Monthly Archives: March 2014
Upside Down/ Inside Out
I was thinking of what to blog about this week, and as I was working a coat had come to coat check by it’s owner upside down and inside out.
And, right then and there I thought to myself this is was going to be the Upside down/inside out blog.
For whatever reason(s) and there are probably many, people giving up their coats always put their personal instructions when they submit them or questions.
Then there are the ones who just have to get out of their coat who come up to you and have not shed it from their bodies yet.
I find that 2 out of 20 people hand in their coats this way.
It’s the insta strip, the attempt to grab the necessities from the pockets. This is done in such a hurry the the coat check person will get the coat upside down and
definitely inside out. People! I am speaking for myself This is sooooo annoying. My personal philosophy is that if you had me your coat that way then, I’m going to hang it that way. And sometimes I do.
Why is this such an annoyance? Well, the next step in the process is the hanging part. First off, the last thing any coat checker wants to do is turn your coat to the right side it should be hanging. We don’t know you. and don’t want to experience your personal parts of your coat especially when you have just removed it from your person.
Your dealing with a whole lot of factors here: body heat, smell (which is another blog to itself), and let me be super blunt. It just feels GROSS to rearrange and pull out a sleeve especially when the patron doesn’t have the best hygiene and you just know it.
Oh patrons… don’t be fooled we will take your coat and check it for a price.. but you will leave a coat checker with a lasting impression. And whatever that impression is trust me it’s not going to be favorable.
It doesn’t take very long for you to submit your coat the right side up. I imagine at the most 15 seconds. 15 seconds to do something the RIGHT way. I wonder if it takes that long to do anything the right way or at least start the process. People, I implore you take the extra time for yourself. It builds character and will not make your label yourself unnecessarily; you know your the person at the party with the lampshade on their head.
It’s another lesson to the beat of a cool song. Something sassy and constructive.
At the same time I could hear Diana Ross in the background singing her famous hit too.
Music Wise This week was really fun.
Carcass is on tour check it out! They have a new release out 2014 haven’t done one since 1996, so you metal heads GO!
Rockets from The Crypt had a really fun show too rocked peoples face off!
And Crosses actually the band has the symbol for their name, look it up.
Until Next Time,
It’s always interesting to meet people, especially if they share a commonality with you like a job. In the past few months I have been running into others
that work in the world of coat check. Other coat checkers out in the vast sea of clubs and parties. And having a conversation with them is always so engaging and such a great pow wow. Conversations of coat check are some of the most entertaining ones you’ll ever hear. There is the collective thought of the whole process, the discussions about the personalities that pop up. The sharing of how I run my coat check….there is the affirmation of Yes! I have experienced that.
This is totally relatable; imagine when you are out, and you happen to find out what someone does for a living and you have the same job. It’s the recognition and you saying hey I do that too where at…? It then is a personal connection and a sense of camaraderie a conversation that quickly evolves from topic to topic. It’s totally exciting, and just another slice of life moment.
And I am PROUD to announce that I am branching out people! and really excited. In the next few weeks I CHECK MY COAT is going to be audible.
I am proud to announce an audible Interviews. A new component to my blog: CHECK MY COAT
I am going to be interviewing my fellow coat checkers. Which will be a coat check series of interviews by sought out coat checkers – ( I have been connected with, who have been there working while history was going down) It will be an adventure and totally entertaining.
And trust me that is just the tip of the ice berg. I got big plans in the up and coming Blogs to come and can’t wait for you to hear them
I would also like to say thanks to all the people who have subscribed to this blog and have told their friends.
Till Next Week,
YOUTUBE VIDEO CREDIT : PAPERGIRL
This weeks blog is dedicated to those big personalities that an entrance.
It’s takes the right combination but there are some shows that just bring out the best personalities.
There are those moments where you get that special personality that leaves a great impression. Like on a recent coat check night, I happened to be working, I had the most charismatic person come to check in their coat.
First off I was totally caught off guard, and then at the same time was suddenly feeling like I was at a comedy show. It happened to be this young guy in his mid twenties, and obviously he knows how to use the coat check.
