Ahhh St. Patrick's Day... a day when everyone can either pretend they're Irish or celebrate actually being Irish for one whole day while getting smashed at the bar. Jax Beach is no different. With St. Patty's day landing on a Saturday and beautiful typical 75 degree and sunny weather, we knew it was going to be a shit show and unfortunately we were right.
Tommy and I just landed a couple more bars in our security business and St Patrick's Day was going to be a good test for them to see how they operate and handle themselves. I was going to run the three bars in Jax Beach and he was going to head to St Augustine, about 45 mins south, to run the two new ones. We would meet up after and compare reviews of how things can be handled better and what we can do to improve the customer's overall experience and better train our staff.
One of the biggest obstacles was getting a schedule and staff together. Every bar staff is different and has unique people. At Sham we had one of our staff members, let's call him Lance, shoot us an email about 2-3 weeks before the weekend that he would be traveling different weekends out of town for his day job. One of the weekends he listed was St Patty's Day. I called B.S. on that. No 9-5er is shipping you somewhere on St Patty's day to work. It just doesn't happen. So, we let Lance know, hey we understand you have to travel, but March 17 is a black-out date. Everyone has to work. Lance shot us another email a day or two later stating that as of right now, he was quitting Shim Sham. Great. Now we have to hire someone new to fill the craziest day of the year on top of already being short staffed there. So we schedule a crap ton of interviews and only have 1 of every 5 interviews actually show up; we hired two new guys. Their training day was the Thursday night before St Patty's. We did ID training, reviewed closing responsibilities, and what's expected of them while working for us. This is about a 1.5 hour process mind you. I do my part and hand them over to our security manager for the remainder of the night. Well, I get a text from my manager around 1am that one of the guys left and never came back. I reach out to him and he says his wife locked herself out of the house and had to go let her in. A: What is your wife doing locking herself out of the house at 1am? B: Let someone know you're leaving the property on your first night on the job. He apologizes and says he's on his way back to work. He never showed again and never answered any calls/texts. 'Preciate you leaving us hanging dude... Well the day comes for Shim Sham. We opened two hours earlier than usual and luckily with even being short staffed, the guys absolutely killed it. We didn't have any big fights, just a lot of people not wanting to leave because they were so drunk but what else do you expect?! Remember the guy that said he was going to be out of town? Hahahaha yea, I saw his ass at another one of the bars I manage and we made eye contact this kid looked like he saw a ghost while all I was seeing was a punch-able face. He looked at me and said "Hey man so I wasn't traveling today," he said with a straight face. "NO SHIT DUDE! But you have the balls to come to another bar and drink?! Get the hell outta here. Fast." It takes a lot to loose my shit with people but it took a lot in me to not kick him out of the bar just because....
Hoptinger. The standard setting for security personnel. Tommy and I have spent more time at this bar than any other. It's run by the best GM/human being/handyman/friend in Jax Beach. Shout out to you Shitty! Aka real name Dreu. Tommy and I have learned a lot from Dreu. (Shitty is his nickname.) We go to him with human resource issues, advice, wisdom, anything really whether it's business related or personal. The guy is a open book and is an overall grade A badass. Well, per Shitty's suggestion, Tommy and I have a quarterly meeting with all security personnel from the bars. We decided a couple weeks in advance that we will do it the Tuesday before St Patty's. We had about 95% of our staff show up. Those that didn't were told in advance that they would be written up if a valid excuse was not given for missing it. We had one relatively new guy that wasn't there, Seth. The reason this meeting was mandatory and so important was because of the known craze that was ahead of us. You miss a lot of info in this meeting if you're not there. Well, come the big day, Seth had a 2pm-8pm shift and it was 3:15 and he still wasn't at Hoptinger. We have 2 guys there and over 300 people chilling drinking and having a good time. I call Seth up and he sounds like he just woke up all groggy and didn't understand why I was calling. "Hey man, where are you?!" He gives me some excuse that he doesn't work until 9pm (the second shift of his double shift), he blames me for not being able to read the schedule correctly, not telling him that he was scheduled to work a double, and not speaking like I'm degrading to him, then hung up while I was talking. Classy guy if you ask me. Shitty was sitting next to me and says he wouldn't have handled it any better. At this point he quits and everyone moves on. Good riddance to ya.
So I start running around up and down 1st Street for the next hour or so and I come back to Hop to check on things. Low and behold Seth is asking what I would like him to do now that he's here. I bring him into the office and let him know how it is. I'm not going to drag people through the mud. I'm a straight forward guy. If you suck at your job, I'm going to let you know. In a nice way of course but I'm not going to hold you hand and walk you around like a millennial. Actually, he was in his 30s, if that's still considered a millennial... Anyway, I let him know as Tommy walked in: Hey man you missed the MANDATORY meeting on Tuesday before St Patty's, you complain about closing duties to managers and you were going to be a no-call no-show if it wasn't for me calling you, then hung up on your boss while I was speaking to you on the phone an hour ago. Sorry man, this job isn't for you. You can head home for the day. Tommy finished the conversation with him as I went to take care of something at another bar and to be honest, I didn't want to talk to the guy. I get a text about 30 mins later from Dreu to head back to Hop when I get a minute. Well damn, I'm thinking a fight broke out or something. Turns out, Shitty and Tommy spoke with him and believe he deserves a second chance and if I wouldn't mind sitting down with him. So I go back into the office and Seth and Tommy are sitting there talking. I apologize to the guy for the way I overreacted (I'm assuming that's why he's upset). I tell him dude, listen, this is the craziest day of the year. Tommy and I are stressed the hell out with everything going on. I apologize if my tone came off as being an ass or something. You seem like you want to work here, you were all energetic when you first started and are looking to grow in the restaurant business. But you missed the meeting and showed up more than 2 hours late to today's shift. It's not a good representation of a wanna be good working. This grown man starts crying in front of us. He starts to go on about how that's not the kind of worker that his reputation isn't that. He wants to work, he wants to grow in the company, he loves working here, etc... well long story short, we agree that he's on his last leg with us. Another mishap and he'll be let go. He understands and we bro hug it out and he goes on with his shift. Throughout the night it wasn't that bad with kicking people out. There was one white-trash lady with tattoos and rotten teeth that we had to kick out for spitting on customers. Luckily I wasn't one of them. I've gone my whole life without any AIDS or STI or whatever the hell can be transported via spit these days and wasn't going to start now. Her and her man kept wanting to try and fight people in the bar and calling them out. Once we got them off the property she called me white trash, threw a couple F*ck you's in there and maybe a middle finger. Kept it a classy kick out that's for sure.
Surfer was by far the busiest bar at the beach maybe competing with Lynch's Irish Pub. Throughout the day we probably had over 3,000 people come through our doors and a line out the door from about 4pm until we closed at 2am. It was a mad house. But, fortunately there was not a single fight or aggressive kickout. People were coming and going and not starting shit, it was so nice to not have to deal with stuff. We had all of our staff show up on time, we were walking people out with bottles of water and they understood it was time for them to go. I was so proud of my staff there.
A little less than a week after the day of mayhem, Tommy and I decided to play some golf and relax. We had taken over 5 bars in about a year of having our own company, we successfully had a rather quiet St Patrick's Day that didn't involve anyone in our bars being arrested, punches thrown, or anything too serious. Remember Seth from Hop and the whole, I love this place, grown-ass man crying in the back office cause he didn't want to be fired? Well, he calls me during the worst 18 holes of my armature golf career and quits over the phone. Three hours before his would-be shift starts. Dick.