The high-rollers -- the "ballers," as [Thompson] called them -- "would make it rain," literally showering her with fistfuls of dollars.The downside to working there? Well, the article continues, the club:
On a given night, Thompson said, she could earn as much as $1,200...[and] made $80,000 to $100,000 a year, enough to buy herself a Grand Marquis, rent an apartment, take college-level classes, accumulate savings and fancy herself a budding Warren Buffett, whose biography she has read ("He's a hustler, just like me"). Not bad for a woman who grew up in group homes in St. Louis, has no immediate family and says she once spent eight months in prison for armed robbery.
paid her and the other dancers $20 for showing up each day, with the understanding that they could keep their tips after they paid the management a couple of fees -- $20 to the DJ, $20 to the bartender. If a dancer was late to the stage, Thompson said, the club charged a $10 penalty. The fine for missing a shift was $80, even if it was because of an illness...When Thompson complained to the owner, she got canned. She retained a lawyer, who concluded that even though strip clubs technically consider dancers "independent contractors," the club rules treat them as if they were essentially employees.
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