Friday, April 21, 2006

An image in chocolate to worship

They'ren't should be a word. A contraction of They are not... that has nothing to do with anything.

I worked a big rap show last night. I worked as a doorman for an hour or so, then behind the bar for the rest of the night. The crowd was probably 70-80% black and about 90% black and wiggers... The staff was 100% white (the staff more accurately represents the demographics of our city.... I think it's about 90/10) At the door we had to put up with all the same crap, people didn't want to throw their drinks away when they came in (in house policy), despite us telling the line not to bring cameras in (by request of the band), 40 people still brought cameras to the front door which were confiscated and returned at the end of the night. Minors offer you money to get the stamps and wristband for drinking, 22 year olds scoff when you ask for their ID, since they've been legal for a whole 16 months they should now look old enough to never be carded. There was one fight (chick fight.... Interestingly enough it seems as though at the predominately black shows the chicks fight, and at the white shows the guys fight) and some puking, a few minors got kicked out for drinking. All pretty basic. The bar however is a different story.

The bar at black shows is simply stunning. Out of 1000 people (we'll say 600 drinking) you get about 5 highrollers, 20 "normal" customers, 200 cheapskates, and 300 highrolling cheapskates. We'll chalk 75 up to people who don't fit in any category.
A high roller is exactly that, they never order below the top shelf, even when ordering drinks for the girls next to them. To the high rollers, Absolut is a well vodka, only grey goose or better can grace their taste buds. If a girl wants a bud light, the high roller will order them a Patron' margarita and tell them how good it is, if a girl wants gin a juice, the highroller orders Bombay sapphire and OJ.... You get the point. High rollers never pay with less than a $20 and leave appropriate sized tips, say $4-$5 on a $20 order (usually only two drinks for a highroller and the chick next to him he has never seen before). I have never seen a female high roller (they know they don't need to spend money to get some). The high rollers are most often dressed in clean, pressed white polos or button up shirts.

A normal customer can order any type of drink and will tip accordingly; for a $4 Cape Cod, they give you $5 and walk away. For a $7 Crown and Coke they leave $1 extra. Good, "normal" customers.

A cheapskate will drink well liquor or canned beer all night long. These are the Stag, PBR, Aristocrat, Kentucky Deluxe Drinkers. The normal customers order some of that too, the cheapskate just leaves out the tip. There is an unusually high ratio of cheapskates at black shows. The only comparable crowd is the "I need a pitcher of Coors light and a pack of Marlboro Reds white trash crowd."

The high rolling cheapskate is an anomaly of the bartending world. They annoy the piss out of you that night and make the best stories. The HRC wants to be a high roller, but doesn't have the money or most importantly the knowledge to do so. They also only order from the top shelf, but they ask you every single time to "make it really strong", or "can you put some extra liquor in that" or "go easy on the juice/coke." These are sometimes accompanied by "I'll tip you good man" (for a HRC that means $.50 on an $8 or $9 drink when an expected tip is $1, and normal tip is $2, and a good tip is $3+). They want the top shelf, but they don't want to pay for it. These people will not order well drinks. More than once, an HRC has approached me at the end of the night asking how much redbull and goose they can get for $5, when I tell them that red bull and grey goose is $9, but I could do well vodka for $5 (no tip for me), they proceed to whine and beg for goose before simply walking away. Now, there is a BIG difference between Aristocrat and Grey Goose, but when it's with red bull and you're already 5 drinks in, you can't tell that much.
So they're cheap, but that's not funny. What's funny is that these people are so concerned about image and have so little knowledge that they follow a simple rubric to order their drinks: Top shelf liquor that you've heard of, mixed with your favorite mixer. These people know Remy Martin, Hennessey (thanks to Snoop), Patron', Grey Goose, and Crown Royal. All of which I believe have been mentioned in popular rap songs within the last 5 years. Last night I received orders for the following:
- Hennessey/Remy and Red bull (a lot)/Coke/Pineapple (cognacs are not to be mixed, they should be straight up or on the rocks.. And Jesus?!?! With pineapple juice?)
- Grey Goose and Coke (Never ever mix Vodka and coke, seriously, what are you thinking?)
-Patron' and Coke (tequila and coke... WTF?)
And this one take the cake: Patron' and grey goose... just mixed on the rocks for no tip. Now that is a true HRC.
If you know anything about drinking, that list probably just made your stomach turn.

I don't know what image these people are chasing, but they aren't there. By trying to be something they're not they are simply exposing their shortfalls (finances and knowledge) and making themselves look even more ridiculous. These are the same people that paid $40 for a ticket to a show where the headliner barely showed up (1 out of 6 guys in the band) and only played for 9 minutes. That's right, I shit you not, 9 minutes. Three songs followed by, "thank you Mr. Manager for having me, that'll be $20,000".
I don't know if it is today's media, the HRC trying to overcome a stereotype, or something I haven't thought of yet... but something is motivating these people to go only for image.

This may seem racist to those of you who don't know me. I'm not racist, those who have worked in clubs/concert halls with very diverse clientele can back me up, this is the way it is, and it's crazy.


Blogger Butthead said...

Nice read.

7:16 AM  

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