It’s not just for coats…

Most people come to coat check to check their coats, but did you know that coat check can store other items as well.
At least 1-2 times a shift I always get asked . ” Do you take bags?” and the answer is YES! As of late I have been seeing other items being checked in.
Bags, Luggage, Backpacks, and shoes.
Depending on how the coat check is styled out, most coat checks will have an area to put items that cannot be hung. The few coat checks that I work in have built in shelf cubbies.
These cubbies are outfitted against the wall. When a hanger is not tough enough, or the item is way too heavy for a hanger I utilize the cubby. The cubbies are a perfect place for someone checking in multiple items,
a group of friends that have multiple items. Any med to large purse will be well kept for the night.
 I did work a few shows that started early and people where coming from work. So I was checking in laptop bags, backpacks.
Other necessary oddities that patrons bring are signs that are made by fans, gift bags for birthday parties, skateboards, canes, bike wheels, motorcycle helmets, and merch bought from the band.
A coat check should always take the items you want to check in. If you are unsure just ask.
And remember the larger or heavier the item, you should definitely leave a tip for your coat checker after all they are not the TSA, but you will definitely be hands free for the night, and you don’t have to worry about misplacing or getting your stuff stolen.

Until next time,

LGOYW

Advertisements

Wire Hangers the drama!

The coat check would not be a coat check without the number one tool needed and that is this week’s spotlight the ” Wire Hanger” and the many uses. I have a dark hanger story to share, especially on this Easter Day Blog.
I was thinking of different topics to blog about and I had a childhood memory surface; kinda crazy and haphazard but it got me thinking.
I must have been a preteen in the mid eighties, and my mom had her own chair at a local beauty parlor. The day had been steady with people coming and going, and towards the end of the day about 15 minutes till closing time, this crazy meth head creep walks in and all the ladies in the shop were startled, and thank God that the owners husband was in the back.

Now, that I am an adult.. and hindsight is 20/20; the dude was obviously on drugs.

But, he comes in the shop walking fast and was like..”Do you have a  wire hanger?” I locked my keys in my car? and the shop keeper ended up having a wire hanger visible on a tv, and just gave him another one.  I just remembered that he was given a wire hanger and right in the middle of this small shop he unravelled it so fast and straightened it, it got all the ladies really upset and scared. I was freaked out, and there was this uncomfortable vibe, I got up and  told my mom I was going next door. The shop owners husband came out from the back and was watching the dude but it got all the people in the shop freaked out. It was 3 beauticians, cleaning up shop for the night.
Later on my mom was like it was good you made a move to leave it cut through the weirdness. I told her that I was freaked out and thought something was going to happen. She shared the same thought. I was sure relieved that nothing happened that would have been crazy. ” Hair salon” held up by Meth freak with a wire hanger”
The memory of a wire hanger is this story for me.. followed by the famous line from Mommy Dearest ” No Wire Hangers”

However in thing of the uses a wire hangers has there are many possibilities
giving a whoopin’, using the length to reach something in a tight area, jimmying a car to unlock it, freakin’ people out, creating some type of wire art, I have seen people make wire street art.

I only see wire hangers these days when dry cleaning is involved. I guess there is a place for wire hangers still. Some wire hangers have made it into my coat check, but we really don’t use them. Usually, they are what catering companies use to bring in large table clothes or uniforms that get left behind.
The main reason why I don’t use them is that they buckle under pressure of larger coats.

 

This week was so kick ass in terms of concerts

Willie Nelson.. new CD out Roll me up and Smoke me when I die

Queens of the Stone Age.. On tour now with new CD

Motorhead.. OMG this show blew my mind! I am still freaking out on the 10 minute drum solo.. Micky D!

 

Wire hangers.. who knew they were so dramatic!

Until Next time,

LGOYW

 

 

