Central Western Daily journalist Nicole Kuter continues her tale from Saturday night at The Occidental Hotel.
In part two of the series she writes about the techniques staff use to pick someone who had enough to drink, the culture of home-drinking and how much people spend on a night out.
DRUNK people tried everything to get into the Occidental Hotel on Saturday night but everyone of them only had “ two drinks, maybe three”.
RSA marshals on the door see it every weekend and some of the techniques employed by drunks amazed me but did not shock them at all.
My favourite had to be the “protect the weak” ploy.
A group of people walk up to the pub, talking loudly, laughing, hugging but it is all part of the play.
Duty manger John Deeroy pointed out within the middle of the group the drunk person is hidden and protected and at times propped up by another member of the group.
Sure enough I saw this scene played out several times all with the same outcome. The group is left disheartened as the weakest link is sent on their way home.
Another unsuccessful but common technique is the “can’t talk, I’m on the phone”.
Mr Deeroy strikes up a conversation with people trying to gain entry in order to determine how much they’ve have had to drink, the phone technique is used to avoid the conversation.
It doesn’t work.
Staff on the door simply wait until the potential patron ends the pretend phone call.
Most patrons pilgrimage from the Canobolas Hotel, the Parkview Hotel, the Royal Hotel and the cab rank which makes life easier for staff on the door at the Occidental because they are all coming from the same direction.
They watch them walk up the block from about the Raine and Horne building.
This enables staff to watch how they walk. There are three lines running down the footpath which the staff call the train tracks.
If people are “all over the tracks” they are not getting into the pub.
The next phase of the operation is called picking targets.
Once people gain entry into the Occidental there is no sigh of relief.
General manager Don Scholte does “sweeps” through the pub about every 20 minutes. He watches how patrons behave, listens to how they talk and watches them walk.
If they show warning signs of having enough to drink they become a target.
Security and RSA marshals watch the targets for the rest of the evening.
On saturday night, after curfew at 1am, about 19 people were asked to leave the venue.
Every one of them said they had only had a couple of drinks.