Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Tales of a Punk Rock Door Guy; chapter 2

One night as I was working the door at the Triple Rock it was raining pretty hard outside. The bar had a smattering of patrons, maybe 20 people including myself and the bartender. This was before the venue side was open so the main bar part was the only bar part.  I was casualty reading a book while keeping half an eye on the door and half of the other eye on the patrons. In the front door came 3 very young looking men wearing Minneapolis Bicycle Police rain ponchos. The one in front nodded to me and sauntered in, with the other two following close behind.  I stopped them and asked for I.D.  The first “cop” turned around and pointed to the generic “badge” screened on to the front of his poncho and said “that’s all the I.D. we need.”  Politely I said that a silk screened badge on a poncho was not sufficient identification for access to the bar. I said that if they were there on official business I would need to see their actual badges, and if they were there for a drink then I would need to see their state issued identification cards. The first cop puffed out his chest and started arguing with me, his voice getting louder as his argument went on. I soon noticed that all eyes were on us, and that the customers in the bar were silent, taking in the scene that was unfolding before them.  I again calmly told the officers that I would need to see badges if they were there on official business, and it shouldn’t be such a problem.  The second cop started yelling at me. When he finished I started raising my voice just slightly, knowing that I had an audience. I said that if I let them in without checking their I.D.s that I personally would be fined $1,000 per officer, and that the small wage the bar was paying me wasn’t worth the risk.  The third officer, under his breath, muttered that “God, we just wanted to get a drink and warm up.”  I heard that and then insisted that if they were there for drinks then their badges would not be sufficient, that I would need to see their actual I.D. cards.  This threw the first cop into a frenzy and he started threatening to close us down, to get the Mayor involved, to have our license revoked, etc.   By now everyone in the bar was riveted to the interaction between myself and these three police officers.  At about that time Ed, the original third partner in the Triple Rock, came down from the upstairs office and asked what the problem was. The main cop started yelling and pointing at me and making threats against the Triple Rock’s future as a bar.  When he was done Ed asked my side of the story. I told him I was doing the job that I was hired for, to check the I.D.s of patrons coming into the bar, and that the 3 gentlemen in ponchos refused to show me either their actual badges or their state issued I.D. cards, and that because of their refusal I was not allowing them entrance into the Triple Rock.  Ed looked at the cops and said “I totally get where you guys are coming from, but if I usurp my bouncer’s authority then there is no reason to have a bouncer in the first place. Ed politely asked them to show me their I.D.’s as I had originally asked.  The first cop Shot daggers at me with his eyes and said to his friends “Fuck this place, let’s get out of here!”  As they were leaving one of them turned to Ed and said “You just got your bar shut down, you’ll be hearing from us!”  When they were gone Ed very quietly told me that if that ever happened again to just let them in and he then went back upstairs. When the door shut behind him the entire bar stood up, started clapping and cheering because I had “stood up to the man” and won.

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