27 March 2010

Overheard at Hooters: March 27, 2010

"Those not in the swimsuit contest will be subject to work...or death."

"It's my job to embarrass you.  I'm your dad.  I take my responsibilities seriously."

"Fuck, I'm going to cut you!"

Stay tuned for more random Hooters quotes!

A Little Bit About Sauce

Our swimsuit contest is coming up in the beginning of April.  I signed up.  This is a decision I nearly immediately regretted.  First off it's really not my style.  It's also insanely expensive when all is said and done.  Being my father's daughter, I hate spending money.  He's Dutch, he taught me cliché, Dutch cheapness amazingly well.  In addition he also taught me not be a quitter.  So here I am somewhat begrudgingly preparing for my swimsuit contest debut (unless you count bikini skiing contest, I already have that championship under my belt).

This post however is not directly about the bikini contest.  Rather, it is about the questions we will be asked during the bikini contest.  In an effort to show that Hooters Girls do indeed have a personality, management has decided to include a small interview question to the contest.  This will either be the greatest idea ever or an incredible disaster.  Luckily the questions contain nothing of actual substance so we should be just fine.  We wouldn't want to challenge anyone.

Here I will present you with the both the questions (of which we will be asked two or three) and my own answers.  I figured this could be an interesting journey into the life of Sauce.  Or it will be boring.  Whatever, you'll read it anyway.

1.   Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Are we looking at this realistically or ideally?  Realistically, I hope to be a lawyer starting a family.  I hope to be successful both professionally and personally.  Mostly, I hope I'm happy and devastatingly in love.
Ideally on the other hand, I hope that I'm a singer that was successful enough to drop out of law school and devote myself to my music.  I still hope I'm happy and devastatingly in love.

2.   What' the worst pickup line you've heard at Hooters?
"So, you want my hotel room number or what?"  He proceeded to leave the room number on his receipt for me.  Seriously.

3.   What's your favorite word?

4.   If you had a billion dollars what would you do with it?
Honestly I'd probably just save it all.  I have a very hard time spending money, even when I have a lot of it.  Saving money gives me a weird high so saving a billion dollars would probably give me a crazy insane high.  Oh and I'd donate a lot to Parkinson's research because seeing my grandmother die from it was one of the worst things I've ever seen.

5.   Do you have any nicknames?  If so what?
Sauce, Hot Sauce and any variation therein.  This is a (somewhat) logical progression from my actual name that can be mildly confusing as it's anything but common.  I've also been called Big Dutch because I am tall and Dutch, but it makes people that don't know me think I'm obese and Dutch.  Since it's less than flattering I try to ignore that one.

6.   Who's your favorite Professional Athlete?
Current:  Usain Bolt.  I am a track nerd.  Plus, he gives tall sprinters hope.  Thank you.
All-time:  John Elway.  DON'T HATE!

7.   Describe your dream man.
First off he's tall.  I'm talking 6'3+.  I like to wear heels.  This is a no compromise issue.  But mostly he makes me laugh, makes me think and makes me feel loved.  He is trusting and trustworthy.  He is driven to be successful both personally and professionally.  And he's really, really cute.  Tall, dark and handsome?  Yes please!

8.   What's your favorite feature of yourself?
My quick wit.  Or my extremely long legs.  Either way.

9.   What was your worst dating experience?
I've had many less that ideal dating experiences.  It's hard to choose, but my worst would be the guy who took me to an Italian restaurant and used his hand to wind his linguine around his fork.  Watching him wrap those noodles around and around and around will forever be etched in my brain.  But I did date a guy who lived in a doublewide with his parents and was unemployed.  Obviously picking my worst is a hard choice.

10.   Have you cheated on a test?
I've never cheated to get ahead on a test, but I have helped others cheat.  I took Native American Studies 100 with a very serious boyfriend and he thought studying was overrated.  After he scored quite poorly on his first test of the class, I helped him cheat on the two remaining exams.  It was a large lecture class and we'd sit a seat apart with our feet touching.  I would then tap his foot to correspond with the answers; one tap for A, two for B, three for C and so on.  He got As on the remaining tests.

11.   What is your favorite activity to do at Hooters?
I love playing my guitar at work.  I don't know any other restaurant that would encourage me to do that.

12.   Describe yourself in three words. (for the record I effing hate this question)
Tall, glamorous nerd.

13.   What's the weirdest thing that has happened to you while working at Hooters?
Nylons man.   Enough said.

14.   Describe your first kiss.
I was almost seventeen.  You can call me a late-bloomer.  It was slobbery and awful.  I mean really slobbery.  Luckily, my second kiss let me know the saliva issue was clearly not my fault.

