Avoiding Dangerous Situations and Customers at the Club

Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Working in the Bar | 0 comments

Avoiding Dangerous Situations and Customers at the Club

You’re in the public eye and mingle with many different people when you work as a server or dancer.  You listen to your customer’s stories  and  feel like you know their wives or kids after hearing about them a lot. Sometimes you don’t even know that they’re married, because they have never mentioned a family, and with the subtle ways they hit on you, you’ve always thought that they were single; there is also no hint of a wedding ring on their finger.
The bar brings out all types of people, so you’ve got to be able to keep a lookout for the creepers and the stalkers.

Here is some advice I pulled out of my first book, How To Be a Waitress and Make Big Tips.

Some Basic Safety Don’ts

Don’t get in the habit of telling too many people exactly where you live, especially customers. It’s not safe.

Don’t get in the habit of telling customers that you’ll be out of town, especially if you’ve told them where you live.

Don’t get into the habit of taking off with customers and partying with them after work. If you’re dying to get to know the hot guy in the group, get into your own vehicle and meet them at the destination, preferably another bar or somewhere where there are lots of people. Bring a friend if you can and don’t go to a house.

Don’t hand out your phone number to people like it’s no big deal. I’m not saying that every person that walks into the bar is trouble and out to get you, you just want to stay safe and have some degree of privacy. I have friends and coworkers that met their partners in the bar and they are still happily together.

Don’t break up fights. Alcohol and testosterone is a recipe for a fight. Working in the bar, you will witness many of these. Years ago, we had a tiny shooter girl that would jump in and try to break up fights. We would get mad at her for getting involved and try to talk the guys out of the argument, as she stood there in her bikini. Guys will not listen to reason. If they’re furious, watch out because fists will fly, and you will get bowled over in the process! If you notice that a couple of guys or a group start yelling at each other or you sense trouble brewing, let the doorman or bartender know immediately. They’ll have to diffuse the argument, hopefully before it blows up into a fist fight. If a fight breaks out, get out of the way and yell for the doorman, DJ, and bartender.

Don’t be too trusting and believe all business cards. Anyone can get a business card made up. While people like to network and build their business, be wary about getting involved with people that approach you with their business at your place of work. I’ve had guys handing out their cards to dancers and staff at my bar saying that he’s an agent that could get them modeling work or work in the porn industry.

I knew a guy years ago that had professional-looking business cards made up that said that he was a Playboy scout. Of course he wasn’t, but it was his way of getting together with many young, gullible girls. I couldn’t believe all the screaming girls that came running after our limo one night, as he would crack the windows a bit and hand out the business cards.

 

Getting to your Car SAFELY

I’m lucky that our parking lot at work is just outside our front doors and I’m fortunate that I always seem to end up parking near them.

Regardless, I am always careful when I walk out to my car. If I feel uneasy or something just isn’t right, I return inside and ask a coworker to escort me to my car. It pays to be extra careful and always listen to your gut. You don’t want to end up in a bad situation because you’re in a rush to get home. If I have items I need to bring home in the evening, I make sure to put them all in one bag so I’m not juggling and struggling with a whole bunch of stuff while trying to make it out safely to my vehicle.

A small tool like a compact flashlight could be used to defend your life. The bright light shuts down the attacker’s iris, giving him a blind spot, and this gives you a chance to get away if you were to flash it in the eyes quickly. Although tasers and flashlights may be helpful, they are also tangible items that must be carried and could fail to work if they short-circuit or if the batteries die. Having awareness, knowledge, and a focused mind are most important as the goal is to get away, not fight. Give up any property like your purse or wallet as it’s not worth your life.

If you work downtown and have to get to your car after hours in a parkade or parking lot, ALWAYS have someone escort you. You want to keep yourself from becoming a target. Stay off streets that are deserted and have no traffic or people traveling on foot. If your car is quite a ways away, pay for a taxi to drive you there. It’s a small price to pay for your safety.

If you have no choice but to walk to your vehicle, before you leave the building, change your clothing into something that doesn’t attract attention to yourself and remove or hide costume jewelry. Hide the hot, tight skirt and cute shoes in a bag and put on track pants. Walk in sneakers as they are more comfortable and perfect for running if you need to. Slip on a big coat to hide your figure.

Don’t wear your hair in a ponytail as an attacker would have a firm grip on your hair if he were to grab you from behind. Better yet, put on a cap or hat. It’s better to look like a bum than a hot bombshell.

Hold an individual key in your hand and have it ready to jab at anyone if they were to jump on you. If you carry a purse, strap it on you under your coat; out of sight, out of mind. If you must carry a bag, hold it in the hand opposite the street. Walk near the curb, away from doorways and shrubbery, unless there are vehicles parked along the road. Never assume that all parked vehicles are empty.

If you suspect that you may be followed, cross the street and do not duck into dark alleys or a building. You want to stay out in the open where you can be seen.

If you think that a vehicle might be following you, turn in the opposite direction and continue walking. Get the license plate number and write it on the back of your hand or even on the sidewalk (a lipstick will work).

Walk with a purpose in your step and keep an eye out for anyone approaching you. If someone were walking towards you, look them in the eye and hold eye contact as they pass. You will look confident and powerful with this attitude, and you are less likely to be messed with.

As you near your car, peek in the front and backseat to make sure nobody is crouched and hiding inside. Slip inside and immediately lock your doors.

