Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Years Later...

I haven't looked at this blog in years.  And today I realized it still gets some pretty significant traffic.  So I wanted to clear some stuff up about my jobs as a hooters girl.  YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT! JobS, plural...

So here's a very short version of what happened... when I was writing this blog I was a 22 year old college graduate working at a Hooters in Texas.  It wasn't necessarily the establishment's fault, nor my coworkers, it was mine that I didn't like it.  I went in with the attitude that I would hate it.  That I was too good for a job like that. And you know what, I hated it.

Fast forward 2-3 years and I was living in California.  I had $126 in my bank account. I'd made a friend after moving there and she was working at Hooters there.  After hearing how desperately broke I was, she said she could get me a job and I could start working that week.  No one turns down a job like that!  I was in no place to be picky, and my training from before would speed the process along to where I was able to make money.  And amazingly, this experience was new and wonderful!

Now the difference between Texas and California Hooters is pretty large.  In Texas, there's a Hooters on every corner, in every city.  It may as well be another Chili's or T.G.I.Friday's.  In California, it's more of a novelty.  People are coming in for the experience and the TShirts.  They want pictures with the girls and they want to participate in the games.  Also, getting out of the Bible belt helped.  In California, land of the eternal bikini, people don't think twice when you're wearing small shorts and a tight fitting tank top.  Additionally (and probably the most important part of this) is that California's minimum wage was $8 compared to the Texas server wage of $2.15.  So at this Hooters I was making $8/hr PLUS tips!  It was much more my speed when it came to clientele being enjoyable and income I was able to make.

I can't say enough about how wonderful the staff was.  From the 3 managers to the cooks and the bus boys, they were the best employers I've ever worked for!  And I've had A LOT of odds and ends jobs.  To be fair the managers in Texas were also superior.  These people take care of and protect their girls.  I'm sure as a company they are an easy target for law suits, but as far as my experience with them went, they did an excellent job of finding managers to run their stores.

The other nice thing about the California location were the other girls.  Everyone working there was using that to supplement their acting, modeling, film, etc. careers.  We were all willing to switch and cover shifts, help each other out with auditions or networking, and generally everyone there was from out of state and kind to each other.  We were actual friends who hung out outside of work.  And everyone had good things to say about the company.

Years later, my stint as a Hooters girl has long since come to a close.  While it was a great part time job to get me on my feet, my future and career aspirations did not include little orange shorts.  (Not to mention after a certain age, you just don't look the same in them ;)  But overall, though this blog has a lot of my 22 year old, emo, can't-find-myself-in-the-adult-world whining, I would recommend this job to someone who has the confidence and personality for it.  If you are lucky enough to get into a store that has great people, then it can be a lot of fun!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Training Day(s)

Apparently working at Hooters involves a lot of training, studying, and tests. I feel like I'm at school again. Only school for vain women. So I have now completed 3 days of my 5 day training period. Phew!

So Day 1:
I am working a night shift. So I have all day to get myself "photoshoot ready". I do my hair, I think it's meh. I finish my make up with some natural looking eye shadow and not too much eyeliner. I don't want to look like a hooker after all. So I pull on my skin tight panty hose, my teeny shorts and shirt, and then of course get dressed again on top of that (remember we have to be completely covered on the way in and out of the restaurant... stupid) So now I look like a fat yoga instructor and feel about that attractive too. Awesome!

I walk in the door and obviously no one knows why this scrubby girl just walked in alone, and no one talks to me. I finally see one of the managers and he takes me into the office. He does the mundane things like photo copying my alcohol serving certification. (Did I mention Hooters does not require you to have a Food Handlers License?! I find that a little upsetting and kinda gross.) Anyway he goes and gets me a new black uniform since the other one was too small. (Although when I said they were too small he looked at me like I was crazy... apparently there is no such thing.) Regardless I have to go change into the black one since it's Wingsday. I put all my stuff into the TBC (Taking Care of Beauty (vomits in mouth a lil)) and he tells me to sit at this table, meet some of the girls, and wait for my trainer. I'll call her 'R'.

So I sit and start looking/judging all of the girls around me.
Here is what I observed:
1.) apparently the 'hooker' eye make up I referred to earlier is custom
2.) the longer the hair the hotter you are. (Seriously the like 'famous' promo girl from our restaurant has hair below her butt.)
3.) Some girls think they are working at a strip club
4.) The girls somehow make these tiny shorts go so far up their butts that their cheeks hang out. I don't see how guys could possibly find wedgies attractive, but I guess they must.
5.) Every girl thinks that she knows the most about everything... ever.
6.) I was suddenly alone at these two tables where like 10 girls were before I got there.

So in case I wasn't awkward, now I'm really uncomfortable. I decide to start talking to them and maybe they will stop ignoring me. One girl comes up and I ask if she is "R". And she looked at me like I was retarded and said "Why would you ask me that?" (... uhhh.) I told her she was training me and she finally said "oh, she's cool I guess." And walked away.

