Lately I have had a slew of formerly generous customers show up without cash, but with some sort of gift. Thompson Thompson showed up with a huge box of cookies that he must have picked up at Costco or BJ's or Sams. I wasn't there that day, but Sheila kept them for me until my next shift, and gasped/doubled over laughing when I chucked them across the room into a garbage can filled with tampons and sweaty baby wipes. (I wish I knew basketball lingo; I'm sure I could be more descriptive...) I'm sorry, after that asshole's ever-shrinking wallet and ever-grabbier hands (see previous post), he makes me want to toss my cookies in more ways than one.
Then came Sumit, who has gone from taking me to the champagne room to buying me a few rounds of drinks and tipping me $20 to, most recently, swinging by after work to give me a DVD. I must admit, I was touched; I know he just stopped by to give me the DVD. But I shouldn't let the fact that we're friends take precedence over the fact that this is my workplace, yes? Couldn't he have tucked a $5 bill into the DVD cover?
So my recent frustration with gifts instead of cash had me briefly wondering if I was turning into a materialistic, money-minded automaton: the stereotypical stripper. But, really!? Perhaps this is just a reflection how impactful those 'stripper stereotypes' are; I think teachers, lawyers, and graphic designers would complain if they were given cookies instead of paychecks. I have every right to as well! So, Sumit and Thompson, pay up!! (Actually, Thompson, you're getting to the point where your money won't help you with me; I'm officially disgusted!)
Okay, this is not to knock gift-giving in strip clubs. Some of my best customers have given me comic books*, DVDs, perfume, and Victoria's Secret giftcards. And not in lieu of money, but in addition to it.
*Imagine gifting a stripper Art Spiegelman's "Maus." What would Marcel Mauss say?