02 September 2009

Coach B

I've held a number of jobs since the ripe age of fifteen. First, I worked concessions at the local baseball park. My summers were spent hawking hot dogs and cokes to drunken baseball fans and awkwardly flirty old men. Actually it was a lot Hooters, the owner would only hire young cute girls because "drunk men buy a lot more food from good looking young ladies" and I always smelled of fried foods. I digress. I've been a concessions worker, a reluctant Old Navy sales associate, slaved in my parent's bakery, spent two weeks folding underwear at Victoria's Secret, lugged guns and ammo around a sporting goods warehouse and showed my nerdy side as a University IT consultant. This is but a glimpse into my varied resume.

Beyond the retail and service positions I was once a high school track and field coach - specifically high jump. Most of my life has been spent on and around the track: my parents met at a track meet in Paris, I received my first pair of spikes at age seven, found myself competing nationally by nine and was signing my national letter of intent for college at seventeen. Lets just say it was a logical job choice for me. While I loved coaching, my students left a lot to be desired. The school had a hard time recruiting athletes for the team causing the season to be a struggle. Yet I appreciated the small victories, breaking personal records and individual victories, rather than medals won. It was a good spring even though I never produced a state level athlete.

So why am I not coaching now? Well mainly because now I find myself in a town that doesn't need track coaches. You see, I coached in my hometown one spring while completing an internship for our State Games. Spending my days writing press releases and contacting the media, I spent my afternoons and weekends at the track. I practiced with the kids, purposely hitting the bar so as not to jump higher than my male athletes. They all knew and loved me all the more for it.

Returning to college the next semester, I finally completed my degree. Then I ended up at Hooters. You are probably wondering what any of this story has to do with Hooters. In fact it has a lot to do with Hooters. Living in one of two large college towns in the state, Missoula is understandably a popular place for high school graduates. My athletes are now showing up here. Athletes in Missoula mean athletes at Hooters.

There is something odd about serving a student of yours in tight shorts and a cleavage bearing tank top. Where once you were in a position of authority, you are now forced to cater to them. Rather than running their asses off with hill sprints they run your ass off as you grab them refills and ranch and whatever the eff else they decide they randomly want. This is especially awkward when the student in question is a male. Where once they looked at you as a coach, they now look at you as a sex object (actually now that I think about it they probably looked at me as a sex object then too). And of course, news travels fast when coach works at Hooters.

"Oh hey, Coach B!"

This is not something I enjoy hearing as it rings across the restaurant. Unfortunately, it's becoming increasingly more frequent. One student told another until suddenly I had a table full of my athletes sitting in my section one evening. I felt like the scandalous, hot teacher that flirts shamelessly with her students. Needless to say they loved it. I made sure to point out that I could still jump higher than them. At least I still have that.

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