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Anna Undercover: Downside of Stripping
This entry was written at the request of LJWorld.com user @sassypants.
Can you handle yourself at work when things get tough?
If your job includes a roaring crowd, free-flowing alcohol, and drunk people three times your size grabbing at you possessively when security is 20 yards away, I certainly hope you can.
Ever since it was a punk rock Mecca, the Outhouse has never been a place for the faint of heart. At a place like this, there is plenty that could qualify as a downside.
To start with, for a sales job, it is incredibly physical. I have to walk around half-naked in 6-inch platform heels. I deal with insensitive jerks every day. And I have to dance naked on a stage in front of those insensitive jerks. The same group thinks it's OK to throw crumpled up dollars at me, rather than tip me like I'm a human being. They treat me with disrespect.
Two Weeks Ago: Me: [flirting/trying to get a dance] "I got all pretty tonight just for you guys!" Mildly Drunk Guy: [with a look of disgust] "Oh, I'm sorry."
About a Month Ago: Me: [after giving a dance] "Thank you, sweetheart! That was really fun." Really Drunk Guy: [slurring his words] "You need a boob job."
Guys grab my arm too hard. They grip my thighs roughly when I'm giving them dances. You can see fingerprint-shaped bruises all over me the next day.
I've had near misses with cigarette burns when smokers try to tip me on stage. The drinkers sometimes spill beer on the stage. It makes me slip. They complain when I tell them to follow the rules. Then they try to get me to sleep with them.
I dance my ass off for these same people. Most Sundays, I wake up after all this work with muscles so sore I can't even move.
Don't you ever complain about your job again, you pansy.
How would you deal with all this abuse?
Do you know what to do when some Bubba grabs you and won't let go? What about when 20-somethings are nearly burning you with their cigarettes and sloshing beer on your stage while the bouncers are otherwise occupied?
Will you panic when a group of six guys closes in on you and starts tugging at your skimpy clothes like sharks playing with their dinner?
When I took this job, I would have said no to these questions. But the fact is, I was born to take charge of this crap. Staring these exact situations in the face, I learned fast that not only could I get out of these predicaments in one piece, I was passing these tests with flying colors.
I know how to let Bubba know who's boss, and I can make him like it, too. I can command those disrespectful 20-somethings when they've used up their chances. And when I stood in the middle of five or six guys who suddenly closed in on me, I applied the lesson of a small crab in a final scene of 'Finding Nemo.'
"Hwaaaa!" I struck an exaggerated martial arts pose, mock-threatening those very serious potential assaulters with my untrained fists. They backed off, laughed, and tipped me. Even the one who was really freaking me out gave me a dollar.
Luckily, there are more good guys out there than jerks, and the good experiences far outnumber the bad ones.
Bullet-proof self-esteem, confidence, humor, and a newly discovered ability to move quickly from a sweet, flirtatious girl to a commanding figure with authority have helped me thrive in this environment over the past 10 months. I never knew I had so much of this.
Outward Bound's Web site says they offer "programs [that] emphasize personal growth through experience and challenge in the wilderness."
I submit that I've discovered a more lucrative alternative.
What's it like when things get tough for you?