11-Jun-2016 (Sat)
Wherein there's a cavalcade of dumb.

We only had three people ask for refunds because of the bomb threat. Two of them said, "The street was closed, so we just went home." Ok, fair enough. But one of them said something like, "You can't expect me to RISK MY LIFE!!" Seriously? I mean, even discounting the fact that being in a car is just about the most dangerous thing you could possibly do, do you know when the last time a bomb actually exploded in San Francisco was? I didn't, so I looked it up: I think it was the SFPD Park Station bombing in 1970 -- which is before the majority of our customers' parents were born. The last one before that might have been 1916. So think about that next time you notice all those expensive-looking trucks and robots and automatic weapons the bomb squad has, I guess. Who profits from your fear?

This is also dumb: I thought I'd share this status report from one of my managers from a few weeks ago:

REDACTED quit yesterday because of her torn ligament (also known as a hangover) rather than coming in, and then posted pics from the How Weird street fair.

REDACTED didn't come in because he was "sick" after getting off early Saturday night and spending all night at Bootie, drunk.

New guy yesterday got a call from another job offer and took it before clock-in for his first shift.

REDACTED decided that after his third shift, he should take acid, got booted, and then texted me hours later some crazy shit and that he woke up in the custody of a pair of paramedics.

REDACTED's third shift, she decided that flour on her clothes and bag was too much, threw fits all day, and will be joining the "graduated" employees this week.

And this was just a 24 hour period.

This is also dumb: Like all right-thinking people, I hate Yelp with the heat of a thousand suns, but I do still read our reviews there, mostly for shits and giggles. It does occasionally give me a barometer onto when it's time to remind the staff, "You have to say no more politely", but that's about it. Anyway, lately just about every Yelp review we have says, "SOMEONE STOLE MY PHONE! ONE STAR!!"

Like, how the fuck is that my fault?

These girls come to Bootie with their purses flapping in the wind, some Oliver Twist wannabe lifts their phone, and they go to Coat Check to freak out. "Oh, that's awful. We'll let you know if someone turns it in." But that's not enough, I guess? We should do more rending of garments and gnashing of teeth? We should be so sympathetic for their loss that we just hand them $600 cash and say, "You poor dear, go buy a new one"?

We actually caught a guy who had stolen a phone a few months ago: the girl saw him take it and pointed him out. But by the time security got to him, he had ditched it, so SFPD didn't arrest him.

Last year some time, SFPD had this great idea for preventing cell phone theft: they gave us a stack of flyers shaped like phones that said (I'm paraphrasing here), "Hey dumbass, do the obvious things to protect your phone." I thought handing out these flyers was the stupidest thing in the world. But you know what? Until we ran out of those flyers, the one-star reviews stopped. Maybe that flyer provided the proper level of introspection. "Oh, hey, my phone was stolen. Didn't someone had me a flyer about that not three hours ago? I guess maybe I should have been more careful."

I'm actually a little confused about why phone theft, or at least modern iPhone theft, is still a thing. Since iOS 7 in 2013, you can remotely brick your phone and there's no way to make that phone not be a paperweight without cracking the passcode, which is notoriously difficult to do. So I guess they must be stealing them just to part them out? I guess an un-cracked screen is worth about $40? That seems like a pretty low profit margin for your life of crime.

"Wants a lot of options with women."
Oh yeah, Pentagram! This also dumb!

So the origin lineup of the Pentagram show two weeks ago included Wax Idols and King Woman, but they dropped off the tour a couple of days before the DNA Lounge date. Why, you might ask?

Keep it klassy, Pentagram:

Bobby made several absurdly gross, inappropriate comments to all of the women on the tour, but the worst thing was that a fan told us that she left the Pentagram show and was super disgusted because he was making rape jokes onstage. [...]

We were also told that Bobby said the only reason he green-lighted the tour with us and King Woman was so that he could have "a lot of options with women." And the way we were treated, and the things that Bobby was saying to us, reinforced that. And made it pretty easy to believe that was true, because that was the way he treated us. I personally never felt unsafe or violated. I just felt grossed out and disrespected. My other bandmates, however, were often basically hiding from Pentagram. They wouldn't go in the green room, they would hide in the van -- they didn't want to be around at all because they were that uncomfortable. [...]

