I am writing a report about the abominable working conditions during my brief employment at Cachet Ladies in Toronto. Cachet Ladies (http://www.cachetladies.com/) has offices in Toronto, Montreal, & Vancouver and purport to be a VIP Event Planning Top Model Escort Agency. I inquired about employment during the summer, as I had been accepted to begin my Masters degree in January. I had previously held employment in corporate environments and made the decision to enter the adult entertainment industry due to a large debt load I had incurred during my undergraduate. The debt load had become unmanageable and I made a rational decision to use this as an avenue to relieve some of the
economic distress, as the industry can be quite lucrative. As an educated person, I was met with instant interest from the agency; I met with one of the owners and was formally invited to join the agency after an initial meeting. I had looked into other agencies and was originally drawn to Cachet Ladies because of the above average pay scale: top models earn $400 an hour (the agency keeps $175 of this amount and the model received $200) for her services. The first thing I noticed that should have been a red flag to me was that I was not given a copy of my employment contract.
Furthermore, coming from a background in public health, I was extremely surprised and weary that there was no medical examination necessary to gain employment --the agency does not require that you have a clean bill of health. There is no guarantee that the person you engage with at the agency is healthy: that person may very well have an STD or STI. It was not even recommended or encouraged that the females get regular physical examinations. I think that from a top agency, this should be absolutely mandatory; however as you will see from this report, Cachet Ladies is not the high-end agency it claims to be. The practices are shady, inconsistent, unhealthy and unprofessional.
As an educated individual using this solely as a route to eliminate my debt quickly and progress to the next stage in my education unscathed by economic disparity, I quickly learned that this was not the type of environment conducive to progressing in society. The female owner of the company is extremely aggressive and dehumanizing to the workers. She uses threats, intimidation and coercion to demean and degrade the women, making many so uncomfortable to the point that they avoid the office all together when given notice of her attendance. The owners have absolutely no respect or sensitivity to the needs of females. They are treated with contempt.
Additionally, the owners frequently make humiliating remarks about the regular clients. Often drivers will reveal personal and confidential details about the regulars, showing complete disrespect toward their discretion and privacy, engaging in gossip surrounding details of their personal lives (often with the intention to humiliate and demean). This is not an agency that cares about the health and well being of their female
workers, nor is it the type of agency that provides respect, professionalism and discretion to the regular and loyal clients. They charge exorbitant fees for those clients that opt to pay by way of credit card ($480) and actively encourage their workers to manipulate the clients into extending and bringing more girls into the calls. They will ploy the customers by incrementally adding $5 to each hour, so that after 4 hours the fee is $495 an hour. The agency particularly exploits the client and worker when the method of credit payment is used, as the pay scale is reduced to $200 for the female worker (instead of $225 when the client pays cash), meaning the agency receives $280 from the transaction, excluding fees paid to the institution. In this way, both the paying client and female worker are being materially exploited, as the worker takes a pay cut, while the client pays increasing fees only the agency benefits from the transaction.
Not only is Cachet Ladies extremely profiteering, they are disrespectful and exploitative of the female workers, actively encouraging drug use and alcoholism. During my time there while waiting for calls, I would try to maximize my efficiency by reading and preparing for my academic semester. The other girls there found this peculiar and would give me unwelcoming looks, much preferring to lounge around watching TV. Most of the girls occupied their time listlessly as they waited for calls, sometimes not getting any work for the evening. They would sit around idly and gossip about other girls and regular clients. None of the time seemed to be spent productively or constructively. Most of these girls do not have a life outside of the agency, because social progression and positive contribution are not encouraged.
I was met with a lot of hostility for remaining focused and spending my time reading while at the agency; I could very well have been one of the only educated girls there. The culture did not encourage academic advancement. It did, however, encourage drug use, female aggression and poor medical and health practices. Females often presented as rough and aggressive, not intelligent and graceful as the site suggests. This is not a high-class escort agency and you would be better off looking for an independent escort or alternative agency in the city at high these type of high prices. I believe that this line of work can be respectable, however due to internal competition for clients with the girls, the environment can be very tense. Many of the girls complained about the experience of poverty due to their diminished bookings, claiming they had not paid their rent or were falling behind in other economic obligations. This is not something to be expected of a top agency and is a reflection of the illegitimacy of the claims surrounding providing VIP services. This is a scam agency and the owners only care about exploiting and profiteering.
By the time I left Cachet Ladies, they had demoted some of the "top models" ($400/hr) to "glam models" ($300/hr) to get more business. The owner frequently complained about how the business was failing and would take out her aggression and frustration on the female workers, creating a hostile, unsafe and abusive environment for the women. Many of the girls complained that they were getting not getting the work they needed to meet their financial obligations. I believe this is because of poor management practices and failure to retain professional and educated females that boost the morale of the agency and improve the working conditions. Furthermore, the owners are absent for weeks at a time, usually on trips to exotic destinations, only making appearances to hound and hassle the female workers into fearful subservience and apprehension.
