I work as a drink server during events at a major hotel in the area. A couple of weeks back I was working at a 380-person wedding where the guests were pretty nightmarish even before they came in. A list of things that happened to me:
-Being asked by multiple people how much I cost and what I would do to them for X amount of money
-Having them holler, “sexy,” “big arse,” “hot bitch,” “slag,” and worse at me
-Having multiple men tell me they’d be waiting for me after shift
-Having my crotch grabbed by an unknown assailant fighting my way to the bar to put in an order
-Having one man, who had been bothering me all night and who I had complained about to my boss, grab me by the arm and start stroking my breast while his friends cheered him on
-Having another man “accidentally” caress my butt when I went to put in their order, then yank off my tie and refuse to give it back unless I gave him my number and waited for him at his room after shift, all while trying to yank off my apron as well
-Being told by other customers who saw what happened that I shouldn’t be upset, I should be grateful that I’d be making a lot in tips
As if this weren’t enough, since none of the other girls working were on the floor and therefore they did not have these issues, my complaints were mostly dismissed as me being overly dramatic. I was told by my boss (albeit in a misguided attempt to make me feel better about going back on the floor) that he’d be glad to be called sexy at work, and my shift manager refused to put me behind the bar until after the tie incident, which was 15 minutes before bar close and 7 hours into the shift. Also, none of the people who I complained about were given more than warnings as only “injury” is reason to toss out a problematic guest, and sexual harassment doesn’t count apparently.
Today I had a panic attack at the idea of going back in to work another huge wedding in that environment and was told by the friend who helped me through it that, while it was wrong, the catcalls and whatnot come with the territory so as long as no one else groped me, I should be able to cope since it probably happens all the time.
Yeah. An assault survivor (from 2007) is groped, harassed, and threatened at work but I guess there’s no reason for me to panic because I’m a woman serving people drinks and therefore I should just accept that’s going to happen. And there’s no reason for me to feel safe in my workplace because I’m being hysterical and should feel complimented by all the rude propositions and grabbing. Whoops, I forgot, #MYIF
-Scared To Work, Glasgow