It was the most sought-after club on the entire island. A hip fusion of 1920s gentleman’s club and modern day tropical resort. Surrounded by palm trees. A long winding cobblestone drive. Valet-only parking. Live pop, jazz, and swing music booming from inside. A pair of spot lights crossed over the front entrance. VIPs only. A place for the world’s elite, the world’s wealthiest, the crème de la crème.
Most of the world didn’t even know about this place. Those that did couldn’t wait to get in.
And there was a long waiting list.
“What makes this place so popular?” asked Kevin, looking around.
They – Kevin and a man in a classy business suit – sat at one of the tables in the back corner of The Coconut Club. It was still early in the day. Just after the lunch rush. So the place was pretty quiet. The real action happened at night – and well into the night. Aside from a couple servers (all gorgeous women) and a few clients still lounging around, no one else was there.
The man in the business suit answered Kevin’s question. “It’s the whole Coconut Club experience. It’s our top rated food. Our stunning girls. Our world class service.” He looked down at a resume in front of him. “And I see you’ve worked at some very prestigious restaurants…”
“Yes sir,” replied Kevin. “I’m ready to provide world class service for you and your guests.”
“Clients,” he corrected. “They’re called clients here. Hotels have guests. We service our clients’ needs in ways no other establishment can or does.”
Kevin looked at him curiously. “Like what?”
“So tell my why you left your last job.”
“Well,” Kevin said, “I wanted to get away. Try some place new. I realized when I turned 28 that I’ve never moved more than 50 miles away from where I grew up. And it’s a big world out there. So I put in my notice, sold most of my stuff, packed up, and moved here to Hawaii.”
The manager smiled. “I hear that story more than you know. Alright, I’m going to give you a chance. Can you start tonight?”
“Yes sir!” Kevin exclaimed.
“Good. Come back at 4:30. We’ll get you trained and working for tips in no time.”
Kevin smiled brightly. “Thank you sir. Thank you very much.” He vigorously shook the man’s hand. “I won’t let you down.”
“You better not.”
At 4:15, Kevin was back and ready for work. The manager introduced Kevin to the assistant manager. “This is Erik. He’ll be supervising and training you. Do everything he says.”
Kevin nodded. “Right. Got it.”
“Come with me to the back,” Erik said. “Let’s get the paperwork started.”
Erik, one of those tall, muscular, bald-type guys, looked intimidating from a distance. Heck, he looked pretty intimidating up close. But he had a sort of gentle smile, a hidden kindness inside, that helped Kevin to relax a little. He escorted Kevin to the back office where they took care of all the usual paperwork – identification, setting up direct deposit, that sort of stuff.
“Most of your income will be coming from tips, though,” said Erik. “So don’t expect much from your hourly.”
“What do servers average here in tips?”
“I don’t know. We don’t ask. But I’ll tell you this – our cheapest plate is $169 and the average bill is well over $500. Our clients are all multimillionaires. It’s a requirement. If their net worth is under ten million, we encourage them to check out the other clubs in the area.”
“Yeah, but no place is like The Coconut Club,” said Kevin.
Erik cracked a smile. “You know why that is?”
Kevin shrugged. “World class service?”
“You could say that,” Erik laughed. “We provide a service like nowhere else in the world.”
“Foot massages with every order?”
He let out a booming laugh. “Close. Have you noticed any of the girls working here?”
“We have the most beautiful girls on the planet. The kind of girls in every man’s fantasy.”
Kevin nodded, daydreaming about working with these hot girls.
“And not just every man’s fantasy. Specific men’s fantasies. Like our clients.”
“I don’t follow…”
“This is a members-only club. Part of the application process involves a questionnaire, asking each new client what his dream girl is like. Looks, personality, you name it.”
“And we make sure a girl like that is working each night the client visits our club.”
“Wow. That’s pretty cool. Must be pretty hard finding the right match all the time.”
“Not as hard as you think.” Erik saw their paperwork was done. “Come on, time to get you trained.”
Erik showed Kevin around the kitchen. And the bar. Told him where the girls’ dressing rooms were – and how absolutely no clients were ever allowed back there. He did mention that, sometimes, a client offers to pay extra to spend some one-on-one time with a girl. At her discretion always, of course. And there were special rooms in the back for that too. But Kevin didn’t have to worry about any of that. He was just going to be a drink runner for now.
“Your job is to make sure every client’s needs are met. Your job is to anticipate those needs before the client even has the first thought about it. You see their glass half empty, you run over and offer more. Find out what they’re ordering to eat. Suggest the right color, flavor, and year of wine to go with it. Restock their wet towels and embroidered napkins as they use them. Don’t engage in conversation unless they initiate. Don’t ever ask what they do for a living or where they make their money. Don’t ever ask if they’re married or have a girlfriend. You understand? We cater to a certain level and class of clientele. Discerning gentlemen. Gentlemen who pay $100,000 a year just to be members here. You understand? Think you can handle that?”
Kevin swallowed hard. “Yeah, sure.” Right answer, but now he was feeling intimidated again. He had waited tables at some high end and classy restaurants before, but nothing like this. He didn’t want to mess up. He needed this job.
The first night on the job went off without a hitch – well, sort of. He mixed up a couple drinks. Forgot to replace napkins quickly enough. Almost – almost – spilled food on one of the clients. Fortunately, no real disasters. The standards here were really high. Everyone’s uniforms were kept at the club, where they were dry cleaned and ironed every day before work. The club itself was spotless.
And the girls – wow, the girls. Erik wasn’t kidding. These were some of the most beautiful women Kevin had ever seen. And they came from every type, too. Blondes, brunettes, redheads… Tall, short, skinny, a little chubby. A variety of ethnicities too. Kevin had no idea where they found all these girls, but they were stunning.
Some waited tables. Some … kept the clients from being lonely. They just sat there, with a gentleman, and talked with him, laughed with him, entertained him, shared his food… He wished he could get that job. Getting paid to just be pretty and be social. Girls were so lucky. Well, pretty girls were lucky, anyway. Here he was, busting his ass running back and forth anticipating a dozen clients’ needs before they even think it, while a handful of really gorgeous girls got paid to sit, socialize, and eat.
By the end of the night, Kevin was exhausted. He made almost $300 in tips though. Good thing too. He needed it.
He dropped off his uniform, clocked out, and prepared to go home. His feet were so tired. His whole body was so tired.
“Uh, Kevin,” interrupted the manager. “Before you go, can I have a word with you?”