OK, here's the deal. I've posted on this before asking advice, but I used to waitress in a strip club and was thinking about writing about my experience in my p.s. I just completed a VERY rough draft of my p.s. this morning and would love some input, especially considering the tricky subject matter and the fact that I am not sure I should even use this as my topic. Keep in mind I JUST wrote this, so don't judge me too harshly. Thanks!!
I place my hands on the bar, bending my aching legs because I have been on my feet since four in the afternoon with only one bathroom break to hold me over. Glancing at the clock, I see it is 1:03 in the morning. Fifty-seven minutes to go, I think to myself. Jenny, the bartender, slams down two bottles of Coors Light, a pint of Sam Adams, and a shot of port, jolting me out of my reverie and back to reality. Reality is The Crystal City Restaurant, which, despite its rather generic, reassuring name, is actually a local strip club in Arlington, Virginia.
I waitressed at The Crystal for three months during my internship at the Attorney General’s Office, a job I took because I hadn’t known how expensive living and working in D.C. would be. Working at The Crystal, I came into contact with a variety of different people from all walks of life. Rich, poor, young, old, black, white, I even had a paraplegic as one of my customers. Because of the variety of the clientele, I dealt with people that I had never been exposed to before. There were a number of Hispanics that came in, many of whom could only speak a few words of English. In a situation which was almost comical, they attempted to communicate their orders to me with a combination of Spanish and English, while I, having never uttered more than a simple “Hola” in my life, managed to communicate my understanding of their requests with a variety of hand signals and my own broken combination of the two languages. Dealing with many types of people also meant that I was exposed to some unsavory characters, people that I had never come in contact with during my upper middle class upbringing. A specific incident I recall is when a customer tried to convince me that he had already paid for his two drinks, when I knew specifically he had not. Getting out of his seat by the stage, he started yelling at me, telling me I was a liar and that I was trying to cheat him out of his money. It was my second week working at The Crystal, and I was not used to strange men towering over me and accusing me of theft. Intimidated and a little scared, I stood my ground and calmly told the manager my version of events. The customer finally paid and left in a huff, to my great relief. The more I worked at The Crystal, the more I became used to different types of people, and the majority of customers that came in were easy to talk to and pleasant to deal with.
My fellow waitresses, however, were a different story. There was a constant air of competition among the wait-staff, and even some of the managers took sides against the newer girls. Many times, girls would steal my tables, and I learned soon enough that I had to watch my tables like a hawk or risk a missed opportunity to up my sales and, subsequently, my tips. There was one specific waitress who was constantly eyeballing me, watching for the smallest mistake so that she could run to the manager and report me. Another waitress, who, like me, was new, quit soon after being hired, telling me the day before she left that she could not work in such an unfriendly environment. As time passed, I learned not to take the other employees’ actions or comments personally, because I was there to do my job and make money, and I was, after all, the new girl.
I realize that working in a strip club is not the ideal work experience for a would-be lawyer, yet I in no way regret my brief stint at The Crystal. I loved busy nights, where I was constantly on my feet, bringing drink orders, handing out change, and trying to diffuse tricky situations. Working at The Crystal gave me a glimpse into a side of life which I had never been exposed to, an environment which was totally new to me, and yet, I learned to work in this environment and do my job well. I believe my ability to deal with various types of people, take criticism well, and adapt to completely new situations are all qualities which would make me a good candidate for law school.