It’s been a long time since I was able to go out dancing, drinking, and just hanging out with friends in a nightclub atmosphere. I’ve changed a lot of my old habits into more productive activities, so the idea of “clubbing” was somewhat foreign to me now. However, after being offered an opportunity to celebrate my birthday with twenty of my friends, I was convinced that it couldn’t be so bad after all. I figured I’ve changed, matured, and became very different than what I used to be, perhaps the nightclub scene has also developed into something much more than what it used to be. The promoter that hooked me up was often very polite initially, so I was pretty excited to experience a birthday celebration that would prove my ill feelings about nightclub life wrong, contradicting my former beliefs that it’s messy, unorganized, and often a waste of hard-earned money.
The following recap is not intended to provoke chaos, but to communicate why I can’t deal with the environment that is a nightclub. Salute to those hard working people that provide for their families day in and day out, from the work that they do in nightclubs. I have respect for anyone that could tolerate drunken people, noise, smoke, and sloppy mommies three nights a week, but I don’t believe I’m built that way. Nevertheless, if the scene suddenly transformed into something more systematized and of reasonable value, then I would most likely like to experience that transformation, but I doubt that it can do that overnight.
When you imagine the nightclub scene, you imagine you and a few of your friends dressing up and partying among grown up individuals to the latest music and some great drinks. You don’t imagine being treated as if you’re lucky that you get to stand in line for twenty minutes in the cold and then squeezed into a corner of the room like you’re insignificant. There is a certain level of customer service that I believe should be involved in every aspect of business, whether is entertainment or retail. I am paying for a service (or in this case it was offered to me complimentary) and also paying for drinks (which, let’s be clear… were so watered down that they should have been complimentary). I also invited a large group of people to experience this with me. These people, like me, aren’t too impressed with the nightclub lifestyle either, however they made it out on my behalf. It’s embarrassing to explain that you are going to participate in something that you haven’t done in over four years, with the hope that it has improved, when in reality it hasn’t at all. I was so ashamed and humiliated. Here is a list of reasons why I am not about that “Club life”:
There is No Full Disclosure
When someone contacts you to let you know that they intend on offering you an opportunity to celebrate your birthday with twenty of your closest friends and family in the club, they probably should tell you that this does not include a section for all those people to sit. How can I invite twenty people (I actually invited thirty) and not have a place to house them throughout the evening. Imagine all of your guest floating around looking for you in a crowd of hundreds of people in the dark. I learned that there is a difference between VIP and a birthday list. A birthday list is literally… nothing. You just got to the club super early, that’s not a special situation.
Suggestion: A full disclosure would have been awesome. When inquiring about the details, it would have been nice to know that the option of purchasing a VIP section was on the table. It would have been nice to know how the seating for my guest was going to work out. It’s embarrassing to have representatives from the local radio stations, businesses, and artist treated like they were insignificant. The devil is in the details, put everything on the table upfront in order to avoid confusion and commotion the night of.
Treated Like Your Money Isn’t Green
We want to buy drinks and food, like any person who wants the full experience of the night. However, when the staff talks to you as if they would prefer you not even be there, it’s difficult to bring yourself to pulling those dollars out your pocket. I’m a sucker for the pleasantries and great customer service, I don’t care what your position is, and I tip. It’s not like I walked up, ready to turn up with my EBT card in the air. I feel that each person spending their money, time, and energy is valuable and essential to the success of business. If you are talking to me or my friends like you don’t like your job, I promise I won’t care about spending money with you ever again. I get that most of them deal with drunk and irrational people all night, but recognize that everyone isn’t like that. Some of us remember every detail of our evening in the morning, and it wasn’t pretty.
Suggestion: Train staff on customer service related issues, dealing with irate customers and clientele, and retention. Word of mouth is huge, and though there are some people who don’t care how you treat them, they just want to get drunk and party, realize that we all could do that in the comfort of our own homes for a fraction of the cost. It’s never that serious, especially when it’s a regular night and no celebrity in sight.
You Can Serve the Drinks to Your Kids
The drinks tasted and felt like they might have been ninety-five percent water and five percent alcohol. I kept ordering drinks, because I thought something was wrong with me. I’m a certified lightweight, I get drunk easily. However, after several failed drinks ordered, I gave up on the idea that I was going to get any type of satisfying beverage until I got home. Nevertheless, I saw girls having to hold other girls up, chicks were throwing up, and people were falling into bushes, so maybe my tolerance for alcohol was highly underestimated.