Girls slowly gather around some pigging out on fries, most bitching about some drama about 'he cheated on her' and 'how could you tell them'..., a girl came in with her 3 year old son and her Hooters outfit. All very 'normal'.

Finally I hear someone say R's name. But I say nothing. Finally the manager kinda introduces us from two tables away, and she just says 'hey' and turns back to her conversation. Then all at once all the girls get up and take off any jackets, pants, dresses, whatever and walk into the To-Go room. So I follow. Apparently this meeting happens before every shift and it's called 'Jump Start'.

Definition of Jump Shift: Meeting to kick off the shift. Discuss Promos and sports. Do the line up and figure out section placement.

What Jump Shift actually is: The manger calls each girl by name. When you're called you must stand in the middle of the room, hold your hands up so he can see your nails, and twirl so he can make sure you are 'picture perfect.' (aka, look at your ass and tits) Then he says 'who wants to go home.' I really really wanted to be like "ME!" but I guess that's not what he meant. Apparently they schedule too many girls and usually people get to go home before the shift even starts. Then they play games to decide who gets what section. I pay no attention to this.

R finally starts talking to me and taking me around the restaurant and showing me what all I have to do. The rest of this night was pretty boring. I had to fill out some of my workbook and literally follow her around. EVERYWHERE. It's so weird. Whatever. At the end of every training shift you get free food. (I am a vegetarian... why am I working at a wings place? Idk) So I just got a kid's grilled cheese and fries with the awesome ranch and I am happy. So I go home.

Day 2- I work lunch shift. Which apparently I was scheduled to be the hostess. R did not tell me that the hostess has to wear the opposite colors of the rest of the girls. So I was in the wrong uniform. Great. Oh and the manager made me play the game with the other girls to decide who gets to be Head Wait... even though I couldn't... he just wanted to embarrass me. The game was WHO CAN THROW THE LEMON SLICE THE FURTHEST ACROSS THE RESTAURANT BACKWARDS! (yes these games are incredibly challenging and require extensive knowledge.) I tried to not win, cuz I didn't want them to be mad, but I still got 2nd. Because 4 of the 6 girls threw theirs over their shoulder and into the ceiling.

But I actually really liked this job. I literally sat at the front of the restaurant and when someone would walk up I'd open the door and say "Hi, how are you? Sit where ever you like." Then I'd sit down again. Easy ass shit. All the girls complain about it, but you get paid min wage and you do nothing. Some guys came in and when I told them to sit anywhere and they were like "we wanna sit with you." First 'hit on' comment I'd gotten. I told them unless they wanted to sit at the front door they were outta luck.

Also being hostess means you get cut REALLY early. Another awesome perk! So then R took me into the other room, and was like are you ready for your quiz over the beer, wine, and liquor? (umm... no!... I didn't know I had a test!) She thought I was an idiot, but clearly she doesn't communicate well (ex. the wrong uniform). So I ordered cheese quesadillas (which were actually really good), did my work book, and left.

Day 3- This day when I walked in, one of the girls that had worked the day before said "Wrong uniform!" and I freaked out and she laughed. Even if it was making fun of me, hey someone talked to me! (ugh) Anyway I continued on trying to make myself look busy while waiting for Jump Start. This time he actually made me get up and twirl... great. We start the shift. R is kinda in a bad mood, so I try to be as out of the way as possible. This is the day we did 'Digital Dining' (I learned how to put orders into the computer... rocket science). After that she started trying to quiz me over sides and toppings and meat... being a vegetarian I was not very good. I actually studied the night before. I haven't studied in 10 months, and I did for this bullshit job. So when R said "you didn't study did you?" I kinda wanted to punch her in the face a little. But I'm sure it seemed like I hadn't because things that are common sense to most people (like how oysters are weighed, how shrimp is prepared, what a naked Daytona flapper is...) does not make sense to me. Needless to say I "passed" the tests. FINALLY!

CREEPER STORY #1: So as I'm sitting at the table filling out the tests and workbook, a very drunk 50+ year old man stumbles over and grabs the book with all the answers in it away. He then decides he needs to quiz me. (Dear God) He sits at the table and good 6" from me and starts asking me the questions I've already copied into my book. So every time I read the answer correctly he starts yelling things like "She's got it!" "She's the best waitress here!" "Where's your manager? I'm gonna recommend you!" Drawing excessive amounts of attention to me (which I despise). The manager even walked by and the creeper called his name and he just waved him off. At other restaurants and places I've worked at, this situation would have a manager next to me in 2 minutes resolving the issue. I am not used to this sort of thing being acceptable. So then the creeper decides I need a shoulder massage to get me ready for the test or something. (Ew ew ew ew) I look up and see the manager is eying him from behind the bar, which actually did make me feel better knowing he was ready if he needed to be. The drunk creeper eventually got distracted by these big Hulk Punching Gloves (the kind that make Hulk noises when you hit things... oh and they are Hooters Orange!). He started hitting people at any table he walked by. The manager came over later and asked if I was mad or scared. I just told him I was annoyed and that man was a douchebag. (which he was).

