Everyone knows there’s a lot of sex in the restaurant business. It’s a promise that lures big crowds to the pick-up joints. Even in a quieter place, anytime there’s drinking involved you’ll usually find at least some sexual undertones.
And everybody knows that restaurant and bar staffs are quick to cash in on the fun. I can’t think of another legitimate business (except of course the movie industry) where sex is so much a part of the workplace.
These next two stories might not come as a surprise then, but I still think they deserve posting here . . . .
Sex and Sales People
Several years ago, on a break from bartending, I worked as a restaurant consultant. I helped owners decide which cash register systems fit their operations, and then worked with them on implementing new inventory and analysis reports.
I’d always give each client a number of options, but I remember this one owner asking about a particular electronic brand that I never recommended. “What about the Iron-Clad registers?” he asked, “I know someone who really likes them!”
Of course “Iron-Clad” wasn’t their real name, but in my opinion these registers meant too many headaches and problems — and they cost more than some of the much better brands. I explained this to him, but he kept insisting that he wanted to meet with an Iron-Clad representative.
The saleswoman who came in was drop-dead gorgeous. She was a fox. Blond hair, a body to die for, and such a pretty, sexy smile.
And she was an outrageous flirt.
While pointing to the color brochures with one hand, with her other hand she was always touching the owner’s shoulder, or the back of his hand . . . and one point she even laid her hand on his leg as they sat next to each other in the booth.
She had such “touchy-feely” hands that if she’d been in a bar, you’d immediately have identified her as out of control. She batted her eyelashes, and dropped thinly-veiled sexual innuendoes.
I remember she was wearing a wedding band on her left hand, although that might have been for public relations purposes. In any case she made it quite clear that she was “attracted” to this owner, my client. After the meeting, as I left the two of them, they were ordering another round of drinks. They seemed ready to make a night of it.
It apparently worked. That owner went with Iron-Clad, and he paid for it many, many times with register lock-ups, confusing reports, and things that just weren’t programmed right.
I’d run into “Iron-Clad” sales reps several times after that, and they were all the same — hot, flirtatious young women. A few years later, “Iron-Clad” went out of business. Maybe they should have put some money into refining their system, rather than simply hiring “hooker-type” sales ladies.
It was by far the worst computer register system I’d seen . . . but I guess that owner had a really good time while being sold.
A Waitress who knows her way around . . . .
Sales people aren’t the only ones plying sex to get what they want. I’ve watched a few workers use the same sexual signals to manipulate their bosses. Most of the time they don’t even have to follow through . . . just dangling the possibility was enough.
I remember this one restaurant where I was tending bar — there was a particular waitresses who probably shouldn’t have even had a job there. Sure, she was smart, she had experience, and she certainly could have been proficient at handling her tables. She could have given her customers great service, followed the rules, but she just didn’t feel like it . . . that would have required some effort. And at this unnamed restaurant she’d figured a way to get around all that.
I have to admit, she was quite good-looking. She had a stylish haircut, and a figure even those crappy uniforms couldn’t hide. But beyond that, her most important asset was that she absolutely exuded sexuality when she was trying to get away with something.
It’s hard to describe . . . I’ve only met a few women who could manage what she did. It was like heat from a car radiator, something you could actually feel. It rolled over you when she had her motor running. When she looked into your eyes, and flashed that smile, you could almost hear her thinking: “You’re a man. I’m a woman . . . do you know all the fun things we could do to make each other feel good?”
I’m serious, all of that was in her smile when she wanted something.
She order her drinks without ringing anything in, and then try to get away with it when you asked where the slip was. “Oh, I must have forgotten,” she’d turn on that smile, “Can you make them anyway. I’ll get to it later.”
The first time, I did give in, and then I was chasing her for half an hour trying to get the un-rung slip. At the end she was looking through all the dupes on the spindle, claiming that she’d rung them all in, but the chit must have been lost.
On more than one night, she somehow lost entire rounds of drinks — or so she’d say. She’d claim the drinks tipped over while she was carrying them to the tables. The manager would just house them all, without checking anything, and then tell me to make them again. I don’t think he was even getting anything from her. Just the tantalizing sense that someday he might get lucky was apparently enough.
I remember the last night I worked there; she’d been really out of control during that shift, and I was a little pissed. I was cleaning the bar when she walked up.
“Well, we’ll all miss you,” she said with a big smile.
The night was over, it was my last night, so I didn’t say anything negative. It’s funny, maybe you consider someone your worst enemy at a certain job, but when you meet on the street after the two of you are no longer working together, it’s as though nothing ever happened. Like the two of you had been best friends.
But on this last night it was more than that. As this waitress and I talked for a minute, I felt such a warm, sexual vib coming from her. She just smiled that smile, and with that look of promise in her eyes . . . I was surprised to find myself genuinely wishing her well.
She was really good at what she did.