I said, "You don't know anything about what's going on in the contracts about how you're supposed to be distributing buyouts to us." [The tour manager] said, "I don't know anything about that." And I was like, "So, you don't think in any way that package payouts include our band?" And he said, "Oh, you think you're owed something, I guess." I was like, "Man, this is bullshit. We've been treated like shit this whole tour and all I'm trying to do is be treated with a basic amount of respect and do my job." And he was like, "How have you been treated like shit?" And I listed all of the ways, and that included all of the stuff Bobby and other people in their camp were doing. And he just laughed in my face and smirked and said, "Well maybe you're not cut out for this." I was like, "Ohh. Fuck. You."

Funny story. The night of the Pentagram show at DNA, Wax Idols and King Woman put on a last-minute show over at Brick and Mortar, which sold out. I think that place holds about 200 or 250? Well, the Pentagram show only got 295 people, so it seems like those openers were a pretty big draw to have shat upon.

We didn't have anything going on in Above DNA that night, so I really wish they had contacted us so we could have put their show on right next door to Pentagram, because that would have been hilarious. But I imagine they didn't want to be on the same block as those dicks.

Some recent photos:

Pentagram
Bootie: 80s vs. 90s
Point Break Live
The Dollyrots
Electric Bootie Carnival 2015
Also, please enjoy jwz mixtape 167. I keep forgetting to announce these here.


53 Responses:

  1. I think there was also a bombing in Stonestown in 1971, as a decoy for the attack on the Ingleside / Balboa Park police station where Sergeant John V. Young was killed. But yeah it's rare.

  2. Jim Sweeney says:

    Why stop with phone-theft? The cops should make flyers for all kinds of stuff!

  3. Aquarion says:

    I guess the correlation between "I do not know how to secure my phone" and "I do not know that I can locate and brick my phone in about three minutes given a web-browser" is high enough to keep the wheels of crime turning.

    • Jeffrey Bell says:

      That would be the flyer to hand out, except that there would be one star reviews when they expect ongoing tech support.

      • Aquarion says:

        I know what you mean, but I can't help imagine "gave me this useless thing about keeping my phone safe, and when I tapped the link, nothing happened. Cheap junk - ONE STAR"

  4. Dan says:

    "do you know when the last time a bomb actually exploded in San Francisco was?"

    How many bomb threats did they respond to, and how many actual bombings did they stop? Sounds like they're actually getting the job done.

  5. ”So I guess they must be stealing them just to part them out?”

    I’ve thought about this as well. Perhaps the thiefs manage to sell the phones to buyers who are not savvy enough to verify if they bought a usable phone? Something like this: ”Oh, the battery is currently dead, but the phone will work fine once you’ve charged it. Do you want it or not? I need to get going soon. BTW, I’ll give you a $30 discount.”

  6. I enjoy reading these peeks behind the scenes. That said, the stories only reinforce my innate cynicism about the depth of stupidity running rampant out there. Soldier on and thanks for continuing to provide venues, shows, and events in spite of it all.

  7. Bootie crowd = why we can't have nice things. I will never forget the time a few years ago when I went to Bootie and saw an E-P-T pregnancy test fall out of the pocket of an attendee when she stood up from eating at DNA Pizza to go back in.

  8. B says:

    Normally I am 100% on board with "who profits from your fear." But as jaded as we all are you can't help but feel bad about this:

    https://twitter.com/OrlandoPolice/status/742009920808210432

    What is really unfortunate is it's not just "crying wolf."

  9. That room you mentioned was my second choice for a show had Brick & Mortar fallen through ;)

  10. That's really kind of a huge bummer about Bobby. I always had a bit of a soft spot for him. One of of the times they played, he came out and apologized for the short set, explained that something (I don't remember what) had happened to one or more members of his band right before the tour started, but he didn't want to let the fans down, so they scrambled last minute to get replacements. It was all really humble and heart-felt. The fans cheered, and he offered to play a song or two more that they were still learning, apologizing for how shaky they would be. It was one of those moments that make live shows really memorable and worth it. So it's a huge let down to hear that he's that much of a sleazy POS.

