Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cultural Capital

There are a few things I *never* want to happen to me at work, even though they seem sort of inevitable.
- Getting my period on a guy's lap: I'm hopelessly out of tune with my cycle and hence don't know when to expect it, and totally worried I'll be on some married guy's white linen lap or something when Flo arrives)
- Falling on stage (or off stage, for that matter): I've never become fully comfortable with these heels, and the floor is uneven and sometimes quite slick. The physical pain of falling would be way outdone by the embarrassment of it!
- Having any sort of run-in with the cops!

I was on my way to work, running a couple minutes late, when the subway turnstile rejected me. Insufficient fare! I ran and quickly purchased a new Metrocard. There were two cops standing around the machine and, as always, I felt a sense of discomfort and annoyance as I quickly fumbled with my debit card and backpack zipper. As I ran down to catch the E train, I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around, face to face with one of the pigs. Gulp. What? Could he tell I'd eaten the best magic brownie of my life the previous day? I took my earbud out and smiled at him.

"You dropped your phone, maam, and we were calling at you but you didn't hear us. What are you listening to, anyway?"

He hands me my phone after delicately inserting the battery that had fallen out.

Whew! Well, I got to work on time in spite of it all, and quickly put on my new ChristmAss outfit: this clingy red and silver gown with little rhinestone accents, fire engine red lipstick, and green and gold glitter for the eyelids. I was expecting a couple good customers and sipping a cup of coffee when the housemom comes up to me in a panic.

"I need your help. You're not only the MOST intelligent girl here, you're also the only intelligent one, and the cops are on their way. I need you to talk to them when they get here and tell them there's no prostitution or drug dealing going on."

I'm stunned. The cops are on their way? Is this cuz I dropped my phone?! And, why am I supposed to be the go-between for the club?

So apparently what happened is that someone called the cops and said there's drug dealing and prostitution happening at the club (generally not at all true, though I'm sure there's been a handjob or dime bag exchanged on the rare occasion) and the cops called to announce they were on their way.

First things first, all the girls starting talking about their relatives who were cops. One girl's father is a vice cop, and she was worried he'd be one of the raiding officers. Another girl has a detective uncle. Literally each of these women is closely related to someone who'd be there shortly to arrest their ass!

Next, the club said we weren't allowed to give lapdances for the day. So, let me get this straight, I'm supposed to sit down and wait to be interrogated by the 5-0 AND not have any money to show for it? Not at all a risk I'm willing to take. Plus, I'd already been shown some mercy by cops earlier in the day; what are the odds of having such good luck twice in a row? I wasn't interested in finding out.

Suddenly the girls were all summoned to the dressing room, where a bunch of freshly printed legal forms were there for us to sign. From what I could tell, they were statements that absolved the club of any responsibility for actions of the girls, and we were all supposed to put older dates on them so it looked like we'd signed them earlier. Sketch!

So I told the housemom I wanted to go home. She said I was being paranoid, and just to relax. "It's not an immigration raid, I promise you," were her exact words. What? I'm a U.S. citizen! I told her I was worried about the possibility of arrest, and didn't want to jeopardize my other job. She didn't want to hear it.

I spoke to our (sweet, kind-hearted) manager, who told me I should go home. He told me that he was charging all the other girls a $40 fine if they left, but I had a legitimate reason (i.e. "a university job" - I suppose the other girls who were saying "I have 2 kids at home" or "I don't want to pay the sitter if I'm not going to make any money here" don't have legit reasons?) and I should just go home.

As I was getting dressed, the other girls started asking me why I wanted to leave. They all started talking about their previous raids, arrests, and run-ins with the law. I explained that I hadn't had any such experiences, and wasn't looking to start today. "Oh, no wonder, girl! I always thought you seemed like a doctor or lawyer or something, and I was always asking people what a girl like you was doing here!" And all of a sudden all these girls (many of whom I've never spoken to) took this sort of protective stance, telling me to go home, dodge the cops, etc. It was a very strange show of solidarity, even as it seemed totally strange to me to be cast into this elite/protected category.

I left before the cops got there, but realized as I saw my reflection in a deli window en route to the train that I looked more like a prostitute out on the street in my full stripper make-up in broad daylight than anything in the club. (I also quickly emailed all my customers from my phone, telling them I wasn't there today. Customers first!)

Ugh! A few options:
1) Go back to my Manhattan club, which is full of bullshit, fines, fees, and being pimped out in the champagne room
2) Get a 'straight' job for a while to keep the income a-flowing
3) See what happens at this club in a few days and possibly go back

Regardless, fuck.

1 comment:

  1. ah, just go back in a few days. it'll all die down and things will go right back to normal.
    what is it with clubs getting raided these days, though? i've heard about it from many people.