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2003-01-19 - 10:55 p.m.

So let's see. What's new? Well, I went to hooter's. I hated it. The food sucked, and I felt freaked out. I admit it, I looked at the women. I admit, I made snide comments about them. And everyone said, "Oh, they expect to be looked at, they expect to be judged, they know what to expect when they work here," but it still just felt wrong to me. Maybe it's because there isn't a huge chain called "Dick's" where men walk around in tiny gym shorts and tank tops, and where they serve salad and wine coolers. Part of my problems was that it panders to stereotypes. All the women looked the same. There were a couple black and latino girls, but all the girls had long hair, or medium length hair, that they wore down. The menu is limited to beer, wings, and burgers. You can get a salad - but it's got meat on it. And the decor...well, it wasn't really. It was less decor then plain wood with pictures of famous patrons. And I guess what bugs me most is that it is not only so formulaic, but it's a huge chain that's popular because the formula is popular. There is not a spontaneous moment in the whole experience. When one of the girls goes to carry another girl out of a patron's grasp after the birthday song, it looks practiced. When they cheer and sing for the birthday guy, it's fake. When they flirt and tease while taking your order...fake. When they sit at the table with a bunch of rowdy guys, not only is it fake, but it's planned. You know they read the same article I did that says waitresses get better tips when they sit down at a table full of guys to take their order. It's like softcore porn. The whole thing. I saw dads there with their teenage sons, and I freaked out. When an order was complete, the cook would yell, "Jessica, order up!" "Mandy, order up!" "Jennifer B., order up!" Freaked me out, can't articulate why.

Okay, that's far more space than I really planned to devote to Hooter's, but I needed to vent. The whole experience affected me more than I would have expected. Oh, I woke up in the middle of the night to throw up, so I'm sooooo not impressed by their food.

Lesson learned? I don't care if everyone thinks it's silly for me to be offended. I WAS offended and disgusted. I don't think that the waitresses should be ashamed of themselves so much as a culture that allows this to be a major franchise should be ashamed.

and now, a segue:

Work is starting to settle into a routine. It's okay, I'm getting used to it. I'm starting to be able to roll with the punches, instead of freaking out all the time about everything. I'm still watching the clock tick, minute by minute, but that's okay. At least I'm not having panic attacks before work, like when I was at Dunkin' Donuts.


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