bouncers were fine and I never had any hassle with them really.
    What's the procedure for searching guys going in tough?

    So, some of the bouncers might give you a pat down but they stopped when they got to know you.
    One guy tough used grab my crotch and squeeze it. He'd sometimes pat you down as well. On one occasion he walked down to me in the queue and did it and also did it to a friend. Was this normal?


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    Do you just assume everyone is drunk/drinking? Or can you tell those who aren't.
    I don't drink at all or do drugs or smoke or anything, but I'd still go out with my friends for a dance.
    I've had some fairly rude and nasty bouncers and I know it isn't because I was too drunk. Seems to be for no reason most of the time.

    One time my husband and I were at engagement party in a fairly popular pub in a town, not just locals etc. He ran out to put more money into the parking meter (neither of us drink). The bouncers gave him a hard time on his way back in saying we don't know you etc. They eventually let him in after he explained he was at the engagement party but I can't think of any reason for them to act like that other than that he's foreign and had foreign ID. Even at that he's American.

    Yet again I can’t speak about your experiences but where I work we never turn somebody away just for the sake of ruining their night. Sometimes we can make a wrong call and think somebody is intoxicated when in fact they may not be.

    With regard to your American friend, I don’t see what his foreign ID would have to do with it. We often get individuals using Eastern European driving licenses etc. Soneyines when people return like that we might quiz them on what they were doing. I’d hardly say we’re giving them a hard time. Again, I don’t know the situation with your friend so it’s hard to comment on it.


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    Great AMA!

    Do you have a bedside locker?
    If so, Whats in your bedside locker?


    Whast the Strangest thing you've seen happen in a club. Like, Bizarre, not just odd....

    I do have one, usually keep my work stuff in there, license, torch, earpiece and whatnot.

    I do have some funny stories but if I told them I’d be afraid that I’d identify myself.


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    Seanachai wrote: »
    Do you think relaxing club opening hours in Ireland would make things worse or better?

    This is a tough one. Of course it’s great for businesses and employees get more hours and whatnot, but I think it could get out of hand especially amongst the student population, leading to a big strain on ambulances and Gardaí who are already under pressure.


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    Do you let travellers into your establishment?

    If the individual isn’t known to cause trouble, and isn’t too intoxicated in our opinion, they will be admitted entry regardless of their apparent ethnic status. I think I should leave it at that.


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    jr86 wrote: »
    Hi there,

    Great AMA fair play

    - If some guy was acting the idiot (we'll say maybe being more of a nuisance/in a light scrap than anything actually dangerous) one week, would you have no qualms letting him in the week after if he came back looking more respectable, or would you give it a few weeks so he'll have learned his lesson? I've no doubt with alcohol involved it can make people much more fiery than usual if they've had a few too many. Is it easy to distinguish between genuine wrong uns and those who've just had a very rough night but are ultimately fairly harmless

    - You say you get mainly students, so I'd assume dress code isn't strictly enforced? Is it completely relaxed, or would they still have to make some sort of effort? What's your own thoughts on dress-code in a nightclub?

    - Do many go to the club on their own each night?

    - Would higher end of the drunken scale antics like punters bawling crying uncontrollably, vomiting everywhere, fighting, losing sh1t be regular every single night of the week? Essentially has working at nightclubs sober really opened your eyes in terms of the relationship a lot of young adults have with alcohol?

    - On average how many photos would you have to take with punters each night? :pac:

    Sorry now for all the Qs

    Cheers in advance!

    1. If they were thrown out for just being a nuisance like you said, and caused no issue when asked to leave, there would be no issue with them returning the following week. On the other hand, if they are awkward and need to be physically removed, you can be damn sure it’ll be a few weeks before they get back in.
    It’s usually easy to distinguish the individual who’s had way to much to drink from the individual who’s just mad for a scrap.

    2. Our dress code is extremely relaxed. Basically don’t wear tracksuit pants and we’ll let you in. I think it’s fair to have a relaxed dress code at a student venue, but I think more upmarket establishments need to have a strictly enforced dress code. I think it helps the place maintain a good reputation.

