Home Comment Let’s give bouncers a chance

Let’s give bouncers a chance



An Exeter student recalls a distressing experience in a local nightclub and thanks the bouncers for their assistance, urging us all to cut them some slack and appreciate the real work they do. 


It’s a popular joke to complain about bouncers nowadays. I mean who do they think they are? Angry guys in black shirts (or white depending on venue) with a serious gym addiction, whose very existence seems to spoil our fun and keep us waiting in longer and longer queues, as our alcohol-induced merriment fades into a dank fog of bored sobriety. I mean what are bouncers good for? The answer: quite a lot actually.

A couple of weeks ago I was assaulted in a certain well known Exeter venue. The attack was unprovoked: he attacked me and threw me to the ground while my back was turned and punched me several times aiming for my temple. I have no idea who the guy was, for all I know he could be a student and be reading this story now (and if you are seek help, you have serious issues). Regardless of who he was, I know that had it not been for a timely intervention by a couple of bouncers I could have been in serious trouble. They dealt with the issue superbly by removing the offending individual, who fled the scene before more steps could be taken, and helping my half-drunk and completely shell shocked self with first aid, providing the general support needed.

Cruel to be kind? Image credit: i.telegraph.co.uk
Cruel to be kind? Image credit: i.telegraph.co.uk

The whole episode got me thinking about what bouncers do. Authority figures are never really the most revered of individuals and bouncers usually get the worst of this treatment, but in reality there’s a lot these men (and women) do for us. They don’t really have a fun job; almost nightly they have to process hundreds of people, mostly drunk out of their minds, as they continue to drink, dance and generally make utter fools of themselves – or maybe that’s just me. The point is, they spend all night looking after people who are usually highly intoxicated and quite possibly belligerent, making sure everyone is safe. Essentially, they have to deal with the worst of humanity and make sure that we all get home relatively in one piece.

Maybe they’re reviled because we know they’re there to protect us from ourselves. Ashamed as we are of our behaviour, we find it easier to blame overzealous bouncers and, sure, sometimes they can overreact and do some pretty questionable things. However, they don’t have an easy job and nights out would be a lot more problematic without them. I guess, at the end of the day, it’s good to know that a big tough fella has got your back if you get jumped on by some psycho.

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