Monday, March 30, 2009
One of my many jobs as Mid Atlantic Regional chair is to introduce speakers. In Dallas I was lucky enough to introduce two speakers that I actually know--Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman. (Their performance/talk on psychic experimentation was FABULOUS) Later that day, Nate tells me that folks came up to him afterwards and said that I had a radio announcer voice. He suggested that I may have missed my TRUE calling. I told him about my radio voice TRAINING. My first real job was at Chi Chi's Mexican Restaurant in Pittsburgh. I lied about my age and was working illegally (age 15) as a hostess and appetizer waitress in the bar. We had to wear outfits that were slightly scandalous. Off the shoulder blouses that revealed a bit of teenaged cleavage with a long or short skirt (depending on whether it was the bar or hostess station). The wrap-around skirts tended to blow open while walking. One of my many responsibilities was to page the customers over the loudspeaker. After my first week, my Boss decided that my voice was too abrasive and gave me lessons on how to speak in a throaty, slightly sexy voice, which would appeal to the masses of Chi Chi customers. The Patel party, the Patel party please....The more I sounded like a purring porn star, the better. However at 15, I didn't even know about that yet. The best part of the outfit was a big pin that said, TECATE MY BODY. (pronounced tuckhottie--rhyming with body). I am so not kidding. For those of you unfamiliar with Mexican beer, Tecate beer is produced in Tecate, Baja and tastes a bit like pee (or what I imagine pee might taste like). We were also instructed to smile and give great customer service, especially to the male bar patrons. I spent a lot of time trying to avoid having my body Tecated (teecaughteed). Of course now, those lecherous corporate managers would all be sued for sexual harassment in the work place. But at the time, we just thought this was part of our jobs.