Lists, Pop Culture

Havin’ Hard Times: Best Jobs To Get When Times Are Tough

I came across this fascinating, yet seemingly hyperbolic, article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about difficult economic times are increasing the number of women trying to get on the pole. And people say the recession is a problem; anything that puts more women on a pole is alright with me. While I think that some of the financial “facts” are indeed debatable, the fact is, strippers get that dough – especially in Atlanta. In fact, in Black America when people think stripping they think Atlanta. Gentlemen, guard your daughters. If she really wants to move to Atlanta but has yet to apply to Spelman, I hate to tell you but she’s gonna be making it clap more than 40 Negroes at a houseparty when Soho Earth People’s “Hot Music” comes on.

Hot muuuuuuuusic. (Anybody else notice that this song always sounds better when followed up by Aly-Us’s “Follow Me”?)

Here’s a snippet of the economics in the article:

The strip club economy

Clubs: U.S.: 3,829

Metro Atlanta: 19

Economic impact: U.S. $15 billion

Metro Atlanta: $240 million-plus

Employment: U.S.: 500,000

Estimated annual earnings of Atlanta dancers: $20 million

Anybody else surprised that there are only 19 strip clubs in metro Atlanta? Me too. But if true, damn that’s good money.

Well this got me to thinking. People often joke that when times get tough, women should start stripping. Truth is….that’s true. There are so many upsides and really the only downside is that whole self-esteem, sense of self-worth bull malarkey. Face it, pride and options are for rich and beautiful people. If you were either, you wouldn’t be thinking about stripping, now would you?

Oh, the upsides: cash business (avoid some of those pesky taxes through self-reporting), you get to meet really nice people who really care about you, you get to stay up on the newest music, and the coup de grace, you get to TOTALLY be a dancer as your profession! Take that Alvin Ailey.

As if.

While I’d totally suggest to any woman out there to hit the pole when times get tough, there are other job options when times get tough, and there not all just for women. Men are feeling the brunt of the storm too. Right now, it really is hard out here for a pimp. Which brings me to number one.

1) Prostitute

Most women claim to love sex anyway, might as well get paid for it. And not with fancy dinners to Olive Garden, either. Of course, you might have to pay a cut to some guy with a perm, a pinky ring, and really long fingernails, but every job has its issues. Though I can’t lie, having a boss named Sweet Curly Gloom Hand Jones might make me rethink that whole hoin’ thing. Luckily, I got one hangin’ and two swangin’.

2) Customer Service Representative

Preferably for Verizon or some other such f*ckery of a company. While I realize that most people loathe customer service, there is no better job security right now. With nearly everything going digital, people are prone to have issues. There’s ALWAYS a job available because in effect, people don’t know how to properly plug sh*t in. Of course, you’ll have to move to India or Kazakhstan and name yourself “Bobby” or “Mary” but whatever, it’s for the kids.

3) Funeral Home employee or director

When times get tough, people start kickin’ off faster than three Brazilians with a ball and an open field. Much like taxes, death is the only other guarantee in life. Even crappy funeral homes get business because wheredeydodatat? Crappy parts of town. Of course, the “I see dead people” joke probably gets old 2 seconds after you start working there but you get to totally lay in caskets and pretend to be a vampire. Rar.

4) Bartender

This one is surprising because people tend to drink less, well, less expensively during an economic downtime, however, if you’re the bartender and your life is sucking, you’ve got all the liquor you need at your own disposal to drink away the pain. You might get fired for drinking on the job, but hell, you could always go strip.

5) Pedi – cab operator in NYC

If you live in Boise this is probably not an option, but these cats ALWAYS have customers. It’s probably because there are a lot of sadists out there who get some kind of sick pleasure out of making some guy work his heart out for 10 bucks and 2 blocks. Of course, if you do take this kind of job you’re probably a bit masochistic anyway so its a perfect match since S & M go together like Rihanna and eye jammies.

Those are a few suggestions. Good workers of VSB, have you any occupational suggestions for our economically strapped community members?

Put it on the glass.


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Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • Eks M

    am i first.. Yaaaasss *jersey shore fist pump* and iDied at the brokephibroke tag.

    often times in undergrad my roomies and I would contemplate doing a quick run to ATL to make some cash *smh* then we got serious about life and put in more hours at Target, lol!

  • Jade (not a prOn) Star

    I once joked that if I could, I’d be a plus-sized stripper. My name? Double Stuff Oreo. Now looking at this jacked up economy and being non working for 2 years, the idea is starting to look sorta attractive…lol!

    I’ve scoured Craigslist for one time gigs to make some quick cash. Sold some stuff and most of all the dreaded temp agencies.

    • Brklyn2Chi

      @Jade (not a prOn) Star,

      Lmao- “Double Stuff Oreo”…

      Though I will say there prob is a market for that. I mean if ppl can get paid off of turning a bathrobe around and callin it a Snuggie, I’m sure you can get a bunch of dudes to make it rain at a club to see BBW drop it like its hot!

    • Dash

      @Jade (not a prOn) Star,
      Set up a fetish site, pose for pics, autograph worn clothing, do vid chats, etc. You would probably make more than stripping, and not have to worry about backstage politics, patrons, and other strippers trying to take your cookie.

      • Jade (not a prOn) Star

        That sounds like an even better idea!

    • miss t-lee

      @Jade (not a prOn) Star,
      “Double Stuff Oreo.”

      Team Chunk, what it do?!??! :)

      • Melinda

        @miss t-lee,


      • Jade (not a prOn) Star


  • Angel

    I’m going to have to agree to disagree.

