Caller: (female voice) Yeah, I’m calling about your ad.
Uh-oh, looks like I’m going to have to tell another woman that I’m not taking female clients these days. Unless she’s part of a couple, and even couples are sometimes more challenge than reward. Not always, but sometimes. When couples are good, they are very, very good, and when they are bad, whoo, they are horrid.
Me: Okay, is this for you and your boyfriend or husband?
Caller: Boyfriend or husband? No. It’s just me.
She sounds taken aback that I would ask such a thing, and I’m noticing that she sounds very young. She’s also affecting a sort of urban/hip-hop inflection that I imagine she learned from MTV and Quentin Tarantino movies. Perhaps we should just ask the vital question…
Me: What ad of mine did you see?
Caller: The one where it says you hiring.
That’s not a typo – she said “…you hiring”. I thought I had left the South.
Me: Uh, no, I don’t have any ad that says that.
Caller: This ain’t your ad in the adult section that says “selectively hiring”?
Me: I have an ad in the adult sections of some papers, yes, but it doesn’t say I’m hiring. It says I’m selectively taking new clients.
There’s a brief pause while she, presumably, re-reads the ad and ponders the difference between clients and employees, and I meditate on the sad state of the American public school system.
She hangs up. Good lord.
I think I should get rid of that ad text anyway, since it’s been made clear to me that people are not interpreting it the way I want them to. Which would be, “I’m not saying I won’t see new guys at all. But - I don’t choose to see very many.”
Frankly, my worst nightmare is running a sex work business where I have to run “help wanted” ads and hire off the street. Pray for me that day never comes.