Occupational Hazzard

The minute I saw this news story I knew I’d found a blog entry. A strange mix of irony, tragedy, and sheer stupidity converging to create fantastic commentary on the strangeness of our society.

Here’s the short version: A 20 year old girl in Detroit has been put on probation at her job. Why? Well, she’s a waitress at Hooter’s and she’s getting a bit fat for her shiny orange shorts.

And this made the news. Redefining the “fluff piece”. Ah-hem.

As I fight back an onslaught of ever dirtier jokes I suggest you watch the CNN video for yourself. Then, I suspect you’ll see what I did:

First off, I agree with Hooter’s on this one. Their entire business and perception is based on a physical standard. The Dallas Cowboy’s cheerleaders are a good example to cite, even though the average Hooter’s girl is as likely to make the Cheerleaders as I am to become the first long haired man on the moon.

You go to Hooter’s to have your waitress bend over the table and show you things that aren’t on the menu. And for those of you giving the classic line “But, wait… the food’s awesome. My wife loves to go for their Hot Wings.” Sit down and shut up. I’m not buying it for a second. And if your wife does like to go, she’s enjoying making catty remarks at the same waitress you keep asking for a refill.

Hooter’s is not about the food. It’s more like a soft-core stripclub with an extensive menu. And if you’re going to come in for a bucket of hotwings and a cooler of beer the last thing you want to do is have a tubby waitress waddle over and cause lunch to come back up.

And the company gave her the tools to address the problem. A free gym membership. That’s a perk. It’s on the job training. Literally. Think of it this way, if you suddenly forgot how to do something vital to your job would you accept a free opportunity to relearn and keep your job? Of course you would.
I’m sure she was thinner when she was hired. If you don’t want to stay slim to keep your job… here’s a hint… don’t work at a place where the shorts double as napkins.

But this is not even the strangest part of this “news” story.

Everyone is quick to mention her height and weight. But, it’s not about the numbers, it’s about how the body carries it. And one quick look at this girl and I’m instantly thinking… please find bigger shorts.

Yet, I feel for her when she talks about losing her role “in the Hooter’s family”. Forget the fact that it must be a family petri-dish of dysfunction for a moment and ponder this: She was told all this in her two year review. That means she’s had this job since she was 18. And she’s teary-eyed at the thought of no longer sliding beer across tables while sporting polyester daisy-dukes? May I suggest you aim higher… reach for, well… reach for the sidewalk I guess cause this is a road to nowhere.

Speaking of NoWhere… how sad is your day if a Hooter’s on the outskirts of Detroit, Michigan sounds like fun?

But all of this pales in comparison to my favorite moment: If the company wants to impose a standard for its employees, fine. However, may I suggest that the manager of the restaurant not look like a planet. It’s impossible for me to take you seriously as a critic of other people’s appearance when you’ve got your own gravitational pull.

Terribly insensitive of me? Yes. Absolutely. But if we’re gonna talk standards, it should apply across the board. I don’t care how good the wings are.

I say take the gym membership, and turn yourself into a chiseled specimen. Then take your new look and boosted confidence out and find a new job.

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