15.   What did you want to be as a child?
When I was really little I wanted to be President.  Then I decided I'd be a meteorologist.  This dream ended when I went to the National Weather Service at fourteen and every employee was an overweight guy at a computer.  I realized I didn't fit in.

16.   What is your favorite food at Hooters?
If calories didn't exist I'd say the Strip Cheese Sandwich.  Other than that I'd say oysters on the half shell.

17.   What is the most memorable day that you've ever had?
Winning the State Championship for high jump.

18.   Tell your favorite joke.
What do you get when you cross an elephant and rhino?   Elephino!  Read it out loud.  Seriously do it.  Stupid, I know, but people ALWAYS laugh.

19.   Why would you want to win this swimsuit contest?
I would want to win this contest to show that a Hooters Girl is not only about a certain look, but she's about personality and charm too.  She more than a pretty face, she's a beautiful person.

20.   What do you love most about Montana?
I love how in Montana you can drive five minutes out of town and be lost in the wilderness.  I love that juxtaposition of urban and rural that is quintessentially Montana.

24 March 2010

Hooters Photo Creepers

Today at work I had a camera phone creeper.   Camera phone creepers are easy to spot.  They're the ones that awkwardly hold their phone pretending to text while actually taking less than appropriate photos of Hooters Girls.  They think they are stealthy, but they are anything but.  No one texts with a phone held that high.  No one snaps it shut so quickly as soon as someone turns around.  Yes, I caught you.  Get over it.

Here's the thing, it is completely acceptable for you to take photos in Hooters.  It's not against the rules.  Really, ask me for a picture; I don't mind.  But no, you'd rather be totally awkward and photograph me in less than flattering ways.  I'm sure you're getting really up close and personal to all of my most wonderful assets.  Have fun with that later.

What I don't get is why guys insist on doing that.  Is it because you think you're not allowed?  Does it get you off?  Are you just plain weird?  All I know is that it is really disconcerting when you know someone is photographing you in that way.  You walk up to the table - or away from it - and all you can think about is what body part he's zooming in on.  There is perhaps nothing more objectifying.

So next time you're at Hooters, please remember we will gladly take a nice photo with you if you ask.  We'll strike our best Hooters pose, smile pretty and leave you with a great memory to take home with you.  No need to be creepy about it - even if you do tip really effing well.  I appreciate the 90% tip, but I'd appreciate being left my dignity more.

23 March 2010

Automatic Gratuity

Saturday night we had a part of 70+ in the restaurant.  I wasn't there; I was skiing and being utterly fabulous.  Yes, I was skiing on a sprained ankle, but that's way off subject.  But for the record I would call that extreme dedication.  Anyway, like I said, there was a part of 70+ at the restaurant and I wasn't there.  Usually, I wouldn't hear about a large party if I hadn't been there to witness it myself.  Large parties are common at our Hooters so it's hardly news when yet another one comes in.  Seventy is a rather high number, but still nothing worth getting worked up about.  However, auto-grat certainly is.

What is auto-grat?  The long way to say it is automatic gratuity and basically what that means is that on large parties tip is automatically added.  This isn't simply a Hooters thing, pretty much any restaurant will add automatic gratuity for big parties.  Usually this is encountered with parties of eight or more and generally results in 15-20% of the total bill.  Our auto-grat is generally added to parties of ten or more and is 18%.

So as you can imagine, 18% on a bill for seventy people who are all drinking is a pretty damn amazing tip.  There were two girls working the party (a big no no by the way, it should be one girl to every ten to fifteen people but apparently this wasn't followed) so they were in line to receive a nice payday.  Naturally they added the auto-grat.  The guests expected the auto-grat as they had been told about it beforehand.  It was hardly a surprise. 

What was a surprise happened next.  Evidently, the owner of our restaurant was in the building that night drinking at the bar.  This is hardly out of the ordinary.  It seems he saw the auto-grat being added by the manager on duty and thought this was unacceptable.  He made him remove the gratuity, which is always up to the manager's discretion.  So the tip was removed, the bill was delivered and the bill was promptly paid.  With a 10% tip.  For two girls.  To split.  Not ok.

At any rate there was generally outrage amongst many of the girls after this took place.  I was one of them.  The whole reason auto-grat is added is because big parties hardly ever tip enough on their own.  Especially not enough when you consider the work involved in serving and entertaining such a large group.  Auto-grat is unfortunately necessary.  If they tipped enough to begin with it wouldn't even exist.

So my question to you is, is automatic gratuity acceptable?  As a customer what are your feelings?

22 March 2010

I Hate You, Weak Ankles

Last week I sprained my ankle, badly.  I was at the gym.  I should just end the story there - you'd think I was much cooler if I did.  You'd imagine me doing some epic workout that involved lots of jumping on boxes and jumping rope and more jumping type circuit activities.  Suddenly I'd fall at the most intense part of my workout because I was pushing myself so hard that my body could take it no longer.  Yeah, that sounds nice.

