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The one thing I find extremely difficult and unfair is the helplessness felt by women who work in the customer service industry. There are rules and regulations dealing with sexual harassment from fellow coworkers. But when the harassment comes from a
customer that we’re supposed to be nice to, what can we do?
I used to work as a cashier at Wal-Mart (or as I call it “The Den of DOOM”). There was this one guy there who would always come to my line. I saw him at least
once a week. He would acually seek me out! Once I had a technical problem with one customer’s purchase. When another cashier opened her line, everyone moved to the other line except him! I thought the creep was stalking me.
He would come up to me, and leer and stare at me. Unfortunately I had to wear a name tag so he knew my name. I’ve never heard my name sound so disgusting before. He would ask me when I got off from work, and if I would go out with him. And all I could do was be polite, say no, and try to keep busy when what I really wanted to do was tell him to back the f*** off.
The town I used to lived in at the time used to publish the names and pictures of people who had been arrested for DUI. (I guess as a way to warn others to watch for them on the road?) I saw his face in one of these columns. I wasn’t surprised, but I had noticed he had an unusual name.
One day at work a lady came up to me and asked me to page her husband to meet her at my register. Her husband’s name sounded so familiar, but it wasn’t until I saw it was The Creep walking up to her that I finally put it together! He’d been trying to spin me his tired game and he comes to find me there with *his wife*! When I saw the look on his face, I couldn’t help but burst out laughing!
The next time he tried to bothered me, I asked him how his wife was. He turned red and sped off. He never bothered me after that!
Keep up the good work!
~ Angel H.
P.S. I’d also like to mention that I am a very overweight woman. So when people say that harassment only happens to certain women or that the women should expect this kind of treatment, just point them in my direction. I have plenty of other stories to tell.
I’m from Bangalore,India.This is what happened to me a week ago…
I got onto the bus and found myself an empty seat. I sat by the window and put my bag next to me. I was in a good mood and sleepy. The BMTC buses have ladies seats in front of the bus(about 4 rows) and the rest are for men(about 10 rows)..an injustice thats beyond my power to rectify! Anyhow..so I’m sitting in a Ladies seat and suddenly this huge man comes and sits right next to me. The bus is quite empty and he still sits next to me! When there r plenty of seats available. Still my bag prevented any body contact. Soon he asked me to remove my bag so that he can sit properly…I said why don’t u go behind? He’s like..No I’m comfortable here…and kept looking in front…so I thought maybe he’s sick and will get off soon…But was still uneasy and got strange(bad)vibes from him. Keeping the bag on my lap I bought popcorn and munched to prevent myself from falling asleep…
I was looking outside the window and suddenly I felt something warm on the side of my right thigh. He had been sitting with a package on his lap and his hand were hidden below it..and it cut off my vision..I didn’t want to be haste so I slowly moved my thigh and was shocked to see his thick fingers touching my thigh! I mean what the fuck did he get out of it? I yelled ” Why you touching me!??” and he got so scared and shifted with half his ass still on my seat! I said “what’s wrong with you??” He literally jumped and sat opposite staring at me with a frightened look and scared eyes. He sat next to another girl. I was seething with rage..I shook my head and looked away. Then I turned back to yell at him..before he did something to her.. // <![CDATA[
D(["mb","He was gone.
// ]]>He was gone.
written by Rohini, Bangalore.
During a weekend visit to Paris (my first), my friends and I patronized the depicted establishment called the Frog and Princess in St Germain des Pres. It was all fun and fine, we were dancing, drinking, and having a good time until I needed to go to the bathroom. Upon my return, I had to make my way through a tightly packed bar area and noticed sort of uncomfortably that it was the ultimate sausage fest. I had to squeeze myself against and through bodies and bodies of young, drunk males. I had almost made it out of the thicket when I felt a smarting slap on my ass. I stopped and turned around only to see a group of young men pretending not to notice me until the douchebag who appeared to be the perpetrator (due to his convenient butt-slapping position in the crowd) and his friends started cracking smiles and laughing. I couldn’t think of anything nasty to say in French so I just gave the jerk my big fat fucking middle finger right in his face, turned around (w/o butt grab this time) and fought my way back to my friends. Upon being informed of the offensive incident, they said sympathetically, “Welcome to Paris.” It appears that the French need a bigger overhaul of their society than they ever expected. Watch out, there might be a Holla Back Paris!
written by Anna.