  11. D.Bell says:

    Hi everyone, as the person who was the lucky fellow that got to deal with a majority of the upset customers who had their phones lifted, I have these stories. I have been yelled at more then once that I had to stop and frisk everyone who was leaving and find their phone. I had to buy them a newer phone to make up for their loss and trauma. I would have them hanging on me drunk and crying, when their friend would hand them their phone that they had asked them to hold on to when they were sober. We found it on the floor or the couches and handed it to them while they were screaming at us that it was stolen, and they had just dropped it, and didn't say thank you.

  12. Nate says:

    Re: how hard it is to find good help

    You know the economy is going well when you get lousy service at restaurants, bars, etc. So just bear with it, thankful that you saw it coming, and sell your stocks because the cycle only goes down from here.

    • jwz says:

      If by "the economy is going well" you mean "nobody who works in the service industry can afford to live within 200 miles of my business", sure... everything's great...

      • Nate says:

        Maybe I should have put "going well" in quotes. I meant heading over a cliff, not everything is fine.

  13. Andrew says:

    After Orlando, I do think it would be useful to talk about how DNA is securing the place against nutcases with guns (which IS a real threat, bomb scares notwithstanding). Also, how to GTFO if needed.

    I do feel safer at DNA than at many other clubs. I credit the drag costumes.

    • jwz says:

      No, it's really not useful at all.

      Though terrorism is absolutely a thing that exists, and though what happened in Florida is unspeakably tragic, and though the gun culture in this country is despicable, and though the state of mental health care in this country is deplorable, if you are concerned about how to survive a terror attack, here are the things you should do:

      1) Quit smoking.
      2) Exercise.
      3) Drink less.
      4) Take public transit.

      United States deaths, 2012:

      Heart Disease: 2,543,279
      Cancer: 599,711
      Automobile: 33,561
      Shark Attacks: 80
      Lightning: 28
      Terrorism: 7

      Who profits from your fear?

      • Yeah. Firearm deaths in general are comparable to automobile deaths, but the mass-shooting variety remains rare. Drivers intentionally ramming groups of pedestrians or cyclists also exists but is rare. After the most recent one of those, last week in Michigan, only a few crazy people like me were calling for adding speed limiters to all automobiles.

        • nooj says:

          Remember when that dumbass driver ran into a bunch of people at SXSW a couple years back? Yeah, me either. Anyway, one police response was to ban all cars inside the pedestrian perimeter all day long. It made zero people safer, and made it a pain in the ass for bands to set up: there's no room for your equipment in the venue, and you can't put your gear in your van parked outside the venue, and you can't walk to the gear van and drive it up to the venue because the traffic makes that impossible, and you can't drive up to the venue anyway, not even the back door.

          So now all the artist-only areas are completely full of gear, and you have to hand-carry it which takes over an hour, and if you have multiple shows per day, god help you. It completely sucks.

      • Frederik says:

        That number of US shark attack fatalities in 2012 seems highly inflated too.

        • Jeremy Leader says:

          Yes, if you click through the link, that turns out to be "unprovoked shark attacks worldwide", not shark fatalities in the US (which average a little less than 1 per year).

          • jwz says:

            Oops, my apologies.

            Speaking of things people are inordinately worried about, I was also going to include US airplane crash fatalities in 2012, but as far as I could tell, there weren't any.

  14. he said she says:

    DNA Lounge is a great place. No problemos for me so far. Don't know whassup with Pentagram. Employees need to go to rehab :/ The End.

  15. nooj says:

    The SFPD flyers silenced the one-star reviews, but did it reduce the number of lost phone reports? You imply that loss reports were largely unchanged.

  16. snarkatron says:

    Came across this and it might answer why Iphone thefts continue unabated.

    https://medium.com/@joonaski/this-is-what-apple-should-tell-you-when-you-lose-your-iphone-8f07cf73cf82#.uxst3x900
    TLDR
    They are sending fishing emails to the people whose phone they stole and tricking them into giving up their Icloud password.