Here’s the lowdown on New Year’s Eve, presented in exciting Chronological Order. It was a long night’s work, and despite the fact it was one of the largest parties on the planet, probably not as glamorous as you might think working New Year’s Eve on The Strip might be.
Editor’s Note: the 24-hour clock is used. 1600 is 4pm. Simply subtract 12 from hours larger than 12 to get the corresponding civilian PM time.
1615 – Leave home. We don’t hit the floor until 1800, but you never know what traffic will be like. This is not the first New Year’s Eve I’ve spent on The Strip, and, based on the back door route I will be taking, there shouldn’t be any problems.
1630 – I am right. I avoided the freeway and took Russell Road in, going over the I-15 overpass, turning on Frank Sinatra Drive, curving around and heading north behind Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur and New York, New York before pulling into the back entrance to Monte Carlo. There was zero traffic and plenty of parking in the old employee lot and I kill a half-hour at the official MCSD Tailgate party. Junior 2, who does dispatch on swing shift, is presiding over the grill and he knows what he’s doing. There’s carne asada and burgers and hot dogs and whatnot and rumor has it was all paid for by the Director of Security himself. Lee, Jose and Twerp are there too, among others.
1710 – Pick up garment bag from wardrobe. In honor of the occasion I had them issue me an outside uniform: black BDU pants and a white, long sleeve shirt. To accent this I am wearing Under Armour Cold Gear tights and a mock turtleneck. I even check out an official MCSD jacket, and I also have gloves and the hood I use for sports officiating. It’s not all that cold right now, but it is windy and rain is coming and it’s not going to get any warmer and the gloves and hood aren’t going to do me any good in my locker.
With two shifts working, complemented by a dozen or so private security misfits, there are two briefings, one for the inside crew in the regular briefing room, and outside unit briefing in the HR training room.
1800 – We hit the floor. Redneck Randy and I are assigned to the East Main entrance, which is right on The Strip, flanked by the North and South fountain entrances. Houchins and Shaggy are manning the north fountain and Eric the Monster and Wally are at the south fountain.
Since no one is all that drunk yet, everyone is well behaved and our biggest job is telling everyone who asks no, we don’t know if the fireworks are going to go off or not. We point out if the rain stays away and the wind stays below 10 mph then yes, they will go off, and Redneck Randy and I work hard to give the impression we are the decision-makers on this one.
The big fiasco is out back. The crush of cars is tremendous and Ted, manning Eddie-1, reports guests are trying to park in the employee lot and non-guests are trying to park in the garage and to make this a complete imbroglio, the gate in the southeast corner of the employee lot leading to New York, New York is open and guests are coming through that, too.
2230 – After returning from a very brief 482 where I wolfed down a couple of hot dogs, I am sent inside to help with crowd control at the bathrooms between the café and the buffet. This is tedious. It is one big clusterfuck, and the only way in is doing double duty as the only way out and there is an immense crush of people. Fortunately, everybody is in good spirits and more or less well-behaved. I try to point out there are other restrooms at Monte Carlo – we even opened the lobby of the Lance Burton Theater so guests could use those restrooms – but nobody is listening to me.
2300 – The lack of sleep is starting to catch up with me. Recall I worked a double the day before, which is turning out to be the dumbest move in the history of labor. I am beat, but there’s only seven hours to go, so it’s all right.
2345 – The crowd starts thinning out for the fireworks show and by 2355 the casino is deserted except for the most wretched, hardcore gamblers. It looks like it’s 0400 during the slow season. The restroom is deserted, so I head outside.
0000 – Though the video boards at both New York, New York and MGM both have countdowns, for some reason Monte Carlo prefers to ring in the New Year showing Lance Burton ads. The fireworks go off despite this and while it is hard to see from where I am, the best part is how loud they are anyway. It sounds, as usual, like Armageddon, or at least what I think Armageddon would sound like if I were around for it. I scoot back inside before it’s over so I can avoid the crush. I return to my post at the bathrooms and the wall of humanity resumes shortly after midnight.
0130 – The bathroom is, finally, calm again, and, bored, I rove for a while, ultimately ending up on the fourth floor of the hotel, where X-Ray has stumbled across a large party in a suite that turned into a fight. It had all died down by the time I arrived, so I walk around with my hands on my hips looking important.
And even though 77Rick is on the scene, swing shift officer Tim S. is running around taking charge like MacArthur after an invasion, which is funny because Tim S. isn’t working the hotel. Tim S. is running around kicking people out left and right, although since I look so important the registered guest comes up and appeals to me because he thinks I’m in charge. Tim S. very quickly steps in and disabuses the registered guest that anybody other than Tim S. is in command here. I couldn’t even get my mouth open and it was a masterful job of taking charge.
Later, I’m standing by the craps pits lusting after a lovely pit clerk supervisor named Maria who was completely dolled up for the evening, when 88TonyB stops by to chat. We are soon joined by Bi-Bob and they are discussing what reports need to be written. Like last year Bi-Bob is the designated report writer for the night, a job he says his life is complete without because, like last year, the MCSD computers could not handle the change of years and crashed, meaning all reports have to be written by hand and there are several that need to be written. Since I am basically doing nothing I offer to help out, which 88TonyB thinks is a stroke of brilliance, so Bi-Bob and I head to the CSO to get started.
I start in on one when I decide I need my glasses, which are in my locker downstairs. As I head out of the CSO, I see JK, Boy Dispatcher, and Catan lugging a guy they had arrested in the lobby towards the office.
The guy is combative and appears to be stoned. He is yelling things that make no sense, even to us, and all four of us are needed to get him into the holding room. We are not able to get him seated so we can strap him to the bench, however, and Catan, for reasons I’m sure he thought good, uncuffs him.
Bad move. His arms freed, he becomes even more combative. I’m closest to him and I get him on the floor and lie on top of him and I’m pretty strong and this subdues him enough so that we are able to get him secured to the bench. He is pissed and screaming and this lasts for an hour before he falls asleep. The incident had actually started in the hotel, where the ever-vigilant X-Ray had found him sleeping and evidently he had started pushing people around in the lobby. 77Rick even ended up with a slightly strained back and neck. He was later taken to the clinic where he was sentenced to light-duty and the joke was that as an MCSD assistant shift manager he already was on light duty.
This incident ruled because it required that I stay in the CSO, sitting down, watching this guy sleep cause anyone hooked up in the holding room must be observed at all times.
The guy woke up about the time the cops came, at 0600. He had no recollection of what had happened and apologized every ten seconds, which is annoying. If you ever find yourself in this situation, please do not apologize incessantly; once is enough. He was given a citation and released and everything was neatly wrapped up ten minutes before dayshift arrived.