by Alphaville Herald on 12/03/10 at 1:04 pm
by Meleth Oakleaf
I wandered into the familiar stone hallway of a dear friend’s club. I was again struck by the tall ceilings and strong architectural features of the club. Unlike many of the clubs I’ve visited, there is no eye blinding laser show, dim lighting nor the typical barrage of gestures. Instead, a provocative red head stands waiting our scheduled interview.
In an attempt to get a better feel for the vastly different ways people spent their time in Second Life, I’ve begun a series of articles interviewing people about their jobs. Some people I’ve sought out are well known in their field, others are friendly people I’ve met in my travels through our digital landscape. Not every person in the same career has the same job, and not every person approaches their career in the same way. Think of this series of articles as vignettes, designed to open your eyes to the world of one of the many people who also wander in our shared pixelated world. Our first vignette begins a I clear my throat and puts on my official reporting hat.
Mel: "LadyDeath, what drew you to club managing?"
LadyDeath: I have managed RL restaurants before, so when the opportunity presented itself to apply my experience into SL I jumped on it.
Mel: How does managing in SL compare to managing in RL?
LadyDeath: So far, the main difference is scheduling, in that I don’t make schedules on SL, so many of our employees have jobs and other RL obligations and can’t commit to a set schedule in SL.
Mel: What skills have you learned in RL managing that you’ve been able to apply to SL managing?
LadyDeath: Conflict resolution, advertising, working hard to give customers what they want so they return and thinking outside the box.
Mel: Speaking of advertisement, sell me on Surrender to Tranquility, what makes your club worth a visit?
LadyDeath: Surrender to Tranquility has a one of a kind concept. We are a BDSM (Male Dom) club that permits no sex, no nudity and no pressure to present yourself in the stereotypical BDSM way. We welcome everyone from those that are merely curious about BDSM to those that are fully immersed in the culture.
Mel: Can you explain to my readers what one might expect from non sexual submission either receiving it or giving it?
LadyDeath: As far as receiving it, they can expect to be respected, and treated the way men should be treated. As far as giving it, there is the pleasure of making the Dom happy, knowing that in kneeling, massaging, dancing with him, or just having a quiet conversation, you have given him the gift of pleasure and happiness. I know for me personally, the act of nonsexual submission to a Dom is a wonderful feeling; hoping that he leaves here feeling better than when he joined us, and that his wishes were fulfilled to the best of my ability.
Mel: This is a bit off the topic of club managing, but since we’ve wandered in controversial waters, I’ve heard it suggested that in giving their submission a person degrades his or herself and that typically people with low self-esteem are drawn to this behavior, what are your thoughts on this topic?
LadyDeath: I would think that a person who holds this belief hasn’t taken the time to get to know submissive women. It takes a strong person to give herself over to the control of one person. Without strength, honesty and complete trust, a submissive would not be able to be happy in her chosen lifestyle. A weak person with no self esteem, would be someone open to abusive relationships regardless of the lifestyle, BDSM or a more traditional relationship. A submissive needs the strength of will to complete the tasks her Dom puts before her, the choices he makes for her, or accept the punishments for inaction. A weak submissive would also rob a Dom of his ability to be a good Dom, in that, she would not have the strength of mind or personality to provide the much needed feedback to her Dom about her feelings, insecurity, or ideas about the various topics that emerge in their relationship.
Mel: Thank you for those eloquent thoughts on what is often a hotly debated topic. Okay to get us back on to the topic of the profession of club managing, what are your responsibilities as a club manager?
LadyDeath: My responsibilities include things like advertising, setting up events, keeping employees happy and safe, including feeling their work environment is safe. I’m also responsible for payroll and hiring new quality subs, and finding new and interesting things to help draw and keep people in the club
Mel: I think many of my readers have been interviewed, but I’m fewer of them have been on the interviewing side, can you enlighten my about what it is you are looking for when you interview a potential employee.
LadyDeath: Usually, I want to make sure that the girl I am interviewing is truly interested in being submissive, or has been for some time. I want to make sure that being a submissive makes her happy and find out why it makes her happy to be so.
Mel: What advice would you have for someone who is looking to be a club manager?
LadyDeath: Work in the club for a while before attempting to become the manager. In that time make sure the club is a place that you would enjoy working in and that the responsibilities in this place are ones you would like to have. Also, look at ways to improve on what the owner has started. Be sure get to know the people you work with and be open to their ideas.
Mel: What qualities do you think a good club manager needs to have?
LadyDeath: A club manager, or manager of any type of business for that matter, needs to be a strong person, that can make hard decisions even if others don’t agree with them. They need to remember that their decisions will affect the people around them and the success of their decisions will be impacted in a large part by the people that work under them. Finally they also need the ability to think out of the box and be able to solve problems creatively.
Mel: What’s the most challenging problem you’ve encountered thus far as a club manager?
LadyDeath: Figuring out how do revamp the pay system, and keep girls working even when its a bit dull. Also, getting new Doms here and figuring out what they want to pay/tip for, since without income, there is no way a club can survive.
Mel: What do you think is the most creative solution you’ve been able to implement?
LadyDeath: The new wage system. as far as I know we are the only club in SL that will have one like it
Mel: Care to share some details or is it a proprietary system?
LadyDeath: I think for now I should keep that to myself.
Mel: Do you have a tip that is sharable?
LadyDeath: A big thing I am doing now is researching clubs that have lasted for years, finding what has worked for them, and what hasn’t. From there I try to adapt those solutions to fit the uniqueness of Surrender to Tranquility.
Mel: That seems smart. Are other clubs mostly helpful in this endeavor?
LadyDeath: That depends on the club for the most part, a lot of who I talk to are staff of those clubs.
Mel: Having been both an entry level employee and now a club manager, what advice do you have for a disgruntled club employee about speaking to their club manager?
LadyDeath: Well, before talking to anyone, she should take a step back and look at the situation calmly, making sure that how she reacted was appropriate. Though understandably, it is difficult to emotionally remove yourself from a situation at times. When you come to the manager, explain things calmly, and in a matter of fact manner. It’s very difficult to understand another if too many emotions cloud up the mind, and can cause regrets and misunderstandings
Mel: LadyDeath, thank you very much for sharing your time and thoughts with me. I wish you and Surrender to Tranquility much success.
Finally, the lazy kitty Slurl to Surrender to Tranquilty: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Junos%20Rest/174/248/404