I have been looking for work for the past month, and I just recently started a job working part time as a cashier at a pizza place in West Hollywood. I initially went in for an interview a few weeks ago. After 5 minutes, the manager said to me, “Joe, I like you. I’m gonna go ahead and give you an okay.” That was easy! I left with a pep in my step, walking past all the rainbow flags and gay bars in West Hollywood. A shirtless bartender smiled at me and waved. I blushed. Please let me get this job.

I had applied for another job working as a cashier/coat check at a “gay hot spot”. They later emailed me with more information, saying, “We are known as a stand up sex club for men”. OH. I had not realized it was that kind of club. Naturally, I was thrilled to work there, because what kinds of kooky experiences would come out of that! Probably many. Also, my job would be coat/clothes check. This was rife with comedic potential.

They called me in for an interview. I drove to the place at 1130 pm, thinking to myself, “Hey, this is really close to my classes!” As I pulled in, I realized it was literally across the street. 30 feet from Stella Adler was a gay sex club for men. It was kismet.

The valet came up to me. “Hey, it’s free valet parking!” he said.

“I’M JUST HERE FOR AN INTERVIEW!” I said.

“Cool!” he said, taking my car. I entered the club, holding my resumé in my hands. There sat a flamboyant looking gay man behind a bulletproof glass wall. He smiled at me.

“I’M JUST HERE FOR AN INTERVIEW!” I said. He directed me into the back room. There was one man sitting alone at a table smoking a cigar. I feared death. Finally, a man who looked like he worked at comic con came out of the office.

“Right back here,” he said. I followed him into the office. He interviewed me for about half an hour, explaining the job to me and talking about comic con. I nodded and smiled. “You might have to break up some fights,” he said. “And they’re always trivial. Never ‘oh he stole my wallet,’ usually just something like ‘oh I wanted to suck that cock at that gloryhole but he got to it first.’ Grown men acting like children,” he said.

“Oh right, that age old argument,” I said, filing this conversation away in my mind under “Things to write down for my blog”. I left praying I’d get the job so that I’d have more material. Also, the buildup of getting a job there and THEN telling them that I was a virgin was too much to pass up.

The next Monday, I got a call from the pizza place asking me to come back in for another interview. “Joe, right?” The manager asked on the phone. “I vaguely remember you.” I was slightly baffled since he told me when he first met me that he “really liked me”, yet now he “vaguely remembered me”. Regardless, I went back in for the next interview.

“I called you back in because I want you to join our team,” he said. Wow! I had gotten the job!

“Thank you!” I said.

“I really like you and I think you’d be a great addition to our environment,” he said. Again I was baffled. I thought he vaguely remembered me?

“I think so too!” I said.

“The only problem is, we train during the day, and you have class then,” he said.

“Right,” I said.

He smiled at me. I waited. Was he expecting me to say something? I was confused.

“I’m kind of bound to these classes,” I said. “Maybe I could work Saturday-Monday during the day, since I don’t have classes then, or I could start August 7th?”

“Oh, August 7th would be too late,” he said. There was another pause. What was I supposed to say? This was uncomfortable.

“Yeahhhhhh….” I said.

“Alright, well I’m going to call Caroline, one moment,” he said, leaving to make a phone call. My dreams were dashed. The only consolation was that I’d have to work at that gay sex club after all. He got off the phone and came back.

“Alright, we’ve scheduled you for Friday night and Monday morning!” he said. I was in!

“Thank you!” I said, ecstatic. I had arrived. I was in the literal gay mecca of West Hollywood, I finally had a job, and I was going to serve pizza. Heaven. I was sad that I wouldn’t get to work at the gay sex place, but I knew I had to take the first job offered me. Plus they were for the same hours. At least I’d be able to use the pizza place on my resumé. I knew I would never want any future employer to know that I worked at a gay sex club.

I started my job that Friday night, and it was one of the most stressful experiences of my life. I made a dozen mistakes, it was super fast paced, and my boss kept telling me to calm down when I literally wasn’t doing or saying anything to indicate that I was losing my cool. I also burned my hair on the pizza cooker. I left feeling like I was about to explode. As I walked past the gay bars full of shirtless men dancing on tables in their underwear, I knew I’d never be like them. I’d never be a West Hollywood gay. I couldn’t find my car, and I ended up walking through a film shoot.

“Why are there dozens of bodies on the ground covered in blood?” I thought as I searched for my Nissan Altima.

“GET OUT OF THE SHOT!” someone yelled at me. I ran away, wanting to cry. How was I going to make it if I couldn’t even handle my first day?

The next Monday was a lot easier. I worked during the day, it was super slow, and I got the hang of things. Maybe things would work out after all! I worked again the next Friday, and things went swimmingly. Yesterday, however, they were back to the beginning. I forgot things. My boss got frustrated. I burned my hair again. “Why does it feel like this is your first day on the job?” my boss asked. I didn’t know what to say.

The only consolation was that like 5 people hit on me. One guy ordered 2 slices of pepperoni. “We can’t ring him up for that until it comes out of the oven, unless you remember him,” my boss told me.

“You’ll remember me, won’t you?” The guy said to me, smiling.

“Sure,” I said, hoping my boss wasn’t angry.

“I’ll make it something to remember,” the guy said. I laughed uncomfortably.

“Could you sign this?” I asked, handing him his receipt.

“Sure. Look what I wrote,” he said, handing it back to me. Next to his signature he had written “I love you.” No tip, though.

“Thanks,” I said. He blew a kiss at me and left. I was flattered but also feeling stressed. Later that night, another man came in and hit on me.

“How long have you been working here?” he asked.

“This is my fourth day,” I said.

“I thought so. I haven’t seen you around before,” he said. “You’re really cute, by the way.”

“Joe, it’s unacceptable to deliver cupcakes without the proper cupcake container,” my boss said. “I can’t imagine what would have happened if I wasn’t here.”

I didn’t know what to do. This was an emotional roller coaster. I had men throwing themselves at me at the same time as my boss was chiding me for my mistakes, and I was stressed up the wazoo. Is this what LA was like? High emotional stress combined with an overactive libido? I missed working at the UVA dining hall, where all I did was swipe people in and nobody talked to me. But, this is my life now. Hopefully I’ll get used to it soon. Or at least before I burn the rest of my hair off.

-Theodore Dandy

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