[Home]PrincipleOfConstantRespect

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One of my roommates at The Ranch is the risk manager at the second largest frosh club in Ottawa. Between him and other bouncers I know I've learnt that despite what many people think (including 90% of bouncers), the art of bouncing is not about using the most amount of force possible, but merely ReasonableForce?. Last night, I saw a bouncer throw a guy to the ground for no effective purpose; that was degrading, so he returned angry, which caused a scuffle with a girl in line. The bouncer punched him in the head, knocking him backwards into a bike and a parking meter which he hit with the back of his head causing a large gash. The sadness was the guy was waiting for his jacket. Presumably, if he had gotten his coat faster, he would have left faster. Dropping him to the ground just made the intervening time filled with anger.

The goal of professional bouncing (BeProfessional) is not to bounce, but to ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone there. You must give everyone respect. (PrincipleOfConstantRespect) That means when enforcing rules, you begin by saying at least two things nice to someone, such as asking them how their evening is going, and if they have any complaints; this prescriptive rule simply supports the truth that you have to treat people as people, not objects. Then you ask them politely to move their beer off the pool table. One also goes around and says hello to everyone just to touch base with the clientele. One also rapidly ejects anyone who is causing any trouble, but ejecting people must also be done with respect. Turns out over 90% of people bounced do so without any physical force. They know they are wrong, and they will leave. The worst, though, are the weirdos who don't fight, but hang around for hours arguing with you from the street. Like, it's over. Go home, eh? But I suppose these people have difficulty understanding social rules. So, instead they annoy you to death, but you cannot have them arrested nor can you punch them.

Meanwhile, proper hospitality also spends much more time and money enticing the proper clientele, not focusing on the people you are ejecting. Spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about people leaving and how to get people to leave is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Bouncing is destroying culture, as you are trying to stamp out an undesired culture before it forms--normally this is a violent culture, but a DressCode can also be used to exclude classes. But you really want to construct an interesting culture, which cannot be done by bouncing. That requires marketing and gardening. The benefits of this in terms of bouncing is that a visibly different culture will be a GuidePost to people who don't belong not to join, just as it's unlikely a pretentious martini bar will attract frosh beer brats. Therefore, the focus must be on attracting better, interesting people, and that will naturally lead you to excluding those who annoy these people.

The difference between a wiki and a night club is you cannot see people joining and leaving, and it is difficult to talk to lurkers. You have to therefore measure culture indirectly through statistics and feel. -- SunirShah

I like the story. This leads me to ask how one reads the statistics and, I guess, the feel. -- MarkDilley

As a rule, those who harbor the most animosity towards a community or organization are those who feel they have been treated unfairly in the past. FairProcess and PrincipleOfConstantRespect are crucial to avoid creating animosity, except for those communities who have made a conscious decision that it is OK to upset those who disagree. Political parties, for example, are relatively callous in meting out rejection.


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