(What you are about to read are true confessions from various former, and occasionally current employees in the industrial giant known as the hospitality industry. All names have been changed, as have most locations. What remains true are the stories of employees; the good, bad, ugly, heartwarming, heartbreaking, scary, action-packed and unique stories that only that industry could bring.)

 

Probably the worst job I’ve ever had was being a mascot at a chicken restaurant, a VERY popular chicken restaurant with multiple locations throughout America. I never quite understood why Americans always go so crazy when it comes to a mascot, but that’s something I’ll never understand. To me, they’re mostly super creepy and I wouldn’t want to see one down a dark alley at night.

 

But, I was desperate for money because I was leaving for college soon and needed some. It’s not like I loved every moment of it, or any moment of it for that matter. The restaurant called me, I called back and before I knew it, I was in the mascot suit.

 

(Halloween Costumes)

A 7’1, hulking farm animal that couldn’t speak, had incredibly restricted vision and couldn’t hear very well due to the thickness of the suit. And did I mention the suit itself weighed 50 pounds, wasn’t air conditioned, I had to be outside and this was July in southern Texas?

 

It was blistering hot every second of the job. But, as strange as it sounds, the scorching Texas heat wasn’t the worst part of the job. This particular restaurant was known for their signature lemonade and sweet teas and with how much sugar they put in it, they should change the name to something more fitting such as “Diabetes Explosion.”

 

The children that ate there with their families would get so hyped up on either those drinks or other soft drinks, literally run up to me as the mascot and try to climb me like a tree. Their parents couldn’t have cared less that at any point, I can start walking and drop their kid on the disgusting floor.

 

Actually, that situation did happen once. A kid, couldn’t have been older than six, grabbed my arm. Usually, when I raised my arm, the kids who were grabbing me would let go.

 

Nope, not this kid. He had the balls to not let go, even as I raised my arm to where this kid was completely off the ground. He, quite like a koala bear, was holding onto me for dear life.

 

Now, this kid was maybe half a foot off the ground. So, when I say he fell, don’t think it was down a dangerous amount. But as he fell down, he totally botched the landing and fell on his ass.

 

This, naturally, caused him to cry incessantly in the middle of the restaurant. His parents rushed over, gave me the meanest look and complained to my manager. Yes, these stupid parents who didn’t care about their stupid kid climbing on top of a fully moving mascot were complaining about said mascot. Because you know, it was totally my fault that their kid fell.

 

Now, I only worked as the mascot for a month before they fired me and I lost six pounds throughout the job. I was grateful that I was fired, though. The job was terrible, paid only minimum wage, my boss had no sense of humor and I now have a deep-seated resentment of children because of it.

 

Do you have a hospitality experience that you’d like to talk about? Tweet me at @CaptainKasoff and we’ll talk.