Stories of Drunks, Meth-Heads and Others I’ve Encountered While Working at a Nightclub

In corporate jobs you often see the conniving side of people, I see people with their inhibitions dropped, and sometimes it’s not pretty.

Drunks have their pluses and minuses. Most people who are _really_ drunk just want to be left alone so they can quietly sleep it off. But these are the most likely to puke and make a big mess too. I’ve refused them entry to the club on occasions and when I’ve caught them in the act I grab a mop and make them clean it up. Then you have the drunks who are really toasted but can still stumble around. These are worse because they can be aggressive, demanding and loud, but it depends on the person. We’ve only had a couple fights, but they were almost always due to alcohol, not drugs.

Finally you’ve got just drunk people in general, those who merely “buzzed,” they’re usually fine. Some drunks are even fun to be around, but they can also be depressing. Just this weekend, night after Christmas I had one wander in extremely drunk, he had been beaten up and just wanted to sit in the lobby to get warm. He left after about half an hour. The next night, he wanders in, just as drunk, nearly 24 hours later, wanting the same thing. I don’t understand how someone can do that to themselves.

Seeing people on drugs is inevitable in a nightclub situation and I’d say meth-heads are by far the most annoying. They’re easy to pick out from that wide-eyed, blank, animalistic stare. Meth takes their IQ and reduces it by about 80% while speeding up their mouth by an equal percentage. You have the ones who grind their teeth like they’re chewing cud, and cottonmouthers will flip their tongue in and out like a snake. But they’ve all got that wide-eyed, blank stare. After being around these types for a while you can even pick out the ones who have done meth and got off of it. They still have a “look” around the eyes and often retain the nervous, fidgity, paranoid demeanor.

Along with the meth heads you see people who have taken HKW (Heaven-Knows-What.) Some get a little buzzed, others will go straight into a scary near-coma-like state. We had one who “swirled out” and began to flail his arms about endangering himself and others (not to mention the decor, won’t someone think of the decor!) Just getting him outside without anyone getting hurt was a chore, but when his friend attempted to get him into his car the guy was sure he was being kidnapped and ran away. (There’s that paranoia.) So he proceeded to walk up a hill, still flailing about. I nonchalantly remarked with a slight bitterness at the time, “Looks like a silhouette ‘doing the Egyptian.’”

Essentially they get overloaded by the stimulus around them and freak out, it comes out in the wild flailing which they can’t contain. Others will talk incoherently to themselves, yell out, moan like a ghost or clap their hands. Not too long ago I saw a shirtless guy walk past our club in 30 degree weather. He went up to a bar further down and began to bang on the door and cry like a baby. They were closed, finally he laid on the freezing sidewalk and went to sleep. I went over to help him, but a cop pulled up so I let him deal with it. He could have died out there. This was a man in his mid-40s I’d say, and if he hasn’t grown up by then, will he ever?

You have people trying to come in in such a condition that I wonder how they managed to arrive there alive, in one piece. Me and my co-workers debate whether it’s a humanitarian thing to let them come in and “sleep it off” or to just keep them out. Unfortunately if I’m nice to them, they keep coming back. I’ve seen some people who you can tell they’re going downhill, or “going dark” as I’ve heard it put. They’re turning to the dark side, becoming more sketchy each time I see them. I’ve seen guys try to climb walls, and one actually succeeded, perched himself atop an 8-foot wall and began the ol’ ghost moan.

I have some issues with alcoholics, but I have NOTHING good to say about drug users. Drugs bring out the worst in people; it makes them stupid, annoying as hell to deal with and they ruin the “energy” of the space. It destroys their ability to appreciate subtlety and higher pleasures by changing their brain chemistry. When I see a meth head I think, “There’s someone who can never appreciate a good symphony or a great novel.” No, it’s bright carnival colors and thumping music for them. We have posters about sobriety in our club and promote a drug-free environment by having all drug-free employees, but as I say, seeing it is still inevitable when you work in a nightclub, and as I said at the start, it’s not pretty.

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