Stripper--Turned--Waitress Cant Leave Former Job Behind
She stretches in the break room for 30 minutes before each shift. She glides around the dining room like silk wafting on the breeze. She's been known to strip off her shirt and bra to combat the heat in the kitchen.
The newest addition to the Red Robin wait staff, Paula Roche (also known as Mystique and Sable), who spent the past five years dancing at various upscale gentlemen's clubs, is finding that old habits die hard.
"We absolutely love having Paula around," said Red Robin manager, Ted Sunds, who appeared to be having problems adjusting his wedding band. "It is truly a joy to welcome her as the newest addition to our Red Robin family.
"The guests love her, too. She has become, in just a short time, our most requested server by far. We've even set up a private room for her to accommodate all her regulars, who, by the way, tend to be some pretty wealthy and influential people. Who would have thought the mayor would dine regularly at Red Robin? Ha. Take that Chili's.
"And the morale around this place has gone through the roof."
On any given night, Roche waits on as many as 75 guests, and requires the assistance of what amounts to her own personal staff: two bussers, two food/drink runners, a bartender, and her own floor supervisor. And other than the 6' 3", 275-pound Bruno Iafrate-employed by Roche and required to stand by the door to make sure the VIPs remember their dinner etiquette-her entire support team is female.
"I've worked with Sable before," said Envy, one of Roche's runners. "In fact, we worked at The Flashing Chest and Booby Knockers together, and we were working the same shift that night Knockers was shut down because of the new laws. It was kind of a drag, but I can see now that things happen for a reason. This is a nice change of pace, and could really be a profitable gig."
Judging from the rolled up bills safely tucked in her money belt/garter (newly added to her Red Robin uniform thanks to Sunds), Roche & Company are already reaping the rewards. She works four nights a week, coming on the floor at 5 p.m., then again for meal sittings at 6:30 and 8:00, and though exact numbers aren't available, it is estimated that she brings home anywhere from $500-$1000 per night.
"We do okay," said Envy. "Sable is in high demand at this place. It's not like the other places where the competition was cut-throat, and the girls had to quickly establish their territory and guard it from the wolves. Compared to Booby's, these other girls are child's play."
"The male employees love Sable...er, um...Paula," said Sunds. "She seems to have a natural bond with the guys, and they'll do anything for her. But the others-the female servers and bartenders-uh uh...not so much."
Said longtime Red Robin waitress, Bethany Haller, "She's a bitch. Along with all her little groupies. I thought this was a restaurant. What happened to suggestive selling, and hot food first, and all the other Red Robin serving procedures we were trained to follow? She's a prima donna with her own agenda, and she has management wrapped around her g-string. It's disgusting the way they treat her, like she's some kind of celebrity. I've been here six years, and it took me two to get my preferred schedule. She's been here what, a month? It's garbage."
"And she always needs help," said waitress Tanya Stearns, "but if you're say, helping take out her food, you can only go up to the door of the room. You can't go in. It's like this law, and of course there's always CoCo, the talking ape, to make sure.
"She totally talks down to you, like you're this piece-of-crap waitress and she's above you and makes more money...oh, well you know what I mean. It's like we are simply there to help and everybody comes in to see her...oh, um...anyway, the guys don't seem to have a problem with her. She talks the same way to them, and they eat that crap up. And Ted...oh my God, Ted. He is always turning up the heat in the kitchen and freezing out the dining room, and he's constantly messing with the music anytime she comes out on the floor.
"If his wife could only see him."
"First of all," said Sunds defensively, "Paula has single-handedly created a new definition for 'suggestive selling.'
"Two...I am not married," he added, discreetly tucking away his wedding band. "And C...my wife doesn't understand me."
Roche was unavailable for comment. The only way she would grant any type of access, an interview or otherwise, was if a party made a dinner reservation in her section, and the earliest available reservation is for a week from Thursday.
After over 12 years as a waiter and bartender, Dennis Rymarz walked completely away from the business and launched Don't Tip the Waiter, a one-of-a-kind satirical publication that reports fictional news and events from the restaurant industry.
Initially intended specifically for servers and bartenders, the publication is now read by a rapidly growing audience that includes just about anyone who goes out to eat.
Don't Tip the Waiter is distributed free-of-charge to bars and restaurants in the Detroit area, and can be read on line at http://donttipthewaiter.com
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