PUBLIC HARASSMENT: I WORKED AS A WAITRESS FROM 13-17 AND ENDURED QUITE A FEW CREEPY ENCOUNTERS

I worked as a waitress from 13-17 and endured quite a few creepy encounters with different men. Especially when I was younger which is even more disgusting. When I had just started out I came over to get a table’s order and the old man sitting with his friends stood up and grabbed me, putting his arm round me and getting totally in my face. I got his order as quick as possible and turned to leave but they had asked my manager to talk to me and started asking questions so I uncomfortably stood around. They asked ‘how many boyfriends I had’, what kind of car my dad drove and whether I liked men with fancy cars, only to tell me that THEY had BMWs. I didn’t know what to say. I was 13 and they were probably in their 80s. Why the fuck is this normalised? I told my friend at work and she said they had been the same with her but worse when she was younger. She was also asked out on a date multiple times by a man who was 25 when she was barely 17 and sexually harassed by one of our chefs who was then fired because of it. I also had a man who would come in really early to my work when it was before my shift and pester me. I was reading a book one day and he asked me if it was fifty shades of grey and if ‘he was my Christian grey’ once again I was 15, he was in his 50s. The sad thing about that one was I actually quite liked him, he was an agreeable guy and I don’t think he meant to make me feel uncomfortable but I wish he could’ve just known where to draw the line. His buddies kept him in line a bit which was nice but I still made an effort to avoid him when he was alone. Women shouldn’t have to put up with this in our workplaces, from colleagues OR customers.

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