While I did enjoy a great, hard workout that day, it had nothing to do with my ankle injury.  That would make sense.  Rather my injury occurred AFTER my workout.  You know, during that really difficult thing called walking.  Apparently, it's not one of my fortes.  Ok, so I wasn't just walking.  I was stepping off a big step moments after doing a killer ab routine.  At any rate, my ankle buckled and rolled under me immediately.  I then proceeded to use a string of expletives while willing myself not to cry.  Needless to say I felt like a massive idiot.

Now, so I don't sound like a total uncoordinated loser, I will tell you my ankles quite frankly suck.  After spending the majority of my life as a track athlete, my ankles finally said eff you and became the weakest thing ever.  They pop when I move and make funny noises and generally just don't like me, especially my left ankle.   My left was my take off foot for the long jump, triple jump and high jump.  It's been very overworked.  Of course this was the ankle I sprained.  I'm pretty sure it was protesting its difficult life.

So there I was, ankle already swelling, as the gym attendants helped me hobble to the office.  I've sprained my ankles a lot, but this was the first time I had to take a break from my hobbling so I didn't blow chunks everywhere.  I was mildly alarmed by this.  The sudden swelling and discoloration also alarmed me.  Walking was apparently dangerous shit.

Eventually, I got ahold of a friend and had a ride home.  Task number one, get my shift covered for the night.  This appeared impossible.  For some reason, girls at my Hooters have been less than helpful in covering shifts - especially shifts that really need to be covered.  Like shifts that need to be covered when you can't walk.  You know, important things.  I panicked as my options dwindled and no one would help me.  I was even more panicked when my GM didn't giving two shits about my ankle.  I had to try and work an eight-hour shift on an ankle that had suddenly turned into a softball.  I was screwed.

Luckily, as I was contemplating how I was going to get myself down from my third story apartment, my phone saved my life with one little text message.  "You still need your shift covered?"  Dear Lord, yes, yes I do!  And just like that, fifteen minutes before I was scheduled, my shift was magically taken care of.  My ankle rejoiced.

A few days later, I was finally back at work.  Limping, but at work.  Luckily, in addition to suddenly weak ankles, track taught me to effortlessly tape my ankles like a pro.  So there I was taped up, limping and garnering tons of sympathy tips.  As I was hobbling around, GM came up to me.

"You know it's a good thing you didn't get an air cast.  We can't let you work with that.  Anything you can see like that is not allowed because it's not Hooters approved."

I thought back to the summer when one of my friends had twisted her knee rather severely.  She'd been forced to wear a knee brace by her doctor and was sent home from work because of it.  It showed in the uniform and there for was not.  I remember being outraged at the time.  I remember thinking, well what if she'd had a broken arm?  What if she'd needed a cast?  Does one have to quit being a Hooters Girl due to injury?  I'm pretty sure that they can't do that.  After all a pregnant girl can work at Hooters.  Why not one with an obvious injury?

Anyway, a week later my ankle is still swollen and still doesn't have a full range of motion.  It's annoying, but it's healing.   Don't worry, I'm working on that whole walking thing.


I've been getting a few emails on how the LSAT went.  Basically, it fried my brain.  It fried my brain so much that as I was driving home I felt as if I was drunk.  I was honestly worried about being pulled over and having to explain that I had not been drinking but rather had been wasting my brain away with logic problems.  It's probably a really common mix up.

Beyond feeling wasted, it left me feeling worried.  You see the hardest section for me and most LSAT takers came last of five sections.  This killed me.  Before opening my test book I had fingers crossed that it came first.  I wanted my brain to be fresh.  I wanted to get it out of the way.  Mostly I wanted them to forget to put that section in my test book.  That didn't happen.  None of that happened.  It came last.  I wanted to cry.  I really feel like I rocked the first four sections.  In fact they felt beyond easy.  I was like an LSAT pro.  Then that last section came along and laughed at my confidence.  It mocked my preparation.  It devoured me whole.  I'm pretty sure when all was said and done I completely bombed it.  I left feeling humbled and dejected.  I was scared.

Then I got my score back and low and behold I didn't totally suck!  I mean, it wasn't what I'd hope, but I wasn't a total lack of space.  I wasn't the Hooters Girl does law school joke.  I got a decent 156.  YAY!  Yeah, I'd hopped for 160 or above, but 156 should get me into the law school here with my GPA.  Hopefully.  I'm still nervous as hell.  I'm still curious what my score would have been had I not guessed on half of the logic games section.  That is unfortunately something I will never know.  That is lost to the gods of the LSATS for eternity.  Now I just hope they let me into law school.

