Not All Out of Love
Not All Out of Love
I n my quest to help pay for college, as most student loans don't even come close to paying for all of your necessary bills, I had several jobs in my college career. I mentioned my job at Health-stop, in which I met Jason Phillips. My first job in college was at Subway, which was such a bad job that giving it any more description then that would be a disservice to you, the reader. But, after Subway and Healthstop, I began my career as a bouncer.
Being a bouncer isn't all that much fun. I've always described it as a great job to look at and think you would enjoy. After all of the people leave for the night and the club closes, bouncers are the ones who clean everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. In my bouncing career, I've cleaned floors, tables, toilets, mirrors, trash cans, and not to mention all of the substances I've had to mop up: vomit, urine, feces, soda, beer, water, liquor, champagne, and probably more I can't even think of. Not many people out there actually want to be glorified janitors. At least real janitors get to work normal daytime hours. Bouncers usually work shifts such as 10pm-2am, 9pm-3am, etc. In big cities, like New York, bouncers don't get off until four or five in the morning. Luckily for me, clubs and bars in Tallahassee close at 2am, so I was usually in bed by 3am.
After my career as a smoothie artist ended, one of my friends from the dorm freshmen year, Scott Hertel, a.k.a. Scottie 2 Hottie, put in a good word for me at a nightclub called Chubby's. He set up an interview for me, and I went in wearing a Polo shirt and jeans, trying to look as big as possible. Back then I was 230-240 lbs at 6'0, not too shabby at all. Now I'm almost 300 lbs, and I'm damn proud of that.
My boss at Chubby's was James Tanksley. Over the years he would become a great friend. If you asked James about our first meeting, I'm sure he'd say that he was unimpressed. Maybe the only thing he'd remember is that I was white. And since Chubby's was a predominantly black nightclub, my being white was a little bit of an oddity.
James and I began discussing the responsibilities of the job. During operating hours, my primary responsibility was to protect the integrity of the club. That means that not only do I protect property, but MUCH more importantly, I protect life. A bouncer has failed at his job if people don't get home safely. When you say that you are a bouncer, people automatically assume that you beat people for a living. This simply isn't the case.
Yes, there is the occasional fight. And yes, occasionally, you are required to beat someone senseless. But what truly makes a good bouncer is his ability to reason with even the drunkest of the drunk. It's hard enough being able to talk someone down without their having nine shots of John Daniels (he may be Jack to you, but when you've known him as long as I have, he's John) in their system. If you can convince someone that the fight they are about to start is a BAD idea, you can save a lot of trouble for yourself and for others.
James and I probably walked around for twenty or thirty minutes, all the while, sizing each other up. James is a fairly imposing figure, 6'2, about 250 lbs, solid muscle. I would later learn that he not only knew Kung Fu but also had a license to carry a weapon, so he was certainly not the kind of guy you wanted to mess with. In my time working at Chubby's, the only person I ever saw James hit was me. He socked me in the mouth once when we were shadow boxing. Thanks buddy, my tooth is still loose.
After our discussion, James offered me a job paying a whopping $9/hour for the first ninety days, what he called a probationary period. His only real advice was "if you get in a fight in this club, you better win it. If you lose, I ha