Thursday, November 12, 2009

Booking Staff / Phone Girl

“You will never see people the same way again. You will hear every weird sexual request under the sun.”

"My job is complicated. I must deal with a myriad of clients, girls, drivers and situations and all their personalities and demands. It is easy when it is slow but it can be difficult when it’s busy or when people are being irrational and I have to moderate."

Pros
  • The earning potential is there if you get the right shifts and are a good sales person.
  • You make cash everyday so you don’t have to wait for a cheque.
  • Income is consistent and shifts are regular.
  • Time to read on the job.
Cons
  • Often agencies do not pay a wage to booking girls so when you can’t book any appointments, you make nothing.
  • The hours can be hard, a lot of late nights.
  • When you are called into action in a security capacity (if a worker is at risk or being assaulted), it can take a toll on your emotions.
  • There is pressure from escorts to book them and suspicions that I have favourites.
  • Can be boring. I work a 9 hour shift by myself.
Workspace

The workspace is usually an office with a computer, TV, and one or more phones. There’s also sometimes a full bathroom with a shower and a small kitchenette to warm up food.

Job Duties
  • Take calls and answer questions from potential customers about rates and services. If the client is interested, take down their information – name, location, and desired time for encounter / dance / massage.
  • Select and inform the worker of the booked engagement and arrange a driver / security for the worker.
  • Check in with the worker to ensure safety during the engagement.
  • Possibly manage other activities like delegating chores.
  • Although it is not a "job duty," many booking staff act as sounding boards for workers to debrief with or seek support from. One phone girl shares that she has supported workers crying on the phone because they're broke or because they just saw a client who they know from their real life. Be aware that sex industry work can be very isolating and sometimes you may be the only person the worker feels he or she can talk to.
Income Potential

Pay is often based on a commission, so income potential depends on what shift you get. During a day shift you might not make anything, but on a Friday night you could make $400. Some booking staff are paid wage plus commission. One respondent says she is paid $12/hr plus $3 for every booked call. $1 comes off for each canceled booking.

Training

Booking staff are taught security phone check-in procedures, what to do in the case of a violent incident, how to post ads online, how to speak to the clients in a way that would ensure they booked, cash procedures, and ID check procedures for workers.

Conflict Management

"Girls are told to call in immediately if there is a problem. Usually that means he wants to cancel. We must talk to him. We will offer a discount that the office takes the cut on and that usually solves it. If not we are the ones to ask him to pay her the cancel fee so she isn’t in an awkward position. Also sometimes the clients want to extend the call and the girl doesn’t. We ask her if she wants to stay and if not she pretends that we have pre-booked her elsewhere and we tell him she has to go and that we are sorry but it’s been booked for weeks. Keep them both calm."

"De-escalate. Be calm. Listen, understand, and kiss ass until she is out."

If a worker is having a conflict with a customer, tell him / her to stay on their cell phone. Using another line, phone the client on his phone distracting him so the worker can escape.

Do not threaten the client. Speak in a calm and level voice. If he is inconsolable and you fear for the workers safety, do not hesitate to phone the police. Inform the client you have done so and once again speak calmly. Try to keep him on the phone until the police arrive and you are sure the worker is safe.

Job Stress

There are stressful aspects of this job. You work strange hours and may end up sleeping on your days off.
  • You may feel somehow responsible if an entertainer experiences violence.
  • When workers don’t answer their phones and you have booked them a call, it means you don’t get paid either.
  • If the agency isn’t making money, it might seem like the owners and workers blame you.
  • It can be stressful when it's busy and you're managing a whole bunch of people at once.
Most Dangerous Aspect of the Job

Leaving the office with cash at odd hours.

Advice
  • Be patient with your coworkers and try to be fair with everyone.
  • Take time for yourself, it’s easy to get over-tired in this job.
  • The industry is up and down so while things are good you must plan for when they are not. Always try to save some money for the dry times.
  • If you feel the agency where you are working is unethical in any way - robbing clients, mistreating workers, etc – quit and inform someone of the dangerous conditions you witnessed.
  • Don’t lie about the workers to get a booking. It’s better to build up regular clientele than to force a booking that could potentially turn violent.
  • Don’t be sensitive. People take out their frustration on you when it’s slow, often blaming you.

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