When working with slightly broken people for extended periods of time one begins to crack themselves. For this reason I left the industry more than once, vowing never to return. The drama and stress that came with the job, unfortunately, often affected my Crohn’s. Once my mental state began to deteriorate my physical state would follow, causing me to cut back on shifts or even to temporarily quit working altogether. It took me a long time to learn the body is physically, mentally and emotionally connected. Stress has always been a major factor contributing to the deterioration of my physical self. Brothel management isn’t your run-of-the-mill job and managing the crazy sometimes made me cray-cray.
Yet, I still mostly enjoyed it. We were a strange and diverse family. Being competitive is part of the sex workers job description yet we were very protective of each other from the outside world, stigma keeping us connected. I felt protective in a motherly way towards the ladies. My protective kindness was not to be taken advantage of though. Those who made the mistake of taking my kindness for weakness soon learned not to push the boundaries with me.
A young lass with an obvious drug habit constantly made excuses to leave her shift early once she'd earned enough money for her habit. (A full shift was a requirement for all staff, as Lilly had discovered). It was amazing how many accident -rone family members this particular sex worker had, and even a few relatives at death’s door. After her mother had died twice in a six month period I'd had enough. The only reason she'd gotten away with it for so long was that she was a good money earner.
Legal doesn't always mean fair in the brothel industry. Owners would often change the rules for those that were popular, as in the example above, letting the favoured come and go as they please which made it hard on managers as, naturally, this didn't go down well with the other sex workers. I don't have a problem with males owning brothels but I do have a problem when they decide to dip their dick in the workers. This occurred more often than not and sometimes evolving into one favourite. Without fail these ‘affairs’ would end as abruptly as they commenced with 'the top favourite' losing their position and always replaced. When one has a sexual smorgasbord to choose from one isn’t going to consume the same dish every day. As is common amongst most workplace affairs, once over the boss is the only one still employed. More often than not the one that had once held the favourite position now had to find elsewhere to work.
Once the lass used the same fake excuse of her mother’s death twice to cut her shift short I’d decided I’d had enough. “You didn't tell me your mother had become a zombie”, I sarcastically responded. “Or, is she the Second Coming and has the ability to resurrect?”, I continued to jibe. Her stunned expression had me explain that she'd forgotten she'd already used that excuse and that I was tired of her excuses. I decided the grief with her behaviour wasn't worth it. I told her to leave and not to come back on my shifts. Although I knew she'd go over my head to complain to the owner I didn't care anymore as I was too exhausted, body and soul. The incident with Sylvie, closely followed by Kat’s disappearance, had depleted me and if it came to a choice I hoped my boss would pick her. That way the choice would be made for me.
My shifts were the busiest, Friday and Saturday nights, so those were the ones where she earned the most. She started a song and dance about the unfairness of life. None of it her fault, of course. She went on and on, hysterical in her pleading of how I didn’t understand how hard her life was and what she had to deal with. I give her the talk-to-hand gesture, raised like a stop sign in her face. “I understand perfectly”, I responded. “Your real problem here is the fact that I don't care”. I dropped my hand and stepped towards her. My face was in hers, “I just don't care!”. Again, she is stunned. Good, as at least this time it shut her up.
I’d been employed as a manager at the Heroin Brothel for just under two years arriving under the original owner who had the business for over twenty years. He was a sweetheart whose wife had become gravely ill. He had decided to retire to spend time looking after her. The new guy was a whole different story. He was married with two young children and claimed to be new to the brothel industry. It was all about the money for him. I'd even heard on the grapevine he'd supply heroin to some of the sex workers to keep them on shift. I never caught him at it though I knew he was very capable.
Anyway, he made the mistake of choosing me but I didn't last much longer as I'd already stayed too long. I was completely over the constant drama. It was time to step away from work. My body had taken as much as it could, as I'd pushed it to its limits far too many times. My body crashed and I was out. I had been here before with Crohn’s so I knew the tell-tale signs which yearned with me earnestly that it was time to prioritise. The hermit persona emerged seeking time to heal in body, mind and soul. Thank goodness for the family home. No need to worry about bills, most importantly those of a medical nature. I must admit if I had to have a chronic illness I believe Australia is the place to have it due to our healthcare. Being ill is bad enough without the added burden of paying exorbitant costs for that much-needed care.