This is my last Halloween story, gruesome true stories from my 13 years of running bars.
This last one is one that looking back, makes me realise what a good manager I was. Not going to go into the analysis of why this will be something I teach future generations of managers – I’ll save that for another post!
For today as it’s Halloween, I’m going to share the disgusting story this is…
The Tale of the Magic Mess.
I’m sure at some point Facebook will remind me of this incident but looking back now I can’t remember what time of year it was, I know I definitely updated my Facebook status when we got home.
The night-club that I ran for 7 years (MY nightclub) was part of an entertainment complex. Several bars backed onto each other, all patrolled by central security and general maintenance taken care of by the centre. So whenever something broke down, we’d always try our best to make out it was a central problem so that we could avoid the contractor charge.
They rarely co-operated with us and we often ended up paying because we didn’t want our place to be a shithole (pun intended – you’ll see why by the end…)
We had a manhole in our disabled toilet which we had paid for several call out charges for over the years because other people in the block we constantly blocking the drain by putting chip fat and various rubbish down the drains.
It pissed us off because we didn’t sell food so it definitely wasn’t our fat! We didn’t put food packaging and various other miscellaneous items down the drains either but we ended up paying for the repairs because the manhole was in our venue and we were responsible for maintaining it.
After a few callouts it often became a case of “Oh well it’s the drain again” if there was a blockage or smell or whatever and generally we’d get through the weekend and get it fixed Monday morning.
That fateful night…
However, on one particular night things didn’t go to plan.
My assistant called me in to let me know there was a leak coming from the disabled toilet. This had gone too far now, we don’t usually get to the leaky stage.
Leak was perhaps a less accurate description of the flood that poured out when we opened the door!
We waded in and attempted to frantically shovel shit yes literally. You guessed it, this manhole was overflowing big time. Every time somebody flushed a toilet more water bubbled up like some weird witches cauldron.
I always had good teams and within record timing we all mucked in (loving the wordplay here) and somehow solved the shitty problem.
My assistant and various team members were shovelling shit, my doorman had cordoned off half the club like a dramatic crime scene, other staff members used their initiative to run upstairs and open the bar and other door staff were directing people up there. I used to hire a magician and he happened to be passing by that night (not working) but he went upstairs and entertained my customers in the ‘refugee camp’ helping us salvage the night and keep our customers.
In this time I had managed to summon an out of hours plumber, pulling out all of my best damsel in distress lines to ensure he left the office NOW! And within about 45 minutes the plumber had been and gone and we’d cleaned the shit up and carried on with the night as if nothing happened.
It turned out it wasn’t next doors chip fat causing our broth of shit and used sanitary napkins, it was would you believe – ‘general wear and tear’. A piece of brick had flaked off and blocked the pipe. It was a case of wiggling a stick around, dislodging it and watching the witches brew drain into hell for all eternity.
The killer returns…
As with all horror stories, there has got to be one returning scare. Some time later, I forget exactly how much – the brew starting bubbling again. This time I was on it – my DJ and regular lifted up the drain for me and I stuck a broom down there and killed it. Boom.
Now this is a private joke for any of my old team reading this… If you are faced with a flood, don’t forget your coat.