Not been posting for a while as nothing particularly eventful happened - Friday nights have been as feral as always, have been fighting with drunks and carrying on as usual with zero motivation and looking for better jobs. In the interim, I went to a couple of staff and Christmas parties with free drinks, where I remembered that, even though the job itself is driving me insance, the people I work with on the whole are a pretty good bunch. However, one can't stay where one is just for the people.
This particular Friday, however, I managed to obtain a series of injuries that will see me off on full pay for at least a week.
Came on at 6pm and there was already a fight in one of the more notorious pubs. We attended, threw people out and all was well. Managerial wisdom, however, held that, even though it was the Friday before Christmas, there would be no changes to officers on fixed positions. Meaning that this notorious pub, already full to bursting and having gone off very early in the day, would not have any dedicated officers on the doors or inside the pub roving around. Thus it fell to a colleague who was also free for that hour, a manager in on overtime and I to help look after the place. In the short space of forty minutes or so, we threw about six people out, prevented a whole load more from re-entering, and re-removed several who did get past us when we weren't looking. Fantastic - fire-fighting security on one of the busiest weekends of the year.
An hour or so later, a huge guy standing at around 6ft 8 decided that he wasn't going to listen to a colleague's request to leave an entrance he had been refused entry to. He eventually turned towards the door, but then snapped back and assaulted the officer. He was floored, eventually, by about 6 of us, and was still putting up one hell of a struggle. We got him up and tried to get him to the office, which he made as difficult as possible. When finally inside the main entrance and near the office, he gripped the handrails and refused to let go. Then, when we finally got him away from that, he dragged himself into a corner between the security office and one of the entry doors. Those who were on him were having trouble moving him, so I grabbed the top of his head via his hair and manipulated his head to help effect his movement towards the office. Where the head goes, the body follows, so it helped move him. Unfortunately, the boss wasn't too happy, as it looked like I was pulling his hair. Well, had he not refused to leave, not assaulted staff and made it extremely difficult to move him, the move would not have been necessary.
After that, we were requested to attend the same notorious pub as before, following reports of aggressive males. Since company policy dictates, fairly reasonably, that we need at least three officers per person to remove, we had to wait for additional officers to turn up. Whilst waiting, yet another fight broke out in the pub. Personally I wasn't surprised - they pack the place to the rafters, ply them with booze and we operate no sort of crowd control system in terms of taking account of numbers or capacity. Oh, apologies, we do - we click people in and out. Yeah, that makes it ok. Or, if it's clearly spilling out with people, we might have a 'one in, one out' policy way after it is plainly apparent that it is too full, instead of maintaining a decent control policy from the start.
We run into the pub, and see at least three or four blokes fully at it, fists and all. We try to separate them, with difficulty. Unfortunately, because of the managerial obssession (and indeed paranoia) about image and presentation, we wear nothing that clearly identifies us as security, save for an earpiece and a credit card-sized ID badge. So, if you're fighting, and you find yourself being pulled away, you won't know it's security unless you already know who security are/look like. When it's dimly lit, like this pub is, it's merely dark shapes attempting to forecefully dissuade you from effecting your just desserts on people. A colleague and I got one male off the others, and nearly had to throw him against a wall to get him away. He was very, very violent, lashing out and throwing himself around. We flanked him on each side and attempted to get him out the door, with him doing his level best to make it difficult for us, throwing us from side to side if he could. The side of my head hit a wooden door frame quite hard, then a few steps later I fel my right knee go, and suddenly walking became extremely difficult and painful. Luckily we were nearly outside the pub, so I used every last ounce of energy left to get the violent male out the door and down the steps, shove him backwards to create space and collapse on the floor, no longer able to put any weight on my left leg. A crowd of patrons had gathered as they'd heard or seen the commotion, so to collapse in front of them probably didn't look good. However, by that stage image was the last thing on my mind. Fortunately, my colleagues called for one of our in-house medics, qualified industrial paramedics, to attend, and assisted with getting me to the office in a wheelchair, where an ambulance was called and I was carted off to hospital.
The upshot of it all is that, after many X-rays, I have soft tissue damage to my head, a strained knee ligament and a possible bone displacement or fracture that may need surgery fairly soon. I'm off for at least one week, with that being reviewed after attending another consultation late next week. I'm on crutches and wear a big padded leg splint.
Eight hours in the waiting room saw me witnessing scenes which further reinforced my view that, if I run the world, I will be re-introducing Prohibition but would do a better job of enforcing it than the US did. I also saw a police officer admitted who had been spat blood in the face by a 'client', that client likely being infected. One patient started boasting about the door staff he'd taken down with him whilst sustaining his injuries.
I also had plenty of time to contemplate why the hell I've bothered serving in the police and, now, in private security, getting paid poor money (or not at all) to regularly encounter dangerous situations and people, with very little gratitude or appreciation shown by either the general public, management or the people we 'save' other people from. Often, we get the opposite of gratitude and are chided for doing our jobs. Or not doing them, depending on your point of view. Once again, I've wound up in hospital with injuries and am likely to be off for a while. Holistically speaking, neither the money nor the kudos it puts on my CV and on job application forms make it worthwhile anymore. It is simply too much of a risk to my long-term health and life prospects for a remuneration level that is laughable. Croupiers/dealers get paid significantly more than us! The 'serving people' motivation has long since died, to be replaced by a cynical desire to attempt to keep the morons that make everyone else's lives a misery. Since that is a losing battle as well, I keep trying to find reasons why I still turn up to work. It used to be the money, as weekend penalty rates were half decent, but after being injured, even that's not enough now.
The place I work at is becoming increasingly dangerous, and it's not just the usual Christmas silly season. The corporate paranoia over image and liability takes precedence over practical job delivery. It is now at the stage that I no longer feel safe when at work, owing to short staffing, ineffective rostering, nonsensical policies and a lack of personal protective equipment and any sort of training. I don't feel management will back me up if I use my discretion or interpret guidelines/policy against how they believe it to be interpreted or if I should face any action outside of work for anything I do inside work. For someone to say this after serving in the police in a city with one of the highest rates of violent crime in the UK is certainly something. If the company wants us to deal with violent patrons and extremely hostile situations, where we are often outnumbered, without breaching 'image', which directly impacts on our level of personal safety because 'image' dictates how we approach situations and deal with people, then I'm increasingly of the view they can do so without my efforts.
Merry Christmas to anyone who reads this blog. Fortunately, I no longer have to work Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day night, so I shall spend it with my family, leg elevated and in a splint.