He must have been 75-80 years old. REALLY old, no offense to the creep. Sitting in the back-right corner of the room, he tried to hide his inappropriate tendencies, but I saw everything because they were directed towards me. I saw where his drooping, squinty eyes were wandering and felt the carelessness of his whispering, snickered words as they left his mouth. I felt helpless, like I couldn’t do anything about it. This occurred at my work. The place I come to feel a sense of responsibility and receive hard earned money. Serving people is all part of the job but serving to their eye wandering “pleasures” is most certainly not.
I work at a fine dining restaurant as a cater waiter. I am sure most of you are aware of how sexist the service industry can be. Believe me, I have had my struggles with co-worker’s machismo; telling me I cannot do something just because I am a woman. But the absolute worst, most disturbing and uncomfortable situations tend to be with the customers themselves. Precisely male customers.
The most uncomfortable situation I have been in was during an in-house catering event called a “wine dinner.” Basically, extremely wealthy people pay an overpriced amount of money to receive a five-course meal with a variety of different kinds of wine served along with each plate.
To no one’s surprise, the customers were all plastered by the end of the night.
As I said earlier, the venue was filled with rich guests, to whom were mostly on the older side. There were four men who sat at the far-right table in the back of the room. Let me tell you, they LOVED me. Well, they loved to look at me. I was in charge of serving the food and clearing the plates and wine glasses in a timely fashion so the next course and wine could be served. The first time I went over to them they told me I was very pretty. I thought it was weird and it made me a little uncomfortable, but I said “thank you” anyways and kept working. Each time after that, as I stood at the end of the table clearing their plates they would just stare directly at my chest and when I turned around, in the corner of my eye, I could see their eyes directed down towards my butt.
Really? Do you have no self-restraint? I was 18 years old at the time.
THEY WERE QUADRUPLE MY AGE! A literal GRANDPA. Disgusting.
And that is not even the worst part.
It was finally time for me to clear their last course. I walked over to clear their plates. As I reached for the plate of the man on the left, I saw him blatantly stare directly down my shirt. I was wearing a freaking ugly ass polo. Nothing to really see there, but he tried anyway! As I jolted back to get away from him, I heard mumbling come out of his mouth. “They’re so perky, nothing like my wife’s,” and let me tell you he was not talking about my personality. I wanted to throw up. I was so disgusted and in shock that he actually said that about me, right in front of my face.
That was an extremely difficult situation for me to be in. Of course, my first instinct was to call him out and scream at him for what misogynistic words just came out of his mouth. But I knew if I did that it would be extremely unprofessional, and I would most likely lose my job. So, I kept my mouth shut and walked away.
I have dealt with men acting like complete creeps before, but never in a professional setting at my workplace. Customers think they have the right to say whatever the hell they want just because we are catering to their needs. It is not okay and should not be tolerated. It is scientifically prove that men think a meal tastes better in a restaurant if their waitress is attractive. Gross, I KNOW.
If I could go back in time and tell that man off, I would have. Sure, I might have lost my job, but at least I would have been able to show him how much of a sexist pig he was.
We are not pieces of artwork for men to gaze upon and comment on.
We are fucking human beings and deserve to be treated with respect.
Don’t forget that, because I sure won’t.