Note: The following post is a guest post written by Erin Veness of Coma Diary. This post does contain situations that might not be appropriate for your place of work, depending on your workplace, that is.
I was just like any other graduate. Good degree, great work experience, clean, tidy and with all my own teeth and hair. My curriculum vitae showed that I’d worked in pubs and nightclubs, I’d worked with disaffected youth, I’d even spent a summer packing things into boxes for a factory.
I knew that having a degree didn’t mean that I could waltz into any job I chose. I figured I might have to prove my worth and take an entry-level position. I was completely ok with that, and I still would be. When you need to put a roof over your head no job is beneath you. The downfall was that I’d graduated right at the point where the British economy really went tits up. Everyone was losing their jobs left, right and centre.
Luckily for me I managed to land work as a bar maid in (as the website described) “a landmark restaurant on the seafront”. They described themselves as a ‘stylish establishment’ with ‘a conference and banqueting facility which can cater for any event from beautiful fairy tale weddings, to celebratory parties, exhibitions and conferences’.
So the day I ended up watching a sex show performer remove a customer’s phone from her vagina was, well, unexpected.
My manager had felt that we weren’t having enough ‘beautiful fairy tale weddings’ that week so decided that a strip show with free curry when you bought the ticket was a great idea. I’m not adverse to strippers, in fact, for a short while I worked in a strip club. I guessed that if they marketed it just right and advertised it then it’d probably bring in some cash that evening.
Due to the fact my manager and the owner of this restaurant were both men they requested that the female staff worked on the bar during the strip show. I agreed, but refused to dress up or wear anything that I felt uncomfortable in, my manager and the owner were ok with this.
So far so good?
My history is peppered with strip shows and strip clubs. I first went into a strip club at the tender age of 17, a college trip obviously gone a bit awry. While I was at university it seemed like an easy way to earn money, and it was. When working in pubs and night clubs I was not adverse to flirting with customers to score tips.
So I arrived at work due to lead a team of staff as usual while some women took their clothes off and jiggled their boobs in some blokes faces, or so I thought. I don’t think I was being naive either. I’d plenty of experience with strippers after all.
The first sign that things were going in a different direction was when I was told that there were topless waitresses to do table service. They’d bring me orders, I’d dispense drinks and the buxom ladies would take these drinks to the tables. Fair enough I thought, save my legs. I’m not going to complain.
The second sign that this wasn’t going to go as planned. The doors open about 7:30pm. By 8:30pm there were about fifteen young lads sat in small groups looking embarrassed at the topless waitresses. At least twice I saw a few of the young men trying to look elsewhere. The room used to accommodating a few hundred guests at once looked amazingly sparse.
But, the show must go on.
The first stripper came out and did her piece, sexily removing her clothing, and anal beads. I was a little surprised. I started to wonder if this was really a strip show as had been advertised. In the UK you need a special licence to hold live sex shows, and my place of work did not have that licence. Anal bead stripper then proceeded to bring one of the embarrassed young men onto the stage. I figured she might give him a lap dance.
Nope. She sucked his penis.
At this point, I felt a little ill. I have no problems with strippers, live sex shows though, not really my scene to be honest. While this was going on, one of the topless waitresses then informed the owner of the establishment (who seemed to really be enjoying this) that she was also a prostitute, and charged £40 an hour. I excused myself and ended up sat on the beach chain smoking for 10 minutes.
Needless to say, everything ended up going downhill. Three of the gentlemen asked for a refund before there’d even been talk of their curry arriving. Another stripper came on, took off her clothes and then ended up masturbating with one of the customers phones, before it swiftly disappeared inside of her. I’m pretty sure it also went up her back passage.
The other staff working with me, other females who were more sheltered were disgusted, asking to leave. I didn’t blame them to be honest, the whole show was taking a decidedly seedy tone. More customers (who were all male may I remind you) asked to leave. I’m pretty sure the guy who owned the phone left it there. I think I would have done the same too.
The curry came out, and most of the remaining customers (about 10 at most) refused to eat it, and at this point I could see the owner and the manager both seeing money draining away. They continued getting very drunk and I continued escaping the room as and when I could. There was quite a lot of hiding in the cellar.
At the end of the evening, myself and the remaining two other staff members agreed that for the manager and the owner it’d been a waste of money and resources, and a waste of our time. The nail in the coffin came when I politely stated to my manager that I would not be working another one of his illegal sex shows again, unless of course he paid me more money, bought me a blindfold and treated me to a no-expenses-spared spa weekend (for two) after.
My manager didn’t take it that well, and after choice words, I walked out, with my wages (of course).
The moral of this story? Don’t compromise your morals for money, it’s never worth it, and if your local women’s institute get wind of live sex shows without a licence there’s a fabulous retribution.
Erin Veness is an artist and blogger from the United Kingdom who has not had to deal with the situation described above since said story occurred. If you are interested in reading more of her writings, or examining her artworks, you can do so at comadiary.com.