During the last 2 months of my stay in San Francisco I worked as a freelance bartender, guest bartending at a few places, bartending at a gallery, and getting bartending work through a catering company. I interviewed for a few copywriting positions, but the job opportunities for that industry were few and far between. So I took the advice of a friend and started working as a Peachy’s Puff.
Peachys Puff are candy cigarette girls who walk around bars and clubs selling candy, cigarettes, and toys. These ladies are generally dressed in fun (Not slutty. Well, ok, sometimes slutty. But not me, I don’t do slutty cause I’m not a slut.) outfits.
I did this job for 2 months. The benefit of this job is it’s cash only, but you pay a “tray-fee” of $11 for using their tray filled with this crap we have to sell. It is not an hourly position. You make a small percentage of the crap you sell. The main income of this position is based on tips. First, let me tell you the crap that’s on one of the trays:
Cigarettes (mainly Marlboro, Camel, Newport, American Spirit) $10 a pack
Cigars (medium to high end w/o a cutter) ranges $9-12 for ONE
Swishers and Cloves $dontremember
Small chocolate candies $3-4
Assortment of candies $4-5
Large candies $5
Beef jerky $5, pistachios $4, peanuts $3
Glow sticks $7
Flashy rings $7
Super giant flashy thing $15
Real red rose $6
Light up white rose $7
Gum and mints $4
I’m sure there are things I’ve forgotten, but you get the jist. Everything’s at a high cost, and that’s the most annoying part. Not annoying because of the company, that’s just what we have to deal with. Annoying because of the people looking to buy this crap. “I don’t want to pay this much!” Guess what, no shit!? But are you’re not going to get off your fat ass and walk to the store to get a better deal? No. You’re drunk as shit and hungry. Stop giving me crap, pay for your fat food, and move on with your life.
It’s obvious no one wants a job walking around in heels selling junk to strangers. I wish more people had got that clue. BUT the people that did, were awesome. And a lot of people know what’s going on with the world and I struck up a lot of interesting conversations. I wasn’t looking for anyone to take pity on me, just buy the crap if you want it. I found that if I struck up conversations with people, things would turn out better. One friend gave me a great tip that, I think, really helped me: “Think of your job as a waitress. You’re there to help people and provide a service.” That totally worked. I was able to chat with people much more easier than before. I’m sooo not into pushing things onto people, so when I approached it as a service, it was much easier for me.
An example of a night worked as such: You would show up to the office, get ready (dress, makeup, hair), count your tray, and then head out with about 2 other girls and your driver. Yes, your driver. It was like we were whores and we had our pimp. Our pimp would drop one of us off at one block, tell you where to go/which bars to go into, and then would tell you when he/she was going to pick you up. I got free drinks when I did Peachys Puffs (PP). I also got hit on, a lot. That was nice for my ego. My most successful night was my first night, when I made $140. My worst night was $20. The average night was $50. The average night was 4-5 hours of walking around in heels, but I didn’t wear heels. Eff that action. I wore comfortable black shoes. We also had to wear black fishnets and a cute outfit. I wore the pirate outfit twice. I couldn’t handle people (dudes) shouting “ARRRRRRGGH!” at me all night. After that, I started wearing my own outfits that were just a cute dress and me in a tiara. The tiara was such a hit that I brought an extra one to sell. Yes. It sold. To a gay man.
The worst place I worked at was Ruby Sky on male gay night, which, was surprising to me. When I worked the Castro, I usually did pretty well so I figured this night would be no different. The boys would smile and say hi, but they were just not interested in the cute girl with the calorie food. They just wanted to take off their shirts and dance in a massive pile on the dance floor (see pict). The big problem was smoking and gum was not allowed. These boys wanted to smoke and chew in their naked tops! They were not interested in stupid glow sticks and fat eats. Thank god I called my driver and got out of there and onto a much more happening place.
Whatever, Peachys Puffs was an experience. I learned how to socialize a bit better and the importance of tips. If you see a candy/cig girl TIP THE SHYTE OUT OF HER! TIP TIP TIP! It’s most likely they’re not there for fun, they’re there because the economy blows chunks and it’s the only thing they can do for now. Most of the girls doing it were hustling for regular work, on unemployment and food stamps. Don’t be a bitch and give them crap. Smile, buy something or don’t but at least throw them a dollar. If you have a job, ONE dollar will not kill you. Give a Holla to the Peachys Puffs!!