You might not be as handsome and charming as the hostess would have you believe.

While being good-looking is a prerequisite to work in a Japanese hostess bar, it takes more than that to successfully keep customers coming back for more. Just as important is the ability to make patrons feel appreciated and confident, since they’re not just paying to look at the eye candy, but for the hostesses to sit and chat with them as they drink.

Considering how crucial this aspect of the business is, mangers obviously don’t want to rely on their hostesses’ natural friendliness alone. Just like hotels and restaurants have employee guidebooks that explain how to treat guests, so too do certain businesses in Japan’s fuzoku industry (a broad term that covers hostesses, hosts, strippers, sexy masseuses, and more) have a manual with suggestions about how to talk to customers.

Twitter user @nanpanman_kou claims to have gotten his hands on one such fuzoku employee manual, and recently shared a few pages from the tome.

Of particular interest is its list of conversation pointers. For example, since many hostess bar customers are entertaining clients or drinking with coworkers, and it thus stands to reason that many of them will show up in business wear, the manual recommends finding a spot in the conversation at which to exclaim “I love how guys look in a suit!”

Patrons wearing glasses should get a similar compliment, and “You look just like [insert name of popular celebrity]” or “You look like the guy I used to have a crush on” are also suggested ways to instantly put a guy in a good mood. But where things get especially crafty are the manual’s positive repackagings of specific traits, which end up as:

“You’re so manly and cool!”
“Wow, you sure are smart!”
“You’re so cute, like Winnie the Pooh!”
“You’re really toned!”
“You’re so mature!”

Most of those sound like pretty nice compliments, right? Except that using the manual, they translate as really meaning:

“You’re so hairy.”
“You’re a geeky otaku.”
“You’re fat.”
“You’re skinny.”
“You’re a totally average middle-aged dude.”

But perhaps more than any other, the manual’s line that shouldn’t be taken at face value is:

“When I’m spending time with you, it doesn’t feel like work.”

Fun as the fantasy may be, it’s probably a good idea to keep in mind that for fuzoku professionals, working at their job always involves working the customer.

Source: Hachima Kiko