This Dude encountered me on the Subway last night. He was wolf whistling and grunting and gesturing. When I realized that he wasn’t having a seizure and was trying to get my attention, I asked him if I could take his photo. He replied that he, “no speak english.” I guess sexual harassment is the Universal Language Dude.
This goes back a while (when cell phones were still the size of a cinderblock so a camera phone was out of the question) but is still fresh in my memory because it was so … uh, special.
My best friend Betty and I were stopped at an intersection in Asheville, NC waiting for a light to change when we noticed to two fine gentlemen in the truck across the intersection signaling their clear admiration of our great intellect and beauty by sharing the international sign for WE WANT TO SCREW YOU: the finger of one hand poked assertively through a circle made by the thumb and forefinger of the other hand. Classy! Their dopey, leering grins only added to the charm of the whole situation.
Unfortunately, Betty and I were unable to take advantage of this glorious opportunity because WE’RE NOT STUPID.
God, what morons.
written by Jane.
I live on a major street in Oakland, and for whatever reason I can’t leave my front door on foot without getting harassed at least once on my way to Point B. I love this city, so it really bums me out that this is the case. The most frightening was when I walked under the highway overpass and not one but TWO cars tried to pull up next to me within a minute of each other.
The worst incident in recent memory happened in a yuppified neighborhood north of here. I had just gotten off the train and was on my way to work. I was very hungry and the supermarket was a few blocks away, but I found a Tootsie Pop left over from Halloween in my bag, so I thought, “This will hold me until I can get some real food.”
So there I was, eating my Tootsie Pop and thinking cheerful thoughts when some asshole walking towards me interjected, “I’ll give you someting to suck on, baby.” I was stunned. I couldn’t believe it. As soon as I realized what he had said, I turned and threw the sucker at him as hard as I could. It didn’t hit him, but I couldn’t have gone on eating it after that.
Written by Sarah.
Austin, TX: Pounding margaritas at around noon on this outdoor restaurant patio, these three larval harassers struggled to assert their “masculinity” in bragging to each other about their fake IDs.
Degenerating into piglike grunting while straining their scrawnyass necks to leer at a woman jogging by, they proceeded to loudly appraise the breast and ass size of other passers-by.
Yamaha hollered at the jogger somewhat sheepishly, while Napoleon Dynamite’s trollish twin tried hard to outdo him before changing the subject back to his (undoubtedly huge) peepee.
They didn’t appreciate our loud derision, and turned up the raunch factor with their gynecological expertise.
Drink up boys! Maybe your livers will do us all a favor and shut down.
Written by Jules & Wisteria
First, I’m SO glad to see a site like this! I hate being harassed, by men and women both. It’s degrading and insulting, and for me started when I was eight. But this one is about my first truly awful experience.
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// ]]>, by the time I realized what happened and turned around, I saw the son of a bitch walking away.
The Hollaback NYC blog reminded me of a scary thing that happened to me when I used to work for an inventory service. I sometimes had to work stores in downtown Denver and we wouldn’t get out till after dark. One night as I was leaving, this really freaky dude was standing there on the 16th Street mall. I ignored him and kept walking to get to my car which of course was 5 or so
He suddenly shouted “Hey, Bitch, do you know what time it is?” I ignored him and kept walking. He shouted “Hey, Slut! Yeah, I’m talking to you! Don’t ignore me or I’ll cut your fuckin’ throat!”
I hurried around this corner and was about to duck into a bar and tell them to call the cops. I guess he lost sight of me because he kept walking down 16th street.
I’m sure he was mentally ill but compassion was lost to fear at that point. People like that really shouldn’t be out on the street. Who knows if he was just spouting stuff or if he’d really have done it if he’d gotten hold of somebody?
Written by Cie.