    The bartending/alcohol industry is booming! My client, who is a real estate agent, has a client (who bought a house from her) that owns a wine shop and she told me they are overloaded. They can’t keep stuff in stock because those who “are in a recession” are buying bottles in bulk.

    What’s the point of my comment???

    Ladies, please get off that pole and open up a liquor store. There will always be drunks in the world. Always!


    • MizzouLegend

      A step further would be to open up a winery. Preferably near a metro area with a few colleges within earshot.

  • The Hallway/TheSunk

    1) Delivery Man- One could deliver pizzas in blizzardy conditions. What more exciting job. I love driving.

    2) Barber- One could undercut all the other barbers, $5-8 haircuts, not to mention the great deals(stolen stuff) that comes through the shop.

    3) Po-Po- Once again you get to drive all day and abuse your privileges. Get discounts on everything. N!ggaz always acting up=always need popo.

    4) Party Promoter- Promoting parties isn’t to hard. Be in the right place at the right time.

    5) Some rich, white Georgetown woman’s boy toy- Sounds like the best job for a black brother. Loans/tuition paid, free food, a few shopping sprees, and a freaky white milf…I can dig it

  • Dash

    Foster parent: I know it sounds fucked up to start taking kids in because of the economy, but those kids can really supplement your income. Keep your receipts, and get reimbursed for nearly everything, have access to vouchers from Sears “Balling!”, and on top of that you get paid. All you have to do is take a class or two, and welcome a child into your home.

  • Leila

    Setting up entertainment for kids birthday parties – my cousin set this up as a business for rich folks in LA and was getting paid up to $1000 for a few hrs and said it was really easy money.

    Co-sign with bartender/liquor store – Since the recession hit, most people I know are drinking a lot more

  • P.

    1. Catering: people always need to eat. Businesses and organizations and whatnot will always be throwing events to impress people or raise awareness or just to have a good muthaf*ckin time where they don’t have to cook or clean sh*t up. I work for a catering company during the summers and we never had a shortage of business. It’s good money and it’s kinda fun. Plus, YOU get to eat what you make (or at least I do), so that’s meals for days for broke students like me.

    2. Sell drugs.

    • Neighborhood Hussy

      @P., drug dealer is so passe, I prefer the term “pharmaceutical broker”

      • ComicBookGuy

        @Neighborhood Hussy,

        Or “urban pharmaceutical sales rep”.

      • P.

        @Neighborhood Hussy,

        lol, I never said drug dealer. I just wrote the job description; you’re certainly free to call it whatever you want.

    • Keisha Brown

      @ P. & @ Leila,

      I actually work for an event planning and catering company, so I can actually give the low down on this. Events is one of the areas that has been hit pretty hard. While yes, there are certain events that will always happen, they are trying to make them happen on sometimes less than 1/2 the budget. Our Christmas was pretty bad in 09 (in comparison to other years). Most of my brides postponed their weddings to this summer (or even 2011).

      It’s been busy in the 1st 2 months of the year, but busy can also be defined as lots more inquiries and proposals being written and not a lot of confirmations. Things are also considerably more last minutes than they used to be. Which places lots of stress on the kitchen and service staff. (Not to mention me!)

      When it comes to non-profits, catering companies have to slash their actual prices considerably if they want to get the job (ie: a 600 guest gala I’m working on, their budget is $37/pp when the menu is easily $50+). How charitable we are depends on how much other business we brought in, and the long term of being nice (will it lead to other events).

      Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my job – but there is more to it than meets the eye from an internal standpoint.

      Planning kids’ parties sounds like fun, until you get the parents that have a $125,000 budget (Bar Mitzvah) and want to spend more money on photography than food. (And yes, I’m dealing with that right now…I need to set up business in the little Israel part of town!!). I blame MTV’s my super sweet 16/party mamas/TLC for false advertising and plain ole keepin up with the jones’ syndrome.

  • Miss Patterson

    Love that song (Hot Music), but in what strip club have you seen a stripper dance to house? (waiting…) Btw, I miss ATL for black house clubs (where I do not recall a pole).
    Ihateyouforthispost. The only one I would seriously consider is bartending. No matter how broke people get, they love to drown their sorrows in liquor. Bartending at a cool neighborhood dive bar could actually pull in a little extra steady dough.When I worked in a pub in Atlanta, I had this regular customer who would come in every single day after work and order 4 or 5 Stellas. She would tell me her life story and ask me questions like, “why do black women dye their hair blonde?” I put up with it because she always tipped at least 40%. Those were good times. And don’t get me started on trivia nights. GTech students with daddy’s credit card– suhweet!

    • miss t-lee

      @Miss Patterson,
      I’ve been kicking that bartending idea around for a few years now…lol

    • Intellectual Hedonist

      @Miss Patterson, I like miss t lee also considered bartending as a side hustle.

  • Samantha

    I’m about to start bartending school next week. It goes against all of my Third-Wave Feminist tendencies but f*ck Foucault. I’m tryin to get this money, because an English degree and an in-depth knowledge of 20th century French linguists isn’t gonna pay Sallie Mae.
    Vices always grow in a bad economy (ex. Great Depression taxi dancers). Why do you think the brokest guy in the club is always the one in the freshest Jordans and the most jewelry?

  • KayBeezy

    It used to be that teaching was the job to have in tough economies, but just today HISD said they might have to lay off like 400 teachers, so I would posit wife (or trophy-wife if you’re awesome) as a good job,if you can land it. If one is inclined to think of marriage as a business proposition.