Thursday, June 3, 2010

...Chris Rock was Right...

Nobody goes to Hooters for wings!!

And surely Cassie Smith must have known that when she applied for and accepted a job with the restaurant.

She says at 5’8” and 132 pounds, she was approached by management and offered a free gym membership and threatened with the loss of her job if she didn’t comply. She’s claiming size discrimination, and she thinks she has a case.

I beg to differ for a few reasons.

She might be a skinny stick figure in “real life” but in a Hooters uniform she should skip the wings and stick to the celery.

Hooters doesn’t even hire “servers” or “waitstaff.” They call them “entertainers” which makes a nice little loophole for requiring them to maintain a certain look. It doesn’t mean “big girls” can’t be cute in tiny orange hot pants (which let’s be for real, they CAN’T), but it does mean if you wish to maintain employment, you must meet the standard requirements. We all have requirements at our jobs to meet and we would be fired for failure to do so. If your job requires you to sell a million dollars in product yearly, work hard or call a very rich uncle (Vanessa and Angela Simmons style!) If your job requires you to look like a ballerina, strap on some toe shoes and hit those pirouettes.

Breasts, legs, thighs…and wings?

The first time I visited a Hooters restaurant, I was actually casing the joint. I was looking for work and thought since I had a pretty decent rack myself that I could make some nice tips there. I ordered the wings and casually looked around while I waited. A few things I noticed:

  1. It’s mighty hot in there. No really, they keep the temperature up so no one gets their eye poked out (you know what I mean)
  2. The guy- girl customer ratio was probably 8 to 1.
  3. I don’t know when I’ve ever seen men eat so slowly.
  4. They serve spicier wings at a senior citizen dinner.

I decided against applying for the job, but I did go back a second time to try the wings again. I assumed I had a bad batch the first time. For my second try, I made sure to go on a different day at a different time to try and get a different cook. I guess I got the same one anyway, because the chicken just was not good at all.

So why was the restaurant crowded with hungry men? Let’s just say it wasn’t the wings.

She knew what she signed up for.

I’ve heard that Hooters uniforms come in three sizes: small, extra small and blow-away-on-a-windy day. I can’t confirm the size thing, but what I can confirm is that before you are hired, you are required to try on the uniform and model it to the hiring managers. If it doesn’t fit, you might as well quit… while you’re ahead because you will not be serving anything if you have more gut than you have butt. And have you ever looked at their faces? No probably not, but next time you go, take a gander. If Hooters discriminated based on appearance, two-thirds of those girls would be out of there.

Now before you go thinking I’m some ugly troll speaking out of jealousy, I want to remind you that I come from a family of tall and thin but curvy women with very positive attitudes. I’ve never felt one way or another about a person or their size in general, attitude counts for nearly everything.

I’m actually about 5’4” and I bobble back and forth between 150 and 155, which means in the right outfit I would get hired for hip hop video. But I’m not a video girl, so instead it means I need to lose between 15 and 20 pounds to be happy with myself.

Notice that I said “to be happy with myself.”

That’s a right I reserve by not choosing a career path based on my looks, or more accurately, based on what I look like to other people.

Cassie made a different choice. And now she needs to live with that and accept all the sweet and sour that comes with it.

Still hilarious. And more proof that the late Gerald Levert could sing anything and sound amazing.

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