Bouncer

Bouncer

LetsSeeSomeID

New York, NY

Male, 33

I was a bouncer at one of the biggest sh-thole bars on the Upper East Side of Manhattan from 2005-2007. Ask me anything.

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103 Questions

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Last Answer on July 30, 2013

Best Rated

How do you know when an ID is fake? Are there dead giveaways that pop up again and again?

Asked by Dommer over 9 years ago

If an ID is from Wilmington, Delaware, it’s fake 100% of the time. Wilmington, Delaware is the hands down, all star of fake IDs. There are a few other states that are often faked: Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Wisconsin, California – there are probably some others I can’t remember. Usually if someone looks young and they have an ID from one of those states you can start to wonder if it’s fake. California is the hardest to spot. The other ones vary in terms of how fake they seem. If I wasn’t sure I’d ask them some simple questions. For Michigan you ask what the ‘U.P.’ is. Everyone from Michigan knows it’s the Upper Peninsula, everyone who has a fake Michigan ID looks at you like you just punched their mother. For California I would ask, “Who’s the governor?” and they would get that panicky look in their eyes and say something like “I don’t follow politics.” Really? You missed that fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger is the governor of your home state? That one slipped by you, huh? (Remember I worked as a bouncer four years ago). New York ID’s are harder to fake. People always scratch out the year of their birth and write in a new date with a red colored pencil. There used to be a license number at the bottom that also had their birth year in it. People always forgot to change that number. The new IDs came out right around the time I quit so I don’t know any tricks for that one. The other thing people pull is to get someone else’s ID and try to pass it off as theirs. Usually you just look for eye color or height differences. You can ask them something like their zip code – you’d be amazed how many people forget to memorize that. I had a kid come up to me once with someone else’s ID that said she was 33 years old. I gave her a raised eyebrow and she said, “Yeah, I know, I’m old.” I said, “How old are you?” I got the 'punched your mother' look.

As a bouncer, how did you decide who got into your bar vs. who didn't?

Asked by reja over 9 years ago

Girls always got in, no matter what. The owner was extremely racist and didn't like it when black or latino customers came in. He often tried to find excuses to kick them out.

If you suspected but couldn't prove that an ID was fake, would you still let the customer into the bar?

Asked by UESbeast over 9 years ago

I saw TONS of fake ID's. I never wanted kids in the bar, if for nothing else than they start a lot of fights. One of the owners (I call him “The Pig”) had a thing for 17-year-old girls, so my instructions were to let them in if he was working that night. A few times I wouldn't let kids with fake ID's in and they would pull out their cell phones, call The Pig and he would escort them in. One time while I was working, I heard a kid ask another kid to the prom.

What's the craziest line someone ever used with you to try and get into the bar?

Asked by hiclover2 over 9 years ago

After I wouldn't let this one kid in, he said, "Do you know who my mother is?"

Every so often, a bouncer will run my ID through a small machine before letting me in. Does this machine verify the validity of my ID, or is it just there to keep a record of who was in the bar that night?

Asked by bouncethis over 9 years ago

I actually don’t know. Those really came into effect after the Littlejohn murders when they started making bouncers have security IDs. I’ve never actually used one. My guess is they use them to see if an ID is real or not. Probably for insurance purposes.

How do bouncers get paid? Is it a flat rate, an hourly rate, or commission?

Asked by puurrrk over 9 years ago

I got paid a shift fee, other bars pay by the hour -- it all depends. If we had to deal with something crazy like St. Patrick's Day or we handled some sort of situation that could have gotten very ugly we usually got 'Combat Pay.' which was a bonus or double-pay.

Do bouncers have to be a certain size? And do you have to somehow prove to the hiring manager that you can actually whoop some ass?

Asked by killjoy over 9 years ago

Number 1 is you have to be gigantic, which I am not (6', 190lbs). I have no idea why I got hired as a bouncer. The owner told everyone I was a former Navy SEAL and everyone was afraid of me. I was fine with that. Plus, most of the job is head games. If you have to get physical with someone (and we did) you aren't doing your job right or you are in a worst-case scenario. The whole point of the job is to make problems disappear, not escalate into brawls. Brawls are bad for business and draw the attention of the neighborhood and the cops. The place where I worked had lots of illegal stuff going on so avoiding cops was a priority. That said, brawls do happen so, yes, knowing how to 'whoop some ass' is important. Nowadays, in New York City anyway, you also have to have a security license which costs about $200 and involves a background check. This went into effect after a bouncer named Littlejohn killed a John Jay College student. I never got one -- I didn't feel like investing any money in such a shitty job. Eventually the bar I worked at got raided and I got a court summons for not being licensed. That's when I finally quit.