I had a conversation with an old friend the other day. He’s been a doorman for a long time but recently left to further his business interests. Due to the recession he’s returned to ‘door work’ to supplement his income.
He’s working in a club in a town centre in North Birmingham and has not been enjoying it too much. It’s not an easy job, and he’s been kept busy! It seems to be a meeting place for people from different areas and as such drink-fuelled arguments and trouble can ensue.
He was telling me of an incident during last weekend which resulted in him having to spend two hours in the police station making a statement, which was not to his liking. One particular punter, a big bugger of about 6ft 5 was playing up. His friend had intruded into an area that was closed and when the manageress told him to leave he refused and threw a drink over her. Then the big bugger turned up and said his mate was going nowhere. So my mate had to tell him otherwise.
The big bugger loaded up to swing a big ‘un at my mate, who clocked him, grabbed him by the throat and started pushing him out. A colleague arrived and smashed the big buggers head with a radio a few times in the struggle. Unfortunately, the head was split open and gushing. The big bugger also accidentally hit the wall a few times on the way out but was removed successfully.
The police came but the bad guy was gone, the doormen explained what happened and everything seemed to have blown over. My mate and his colleagues were laughing, saying that he must’ve gone home to his mum. Before they could leave, word got to the coppers that the big bugger’s mum was on the phone to the coppers saying she was on her way down there with big bugger to make a complaint. It ended up with my mate and his colleagues making statements which took about two hours to finish, resulting in a late night.
I only refer to this conversation as it seems symptomatic of the ‘blame’ society we live in, where parents vent at teachers that their cherubs would never do such a thing. One “it’s not my fault, mum” and this type of parent is marching down to the school, or police station in this case. The bad bloke in this instance was/is 6ft 5 and 26 years old. Thankfully, the police told him to ‘do one’ but insisted on statements all round.
In this world of ‘no win, no fee’ accidents or injuries, the blame culture is rife. When I was young my dad used to make me ‘face the music’, I hated it at the time but I was left in no uncertain terms that actions had consequences. This seems lacking today.
In my kids classes I try to instill a ‘face the music’ atmosphere. I have ‘star jump corner’, an upgrade from warnings, where miscreants do increasing numbers of star jumps (burpees with a star jump). Worse misbehaviour/disruption/silliness receives a yellow card and a five minute sin bin session. Last week I let the kids in the class vote for yellow card or star jump corner for one lad who was repeatedly messing around. They sent him to the sin bin and he cried, then sulked. He was much better behaved five minutes later and better again tonight. Hopefully, he’s realised that actions have consequences and is beginning to understand that he has to take responsibility for his actions. It’s a pity something similar couldn’t be aimed at the big bugger whose childish sulky behaviour caused my mate a minor inconvenience. It could be a lot worse for someone less able than my mate, should big bugger repeat behaviour similar to that leading to the sulking.