The female owner takes every opportunity to intimidate the female workers and threatens to fire them on a whim. This causes considerable distress to the women, who often turn to drugs and alcoholism to cope, rather than using the lucrative earning potential to make positive and healthy life choices. Not only that, most of the male drivers earn more than the escorts! If you are considering becoming an escort at this agency, you would have more respect and earn more money applying as a driver this is no joke. The business at Cachet Ladies is floundering due to the dip in the economy, recent negative press surrounding the death of Kera Freeland (http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/crime/article/1006106&somebody-knows-something-says-mother-of-deceased-escort), and questions surrounding the legitimacy of the agency and the extent of protection, safety and respect for the female workers.
While the girls are destitute, sitting listlessly as they await calls, making trips to the washroom to snort cocaine, the drivers are profiting more than the escorts (some making over $1, 000 a week part-time). The female workers are pressured into using the drivers rather than the TTC or cabs to get to work. They are also expected to tip, regardless of whether the girl has made money that night or not, just to be safely driven home the girls have to tip generously for the luxury of safety. If you do not call in to get picked up by a driver, you quickly get in the bad graces of the drivers and may even risk being fired for not contributing to their income. The use of subways or TTC for economy is frowned upon and discouraged. During the time that I was there, many of the girls complained about running a deficit due to the pressure to constantly tip drivers to remain in good favour and ensure job security.
In every respect, I found the environment very tense and uncomfortable. There is zero respect for the privacy and discretion surrounding personal details of clients lives, nor are the female workers afforded dignity and respect.
I once tried to engage the owner in discussion and she made every attempt to ridicule and humiliate me. One of the girls there later commented that it was because I was not "gangster" like many of the other girls. I was different for being classy and educated! If you are a nice, intelligent, well-mannered girl the ones they claim to hire you will not be
there for long, as you will find the working conditions absolutely intolerable.
The culture is not conducive to any type of social or academic advancement. Again, this does not have to be the case: it would be possible for the agency to build a respectable business by adopting more honest practices and supporting the emotional growth of the females, rather than actively denigrating the status and worth of the workers.
However, as things currently stand, the management is run by a male and a female owner that have no idea how to run a business, or even update a website for that matter. Even though this agency charges the highest rates in Toronto, the owners do not invest in social networking or any modern forms of advertising. Their claims of providing VIP services are illegitimate, everything is done amateurishly. The owner is actively hostile toward anyone that presents as educated, well mannered and cultured. If you are looking for a women of high-class, dignity and self-respect, you are better off paying an independent escort, as I can assure you they will provide higher discretion, professionalism and honesty than Cachet Ladies ever possibly could. Cachet ladies is not a business that focuses on retention and service, they simply want to rob you of your money! Dont be fooled, this agency is not elite or VIP the practices are not legitimate, consistent or honest!
Clients: This is definitely not the place to go if you are looking for healthy, well-adjusted and educated women. If you are a regular client, you will be gossiped about: there is zero privacy or discretion, and details of your personal life will be revealed! They will talk about you to anyone and everyone. Female workers: this is not the place for you to work if you are serious about advancing yourself socially, as you will be treated very poorly by the owners and reception staff: they will take every opportunity to humiliate, degrade and diminish your self-esteem, making even the lucrative potential of the job unappealing. The management is terrible and due to their frequent vacationing to exotic locations, often fail to actually tend to the business, update the site, or meet other managerial responsibilities. Instead, they resort to intimidation and threats to keep their female workers isolated, even when there is no work.
As an example, I was met with tremendous hostility and resistance for asking politely that my pictures and profile be updated on the site when I first started the job. The owner did not seem to take the job seriously and grunted like a teenager being asked to do a chore as she begrudgingly uploaded the pictures on the site. The owners have no experience with marketing or media management. The owner then took to abusing me in retaliation for having the "gull" to ask her to create a media presence for me--something that should be nascent knowledge to business owners! It should be increasingly clear from this report that Cachet Ladies isn't running a "business", what they are doing is undermining the trust of their clients, female workers, and society at large with their poor management and working conditions.
I would highly advise against supporting this agency by becoming a client or a female worker. I suspect that they will be out of business soon, anyway, by the looks of things when I left. This is definitely not a high-end or upscale environment. If you are a client looking for a substance abuse free women with dignity, self-respect, and healthy habits, Cachet Ladies is not the place for you! This agency is literally a scam, run by criminals, with some of the worst working conditions imaginable.
Scam agencies like this are why Toronto needs to regulate the adult entertainment and escort industry, however until then, the public relies on people like me to spread the word about the dishonest and disreputable business practices of these agencies, to inform the public paying clients and female workers alike about exploitative and illegitimate.