Kristin’s story: Don’t support harasser-owned businesses!
Last year I moved to Granville Island in Vancouver to go to school at the nearby art university. Close to my house there’s a convenience store and a Starbucks, near the intersection where the big neon “Granville Island” sign is.
On nights when I had a lot of studying to do I would go to the convenience store and pick up snacks, but the male clerk always seemed overly friendly and creeped me out a little. He would often probe too much into my life, asking me where I lived, how I was, what I was doing later… sounds friendly, but it wasn’t. Also, every time I came in he would ask me if I was old enough to drink, if I liked drinking, and if I had girlfriends that I drank with.
Finally after enough times going there, he worked up enough nerve to “ask me out”, if you can call it that. In the span of about 45 seconds he shot a bunch of questions at me rapid-fire; he asked me if he could take me shopping, buy me clothes, take me to the beach, take me to a movie, take me back to his house or buy me liquor. It was clear that he thought I was underage and that getting a boot for alcohol would not only pique my interest, but would make it easier for him to potentially date rape me. This man was probably around 30 – I’m 19 but look about 15. I’d also like to note that I never bothered to wear makeup when I went to that convenience store, and I usually wore my boyfriend’s baggy hoodies since it was cold and I didn’t plan on being out long – I mention this because some people seem to believe that harassment is based on looks. It’s not.
Anyway, I never went back there again. Luckily there’s another convenience store close by that’s run by a very sweet middle-aged man, but his store doesn’t stock toiletries like shampoo and deodorant, so when I need those things I now need to make a half hour walk to the drug store (instead of the five minute walk I used to make to the Island Market convenience store).
I don’t have a picture or the name of this man, but he was in his thirties, somewhat short, and had a pock-marked face. He works at the market all week round. I’m including a picture of the place I grabbed off Google street viewer – none of the people visible in the photo are the harasser. NOTE: This is not in the Granville Island Farmer’s Market. It is a separate convenience store simply named “Island Market”.