The corporate world has changed radically in the last forty years. If you think about the role of women in Mad Men and compare it to the serious positions of today’s female CEOs and law firm partners the progress women have made has been extraordinary. At the same time, while women’s roles have changed, men’s desires and needs have not. What has changed, however, is a culture in which a pretty girl working in the steno pool will be recruited to help land the big client. Way too risky: mixing work and pleasure is a pretty sure fire path to a sexual harassment suit.
Which does not change the fact that many a contract can be landed by a friendly feminine touch. Which led us to Karen.
“I used to be an independent escort.” Karen told us on Skype, “Now I am a company girl.”
by Hannah Jay
Speaking to Karen on Skype we were struck by how pretty and yet how strangely dated she looked. There was no doubt at all that her blonde hair came from a very competent hair colourist and curled into a long mane. Her nails were a true scarlet red and filed to a sharp oval point. Her makeup was a throwback to a certain moment in the late 1970s where dark eyeliner was a thing. (Not that Kate Middleton is not attempting to revive the look single handed.) But what was really striking was the tight, thin sweater stretched to the breaking point by Karen’s large and amply uplifted breasts. The whole package spoke of a simpler time when “gals” could be head turners and knock outs. Karen looked to be in her mid to late twenties.
“Like my outfit.” said Karen noticing the fact I was a little stunned. “Like I said, I’m a company girl and at our company this is how I am required to dress. And look. Of course I don’t go into the office all that often. That’s not really my thing at all. But they keep me on the payroll and I get the whole benefits package and healthcare which is great.”
“I am what you might call a “good will ambassador” for the company. We do a whole range of electrical parts. You know wire and those tubes you put wire through. We’re a fairly big regional company in the North East and Mid-West. And we’re privately owned which is, I bet, why I have my job.”
“A couple of years ago I was working as an independent escort really just doing Chicagoland conventions. Chicago is consistently in the top five convention cities in the US and I made a pretty good living just working the conventions. There are a lot of ways of doing that, escort advertising, agencies; my way was that I had two hotel bars I worked from and the bartenders were always happy to see me because I tipped very, very well.”
So there was this three day electrical contractors convention in town and I was doing okay. A couple of dates on the Thursday night and I’d had one afternoon date on Friday. Now I was hanging out at one of the bars. I always dressed like a lady when I was in the bar. Skirt, not too short, nice top, usually a jacket to keep everything discreet but as you can tell, I am pretty big on top and guys like that. Picking up clients in bars is not the hardest thing in the world, the hard part is making sure you don’t attract the attention of hotel security or accidentally pick up a member of the Vice squad. Not that the Vice squad pays much attention to up market girls in up market hotels.
Hotel security is a whole other question for an escort. The thing is that security is there to make sure everything is “nice”. What they don’t want is some street ho coming into their hotel high on crack and causing no end of trouble. What they are more than happy to do is turn a very blind eye to attractive, well dressed girls who might, possibly, be escorts but who cause no trouble and tip out the bar tender. I never have any trouble with hotel security.
So there I was sitting at my little spot at the bar and this rather big guy walks over. I’d seen him the night before and I was pretty sure he’d seen me.
“Booth babe?” he asked to make conversation. Booth babes are those, usually pneumatic, girls who wear tight tops and short skits and are in the vendors booths all over conventions like this one. I’d done the job a few times and hated it. Standing up for eight hours teasing guys is a crazy way to make money. But it did convince me that there was a big market for escorts at conventions. I would get eight or ten offers a day just standing there.
“Nope. Escort.” I replied. My theory is that you need to be really up front if you are escorting. I know girls who will let guys buy them a couple of drinks before telling them they are “pay to play”. They call it screening, I call it dishonest. My cards are right there on the table where, if the client can take his eyes off my chest, he can see them.
“Excellent.” he said sitting down. I’m Joe Campbell. I own Campbell Electrics. You might have seen our booth.”
“I haven’t Joe. I have really not been on the convention floor at all.”
“No worries. The one thing we don’t have is booth babes. Which is too bad because I am in the mood to take a pretty girl out to dinner.”
