I had a decision to make over the course of the "off-season" as to whether I would return to the Inn or continue developing this life I am leading into something with a bit more value then when I found it, perhaps as a means to finance the next phase of my life. Apparently, for many that the Inn has cut off from the lives they were born into, a curvy woman in her mid-twenties with a thriving social media presence would be ideal, and work as an air hostess only more appealing, apparently not realizing that the vast number of people who think that way leads to a rather low rate of pay.
Instead, there was a pandemic, which not only made a return to the Trading Post Inn unlikely, but disrupted my sources of income - far fewer people were opting to fly, which meant that some flights were cancelled and others needed less staffing. Given that most flight attendants are not salaried but paid by the hour, we started to feel the pinch almost immediately. The union makes laying people off difficult, so that means very few of us get enough work to live on. In some ways, it is a fascinating study of resources thrown out of equilibrium - fewer people are traveling, so there are fewer flights, and since there are fewer people allowed on the flights, there need to be fewer people assigned to each, but the lower capacities also mean that the number can't be scaled back quite as far back as one might expect. Demand is highly variable as well, and even the people who book a flight often change their minds, sometimes bringing the passenger count below the point where it makes more sense to cancel the flight, especially earlier on. Given that attendants on this airline are not paid for cancelled flights, even if they show up and are helping to prepare for boarding, it was often frustrating.
It would, logically, have been a good time for "Alicia" to make a career change, but as mentioned, her job likely lends a certain value to her identity as a commodity well beyond what it brings in directly, and that is before considering that this job is also no small part of the appeal of the YouTube channel, both in its travel theme and the idea that there's something ineffably sexier about my making these recommendations because of this job, even if I've been advised to not actually wear my employer's uniform, instead dressing in a dress that suggests it, while also wearing one of those silly scarves and putting my hair up.
Options for that have been slimmer, what with so many potential subjects of new episodes are closed, and I have had to learn to do more of the production myself since Barbara took a leave of absence to look after her ailing father some months ago. It has been especially frustrating since we had just started to get some meager advertising revenue for our trouble, and even been contacted by certain locations interested in being featured. The first one or two of those we shot were actually quite enjoyable - no security or police saying we could not film somewhere, people willing to talk rather than finding us a nuisance - although some of the negotiations have been peculiar: No cash changing hands, but a fair amount of discussion of exchanging links, specifying their website in the video and making it clickable. There have also been overtures about product placement and endorsements, or an online storefront, but research seems to indicate that many would-be "influencers" find themselves with more inventory and debt than profit as a result.
This apparently tends to be treated as a dirty little secret; I attended a meet-up of various online personalities in the area a few weeks ago and the mostly-young people there had very little to say about monetization or cash flow other than to comment that some "change in the algorithm" had hurt them. I doubt many of them will last, as the bulk seem to have found a hobby briefly turning into a profitable business but have little idea of how to approach it as one, though they at least have the advantage of being born into this era and having some amount of unthinking instinct into what will work.
On top of that, the landscape can be rather treacherous. Some fellow who is apparently paid money so that people can watch him play video games suggested that, if travel became too much of an obstacle, I at least have the sort of appearance that would allow me to do well on "Only Fans". I nodded, said that was an option that one had to consider, and then looked up the name when I had a spare moment alone in the ladies' room.
Suffice it to say, I do not see myself using that platform, although I also wonder if this young man was propositioning me as much as suggesting a future plan of action. The idea did make me start to think a bit more about how I use my sexuality and even sexual availability in this area, somewhat - while Jordan put me in a tight costume and directed me to speak in a certain way, I haven't necessarily been doing this as well as I could on "_______ with Alicia", especially since Barbara left. I can walk in heels and stuff my bosom into an elevating brassiere, or undo a button or two in nice weather, but I have not spent much time on learning how to create certain effects with cosmetics, or given much thought to personal fashion choices beyond what generally complements a woman with this body type. These things, from what I can tell, tend to enhance a woman's appeal to other women, which I have perhaps been ignoring. Moreover, I tend to rely on the generally-valid assumption that not only will men simply be attracted to this body, but that a woman's lack of reciprocal interest will only make her more enticing. Two years of Alicia's job have shown that many men are not that complex, and simply want to see a woman eager to be with them sexually, rather than believe that they might be the one to melt the ice queen if only she had a chance.
Integrating this into Alicia's online presence is, I suspect, the sort of thing that will make Alicia's life a more valuable asset at the point when I decide to leave it, though the building of it will likely not be as pleasant as it must appear.