The shift drug on later than the other days before he finally cut R and me. This shift I wanted another Grilled Cheese. Apparently the rule is when you are training you have to try a meal from every category on the list and I couldn't have that category anymore. R tried to explain that I was a vegetarian but the manager just told me to get a salad. I was WAY to hungry for a salad and R had to eat whatever category I chose from. So I ordered a Philly sandwich with no meat. It was actually good and everyone was happy. And while I was eating it, a girl (who wasn't even working that night) came over and sat and talked with me the whole time. It was so nice to meet a human. (I actually love R cuz I think she is hilarious, but I don't think the feeling is mutual.)

I finally got dressed, got escorted to my car, and went home knowing I had the weekend off and it was wonderful. (starting to dread days 4 and 5).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Teeny Tiny or Miniscule?

So yesterday I went to Hooters to pick up my uniform(s). Not gonna lie I was kind of excited. I mean it's free clothes first of all, and it's kinda like a costume. An what girl doesn't like to play dress up?

I walked in and of course I get evil eyes from the other girls, cuz I guess that's what the do to the new people... but one finally went and got the manager. There are three managers, all seem nice but this one is my favorite. He's an older man, but he is just so sweet. I've had a lot of jobs with sketchy guys who really made me uncomfortable, but surprisingly Hooters managers aren't like that. I'm sure that's a huge thing about it though, because if ANYTHING could be at all interpreted as sexual harassment, there would be lawsuits everywhere. It's probably a pretty risky place for a guy to work there. But they all seem like brother figures that are there to keep us safe and happy.

Anyway, he took me over to the cabinet of stuff. Here are the things I was handed:
1) a pink and black drawstring Hooters bag
2) a pair of orange dolphin shorts (xxs)
3) another pair of the orange shorts (xs)
4) white hooters tank (xxs)
5) another white hooters tank (xs)
6) black hooters shorts (xxs)
7) black hooters tank (xs)
8) thick ass panty hose
9) even thicker socks
10) a brown apron thing
11) a black one (obviously we can't clash our aprons with our outfits.)
12) a waiter book thing (I don't know I've never waited tables before)

Needless to say when you are holding a free bag open and someone is filling it with free clothes and accessories, it's very exciting. Like when you go to your friends house because they are getting rid of a lot of clothes and you're like 'ya jackpot!' and you take it all home. Only when you actually try it on you totally see why your friend was giving it all away in the first place, and now it's gonna be your crap to get rid of.

He showed me around the restaurant. Pretty much just as expected. Except the funniest thing is there is a vending machine in the back. Filled with cigarettes, socks, and panty hose. So when you need new ones, they're right there. It's pretty genius if you ask me.

I got home and in the privacy of my room tried on these clothes (if you can call them that.) I tried on the XXS shorts (I mean why not) and HELLO ASS!... so no go there. I looked at the XXS tank and couldn't even get it over my head, so that's also a no. I squeezed in the white tank and orange shirt that are both XS. Now in normal clothes I wear a 2-4 in pants and a medium in shirts... how this translates to XS in Hootersville I have no idea. But hey I haven't worn anything XS since 9th grade. And it fits the way it's supposed to, which is like underwear, so they fulfill their purpose. The black XS shirt however is smaller and does not fit. I'll have to ask for a S. I wonder if they even carry those.

So I had to go buy a nude colored bra because I don't like nudes or whites so therefore I don't own any. And if the job is about my boobs looking good there's only one place I'll buy a bra. So after VS took a good $50 from me, I had to go find the hideous white shoes. Apparently the requirements are 100% white, leather or imitation leather, with a 3/4" heel. GREAT. Payless sells them if you need them.

I was told to call when I get the shoes so I can start training. I'll be calling Monday. So until then...

Amused & Ashamed

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'd Totally Do That! Deciding to work at Hooters

(I'm writing this blog because last night was the night before my Hooters orientation and I started getting nervous, so I searched the web for some information. I found this girls blog from a few months ago and thought it was great. She kept it from the time she got hired until she quit, and included all sorts of details, stories, and horrors about working as a hooters girl. It made me feel better about working there and kind of got me excited. So I thought maybe I could do that for someone else. If not at least I can look back when I'm successful and rich and remember. Ha!)

This was always something I joked about with my friends. One of those things you're always like 'oh ya I'd totally do that!' Turns out I didn't really want to do that.

