Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Chiropractor - Part 1

I quit my job at the Bubblegum Kittikat rather suddenly during the summer of 2001 and because I worked at a strip club, I didn't give a two week notice. I just stopped coming to work and instead went to Jamaica (flight purchased with one night's tips thank you). After I got back from Jamaica, I went to Los Angeles where I got stuck because my flight home was supposed to have been on September 11th, 2001 and we all know what happened that day.

I quit because I couldn't take it. I was tired of breast implants, Bubblegum Bucks, hearing "Get Ready for This" at the top of every hour, cigarette smoke, bachelor parties, potential serial killers, stripper drama and a fifty year old cocktail waitress with a bad bob who had it out for me. She wanted my job and she was one of those people who act like, no matter how unimportant their job is, that they work at the Pentagon. You know people like that? These people make a big stink out of everything and get very involved in work politics. Being apathetic about most things, I have never been one to care about work politics. 

This woman though really wanted my job because I was the person who handed out the Bubblegum Bucks. Bubblegum Bucks are fake strip club money that the dancers could trade in for real money. Customers would come in and I would charge their credit cards for some outrageous amount, tack on the required 20% gratuity for myself, the 6% house charge and then I would deliver a stack of pink Monopoly money with boobs on it to some fool in the Champagne Room. At the end of the night, the dancers would bring me their pink bills and I would trade them for real money, taking another percentage for the house and another percentage for myself. Because sometimes we had fifty or more dancers working, this process could take a very long time and girls would tip me extra on top of my regular fee for letting them cut in line or for letting them cash out early.  Due to all this tipping and fee charging, I made a small fortune, especially on the weekends, and it's easy to see why the fifty year old cocktail waitress felt this job should be hers. She complained about me incessantly to management, yelled at me, started rumors about me (which I didn't care about being that I really didn't care about my job) and generally just got on my nerves so badly that I decided to quit.

I wanted to quit anyway and she was a good excuse. I had just gotten to the point where I was so ashamed of myself for working at a strip club that I couldn't handle it. I lied to my grandparents, telling them I worked at a restaurant and every time someone asked me what I did, I felt like telling them the truth was about the same as telling them that I was having a raging outbreak of herpes blisters.

If I had had good sense at this period in my life, I would have saved more of the money I made. I saved some, but when I look back, I think I should have been more responsible. At the time though, I was going through a phase where I felt that because I lived with my parents and because I had gone through such an epically horrible breakup, that I deserved to go places, have fun and most of all, shop. I bought myself a four hundred dollar pair of shoes on a total whim. I would never do something like that now. Luckily, nine years later, I just sold them at the consignment shop for $160.00 so not all was lost, but still. Still.

After September 11th, I got stuck in LA for a couple extra weeks until things settled down and I could get a flight back to Florida. Then, once I got back to Florida, I found myself in an unemployed, bored sick kind of stupor, sleeping 'til noon and then wandering aimlessly around my parents' house all day trying to think of something to do with my life, somewhere to wear my four hundred dollar Zanottis. 

Still being in the phase of my life where I wanted a man to rescue me, I entertained myself on Jdate, but telling a bunch of doctors and lawyers that I lived with my parents, had no job and had just quit hostessing at the Kittikat wasn't quite working out for me.

I needed a job. I needed a job so I could at least say I had one and that I did something with myself that didn't involve the remote control or my already maxed out credit cards. 

Here were the problems:

1. I did not like working.
2. I was not qualified for much of anything.
3. I refused to ever work in a restaurant again as long as I lived. I would not even work in a restaurant if someone threatened my life, my cat's life or even my mother's life, if I did not work in a restaurant. We'd all just have to die if our lives depended on me working in a restaurant.
4. No jobs sounded fun.
5. I wanted my jobs from Atlanta back because they were fun.
6. There were no fun jobs in Florida.
7. I had a GED. Wendy's cashier anyone? No thank you.
8. Most of the jobs listed down here were for sex workers or telemarketers. Past attempts at these vocations had not worked out in my favor and we'll just leave it at that for the moment.
9. I didn't really want a job.
10. Most of the jobs that would hire me, I felt were embarrassing and I was really scared of the steam thing on the espresso machines at Starbucks.

Luckily, the Universe came through for me, as it always has when I have needed a job. 

The year before, I had sold a couple mosaic mirror frames that I had made to a local, folk art gallery. The owners of that gallery owned a fancier gallery and when they needed someone to work there, they called me to see if I might be interested. Just like that. 

The day after they called, I was the newest employee of the Hot Sun Gallery.  This would quickly prove to be the most boring, uneventful place to work under the hot sun.

That is, until I met the Chiropractor.

To be continued....


Robin in Ohio said...

Pink Bubblegum Bucks? Oh, dear Lord! I've lived such a sheltered life. Why didn't people just use regular money? It would have saved on the "service charges". Just wondering....

Wide Lawns said...

I always kinda wondered that myself. I think it's mostly to be able to add the service charges and to keep patrons from leaving to go to the ATM. Some of them may not have enough in their accounts or may not want spouses etc. to see the money taken directly from the bank account. I think it's not possible to use a credit card to exchange for real money, so this gets around that too. Interestingly, none of the charges made at the strip club said the name of the strip club. The credit card receipts and charges would all say the name of some general, corporate sounding company so that the customers could more easily lie about where they were spending the money.

Here is another answer I found:

Mamie said...

On tenterhooks...!

♥ Calamity Anne ♥ said...

I'm with you on never ever working in a restaurant again!!! That decision came about for me at the tender age of 16 when I was attempting to make a milkshake, when it FLEW off the machine and splattered EVERYWHERE! That job lasted about a week...enough said!

babygargle said...

WL, I've been reading you for years, back when you were the other WideLawns - and I have to say, this post is the best ever. And I really liked the Shrimp Prince stuff. You go, girl, this is getting fascinating. Yes, I really do have a life, but hell, this is good ...

mcgrimus said...

Never realized this before, but Chuck E. Cheese uses the same system of fake currency....

Anonymous said...

I had a telemarketing job once, it lasted 4 days. I was FIRED.

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