$2 for Peace of Mind

For as long as I have done coat check, it’s not only the coats that get checked in. People will bring other things to the coat check just to be hands free.
Hence, this weeks blog of bags, and boards.
Bags are the #2 mostly checked item. The first question I get from a person who wants to check in a bag is. “Do you take bags/purses?” The answer to that is YES!
If it’s tag able, it’s checkable!  I have seen it all from the mini sized bag to an enormous camper’s backpack., and everything in between.
There are plus points to checking in your bag. First off, the cost is the same of checking coat. This gives the patron a place to put their top layer if it fits in the bag. A lot of people do this, that way you are only paying for signal coat check ticket. ( Remember) to take everything that you will need! This is because if you show up to the window and ask for your bag again because you forgot your lipgloss or credit card, you will have to recheck your item.
Now, I get it your probably not digging the idea of a repull, but there is a method to this madness. When a show is busy and/or sold out, you can only imagine that the coat check will absorb. Out of 600 patrons at a show, out of those 600 I will check between 80-200 coats/bags or more. And when a patron comes, and wants one or a few items from their bag, the coat checker must retrieve the bag and issue back to the customer.
A few factors come into play here:  
#1 By the time you find what you are looking for, the coat checker is already on another claim number to be issued in the proper numerical sequence. It may not be hitting home from the customer’s point of view but, consecutive numerical order is important to the coat checker because everything needs to be in a numerical sequence that is how we find your items.
By doing a repull, the order of how we have coats hung and put away gets altered and this can really effect the big line at the end for pickup. Especially, if there is a large attendance number.
#2 Is there a line behind this customer who just wants lone thing? If there is a line, the coat checker has to keep it moving and cannot wait for you to dig through your purse with 20 people standing behind you. Really~
#3 Lastly, asking for a repull to put more items in your bag because your friend got there late, will be considered an automatic repull. I have run into this on occasion. And it’s usually,  patrons who don’t usually use coat check and don’t know what the rules, or are doing this on purpose, because they are cheap ,and trying to be coy to the coat check signs that post the cost. Note: To the people who do this… As a coat checker I am right in front of you,  and I see what you are doing, you want to avoid paying again. Duh! I wasn’t born yesterday. These special people automatically crown themselves as douches, and trust me it’s a guaranteed repull fee.

Boards.. Skate boards that is.. Short, Long, Retro. It’s a common club policy to be escorted by club security to the coat check because skateboards are not allowed on the floor or in the main areas when a show is happening.
-it’s dark and sometimes you can’t really see the floor
-someone who is drunk may try to ride the skateboard and that is a big accident
-if there is a bar fight, you don’t want a skateboard lying around because it can be used to inflict injury
-if you leave it in the corner unattended someone could steal it, and that would suck

Do yourself the biggest favor just pay the nominal $2 and have peace of mind for the entire night.
Coat checks are different all over and have different rules, just talk to your coat check person upfront and ask about repulls, and what their policy is on repulls. They may be cool enough to do it once for you but don’t assume you can keep showing up multiple times during the night to reapply your lipstick.
And with all these requests, leave tips it shows gratuity and that you actually know your coat check P’s and Q’s.

Until Next Time,
LGOYW

First Time

I was thinking about the stuff I did in my teens and my early 20’s, and life just seemed to have picked up at around the age of 15 for me. That was because I knew that I was going be able to find  a new sense of freedom, getting a license and getting a car.
My earliest night club memories were at an under age club you had to be 16 to get in. It was called the Amazon in Sacramento I think it was around 1992ish. We would hit up some club nights on a Friday or Saturday night and attended their Goth night where you’d hear Souxsie and The Banshees, The Cure, Morrissey, KMFDM etc. we be hopped up on sodas and dance until 1am.
Fast Forward … I think my first official coat check was at a rave. in the early 1990’s; I don’t remember the particulars of the party but what I do remember is that there was a make shift area in a giant warehouse that smelled like Nag Champa, and a girl with red curly hair with a big hat that covered her red curls. She was checking coats, bags, and whatever else. I think coat check was about $5.  I paid her my $5, and there went my bag that I didn’t want to deal with.  I did get a claim number.  I did have a couple of questions, Thankfully, I ran into another person and got the skinny. But, like every newbie I did go through the usual questions: Will my bag be safe? Is this person going to be here all night? What happens if …. ?
But in these situations, you learn quick and get back to the dance floor.
Back in the day if you forgot something in your pockets or bag, that was considered a REPULL and you’d just had to repay for it, unless you had the hookup. I guess what I am trying to convey is that when I was with my friends the experience of going out was not only for entertainment, but it also taught me some “going out” skills. I was so lucky to have moved into a household with people who were at least 3-5 years older than me, and to have an older group of friends. I was the baby in the group, and just hanging out with them I learned my social etiquette. I learned how to go out. Which means learning the process of how to order a drink at the bar, how to check my coat in coat check, and how to leave tips.

This week in coat check sparked my trip down memory lane, because I did have a couple of first time coat check patrons. They were super nice people, and what was really cool was they let me know that this was their first experience doing coat check. I could tell they were curious, and attentive and wanted to know the deal.
I gave them a quick recap of how coat check works. I went through the entire process with them. It was really a reciprocal moment. I was so glad to inform them, and give them a base experience. Basically adding to their knowledge of going out, and introducing them to the world of coat check. In the big picture of things it was a quality moment for patron and coat checker.
Working in coat check, I do notice there is a disconnect these days when people go out. It seems like everyone is having a first time (constantly) .. or has not been clued in on how to do something properly. My suggestion is:  Ask your questions, with a smile.

I was so truly lucky to have experienced so many life lessons and memories with quality people who taught me how to go out. This weeks blog is dedicated to the shared experience and making memories.

 

“There is a first time for everything; a life moment that you will remember and pass on.
Some moments are much more larger than others,no doubt some are so micro mini that you may dismiss them, hold on to the quality of the feeling and pass it on. ” ~S

Until next time,
LGOYW