I have a 4 year college degree, have had a full time job, already been laid off (thank you economy), and have been looking for work for 5 months now. I've kind of run out of options, so I decided to start substitute teaching. Which is some income if I work as much as possible. But I'm in serious debt and decided a restaurant job would be the easiest way to make that money fast. (I've worked at a few restaurants in the past and hated it.) So if I'm going to put myself through this torture again I figured I might as well do it somewhere I can make even more money.

I went to apply last week. The whole way there I seriously kept telling myself you can turn around, you don't have to do this, but you should, don't tell anyone, etc. I sat in the parking lot of Hooters for a good 10 minutes deciding what to do. But I figured since I got my lazy ass outta bed and actually made myself presentable I may as well just pick up the application and take it home.

I walked in the building and stood awkwardly for a couple minutes. Apparently Hooters Girls do not jump to help a young single girl. Finally one of them was like "do you need something?" (Great, this is going well) So she got the manager and he told me to sit down and fill out the application then. (...ok...) I don't know what my problem was but I was so nervous my already bad handwriting was barely legible. I scribbled through all three pages and listened to the girls sitting around doing nothing. (Apparently it was really slow that day.) They were all talking about tattoos and she did this and he's going to do that... totally what you would expect them to be talking about.

I had a friend that worked for Hooters before and she had really small boobs that she just pushed up a lot. She told me that a lot of girls that work there are like that, that the size of your tits doesn't matter. As I was filling out my application, I tried to look around as much as possible without being awkward... I will say she was totally wrong. All of them had HUGE boobs. Some super fake, some real, some in between... either way, intimidating. (I'm used to have the biggest cup size with all of my friends and I was put to shame here)

Anyway I finally got through the paperwork and the manager came back and was like 'Follow me!' (Oh shit...) He takes me into the To Go room actually and starts interviewing me right then. (Double shit) And the very first question he asked (drum roll please)

"Why are you applying here with a 4 year degree?" (punched in the gut)

Well in case I didn't feel shitty enough about having to work here, that totally just destroyed any self esteem I may have somewhat tricked myself into having left. I told him that I'm just needing something to save up some money until I figure out what I'm going to do. He was really nice about and said that a lot of girls that work there are in school, have other jobs, are moms... pretty much from all walks of life I guess. He just asks everyone why they are applying there.

Questions continued all relatively easy, "Are you certified to serve liquor?" (Yes) "Can you start soon?" (well duh, i'm unemployed) "Blah blah blah" (I HATE interviews)

But then the weirdest question was "How do you feel about the uniforms? Would you be comfortable wearing one?"
(...?wtf?...) Why would I be applying there if I wasn't comfortable with it? Everyone knows exactly what the uniform looks like, that's the exact reason people DO or DON'T want to work there!

AND (continuing on with uniform rant) I worked at a very elite golf tournament with the PGA earlier this year and wore just about as much as the hooters outfit if not less. And there were a lot of girls there that would totally turn their noses up at Hooters. And frankly a lot of the people that attended I'm sure would all be snobby about their waitress serving them wings being scantily clad, but at the golf course the girl serving them their merlot can be in a g-string and pasties for all they care!

After the interview I spoke with another manager and he told me that they'd call me later. They called the next day and said to go to orientation this day. So I did.

That brings me to today:
What do you wear to Hooters orientation? I wanted to wear something that said I have the confidence to do this, but not like Hooters is my dream job. So not too slutty, but not too frumpy.
I went to a different Hooters location and walked in. Again the same thing with none of the girls even looking at me. Finally a lady dressed in business attire finds me and offers me a Monster or a Water. (those are my only choices?) She asks me to follow her. When she walked through the kitchen doors I was not surprised to see the kitchen looking just like every other restaurants kitchen. However she took me down this hall, to the right I see a pink room with big mirrors that have the big lights around them. Girls all crowding around putting make up on and fluffing their hair. (weird) Even farther back the room she takes me to is filled with every kind of uniform, merchandise, and accessory imaginable.

I sit at a table with a man applying to be a cook, who doesn't speak english, and begin signing my life away. I've had a LOT of jobs and have NEVER had that much paperwork. Then we watch an hour and a half long video of mind numbingly stupid information presented by overly excited women from the 80s it seems.

There were a few points that caught me off guard:
-You can NOT wear any kind of elastic or bobby pin or headband or ANYTHING in your hair.
-You can ONLY have your ear lobes pierced
-You MUST always have make up on and hair "photo shoot" ready
-Your horrible 80s socks MUST be SCRUNCHED
-You MUST wear a white or nude bra
-You can NOT be in any video or interview in the uniform w/o management approval
-You MUST have your uniform covered when entering and leaving the establishment

We'll see I have some ear piercings that I do not plan to take out. Anyway boring stuff.
Tomorrow I have to go to my restaurant and get my uniform. It should be interesting...