He proceeded to say that he was an avid coat checker when he goes out and that he was not prepared because he had some stuff in his pockets he needed. Nobody was in line behind him so no rush. He proceed to bust out this jargon you’d here a magician say.
In this pocket I have my ……. , and then he started to unzip his jacket and turned shyly and was like now this is not for the kids to see. By this point I was like cracking up and to myself was is this person a performer. Regardless, I was totally entertained. You never know who is going to walk up and drop off a coat.
And there were some other personalities that night that were really stellar too.. just people asking how I was doing? being really genuine and grateful. I even had one guy bow when he picked up his coat. It was one of those nights where the personalities made the night a memorable one.
And this week is St. Patrick’s Day weekend. I want to wish everyone a memorable St. Patrick’s Day, have a great time and be safe out there. Forget about your worries this is the perfect weekend and holiday night to really use the coat check and cabs and car services.
Smile! Charm! Love!
Late Night Lines? What kind of lines… I can just imagine it now the concept running through your neurotic minds. Let’s scale this all back and go simple.
Or … if your reading my blog then of course I am referring to the COAT CHECK LINE.
Yes, another line you can add to the lines that you will wait in your life time.
How long does the average American spend in their lifetime waiting in lines?
The average person spends approximately an hour a day waiting in line, which totals to about 2 to 3 years in a lifetime.
Yes I did throw that internet crazy statistic at you all.
So there are a few factors to you being in a long line at the end of the night.
Blame the band or show… yes the popularity of the band/ show that night is so bomb that everyone and their mama showed up with a coat. That is a good thing you can then throw out other connecting lines to the people in front or in back of you. And make some friends get some numbers… don’t be shy.
You decided to do the whole show with the encore.. for those who stay and stand in line with a great attitude I salute you. You SHOULD enjoy the whole show, after all you paid for it. And if its a band or something that you have wanted to see for a long time then screw your companion or friends they want to leave early.. Let them stand in line alone and get their shit. It’s funny to me that the individuals who require a companion or need groupage.. (a new word) can’t do anything alone. “What will happen to me if I wait in the coat check line by myself?” My advice is just don’t take a drink from a stranger that looks douchy. This year I am telling people to DO YOU! Enjoy yourself because you work hard and you gotta play hard.
You are in Line because you are not a line cutter
You got caught trying to go right to the front and the coat checker told you that there is a line and you have to get into it before they get you your coat. The checker or security guard is just regulating and being fair. FAIR..? Yes, FAIR. Is there such a thing to the line cutters of America?, ( No ) but to the rest of us people we have to acknowledge and be grateful that the coat checker/ security has our back. It’s really messed up to see a person just cut or expect to cut when you have been putting your time in. I am a Portlandia Fan and there is a funny episode that totally goes there and here is the link http://www.ifc.com/portlandia/videos/portlandia-brunch-village .. it’s Season 2 Ep. 10 you have to watch the whole thing. I tried to find the clip to show you all but no dice so DIY it. It’s so worth it.
You are the friend who see’s your friend inline and does the line cutter roll- up. This is no better. These types of people both suck. Here is my advice… ASK! ask the people behind you if you can cut. Plead your line cutter case.. if it’s an honest one then people will usually be okay with it. Like, my friend is hella drunk and just puked.. do you all mind if I can go ahead of you? Conversation heals the nation.. WERD!
You are in line and at the very end because YOU LOST YOUR ticket. And yes, you are the special person that must wait to the very end or when there is no one in line to retrieve your item. Don’t expect the coat check person to go through every coat to find yours. When there are about 100 people behind you. You know you should have been a lot more clever and more attentive to where your ticket has been. Chalk this line up to a LIFE LESSON. Or heads up I’m not all there when I party so I’ll be smart and take a picture of it on my phone. And, if you are told to get into the back of the line, don’t bitch. Yes, you maybe upset but take that verbal spew cuss words and use them on yourself. Nothing like the drunk/semi drunk/ entitled spiel: it’s the black one, the one that has the rip in the pocket, do you know who I am, don’t you remember me, I tipped already.. blah, blah, blah. People: that does nothing except make you look like an ASSHOLE. Take it down a 1000 and just be chill.
