Loners with distinctive middle names, that is the profile of nearly every gunman who has caused mayhem in too many intentional homicides to fathom never-the-less calculate. Along with the assailant’s personality disclosure is an oft-repeated statement of the geographic incredulous from rightfully shocked survivors, “I can imagine this happening in The Big City, but never in our little town.” The #_______ Town Strong citizenry are afflicted with the false heuristic or cognitive disassociation known as “proximity bias”.
In a perverse twist on the theme of inclusivity and cultural unity espoused within the lyrics of Woody Guthrie’s protest song, “This Land is Land,” dehumanizing terrors, brought by twisted acts of murderous shootings violence, have occurred in the recent past seemingly, “From the California to the New York island; From the Redwood Forest, to the gulf stream waters”.
Thinking, and, perhaps more importantly, believing that nothing out of the ordinary is going to happen during one’s following a normal, everyday type of routine is myopic. While “Not In My Back Yard” (NIMBY) rationales are what save us all from crippling agoraphobia, these perceptive blinders, albeit maintaining individual sanity, allow for a rare yet occasionally sense of safety and erroneous belief in the continuity of the status quo.
While predator contrived and orchestrated in terms of implementation, the victims, from children in schools and associates in the workplace to concert attendees, are, more often than not, “random” innocents. Individuals who were tragically in the wrong place at the wrong time. The fabric of society is degraded each and every time the law of the land and society itself is violated. The reality is that 99.99 to some exponential power percentage of the time, there is little variance from the expected and routine for an individual out for a walk, attending class, or going to a job. However, the outlying anomaly of when the out-of-the-ordinary transpires demonstrates a lack of absolute certainty in any manner.
What does the above observation on the perilous nature of existence have to do with gentlemen’s clubs philosophies, practices, procedures, and operations? While gun slaughters are an extreme example, the afore is a reminder that manifestation of the unusual is an expectable reality.
As a consultant with the adult entertainment industries, too often it seems that club owners, operators, and managers have lulled themselves into a false state of security believing that, “This kind of thing doesn’t happen at OUR club”. Wrong! If a phenomenon has not yet occurred it might still, no matter how apparently minute the possibility. In gambling, one “bets on ‘the don’t’,”, for millions of individuals, accepting that what is apparently impossible might be possible, is why insurance is purchased. Exceptions to the norm remain within the parameters of conventional existence. The one away from my one day as a boy scout was to internalize the scout motto of, “be prepared”. Robert Baden Powell in his book, Scouting for Boys defines:
“’Be Prepared’ means you are always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your DUTY.
Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.
Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.”
Being prepared is a robust approach it turns out for both one’s personal and professional life. One can only truly prepare when one is coherently cognizant of the nature of a situation.
Further, perception is not equivalent to the truth. As Senator Patrick Moynihan phrased, “Everyone is entitled to own opinions, but are not entitled to their own facts.” In the proverbial forest of owning, operating, managing, working or contracting in a gentlemen’s club environment, those figuratively “inside” the forest can occasionally “not see through the trees”. What is believed to be fact might lack authentic veracity, validity, and Thus, the role of providing (an outside the forest) alternative perspective, insight, and identification of incontrovertible “facts” is the DUTY of an assistive consultant. Situational analysis based on empirically grounded, evaluative methodologies is the consultant’s primary route to recognizing a legitimacy of a scenario and consequently, maintaining the ability to offer objective advice on maintenance or alteration of club host environments.
Seeking and subsequently leveraging an external vision should not be seen as a fault or weakness with one’s own competencies; rather, the pursuit of universal definition via a third party such as a bona fide industry consultant rather should be understood as a worthy investment to augment one’s personal and professional bench strength.
“The Skinny,” “The Straight Dope,” and the “Unvarnished Actuality” is that clubs will face unforeseen challenges, which might be in the humanized club’s figurative blind spot, at any given point in time. In short, “stuff happens” and it might just transpire within a facility or organization that falsely subscribes to the notion of some eventualities being unable to reach fruition; therefore, enabling the cognitive bias, with a collectively held uncorrelated contention, of some variance being an impossibility to happen in “our club”.
Being acutely aware of possibly impending challenges such a “ceteris paribus” business’ absence of acting on the economic frontier (i.e., receiving maximum return – input on minimum investment – output), being faced with the legal and potentially consequent financial liabilities of not adequately / properly defining entertainer independent contractor versus employment model status, or sufficiently conforming to evolving ordinances / zoning regulations are the exceptions to the operational continuum with which a qualified consultant can contribute to a gentlemen’s club team to allow an entity to be more and better prepared to meet a myriad of trials.
David Paster serves as the Principal of Yarborough Planning, LLC, an affiliated libertarian and hedonic hospitality consulting concern. Mr. Paster’s core competency is two-fold. The first element is identifying key elements for determining “go / no go” (economic viability / sustainability) decisions with both developing and operational multi-faceted adult entertainment facilities. This line of effort includes establishing financing resources. The second skillset is serving as an expert witness with “Malicious Marginalization” matters / the refuting of “secondary effects” claims. Based on twenty-five years of academic and industry experience, Mr. Paster brings authentic, innovative and professional insight to the proverbial table.