“Well, Joe, what you didn’t spend on booth babes you can spend on me.” I said with a bit of a laugh but the fact is that a couple of aspiring model girls for three days will run a company a couple of thousand dollars. A ballpark I like to be in.
“Done. What do you like to eat?”
“Are you staying in this hotel?” I asked.
“No, over at the Palmer House. I like to be able to get away from the convention.”
“Then let’s eat at the Lockwood. Great restaurant and convenient.”
We took a cab and had a lovely, delicious and beautifully presented dinner in the very old school hotel dining room. I was in no hurry. The food was great and he knew his way around the wine list which is extensive. It was the most natural thing in the world to have a brandy in the lobby and then take the elevator up to his suite which had one of those fabulous Chicago views with the lake framed in skyscrapers. He’d made a discreet trip to the bank machine in the lobby and so business was taken care of very easily and I ensured that our consenting adult time was memorable. In that lovely afterglow which sometimes happens when a man is really very relaxed he suggested that we spend the next evening together because he had a bit of an idea. And then he said something a bit odd.
“Why don’t you meet me at the Campbell booth. You can meet a few of the guys and they can meet you. Look fabulous but don’t over do it.”
I agreed and a few minutes later was in a cab back to my apartment.
The next day, putting on a pretty suit and low heels I headed off for the convention center. My sense was that Joe didn’t want me to look at all like an escort but he did want me to look nice when I met “some of the guys”. And I was right.
The Campbell Electric “booth” was actually about six booths spaces combined. It had, well, a lot of different sorts of wire, a bunch of silvery looking boxes and tubing and at least ten guys ready to talk electrics with anyone who stopped by. As I mentioned I have a pretty figure and my suit shows it off in a subtle but effective way. I had my hair a bit tussled and light make-up. I am fairly tall, five foot eight, so I can be pretty visible if I want to be. By the time I got to the Campbell Electric booth I had more than a few pairs of eyes on me. When you are escorting you get used to a certain sort of male attention. This was a little different because the guys at the convention had no idea I was an escort. I was just there to meet Joe.
He was waiting at the booth. He showed me around and told me about the products he was displaying. As he did he introduced me to some of his sales guys and executives. He simply said, “She’s the marketing consultant I’ve been telling you about. In about fifteen minutes I met nine or ten guys and hear more about wire than I ever thought possible. Then we walked out the main aisle of the convention and grabbed a cab to a cosy little bar a block from his hotel.
“We’ll have dinner later but I wanted to run an idea past you.” said Joe with a double martini in hand.
It turned out that Campbell Electric was bidding on a series of contracts literally all over the US and some more in Asia. Big contracts, tens of millions of dollars’ worth of wire and shiny tubes.
“Now, a lot of these guys, especially the Asians, like to be wined and dined more than a little as part of the bidding and negotiations. Some of them are very clear that they want an escort involved later in the evening. Which I don’t have any trouble with. Cost of doing business. But finding reliable girls is a crap shoot and finding a girl who is a bit subtle, a bit discreet, is not easy.” said Joe. I could see where this was going. Or at least I thought I did. I figured Joe would want me to be their go to escort in Chicago which, to be honest, suited me fine. I was not ready for what came next.
“I’d like to put you on staff. Call it customer relations. We’d pay you really well. I know what escorts charge. But I’d set it up so you were getting good money and health and expenses. What do you think?”
Quite honestly I did not know what to think. And I said so. Joe was prepared. He’s a brilliant salesman.
“I get that this is a really new idea for you Karen. You don’t know me and you don’t know the business. But here’s the thing: when my dad ran the business there were always a couple of gals in the steno pool who would get a bit of a bonus for showing out of town clients a good time. They weren’t escorting exactly, but they landed a lot of contracts and got a commission without too many questions about how the name got on the dotted line. These days the numbers at the top of the contract are a whole lot bigger but, and here’s the thing, I could get sued six ways from Sunday if I ever suggested to one of the women who work at the company that a blow job might land the deal. Sexual harassment is now a big deal.”
“What I figured is that if you came on board, already being an escort and all, you would understand that you would be doing what it takes to nail the contract.”
I sipped my drink and thought for a minute. “And what about you? Would keeping you happy be part of the deal?”
