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A nice smile can keep you from going nuts

Many coworkers have expressed that it is a pleasure to work with me because I, for the most part, tend to be very cheerful at work. I’m genuinely happy to be there. I’m thoroughly amused by the mass hysteria that is a typical night, but it goes beyond that. Nothing really bad can happen to you at work. There are too many witnesses. There are also large monstrosities of security personnel at your service for a relatively small fee. What is there to worry about?

Though being safe is often enough reason to be happy, being happy sometimes needs to be the result of a conscious effort to be that way. In the same way that the mass hysteria can be amusing, it can also just be too much for one girl to handle. It can only benefit a dancer, however, to always be friendly and happy with customers and coworkers alike. I believe I learned in a social psychology class that men are hardwired to misread the female smile as an invitation to copulate. That translates into money, darlings. So it is, at least, financially valuable. Some people are naturally warm and friendly and some people need training. I sometimes need to trick myself into a good mood and the rest is easy.

The DJ looked right at me a few nights ago and asked over the loud speaker, “What are you so smiley about?” I made the short walk to the DJ booth and explained to him that whenever I am down, I just think about a few of my favorite things. I’ve seen this video on the Internet a few times, for example, of a man’s do-it-yourself surgery where he removes his genitalia. “He whips it out, puts it on a wooden cutting board and just hacks away,” I explained. He neuters himself by slicing open his, umm, skin and squeezing out each testicle like a peeled grape. I tell this story in a lot more detail in person and it always cracks me up and horrifies the listener. “So it makes you happy when a man emasculates himself?” the DJ probes. “Yeah, I guess so.” I shrugged. But no, it’s not like that. I just like gore, really. While I successfully grossed out the DJ, I continued, “I’d eat each one of those things like a quail egg.” I smiled.

Another stripper ran over to the booth, energetic but distressed from such a slow night. “Hey can I borrow $20? I need to pay my tip out,” she asked the DJ at the end of the shift, which is a very bad sign. It had been that slow. So slow that a stripper resorted to begging her coworkers to cover her work fees. It is summer, after all. Bad business is the theme of the summer in the Las Vegas service industry. There are fewer customers and just as much competition. You can only squeeze so much blood from a stone and even less total blood when there are fewer stones to squeeze. You’re not getting a drop if you’re not being personable.

So it is sometimes useful to think of mental pictures to remain happy. Puppies, kittens or self-mutilation, whatever puts a smile on your face. A smile, after all, is the most important thing you can wear to work and it hurts less than the heels.

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