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Monday, July 06, 2009

Acting like a hostess at Happy Doll Cafe

From the hustle and bustle of Fifth Avenue to a magical world of dolls, books, and toys just for you that's how far you will travel when you step through our doors.
It's your day, so lead the way into the boutiques at Happy Doll Square.
See why reviewers have called it "the destination of choice for 4- to 12-year-old girls from all over the United States."
During your next visit, check out our newly renovated Doll Hair Salon from the pretty, pink decor to the sleek new salon chairs. Your doll will feel truly pampered while one of our specially trained stylists gives her a new do, a sassy ponytail flip, an elegant bun, or a long braid.And be sure to ask about adding on a Pampering Plus package for dolls, complete with a pedicure!"
Soon after getting canned as a flyer handout girl, I was offered a position as a cafe hostess at "Happy Doll Cafe"!

The job paid better than most part time jobs ($10 an hour!), and how hard could it be to seat people, and plastic dolls right?
My first morning on the job, I got dressed in my new crisp black blazer and pants. I had gotten them for a steal at Filene's Basement. Then I and headed to Fifth Avenue.
I was told to buzz into the side entrance,and proceeded to do so. Bubba, the security guard let me in, and I walked down two flights of dark baronstairs. It was so top secret I thought they were going to strip search me next.
I followed the cheap computer printed sign that said "break room" and ended up in a large room with foldout tables,time cards,microwaves, and clear lockers.
The underground of this store was astonishing in size,and winded through many corners.
After signing in with my photo ID at security, I was introduced to my supervisor Shamisha,who took me upstairs to the cafe. Shamisha had been a hostess at Happy Doll for quite some time and took her job super seriously.
She pulled out a big white 3 ring binder and overwhelmed me with seating charts,policies,settings,bookings,programming,speeches to memorize,and more.
I couldn't possibly remember everything she had just told me but whatever it was my first day.
Then the mad rush of parents, bratty kids,and grandma's started to stream in from the escalator and huddle around the podium, all waiting for "brunch" began.
These were not just run of the mill parents.
These women were Fifth Avenue ladies who lunch, and ladies who gave the nanny a day off. They were probably using up one of the two days a yearallotted to child raising time.
I even heard one of them say "Wow, we never realize how hard Maria works while we are away!"
Having a Happy Doll is a status symbol to these mothers.
They run upwards of $90 each, and it's important that the child have one that looks just like her.
In addition many of these family's bought the entire collections of books, outfit changes and playset's, dropping around $2000.
A big concern for these Mom's was that there daughter's doll would be in the hair salon during the reservation time.
I had to calm them down and say, "That's ok! We have a large selection of loner dolls in the cafe for your daughter."
Loner dolls were primped, pressed and styled every morning by there very own gay man in a doll hair salon. The gays even came to do hair touch ups during the day.
It must be a gays dream job, I thought.
Then it was time to fill the dining room. Upon seating a family, I would need to ask "how many dolls are in your party?", and do so without obviously vomiting in my mouth.
Then I needed to take the appropriate number of doll chairs from the shelves,and seat each doll at the table.
These little doll chairs were bitches to put together. You had to snap it just right on the table or the doll would fall face first into her tea and biscuit. When that happens you get an unhappy little rich girl.
The hardest part for me on my first day was learning all of the table numbers.
There were 70 tables in random order.
After a few hours I still couldn't figure these out, thanks to my dyslexic and ADD ways, but Shamisha wanted me to try seating nether less.
I seated table 47 where table 48 should be and table 30 where 31 should be.. whoops.
If looks could kill I would have burned up from Shamisa's death glares.
The staff at the Happy Doll Cafe were not so happy with me.

After 5 hours the happy dolls started to look angry and scary,like Children Of The Corn.
I thought at any second they would pick up their dolly tea cups, and start marching out of the cafe in a straight line with butter knifes to kill people.
After a few more days of wreaking havoc on the cafe and causing seating chaos, I decided that hostessing dolls wasn't a good match for me.
I asked HR if they had any other positions like being a cashier or even a hair stylist with my gays. They didn't, so I quit. And for once I was quite relieved not to be going back to a job.

Bank account balance $560

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