Suggestion: There is none. Since it is illegal for me to bring a flask into a nightclub establishment, which will compromise business operations, I suggest an impartial bartender who can make adequate drinks across the board.
Waiting In the Line for What?
So I was educated on the tactic that nightclubs use to get people from the street interested in the club, by having people waiting in line for a certain amount of time. The intention is to make it seem as if the club is jumping to those that are passing by. However, why use the people that reserved a celebration in advance? It’s a certain degree of annoying having to hop from one line to another, because it wasn’t explained that you don’t have a section. In addition, when you arrive, and you know there is no one in the club, the idea of waiting in the cold is a little bit more than disrespectful. Although it wasn’t very long for me, some of my guest (individuals who are important to me) had to wait longer than an hour to get in. Needless, people got sick and tired of waiting and some left without getting to see me.
Suggestion: On top of the separate lines, differentiating between VIP and “regular” admission, perhaps create another line for the birthday list people as well. I just feel that those that didn’t reserve space and time, should wait versus those that did. After all that promotion and support, the last thing anyone wants to do is wait in the cold.
I Got Molested!
As a grown woman, I firmly believe in the right to say when and where you want someone to touch you. I felt like I was in high school. Grown ass people sneaking and grabbing my butt, copping a feel and then when I turn around, no one was bold enough to own up to their sexual assault. I can’t stand that! That is probably the biggest reason, I don’t attend certain clubs. I don’t like the fact that people just run up behind you and start grinding on you, without so much as an invitation to the body party. I don’t know about other women, but I don’t want to twerk on people I don’t know. That’s just me. Needless to say, I preferred to spend my time in the corner I was sent to then to continue to be felt up by strangers, especially without my husband.
Suggestion: I can’t even think of one. That’s just common sense for the people there. This was in no way the fault of the club or promoters.
The circus at the end of the night, was the icing on the cake. I just wish that these people could see what they look like falling out of the club. It was a sight to see. Now, let’s be clear the night prior I had a similar experience while partying with Caucasian people. So this in no way, stands as an effort to defame black nightclubs. However, when a friend of mine points out the reasons why they don’t attend black clubs, I feel compelled to simply say… we can do better for ourselves. I believe we deserve it.
Overall, it all boils down to this… I am NOT about that life. The life of being treated as if I didn’t matter at all as a customer. I imagined me and my people coming into a beautifully designed nightclub (which it is, especially the Oyster Pearl Restaurant attached) to dance and parlay the night away. No friction. No drama. No mess. Although we made the best of it, I realize that I set my expectations too high. I’m not the kind of woman or business person to accept anything just because it was free. I don’t normally attend nightclub functions, so by stepping outside of my comfort zone, I afforded myself the opportunity to see just how much nothing has changed. Despite the promoter trying his best to accommodate me through our disconnect of what I thought I was getting and what I actually got (he really did try, and I appreciate that), I came to the conclusion that I’m just not that girl. My friends and I had a wonderful experience acting an impromptu karaoke session in the restaurant as another friend played the piano, all the while everyone else were turning up in the next room. We made the best out of a strangely uncomfortable situation, despite some bumps I don’t regret a thing. It’s the culture that I’m at odds with, not the businesses itself. I pray someone can restore my hope that we can have a fun, mature and classy nightlife scene.
In the end, people don’t know how you may react to the things you see or experience, therefore it’s always important to ensure that guest/clients are comfortable and enjoying themselves. This sets the standard between a basic night at a bar and an authentic nightclub experience. However, there will always be people that spend their money on whatever and ask no questions or raise no concerns, therefore settling for mediocrity and complaining amongst themselves. I appreciate the intention, but I can’t say that I had a good time at the clubs as much as we created a good time with what we had. I thank the promoter for doing what he could to accommodate my group. I suppose it’s just a sign of the times. Times that indicate that I want to experience a mature, sexy, atmosphere without the various that we came across. In the near future, I look forward to something new.
Because I know there are some people that may be in their feelings, I must reiterate that this is in no way a shot fired at anyone particular person. This is to communicate my experience and observations. I wish it was different, but I do understand that the first step is admitting it. I am willing to collaborate and work anyone interested in creating a positive transformation towards improving the experiences of others that have not come forward as of yet .