There comes a point in every job hunt where you start to consider lowering the bar.Up till now I've been able to sorta eek by on savings and unemployment checks, but it's only a matter of time before that dries up. The only silver lining to the whole thing seems to be the fact that each time I check my finances the math seems to get a little easier.
It's hard not to get discouraged.It's not all about the money, either. Every day the phone doesn't ring seems to last a little longer. It's like there's something written on my resume that I can't see. Something that keeps me from making it past that first phone call, email, or handshake. Of course, no one ever tells you what it is that they don't like about your resume.
No one ever tells you what it is they don't like about you.It makes you second guess the times you stood on principle. It makes you kick yourself for all the mistakes you've made. It makes you feel like you're letting everybody who has faith in you down. But in the end all you can really do is stay in there and keep punching - no matter how ridiculous the whole thing starts to get.
Case in point: about a week ago I got a call from a buddy of mine letting me know that a local strip club was looking to hire a daytime DJ. I actually spent some time a few years back as a DJ for another club here in town -- and while it wasn't the most glamorous gig I'd ever had in my life, it certainly ranks as one of the most memorable.
The thing most people don't understand about strip clubs is that they're run sort of like beauty salons. The girls don't really work for the clubs as much as the club itself sort of rents out a space for them to do their job in. In other words, strippers work for themselves -- but they have to pay out a percentage of whatever they make to the club owner, the bartender, and the DJ. That's what makes it such a crappy job, because for every $10 you make, you basically have give away six.That being said, the pay sucks.
A DJ or bartender in a club like this is guaranteed a flat payment for the night plus the percentage he gets tipped out from each of the girls. How much this works out to depends on the club you work at, but in general - a DJ in a Jacksonville strip club can expect to make $30-$40 a night plus tips.
When I was working at Diamond there were nights when I'd bring home close to $200, but most of the time if I walked out with anything close to $50 it was considered a success. That being said, even when I was working three or four nights in a row, the most I'd ever really clear was like $300 a week.
A daytime DJ makes about half that.Still -- a job is a job, right? I mean, crappy as the pay might end up, it's gotta be better than what I'm making now. So I give the lady who ran the place a call and set up a meeting for Wednesday morning. Then just to see what I was getting myself into, I decided to pay the club a visit Tuesday night.
Inside there were 4 guys sitting at the bar watching football. Looking around some more I see a bartender, a bouncer, and a DJ. Pretty standard, especially for a weeknight - and good news for me, because the less people working, the more you get when the girls tip out.
The bad news was that there only seemed to be three dancers in the entire place. Even on the slowest of slow nights at Diamond we'd have six girls walking around at any given time, and with good reason. I mean, even if a DJ clears $30 before tip out (and judging by how empty this place was -- there was NO way they were paying that), three girls would have to literally sell dozens of lap dances each before they started to even get close to a decent payday.
But the worst was yet to come, because I hadn't really seen the dancers yet.
Now it's not at all odd to see a stripper sitting barside with a cigarette between her lips while she waits for her feature dance on the stage. Some girls even do their best to try to work it to their advantage, playing off the oral fixations of their possible customers. But what you don't really see is a stripper keeping the cigarette in her mouth while she's dancing.
Nothing says hotness quite like a woman switching hands on a pole just so she can exhale and cough.
It was perhaps the single most un-sexy thing I had ever seen in my entire life.I don't think I was alone either, because from that point on the girl I began to affectionately refer to as "Hacky" didn't make a single dime. In fact, during the two hours I spent in the place -- I didn't see one girl do a VIP dance at all. Hence the problem: There is NO money to be made in this place whatsoever.
I mean, if these are the girls they save for prime time -- what are the chicks that work the lunch rush like?But beyond even that the same question kept repeating in my head over and over again -- Just how badly do I need this shitty job? I mean, any money is better than no money at all. And maybe the prospect of having a crappy gig might be just the kind of motivation I need to go find a better one. All that night and into the morning I kept turning all of these thoughts over in my head. None of them were making me feel all that great, but there I was -- sitting outside the place at the appointed time on Wednesday morning.
I go inside and tell the bartender about my an appointment with the manager -- she tells me the manager isn't in yet, would I like to wait? Mornings aren't always the best time for bar people in general, so I don't take it too seriously -- but an hour later the message seems pretty clear. I leave my number for them to call me and I go back home.
I still haven't heard from them.At this point I'm looking at it as a blessing in disguise. It was a crappy job and taking it probably would have done me more harm than good. But at the same time -- this whole thing is starting to border on the absurd. I mean, these people gave "Hacky" a job --
Just how un-hirable am I?
[Listening to: Pantera, "Five Minutes Alone"]