Ah, venue coat check. Utterly necessary if you want to stay comfortable at your gig of choice -- and totally undervalued by almost everyone. A few years ago, I worked coat check in Slim's. It was a wonderful venue to work at with a fantastic staff and a delicious kitchen, but being a coat check attendant there -- while fun on occasion -- provided me with an insight into humanity that I didn't necessarily need. Here's how to use coat check at a music venue without being a total douche (seriously, kids, it's not that hard).
Remember: Coat Check Attendants Are Not Idiots
Every so often at the coat check, guys in pastel-colored shirts show up
with dates wearing diamonds and proceed to talk down to you, apparently to (A) make
themselves feel more important, (B) impress their dates by
demonstrating what a total douche they can be, and (C) try and reduce
the insecurity they feel about the size of their penis. If you are that
douche, please take note: coat check attendants aren't bums who dropped
out of school and do this for a living. They're people who need to make
some money on the side, probably while they're halfway through their
astrophysics degree. Do not talk to them like they're five-year-olds
with learning difficulties.
If You Don't Wanna Pay For It, Don't Bring Your Skateboard
a skateboard to a show seems like a bafflingly inconvenient decision as
it is, but when you do that and the venue tells you that you have to put
your deck in the coat check for safety reasons, it doesn't mean that
the venue is going to pay for that. So when you get downstairs, with a
beer in your hand, pass over your beloved wheels, and announce that you
"have no money" (we can see the beer in your hand, dude!), it means that
we don't really feel like taking
care of your property. When you start talking about how un-punk rock
having to pay is, coat check ears stop working. Just an FYI.
check is in the basement. So are the backstage rooms. The two entities
are separated from one another only by a heavy door that is clearly
being ALARMED. When you ask the person in coat check if this is true,
they are going to point in the direction of the sign and nod sullenly
because they are asked this nightly and it is beyond irritating at this
point. So, consider this, young, overenthusiastic fan kids -- even if
check folk magically got you through that door, what would you do once
you got to the other side,
exactly? Watch the band eat and check their email, that's what. Now calm
down, go back upstairs and watch the music.
Dear Hippies, Tipping Wouldn't Kill You
a cruel twist, the shows that hippies attend also happen to the ones
that go on for the longest. Since coat check folk are not usually paid hourly, jam band night is frequently a painful exercise. Add to that the fact that we don't make any money when no one is hanging anything up, and then consider the fact that hippies don't hang anything up (ever), and you've got a dire night all in all. Your rail stays empty and sad-looking as the be-dreadlocked masses simply tie all their clothing to themselves or their backpacks. On
occasion, a backpack gets too heavy and they'll put that in coat check, but, just to add insult to injury, they
usually give you exact change and then don't tip. You people are supposed to
be about caring for your fellow man! A 50-cent tip would not upset the
balance of the universe (neither would a dollar). Oh, and P.S., your backpack smells.