COVID Innovation: Keeping Essential Strippers Employed in a Time of Crisis
This is normally the type of article, tongue in cheek and not so serious, that may appear in this blog on a Friday. And for all I know, it is Friday. I have lost track of what day this actually is. All I do know is that the date of our self-isolation has been announced. It will happen on Octfebtember 47th. Until then we plug along, many of us working in some sort of temporary accommodation until life returns to whatever the new normal looks like.
Unless you are a stripper in Portland, Oregon. For you, the new normal has arrived.
A strip club owner there has teamed with a group of suddenly unemployed event production people to create the world's first “Drive Thru Strip Club.” He says he wanted to find a way to help keep his dancers employed. I expect he also wanted the money a going concern might bring. According to the owner, “people are super stoked” about it.
They have transformed the club's parking lot using tents, stages, music equipment and barricades. Car's pay a fee and drive through, while the adult themed dancers work at a socially acceptable distance, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. I am not sure, but I presume the PPE might be the only thing they are wearing. There are “lights, fog and a giant disco ball” to enhance the experience. After the car has passed through the presentation area, food will be delivered to it.
Great. Dinner AND a show. You can bring the whole family.
The strip club is even including a roll of toilet paper with the dinner. I am not sure why. Might not say much about the food. Maybe the sanitation practices in the kitchen aren't as good as they are on the stage. I personally think hand sanitizer might be more appropriate.
For his part, the strip club owner told the press that “People are super stoked. They're happy to see other human beings and to get the strip club experience.” He even said that “one group traveled all the way from Seattle to experience the drive-thru, and at least one regular drove through three times in one night.”
That guy must've really liked the food. Either that or he told his wife he was running out for toilet paper.
The owner also said that “the dancers are happy to be working and be labeled as essential workers.” I wonder if that classification earns them a rebuttable presumption if they should contract COVID in the course of their work. Perhaps not, since Oregon does not yet appear to be one of the states adding COVID presumptions to their workers' compensation system.
At any rate, it is refreshing to note that ingenuity and creativity, an integral part of the American experience, has not been completely lost during the Coronavirus outbreak. This is yet another example where creative people have gone outside the box to provide a critical service to their community. Not all drive thru experiences have been as successful. In Mississippi going to a drive thru church can land you in jail, but in Oregon you can both titillate your senses and restock your bathroom cupboard with abandon.
One thing is certain. These are very odd times, indeed. Hopefully drive thru psychology services will be able to help us make sense of it all. I suppose they would be better suited handing out boxes of tissue. After all, we will already have plenty of toilet paper.
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Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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