Becoming a Trainer

It's official.  I am a Certified Hooters Girl Trainer.  After hours of my own training, I now have the ability to train others.  I have to say it feels great.  So does the extra dollar an hour I'll be making (during training shifts only of course).  So does the big shiny nametag I now wear announcing my awesome to the world (note the regular orange nametag versus the gold trainer nametag).  So does being at the top of the Hooters Girl food chain.  Great indeed.

So I know you're all curious about what Hooters Girl Trainer training is like.  Besides being a tongue twister, the training basically involves knowing everything about being the perfect Hooters Girl.  I mean EVERYTHING.  Of course you also have to BE the perfect Hooters Girl.  This includes, but is not limited to: how to scrunch socks properly, selecting the correct bra, achieving perfect scores on all menu, bar and service tests, how to correctly size shorts, looking PERFECT every shift, knowing and caring out the "12 Steps of Hooters Hospitality," suggestive selling techniques, appropriate makeup and hair styles, how to tell a girl she fails to have the appropriate makeup and hair style, how to not make a girl when you tell her she doesn't have the appropriate makeup and hairstyle, how to tell a girl to get the appropriate makeup and hair style and a whole bunch of other things.

Well that's all good and great, but what does Hooters Girl training really involve?  Hooters Girl training is an intense three or more day journey.  It doesn't just start with shadowing as many serving jobs do.  Hooter Girl training starts in the classroom.  There are lectures and movies and tests and a manual.  You learn about Hooters history and Hooters hospitality and Hooters brand and Hooters image.  You learn all that there is to learn about Hooters.  You become Hooters.  You are Hooters.  Basically, Hooters has Hooters Girl training down to a science.

Hooters ability to train so effectively and so intently is core to Hooters strength as a brand.  As I was sitting through my tenth hour or so of class last week, I was struck by how dedicated Hooters is to maintaining an impeccable image that is the same no matter what Hooters you end up in.  You could be in New York or Los Angeles or Tokyo and your experience would be the same.  You'd eat the same food, see the same dances and see the uniform worn just so.  Your Hooters Girl may have an accent or dark skin or be tall or be any number of things, but at the core she'd give you the same service and the same scrunched socks.  This is because of Hooters intense, methodical training.  The training that tells you exactly how to wear your make up and just how to pull up your shorts to make them "smile" and the right way to scrunch those important socks.  Yes, they tell you the right versus wrong way to scrunch socks.  And we were doing it all wrong.  Did we ever think about it?  Hell no, we never thought about it.  But let me tell you, there is an obvious difference.  We had too big of folds and folded over the tops and had no uniformity.  Smaller, exact scrunches and no folded tops made our legs not only look longer, but thinner.  Who knew?!  Hooters knew - obviously.

Of course that probably seems silly, how to scrunch socks.  But it's a perfect example of how exact Hooters training is.  Hooters not only takes training seriously, but they do a damn good job of it.  While it may seem like overkill, it is fundamental to why Hooters has been such a recognized brand for over twenty-five years.  When it comes down it, the Hooters Girl is Hooters.  Take her away and it's just another sports bar that serves another plate of hot wings.  Take the Hooters Girl away and you don't have Hooters anymore.  Impeccable training makes impeccable Hooters Girls, which makes the Hooters experience.  If it weren't for all that intense training before you even step on the floor the Hooters Girl could be compromised thus compromising the very premise of Hooters.  Hooters knows this.  Hooters pounds this in our heads.  Strong work, Hooters.

Basically, I wholeheartedly agree with Hooters training practices.  While it seems daunting at first (trust me, I thought it was insane when I was hired), it is the key to your success as a Hooters Girl and the key to Hooters success in general.  Being that perfect Hooters Girl WILL make you more money and it has obviously made money for Hooters as a business.

I do my first training shift on Sunday morning.  It will be her third training day.  Basically, what this means is that for the most part I'll just follow her around and she how she handles her tables and make sure she doesn't miss anything.  Essentially it should be a breeze.  When I have to teach my first class, things will get more interesting.  Promise.

Also, I'll be including a few specific stories from my training last week and what's it's like having corporate around the store.  Stay tuned!

03 March 2010

Sauce the Trainer

I am a most epic Hooters Girl.  I may be biased, but I'd go so far as too say I am amazing at my job.  After working at Hooters for over a year and a half I, unlike many girls, still go above and beyond to be the epitome of Hootersness.  Now, Hooters has recognized this too.  As of next week I will be a CERTIFIED Hooters Girl trainer.  I will take classes.  I will sit through training.  And I will get a special nametag that proclaims to the entire world that I am such a good Hooters Girl that I have the ability to create new Hooter Girls without the mess of reproduction.  Basically, I am all that is awesome. 

Stay tuned for updates on the training process!


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