Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mr. Sexual Harassment Guy: the follow-up

This story has a happy ending.

Friday night we were the busiest I have ever seen it in the club. I had two other people behind the bar with me and we were pouring drinks nonstop for five solid hours. It was nuts. Mr. Sexual Harassment guy came in and I gave him the usual excellent customer service. It helps that he always drinks the same thing so that, when there are ten people at the bar waiting for a drink, it's easy just to slip his Usual to him in the time it takes for the three people next to him to figure out what they want.

At the end of the night though when the room had cleared a bit he was rubbing up against Courtney and I tore him a new asshole. I was stern/bitchy/mad and told him don't touch me, don't touch Courtney, any further inappropriate sexual remarks and he would either be banned from the club or I would call the police. He shook his head and said "that's not necessary", which I interpreted to mean he thought I was overreacting. In colorful language I said yes it is necessary after the things he said to me last weekend. He paid and left shortly after that.

Then on Saturday, it was like that interaction from the night before had never even happened. Or maybe we're just letting bygones be bygones and starting fresh. At any rate, he was pleasant to deal with on Saturday and made no inappropriate remarks or gestures.

I sure am learning a lot working in a night club.

Monday, June 10, 2013

I had a thing happen to me last weekend

So, I'm working in a bar now, and while it can be a lot of fun, occasionally there are some uncomfortable moments. My staff person Courtney and I are, to be modest, on the cute side and thus we get flirted with a lot. Quite often a guy will be flirting with one of us, and when they get shut down will try to work on the other one (she's in her early 20s, I am nearly 40). We have each other's back when it comes to safety and protection but sometimes there are moments when one of us is out gathering cups or we are really busy and can't pay attention to what the other one is doing.

There is this guy who has been coming in every weekend and flirting with me a lot. Now I get this every weekend from men in their 20s to men in their 50s in beyond, but this one in particular has been rather persistent despite constant mention of my husband. On Friday there was a moment where no one else was around and he asked what my situation was. I said "I am happily married, my husband and I spent 20 months apart and despite opportunity and temptation we remained true to each other. We are rock solid, he is my best friend and my soul mate." To this, guy responded "Do you want to have sex?"

I felt like I was in a bad movie.

I also froze right up. How does one respond in this situation? Good grief.

I don't remember exactly how I responded but I know it was something like "to even consider that would be to disrespect my marriage and I won't do that".

I think the thing that pissed me off the most was the utter lack of respect for me as a person. He just saw me as some hot chick he wanted to get into bed with. Guys like that will never understand women like me - if you respect me and my brain, then we can be friends. If not, I have no time for you. 

I have been sexually harassed, sexually assaulted, I have been drugged and raped. I have gone through the entire spectrum of unwanted sexual attention (well except for physical violence, thank goodness) and every time, in that moment where in afterthought I wonder "why didn't I punch the guy?" instead I feel paralyzed, shocked that someone would speak that way to me.

Other people started coming around to interrupt this private conversation, thank goodness, but guy still put his hands on me and whispered "let me know if you change your mind, it would be really good and I think you know that" and all I could do was cringe. I had given him no indication of reciprocation of this attention, how did he think that this was okay?

I hate sexual predators. They are the scum of the earth in my opinion and if I had seen someone doing this to Courtney I would have gotten violent. Seriously. Instead of turning me on, this guy just pissed me off - partly for his inappropriate behavior but also for making me feel violated and like this is a thing I have to deal with now. Men like this blame alcohol for this kind of behavior, I have heard that song before. I know plenty of men who, despite copious amounts of alcohol, seem to be able to resist me, so it can't be the booze.

I don't know what I will say the next time this guy comes in. He clearly doesn't understand NO so I will say the words "sexual harassment" and if it continues, I will call the police. That is not an instinct I have because in the past when I have gone to the police, I have either been accused of lying or blamed for putting myself in that situation. I'm told that the police here will absolutely protect me, as will every single person who works at the brewery, I have only to make a phone call and I'll have my team here.

I admit I am traumatized by this. Not enough that I need to get therapy or anything, but this instance brought up memories of the other times I have had to deal with unwanted sexual attention. I was naive to think that being married and almost 40 would make me immune to this but no. It is still a man's world. I am also hearing people say "well that's par for the course when you work in a bar". WHY? Why is it expected/accepted that this is just a thing that happens? What will it take for grownups to behave like grownups even after they have been drinking? If you have an answer, please do let me know. I would love it if we could find a way for anyone in a serving position, male or female, would never have to experience this kind of harassment.