If you find a van parked next to your car, enter your car through the passenger side. Serial killers pull women into their vans while their victim is getting into their car. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was well educated and good looking. He played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women by walking with a limp and a cane, and by asking his victims for help into his car.

 

What to Do In Case of an Attack

In case of an attack, do everything in your power to get away and out of his grip. Scream, hit, kick, and scratch like a cat. Don’t back down and reason, cry, plead, or try to buy yourself out of a situation. Don’t let yourself be pulled into a vehicle, into a building, or around a building. Stay where others can see you and drop to the ground if you have to in order to keep him from hauling you away.

If the attacker says to you, “If you scream, I’ll kill you,” do the opposite and start screaming. You want to create chaos and ruin his plans. I put my daughter into a kid’s safety course when she was very young and they taught the youngsters to scream the word “FIRE!” instead of “HELP.” I learned that people respond to fire more than help if anyone were to hear you.

Don’t hesitate to use your elbows to defend yourself, as they are the strongest bones in the body. Kick the attacker in the groin or knees, or go for his eyes with your fingers or a car key. You are fighting for your life and you have one chance to do it, so don’t panic—aim and hit hard!

If you have a bag or purse in your hand, swing it with all your might and hit him as hard as you can. If your attacker were to choke you out or get your hands tied, it is unlikely that you will make it out of this situation alive. If he asks for your wallet or purse, don’t hand it to him. Throw it away from you and then run in the opposite direction. He’ll be more interested in your purse or wallet than you.

If you get into your vehicle and find someone pointing a gun at your head, do NOT drive off if he asks you. Slam the gas pedal with your foot and smash the car into anything. Your airbag will protect you and as soon as the car comes to a stop, jump out and run. He will get the worst of it.

If the creep has a gun and doesn’t have a hold on you, run in a zig-zag pattern.

 

Some Self Defense Moves

Although the following are moves that may help if an attacker gets hold of you, do yourself a big favor and invest the time and money to take a self defense course to learn the proper techniques from a professional. Practice of this kind is needed so that you get your body used to how quickly it needs to react in an attack and with what amount of force. One day it may come in handy and could save your life.

•  Clap/smack your hands against the attacker’s ears hard and quickly! It can cause him enough pain to release you and give you a chance to run!

•  Karate-chop him in the throat.

•  Gouge his eyes with your fingers. This move can be done if the attacker surprises you from behind. Pull your arms up and over your head and behind you.

•  If you’re attacked from behind, spin around and strike with your fist into the pelvis (below the stomach and hip bone). If you hit hard enough, it can be fractured as it is a very vulnerable area.

•  If you’re attacked at close range, like a stairwell, pull the attacker closer to you so that you can reach with your thumb, middle finger, and index finger and squeeze his throat (trachea). This can cause damage, so only do this move in the event of an emergency.

•  Look into learning Krav-maga. This is a fighting style that can be picked up very fast. It teaches you to hit an attacker in vulnerable areas whether you are smaller in size than him or you are outnumbered.

•  I’ve heard Bas Rutten, the MMA fighter, comment that if you find yourself in a bad situation where you’ve got a drunken person who tries swinging at you, bend over quickly and pull his legs out from under him. Alcohol dulls a person’s senses where his thinking is slowed down and this will give you time to get away. A woman may have more trouble than a man with this move as she does have less strength.

 

A note about car alarms…

You can ask to see if it is a possibility to have your car alarm programmed so that when you press the button on your wireless remote once, it will unlock the driver’s door only. Pressed twice, it will unlock all four. Rod informed me that the newer Toyota vehicles have this feature, but some of the after-market alarms MAY have it as well. This is a great feature to have when you need to quickly and safely slip into your vehicle at any time of the day without anyone surprising you by hopping into any one of the other doors.

Some alarms have a “Panic” button on the wireless remote. Pressed once, it turns the car alarm on. It is another great feature to have if you want to bring attention upon yourself or your vehicle. If someone were to jump on you by your car, the button is pressed and it startles your attacker and may give you or him a chance to flee. To turn the alarm off, press unlock.

 

Your Safety While Driving Home After a Shift

Driving home is another thing to be aware of. Always be aware of anyone following you, whether you just finished a day-or night shift. Some people are mentally unstable as you will find from reading the various stories throughout my book. I have been lucky through all my years of working at the bar; I haven’t encountered too many problems, but I am aware of the possibilities every time I drive home. Once someone knows where I live, I would be very uncomfortable for the safety and invasion of privacy for my family and myself.

If you drive home late at night, try to get into the habit of stopping to fill up on gas during daylight instead of late at night. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order by keeping up with regular oil changes and tune ups.

Keep your car in gear as you wait at red lights. If you feel threatened, hit the horn and as soon as it is safe, drive away.

If you know that you are being followed by someone in another vehicle, do not drive home. Write down the license plate number if you can and drive to the police station or an open business where there are people. If you have a cell phone, call the police while you’re driving.

If you happen to get into an accident on your drive home late at night, do not get out of your car unless the area is lit up and other people are there! I’ve heard of stories where a vehicle “bumps” into another one, the victim jumps out to survey the damage to her car, and she gets attacked. Stay in your vehicle with the doors locked and call the police. If your cell phone is dead, crack your window open and ask the other party to call the police. Rather be safe than sorry!

I came upon a really good article while surfing the web and I wanted to share it. It’s called, On Safety of Sex Workers, Police Indifference, Creepy Strip Club Clients, and Robert Pickton. 

 

Do you have anything you would like to add? Perhaps a tip, some advice or a story…

 

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