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Despite my morally flexible lifestyle, unconscionable self-indulgence and at times abhorrent immaturity (or undiagnosed Peter Pan Syndrome), I’ve done surprisingly well professionally. I work at a prestigious firm with a fancy name and an equally impressive building and I’ve somehow managed to avoid getting fired for almost three years. The firm is basically just one big fraternity, so my many years of bullshitting through meetings, dodging Standards Board decisions, and avoiding IFC sanctions have gone a long way in helping me navigate through the intricate world of office politics.
A big part of my work at the firm is keeping clients happy. Being the boys club that it is, we often go out for extended lunches and casual business meetings. Every client has different tastes, but one thing I’ve learned is that most old white men (read: all men) love titties. Needless to say, I’ve ended up at a strip club in the middle of a weekday for work on more than one occasion.
There’s one high-end gentleman’s club about a block away from our office that we tend to favor not just because of its proximity and comparative classiness, but also because they have an amazing fucking buffet (phrasing, I know). Seriously, if you didn’t know it was a strip club, it could easily pass as a really nice restaurant…with half-naked women walking around. If you’re reading this and thinking, “Wtf? Who eats strip club food?” then you’ve obviously never been…and you’re probably a judgmental dick.
Anyways, the point is that it’s a great place to take clients — as long as you remember that under all the classy décor and fancy lighting, it’s still a strip club and there are rules. I don’t mean those annoying PG-13 “no touching” rules, which make no sense considering being touched is how most of the girls got there.
I’m talking about the unspoken rules, like never go VIP without a $20 test-drive and always leave your card in the car so your dick doesn’t make a very expensive decision for you in the middle of a dance. Obviously, I’ve never had to worry about these rules while out with coworkers, but they still exist and I’m usually very good about keeping that in mind. We’ve gone there many times, mostly without incident, but with all these rules, sometimes it’s easy to forget the most basic ones.
Avoiding eye contact with a rhythmic disrober is one of those basic rules. Strippers are like homeless people…as long as you don’t look into their sad little eyes, you can pretty much go about your day without having to use the “I don’t have any cash on me” line. Like avoiding the water in Mexico or not wearing anything shiny around sharks, it’s one of those rules that most people, myself included, just KNOW.
Maybe it was the 16oz bone-in ribeye or the friendly banter with a client about his last business trip to L’Auberge du Lac, but on this particular day, I broke that rule. Normally, this wouldn’t have been a big deal whatsoever…I would’ve said, “no thank you” or used that aforementioned “no cash” line and that would’ve been that. However, this particular dancer was quite the go-getter and my simple “no thank you” wave was not enough to fend off her advances.
Even though I knew that she immediately recognized our eye-contact was less-than purposeful, she completely disregarded the “Ah shit” look on my face and sat on my lap. I was quick to tell her that I was in the middle of a business meeting and I would find her later (strip club speak for “fuck off”) and that was that…or so I thought.
While it may be very easy to turn down a stripper because – let’s face it – they’re used to being disappointed by men, the same cannot be said about explaining to your boss why you’re covered in body glitter and smell like Marlboro’s and unpaid child support. As if that wasn’t already hard enough to explain, the fact that I was wearing khakis combined with this pasty one’s apparent affinity for sunless tanner made my situation that much more fucked.
I don’t care how mature you think your coworkers are or how professionally composed your place of work is, grown men will straight up giggle like mean girls when your face looks like you just left a Kesha concert and your pants look like they were purchased on the Skidmark Express.
You can try blaming L’Oreal for their irresponsible Sunless Tanner marketing all you want (smudge-proof my ass), but at the end of the day, you’ll still be the guy who will never wear khakis to work again. In hindsight, I should’ve just gone home or faked an illness, but I’m not one to dwell on my mistakes…mostly because if I did, I would never do anything else. All I can do now is tell my story and hope you learn from it..
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