I just got suspended from work

4.03am – I’m excited. I’ve just finished my last table and I can go home. I have an important event on during the day so I’m in a rush to leave the club and get some sleep.

‘Kendall you missed a table’

‘Ok, which one?’

‘3.45am’

‘I literally just did it!’

‘Well the MC said you weren’t there so it’s $50’

‘I did my table’

‘I’m going to check the security camera’s and if you were late it’s $100 for making me check the security camera’s!’

Wow, that escalated quickly! A new rule was invented right in the heat of the moment.

I had been a minute late to my stage. I knew it and so did my housemum. There was a show prior to my table so no girls had been left up. I waited for what I knew was coming but I couldn’t help but get slightly mad at how unjust the entire situation was. I should have just handed over the $50 for my ‘missed’ table. Now I was about to give the club $100 for a table I’d done. I didn’t even get the luxury of missing it!

EXPLOTATION

Men don’t pay to go to strip clubs for the expensive drinks or the ridiculous ATM fees, they go to see hot women dancing around in lingerie and get naked.

Allowing strippers to be independent contractors rather than employees gives club owners all kind of advantages. Strip clubs have been exploiting their position of power for years by making strippers have to pay to work and then finding other reasons for us to cough up more dough.

Over the years as more women have flocked to the industry to earn what is considered a quick buck. They are quick to discover stripping is actually very mentally and physically challenging way of earning an unknowingly small or large sum of money.

The clubs exploit the hard working women with no rights, more and more. Hence, one of the reasons why the job is mentally challenging.

In this instance, I was being charged $100 for being a minute late to my table. I put up a fight and my housemum threatens me with ‘you can go home early’.

I pay the money. ‘I’m done anyways’

‘Well, then you can have a week suspension’

‘Good, I needed a break from this place’

I can see how I am being difficult but like many women before me, I’ve reached breaking point.

Mark C. Crowley, author of Lead from the Heart, says the heart “routinely informs the brain of the body’s emotional state, and the outcome has a profound impact on brain functioning and decision-making.”

“When human beings experience a steady flow of positive feelings and emotions (e.g. appreciation, inspiration and happiness), the heart flips into what’s called ‘coherence.’ And when people feel appreciated by their bosses, supported, healthily connected to the people they work with, growing, loved and able to live meaningful lives, this inherently creates coherence. All boiled down, it means the communication going on between the heart and mind is so ideal that it puts people into their optimal level of performance.”

When you practise being kind to your work colleges or ’employees’ you will eliminate communication barriers, attract people to join your company, increase loyal customers and fuel learning and innovation within the workplace.

Laugh all you want but safe and fair working conditions are usually the top priority for most strippers. They just can’t tell you because they fear losing their jobs.

Truth is, we’re fighting a lot already, societies stigma, resistance from our friends and family, and the degrading, belittling and slut shaming comments from customers. Mentally it’s fucking challenging and dancing all night long is physically draining. I usually always wake up the next day physically aching. I know I’m not alone. Between the beginning and the end of the night a small amount of appreciation and understanding could go a long way.

I find some small comfort that this week my club will miss out on $360 in Housefees from me and least an additional $250 in which they would have taken from my VIP bookings. Yes, you read correct a total of $610, they would have profited from me in just a week, and I am just one of many strippers.

My regular who refers to me as ‘old girl’ because he likes to imagine I’m his 40 year old Christian wife. He’s an avid Donald Trump supporter and was going to come in on Tuesday. He usually books me for hours and he enjoys waltz dancing with me. It’s such a bizarre experience I find this part of my job quite comical.

I know he’ll be devastated when I inform him I won’t be working and I genuinely feel like I am letting him down, especially when he waited two hours for me but I was already booked.

When booked for VIP the club takes $50 each hour which is meant to pay the entertainer who covers your stage. The clubs manager will arrange for one less girl on stage and the $50 gets pocketed.

In the world of sex entertainment, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. It’s infuriating. I usually try and play by their rules and stay out of trouble and be mentally prepared for the injustice, if a rule is broken, cough up and move on quickly. BUT invent new rules on the spot and force me to hand over my hard earned cash and suspending me for a week. Well here we are.

Every club exploits its strippers in different ways:

  • Will take a larger than agreed percentage of Entertainers VIP earnings
  • Fines entertainers when they don’t offer the lowest priced lap dances or get naked on stage
  • Management taking a topless or nude photo so the club can “recognise” entertainers
  • Not paying entertainers for promotional photo shoots
  • Showgirls not being paid for performing stage show performances
  • The clubs charging ‘no show fee’ when entertainers do not attend the club on rostered nights because they are sick or for unforseen circumstances.
  • Management promoting and pressuring entertainers into perform extra’s in the champagne room or backroom
  • Fining entertainers for performing ‘extras’ instead of giving them a warning or firing them.
  • Management fining you for being late to work
  • Firing Entertainers for performing at other venues, despite being an independent contractor

Lastly, I want to say I am running a huge risk posting this and receiving a ‘full roster’ text message but I just can’t sit back and let this injustice and exploitation continue without speaking out. I want full employment rights to end financial exploitation in strip clubs.

If anyone has any advice on how to become unionised or could tell me how or what I can do to have some kind of impact, please do not hesitate to comment below or email me.

Simply feeling supported in this industry can go along way. I love my stripper community and I am willing to fight for our rights!

 

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2 Comments

  • Tash

    I hate the fines and it does sound like you are being fined unfairly however i would say if you want to be able to do something about the way you are being treated make sure you are following correct procedure with the money you are earning etc. Such as paying tax. As otherwise you could be setting yourself up for more hassle.
    Good luck

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