Magic of the line
And let’s end on a positive line experience, you never know who will cross your path. It could be someone from the band since you had to pick up your coat last. You may have that fate encounter with that special person. The universe puts you in the situations that you are supposed to be in, so use the force. Good things come to those who wait.
Until next time..
Now the video above is the perfect introduction to this week’s coat check blog.. PreProduction or being PREPARED is where it’s at.
It’s pretty common knowledge that the more prepared one is the better the outcome/ success of any job is more of a likelihood.
Usually when I prepare for a shift in the coat check I go through my own personal prep, and then once I am in the venue I go through another prep of my coat check.
Since I most of my shifts tend to be at night and start around 7pm, my day prep is key. Here are just a few..
I revert to my usual necessities:
–to be well rested : Sleep and rest is key with odd night hours and day hours it’s important to get your ZZZzzzs, or if you can’t sleep take short naps. I find I usually respond to a nap before I go to work so I’ll take an afternoon snooze I usually try to nap for 20-30 mins.
I try and do a mental rest too, what that means to me is doing other things that add to my quality of life. Like getting a massage or my nails done.
-make sure I have the right balance of food and that I have hit the gym : This is so important. You need to be feeling good and not stiff. You can’t stretch enough and doing some cardio and some weights or going outside for a walk for peace of mind is the best thing you can do for yourself everyday. You don’t have to do a lot to make yourself feel good.. 20-30 mins will get you going.
I tend to make sure I have something to eat at least an hour before I get to the venue, what I have been really into lately is having a power meal with the food that won’t make you feel like a sluggish. And I have been into juicing so I have been powering up with all kinds of concoctions but always making sure to put some ginger in that batch that is the key to energy city for me.
–make sure I get my outfit together : I tend to have a busy schedule and sometimes I don’t have the energy to prepare but I always do have an idea of what pieces go together, plus what is cool is that I can always count on wearing the hoodie that has the venue logo. Making sure that I personally have black liquid eyeliner , it seems to be my go to cosmetic item I use the most is in my makeup arsenal. For more formal events that does require a 24 hour prep schedule. Most private events want you to wear a certain color; usually black. And there is formal black and casual black.
– Have somewhat of an idea of the show/event I am working. As a rule of thumb this is really important you want to know what band/artist/event/show etc. you are working. This will give you a sense of the crowd. Also you do want to check out youtube or their personal website to hear what they sound like. Believe me the audience is so different in so many ways, mainly what kind of attire does this crowd tend to identify with. For example, you work a Reggae show. Now this crowd tends to favor having backpacks, oversized sweatshirts, coats, and will have all kinds of trinkets in their pockets. It’s an extremely positive friendly crowd but can be forgetful.When your dealing with the Country music crowd; the outfits change and you will definitely see a lot of vintage coats, vests, cowboy hats, leather pieces, denim, gloves. This crowd is a great crowd, they like to have a few drinks too so they end up being friendly/ sloppy which is great for the tips.
Also, you want to have an idea of the band’s top hit a least if you engage in a conversation about the band and you can be honest and say, I did check out their video can’t wait to see them live. Or think to yourself I heard this song online and it’s the hit so maybe you can gage how their set is going. Lastly, it helps because you do know enough and be social and that just adds to your knowledge, and your attitude about the show. And attitude is what’s going to fill that tip jar. We all have our off nights, but seriously you don’t want to be a bitchy coat checker people can pick up on that so if your in a mood change that tude! and practice smiling it’s good for your face and your tude, and chatting someone else up usually does the trick. After all folks we are social beings..we need to interact. Also a good work trick is to put oneself in work mode and get the job done, and most of the time people just want to be acknowledged, so greetings, compliments, and conversation totally make or break your night. After all working in the coat check is a SUPER social job, and the energy to output is what makes people respond. Finish your shift! and Finish Strong and with Tips!
And Last but not least, talking with your house manager or the box office is key as well. You always want to ask about how the show/event was selling and what the expected attendance will be. That way you can do some quick thinking and set up all your hangers and racks and guesstimate what you may be checking. Be smart and work efficiently.
There will be a Part II of this Blog on Pre-Production, until next time.