“Once in a while. Yes.” said Joe looking rather pleased with himself. “Our HQ is out in the suburbs and I only get downtown occasionally. But yes.”
I thought to myself, “You sly old dog. Putting the girl on the payroll.”
Joe continued. “But if you take the job you’d basically be making sure the customers saw a bit of Chicago, had a good dinner and then a bit of fun back at the hotel. Probably three nights a week at most. And you would have your weekends off because customers typically fly in on Monday and leave on Friday.
“What about groups?” I asked. I don’t mind escort dates with more than one client but I am not about to take on a trade delegation.
“That’s actually a pretty good question. We do have groups occasionally. Mainly Asian. But usually no more than five or six which, I expect is a few too many. The trouble is that it is often hard to tell exactly who is making the decision.”
“Well, the solution for that is more escorts. I have a couple of girls I know who I’ve worked with before at parties. But that would have to be extra.”
“Of course.” said Joe. “It would go on your expense account. So, am I sensing a “yes”.”
“A definite maybe. Let’s have dinner and discuss it later.”
This was exactly what we did and later, after a round of consenting adult activity which was, if anything, even more exhilarating than the night before, we got down to business and I became a Campbell Electric customer special representative. I am actually a pretty good negotiator and I got a really good salary and an incentive bonus based on the value of the contracts I secured.
I started that very week with a buyer from Cleveland who knew Chicago better than I did and was amazed and delighted when I suggested that we have a nightcap in my apartment. It was not a huge deal but my bonus bought me a pretty black Chanel 2.5 bag I’d lusted after for years.
That was two years ago and Joe has been absolutely true to his word. I get a great salary, a big expense account, an unlimited Uber account and bonuses on every deal I bring home. Joe himself likes to see me about once a month which is fun. We have developed a delightful faux business relationship where he conducts a “performance review” with me standing in my pretty lingerie and he adding up my bonuses and deducting the ones which got away. He loves giving me a nice hard spanking before he moves on to other activities so even when I have got orders from all the customers sent my way a few of those order could have been bigger.
It is escorting in one sense but in another it is an actual job. I mean I have learned a lot about wire and electrical boxes and fire resistant conduit. More importantly, I have learned where the margins are thickest and where I can offer a bit of a “special” discount to a guy who wants to stay overnight.
Most of the customers seem to think I am just a really friendly sales rep. I mean I don’t tell them I am the company escort and that my job is to make sure they have a great time. Why would I? After all, I am not the first sales gal who has given a good customer a great blow job.
The funny part is that my “job” doesn’t really feel like escorting. I mean it is exactly the same thing but, realistically, there are a few things missing. I don’t ever worry about law enforcement for example. And I don’t worry about screening dates. Plus, and this is huge, I don’t have to advertise or run a website or do all the other things which an escort has to do to bring in business.
The other thing which really changed is that because no money was changing hands with the client I somehow simply forgot I was an escort and would breeze into even the sleekest hotels without a second thought about security. I didn’t look like an escort, I wasn’t being paid on an escorting basis, so I mentally took myself out of the business.
So that’s how I became a company girl. And I am finding I am getting pretty good at the sales side of the business over and above the escorting tricks to seal the deal.
Joe was saying that if my sales numbers were posted – which they aren’t because I am, more or less, Joe’s secret weapon – I would be the number four salesperson in the firm. As he puts it, I am a real closer. It is surprising what a man will do if you promise him a brilliant blow job if he’s a good boy.
I really do love being a company girl, but I have to admit, I also see a few of my old regulars. Partially because Campbell Electric pays me by electronic funds deposit with all the taxes and withholding deducted. This is great and my bank keeps offering me loans and credit cards which they never did when I was making the same money escorting, but in cash. I miss the cash.
Once or twice a week a regular will call and, well, I like to meet my regulars at one of the two bars where I tip the bartenders big and know a few of the other girls. The truth is that I actually like escorting and when I went on at Campbell Electric I started to miss it.
Let’s face it: if I had not been escorting the night Joe Campbell walked into that bar I would not have the great job I have now. When I am waiting for my date in a tight little skirt and stockings and heels, a lot of guys wanting to buy me a drink. And those guys are pretty sure I am an escort. And they’re right.