"OMG," whined the frumpy hostess, "the manager keeps hiring the ugliest girls!"
"Really?" replied the other girl in the break room.
"Yeah, and he hired a FAT girl yesterday."
"WHAT?? Are you serious?"
"Yeah, well I mean, she's not fat but, for a Hooters girl she's ENORMOUS."
How about this:
"Hey (name of manager)!"
The manager pauses for a second and without returning the salutation she replies with "You look awkward today."
The mortified Hooters girl ran, horrified, into the break room and spent half of her shift fussing over any 'imperfection' she may have had. She's gorgeous. And that was wrong.
My favorite hostess recently quit, in tears, because management felt she wasn't physically living up to the "Hooters Girl Image." I and the rest of the girls have no idea where this insult came from. This girl was a pageant winner; gorgeous inside and out.
Our location was the training point for Southern California. At least for most of the restaurants nearby. And we were something somewhere around the 4th largest grossing location in the world. Hopefully that paints a picture of how insane it can get during event nights. I always felt sorry for the new 'trainee' managers. Usually staying in a hotel or with friends if they're lucky enough, these managers in training have no allies nearby. Working 12 hour shifts to receive the same amount as the salary-paid managers, they are pushed to edge of their sanity. I seemed to always be there when the trainees had their mini break downs. Management and girls would talk down to them, criticize or humiliate them publicly, and use their naiveté to their advantage. I asked every one of them how their store ran and each replied solemnly with the same answer: "Not like this."
Hooters was in no way a terrible place to work. But everybody is human and everybody makes mistakes. 90% of the girls were awesome to work with, but there were that 10% that made me wonder who had so horribly screwed them over in their past/present that made them decide to take out their frustrations on anybody within a ten foot radius of them.
It was a good run. I saw a lot of good and bad come and go. I'm glad I was given the opportunity to be a world famous Hooters girl for fifteen months. The money was good, but waitressing really isn't for me. And neither was the constant blending of waitress/entertainer. I think it was the new uniform tops that really helped me finalize this decision. I always try and ask myself, "what would my parents/little sisters/bf think?" For the most part, they thought it was hilarious. But I knew I could never face them baring my chest, ass, AND midriff. And I didn't even want to think about the extra unwanted attention I would be receiving.
Most of all, Hooters gave me confidence. People called me beautiful. Management complimented my hair and attitude. The other girls made me feel smart. It was wonderful when things were good. But it's time for me to grow up now. I gained what I needed and I did the best that I could. Next week, after I get home from Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, I begin my job hunt at my local hospitals as a Certified Nurse Assistant. It's not the most glamorous job by any means, but it comes with dignity and the hands on experience needed for Nursing school that starts this fall. :o)
I will never forget you Hooters.