"I woke up with Sherron Collins’ hand down my shirt. I was like, ‘Come on now, Sherron. You know I don’t like you like that!’ But it’s cool. I love the basketball team. We’re homies. I mean, I was with Brady Morningstar when he got his DUI!"
A gaggle of Hooters girls latched on to her every word as she ended her story with a sort of proud insouciance.
Meet Sarah – a previous coworker and managerial favorite.
Standing six feet tall in her Sketchers, she boasted double D’s and a pair of perpetually bloodshot eyes, a result from her fondness of blunts and blow. Sarah was a college dropout, an ex-D1 volleyball player, and predominately an aspiring trophy wife with a weakness for black athletes and rich old men. On the outside, she was unmistakably beautiful.
I leaned against the front desk, indifferent to Sarah’s piffle and wishing for a customer or two on a slow Sunday night. I had just stocked the napkins, straws, and condiments; The basins sat emptied, trash taken out, my section pristine and ready for business. Behind the scenes, I was everyone’s bitch: stocking, sweeping, cleaning, and wiping, while the rest of the girls circled the front door like a pack of vultures. Door whores, they were called.
Oh, it was just another day at work.
I was hired one week before my AP Calculus exam and one month before high school graduation. As the youngest girl on staff, I worked silently among the plastic bosoms of the veterans where I labored in a state of constant intimidation. I was pretty at best, and saved the majority of my money for school.
All I could really do was work twice as hard and wear a damn good bra.
There were three types of girls who worked at Hooters. For most, it wasn’t a job, but a portal to a glamorous world where real work didn’t exist. To this first group of ladies Hooters was trophy wife bootcamp.
The just-pretty girls who had reasonable life plans comprised the second group, and the third consisted of the uncategorized leftovers. The ladies too resistible for the first nor keen enough for the second made up this passing assembly of nomads.
I was in the second.
And while my stories could fill pages with shocking prose, they would never compare to the tales of first group. They were conniving vixens, coveted yet loathed by every coworker. Dumber than plaster and higher than the arch of their painted-on eyebrows, they were frequently seen chewing on the wallets of patrons and regulars with unwavering success.
Because these poor dumbasses couldn’t handle a pair of tits in the face, they relinquished the keys to their Hawaiian condos, paid for trips to Vegas, and lent Escalades to the members of Group 1 on countless occasions. One even paid for a girl’s boob job and cosigned for her two friends.
Which brings us to meet Nicky, the bartender with the aforementioned free boob job and Sarah’s best friend. Nicky and I had a cordial relationship, distant and phony, but a relationship nevertheless. She dated the biggest coke dealer in the Kansas City area (who would get drunk and slip the waitstaff grams under the table) and was infamous for bedding rapper, Young Jeezy. Strangely enough, her boyfriend cared not about her numerous "platonic" relationships with wealthy men.
"Oh, he’s stayed the night over before! Slept on the couch. Yeah, my boyfriend was there!"
What a gem. These bitches had not one remorseful bone in their beautiful bodies, but yet this lack of sympathy was crucial in ascending the Hooters ladder. To hell with work ethic! Customers flocked by the dozens to throw money at their feet for a few moments of flirtatious affectation, only to have their money recycled toward the girls’ personal upkeep and drug stash.
In the real world, these girls were emotional parasites who collected the drool of countless men.
In the Hooters world, they were super stars, favored by the managerial staff regardless of their attendance, work ethic, and behavior.
I learned plenty through this experience. I learned how to use my charm for ill and even for good. I learned to save money, refuse under-the-table coke deals, and work hard even if it was to little avail. But above all, I now know that I’d rather ascend a more respectable ladder than the one placed before me at Hooters.
How’s that for an accurate depiction of the real world?