    3. We have quite a few who head in on their own, but the vast majority would be in groups of 4 or 5.

    4. All of the above. Again, it’s a student venue and at the end of the day we’re the ones selling them the alcohol so what do we expect. I’ve certainly lost interest in going to nightclubs myself, I’m now much more of a pub person because of it.

    5. You can be pretty sure you’ll have to take photos with at least a couple groups every night. A lot of people say I’m sound as a bouncer, so I think people find it easy to approach me.


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    Great AMA thanks for doing this.

    I worked bars myself when I was back in my student days and witnessed many a drunken gob****e bang their head off the bouncers radio :pac:

    Have you ever been surprised by a drunken idiot returning the next day or a few days later and apologising for bad behaviour?

    It’s actually quite common for somebody to return after causing trouble and apologise in an attempt to regain entry. If he seems sincere and we believe it was out of character we’ll let them in with a warning, but if we think it could happen again they’ll never again see the inside of the club.


  • Registered Users Posts: 614 ✭✭✭sportsfan90


    In your experience in any of the venues you've worked in, which types of fights are more difficult to deal with, a group of females or a group of males?

    With males there's the obvious challenge of the average man being stronger but with females some of the one's I've seen were vicious with hairpulling etc. Also I'd imagine you'd have to be more careful using force whilst trying to restrain a female?


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    Stephen15 wrote: »
    Hi thanks for doing the AMA,
    What's the main reason most bouncers are working in the industry I always thought it wasn't really a full time job and more something you'd do on the side to supplement an income is it true for example I heard there's a lot of army lads doing the gig due to the poor pay in the army.

    Generally though I wonder as I always got the impression it was a low paid industry which it appears to be quite dangerous and with tough hours for little reward for example would there not be a lot less stress with the same pay working in a supermarket or a fast food restaurant. Without wanting to sound rude or condescending is there anything in particular you enjoy about the job and if so what is that? Also do pubs and clubs struggle to find security staff considering the work is tough, the pay is low and you have to have a PSA licence.

    Fair play all the same it's a tough job but as the old saying goes someone has to do it. I for one could not imagine myself doing such a job firstly I'm not a big guy and I prefer to avoid conflict or potential conflict situations.

    To be fair the vast majority of us only work in the club part time to supplement our income. We don’t have any army lads working with us, but I know it’s fairly common.
    While the pay isnt spectacular it is quite a bit more than I would get in a fast food joint or a supermarket. Besides, I don’t think I’d be able to work in a job like that anyway.

    To be honest I actually got into the job to get some experience dealing with people as I’d like to eventually join the Gardai, although I’m getting a bit old now so will have to apply soon ( I won’t give my exact age).

    There’s a huge shortage of security staff at the moment. There certainly aren’t enough people with PSA licenses. Me and my colleagues regularly have to turn down extra work as we just don’t have the time.


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    mikemac2 wrote: »
    Do you get particular trouble from students who know a little about the law and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing

    They might quote laws and statutes and threaten to sue under the made-up 1856 stopped at the door act ?

    It happens in shops, does it happen at the door too ?

    A lot of people seem to think that us bouncers know nothing about the law, when in fact we’re generally quite educated on it. You get the odd law student claiming that they’re legally entitled to know our name or to be told why they were refused entry. It’s usually just trying to rise us, so the body worn cameras is turned on which quickly shuts them up.


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  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    CorkCBR6 wrote: »
    Is it standard practice to stand next to the big lads on the dancefloor?

    Seems to always happen to me

    If we think there’s a possibility that somebody or a group could kick off or cause trouble, we might stand close and be ready to intervene.


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    hynesie08 wrote: »
    I work in security myself, and I've always avoided doors because it seems like too much hassle, so fair play.

    My question is, do you find it difficult to switch off? Like if you go for a pint on your day off, are you always watching for signs of assholes about to kick off? I've been told I've developed a subconscious stance when people are getting rowdy, where i never have my back to them, I'd be interested to hear if you do something similar.....

    Also, how are other door staff who come to your premises? sound or always stepping on your toes??

    I’d be the same as yourself, always watching people and thinking “ jaysus if they were in our club now they would have been removed long ago”. Other people I have worked with say the same. It’s impossible to switch off.

