Tyler meets with the head of his projectionist union chapter, and learns that he’s being let go. Tyler grins and thinks about the single frames of pornography he’s spliced in to hundreds of movies over the years. He talks his union into sending him a monthly paycheck to keep quiet about this fact.
Tyler is so reckless and confident that he does what most people would never have the courage to do: he blackmails his bosses into paying him to keep quiet about his years of vandalism and sabotage.
Tyler encourages the Narrator to have a similar conversation with the president of the hotel where the Narrator and Tyler work as waiters. The Narrator goes in to speak with the manager of the hotel, and gleefully tells him that he peed in the soup. The Narrator warns him that if word gets out, nobody will ever go to the hotel again.
It seems, now, that the Narrator works at the hotel where Tyler may also work (this is never properly explained, but foreshadows the novel’s “twist”; similarly, it had seemed that Tyler, not the Narrator, peed in the soup in the earlier chapter—more foreshadowing). The Narrator is again learning from Tyler’s example, and blackmails his boss about the Narrator’s own misbehavior.
The Narrator describes how the head of the projectionist union chapter punched Tyler in fury—Tyler just laughed and encouraged the head of the union to “get it all out.” When the Narrator went to speak with the hotel manager, the Narrator ended up punching himself in the face. For some reason, this made him remember the first fight he had with Tyler. The Narrator continues to beat himself up in front of the manager. Suddenly, a security guard walks in. Afterwards, fight club goes from a weekend event to happening seven nights a week.
The passage juxtaposes Tyler and the Narrator’s encounters with their furious bosses. Tyler is seemingly indifferent to pain, since he hurts himself all the time, meaning that he has all the power over the head of the union. The Narrator goes one step further: he doesn’t just accept punches; he punches himself. The Narrator punching himself is much more intimidating than the Narrator openly threatening his boss—the message seems to be that the Narrator (or any member of the fight club) can’t be easily intimidated. The fact that this “self fight” reminds the Narrator of his first fight with Tyler suggests that (in light of the novel’s twist ending) that first fight was self inflicted as well.