“Always nice to be served good beer by someone with good cleavage.”
“And not afraid to show it, either.”
All of this is to come, but in the morning, when the women are still women and their breasts are still breasts, the only activity has to do with getting ready for another day on the job.
Jennifer is brushing her hair because, as it says in the employee handbook, “Hair is to be styled at all times.” Katrina is dusting on Cover Girl because, “Makeup is to be worn at all times.” Denise is adjusting the pantyhose under her shorts because, “Pantyhose are to be worn at all times.” Elizabeth is adjusting her bra, which, like everyone else’s, is white, because, “White bras are to be worn at all times.”
The handbook, 36 pages long, covers everything from an opening motto -- “A fun place to work!” -- to the procedures for reporting sexual harassment, but it is the two-page section under the heading of “Image, Grooming and Uniform Standards” that governs what is going on at the moment. Not only does it define the overall look the women are supposed to achieve, that of “the all-American cheerleader, surfer, girl next door,” but it also describes how exactly to get there.
“Socks are to be white . . . Tennis shoes are to be 100 percent white . . . The orange Dolfin shorts must fit comfortably . . . They should never be so small that the buttocks show . . . If a snag or run should occur, the pantyhose must be changed . . . The only color allowed is suntan . . . The shirt must fit with no bagginess . . . Under no circumstances should bra straps ever show . . . Fingernails are to be well-groomed . . . Jewelry is to be minimal . . . No chokers are to be worn . . . We will also enforce the non-showing of body tattoos or body piercing . . .”
Fifteen minutes until opening.
“Okay, everybody, listen up,” says Darryl Cook, the restaurant’s general manager, emerging from his office. He is 24 years old, which is only a few years older than most of the women, all of whom look up at the sound of his voice but don’t stop what they’re doing. He tells them the sales goals for the day while Rhonda smokes a final cigarette. He tells them about an upcoming inspection by the regional manager while Diane slips out of her sweat pants. He picks up a remote and begins turning on the 10 overhead TVs while Cherry ties her shoes and Emily pins on her name tag and Jennifer gobbles down 10 packages of Saltines because once things get going who knows when there will be time for a break, and then he looks around.