    In general other door staff are always sound, just a bit annoying sometimes thinking they know it all.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,436 ✭✭✭dartboardio


    Are ye right there folks pleease.


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    Will all the silly drunks you must have to put up with when doing your job, what's the funniest thing thats happened/ that you've witnessed whilst on the job?

    And which in your experience are the more difficult groups? Soccer fans or rugby fans? :)

    To be honest there’s too much to talk about, and I’d be afraid that if I went into too much detail I could be identified by a colleague.

    Definitely rugby fans, without a doubt!


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    eoins23456 wrote: »
    What's are the worst nights of the year to work?
    Have you ever had someone play dead to avoid being moved out of a club?
    Have you ever had people that were refused sneak in alternative entrances?
    Have you ever seen people try to steal items from the club?

    1. Rag week hands down
    2. Quite a lot. Two of us can usually carry them out fairly easily, and once they’re outside they’re magically not dead anymore and can walk to the chipper down the road.
    3. People love trying to jump a wall, but I’d say 99% of the time they’re caught and it’s unlikely they’ll be allowed in again for a long time.
    4. It happens quite regularly that people will order drinks and take off without paying, but it’s not worth the hassle of checking cctv for the sake of a tenner unless it becomes too common. I think bar staff are supposed to take payment first but sometimes they don’t.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,436 ✭✭✭dartboardio


    Ive always had good experiences with bouncers. They'd be the 'buddy' on the door for our regular places.

    But obviously I have been going to certain places so long there would have been occasions i had to be dragged out probably blind drunk (not proud!) and understandbly so. But wed just laugh it off the next time I am there.

    How often do you 'catch' people taking drugs etc in bathrooms, do you go into bathrooms intentionally trying to catch people?

    I know in places i have been before the bouncers would be watching people come in and out all night and once they get a *sniff* of any suspicious activity they're on it right away to drag the person out.


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    Esse85 wrote: »
    Do you work for the venue itself or a security company?

    Are you on the front door or inside, which do you prefer?

    How hard is it to hear instructions via your ear piece when the music is pumping?

    I've a couple of mates that pal around together, both big lads what train regularly in the gym, drink little, both over 6" 2 and 100kg plus, dress well, good jobs etc
    They were on the dry last week, and got turned away from 2 places because they'd "too much to drink" both pulled out car keys to demonstrate they were in fact not drinking. Both venues didn't care.
    I said to the lads, the reason they were declined entry was because security would look at them and observe that if them 2 big lads kicked off tonight, security would have a big job in on their hands removing the guys and they'd cause carnage so its easier to eliminate that risk at the door.
    What's your thoughts?

    1. I work for the venue itself.
    2. I work on both. I’d usually prefer the door but if can be very cold!
    3. Sometimes impossible. Usually you can make out a couple of words and figure out what’s going on though.

    I think you could be right about your friends. Either that or they thought it was a bit suspicious that these 2 huge guys were driving and going into the club. I can’t say for sure.


  • Company Representative Posts: 57 Verified rep I'm a nightclub bouncer, AMA


    When I used go to clubs in Cork a few years ago. The bouncers were fine and I never had any hassle with them really.
    What's the procedure for searching guys going in tough?

    So, some of the bouncers might give you a pat down but they stopped when they got to know you.
    One guy tough used grab my crotch and squeeze it. He'd sometimes pat you down as well. On one occasion he walked down to me in the queue and did it and also did it to a friend. Was this normal?

    We usually don’t search, but when we do we search absolutely everyone.

    I’d certainly be reporting that member of security to the PSA if he did that to me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,071 ✭✭✭Rosie Rant


    How often do you have to deal with someone being too pushy with a member of the opposite sex and harassing them? Do you look out for this sort of behaviour or would you be more focused on stopping fights and trying to spot drug use?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,525 ✭✭✭✭Tell me how


    To what degree are females likely to cause trouble compared to males?
    Is the protocol the same for dealing with fighting ladies?
    Have you ever intervened in a row between two partners which isn't necessarily going to kick off in a big way but it is clear that one party is very uncomfortable?


This discussion has been closed.
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