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Study: sexual harassment of tipped employees, especially waitresses

GeliL

Shiny_Rock
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Oct 30, 2018
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196
You can usually tell if someone is very genuine in their compliments towards you in terms of appearance. It is the look in their eyes. But in a work setting it's never appropriate and always creepy.

A lot of people don't have any idea what some people go through. I have a friend who is a waiter and is gay and he has to put up with this all the time from BOTH gay men and straight men who want to embarrass him. As in, being grabbed in certain places and then being laughed at. It's ridiculous how some people can feel so entitled.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
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33,730
Yes, from my perspective it is unwelcome attention and can be sexual harassment. You shouldn't be commenting on someone you don't know 's appearance. She is doing a job for you and that doesn't give you the right to comment on her looks.
Missy, FYI, In a Chinese restaurant It is very common to say something like ...hey pretty girl can you please bring me some extra napkins? . It is very common phrase to use in a Chinese restaurant maybe is a culture thing. Believe me none of these gals will consider it as sexual harassment.
 

bling_dream19

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 21, 2019
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2,860
I had a waiter who kept putting his hand on my husband's shoulder! And getting too close for comfort! I was getting so annoyed so we switched seats and I think the waiter got the message. Do not touch my man! We went back again and he didn't touch either of us thankfully.
 

Elizabeth35

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 24, 2011
Messages
687
Missy, FYI, In a Chinese restaurant It is very common to say something like ...hey pretty girl can you please bring me some extra napkins? . It is very common phrase to use in a Chinese restaurant maybe is a culture thing. Believe me none of these gals will consider it as sexual harassment.
Perhaps you think it is common. Just because you observe that it is common, does not make it okay. That doesn't mean the servers are not offended.
The whole point of the study is---smile, take the abuse and hope for a tip.

You can make the request for napkins without the physical description---it's what most everyone does.
I don't go to any restaurant and say "hey, cute boy, bring me some more napkins". That would be insulting and dismissive.
I say--"excuse me, could I please have more napkins".
Big difference.
You say none of these "gals" consider it sexual harassment---how do you know that?
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
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You say none of these "gals" consider it sexual harassment---how do you know that?
You just don't understand Chinese cultures...:rolleyes::wall:
There are Cantonese speaking PSers here maybe they can explain it to you. Saying hey pretty girl in Cantonese is not sexual harassment.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Missy, FYI, In a Chinese restaurant It is very common to say something like ...hey pretty girl can you please bring me some extra napkins? . It is very common phrase to use in a Chinese restaurant maybe is a culture thing. Believe me none of these gals will consider it as sexual harassment.

So this is your perception. As a male who has no clue what it feels like to be in that position.
As someone who has been called "pretty" and "sweetie" etc by people I do not know and do not care to know I find it offensive. And I bet most of my girlfriends (of all different races, religions) would agree.

Instead, one could say, excuse me, may I please have some more napkins when you have a chance? Thank you.


Personally, I feel calling someone a "pretty girl" who is over the age of let's say 12 can be condescending and misogynistic. My perception. My experience. Not OK. Not cool.
 

Ibrakeforpossums

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
650
Yes, from my perspective it is unwelcome attention and can be sexual harassment. You shouldn't be commenting on someone you don't know 's appearance. She is doing a job for you and that doesn't give you the right to comment on her looks.

Will some people appreciate it? Yes, as is @ean 's example. But since you don't know the person and don't know how she will perceive your comment, keep your mouth shut. Just let her do her job in peace, ok?

I will tell a younger waitress who has beautiful eyes or hair or skin that she does, - or a lovely ring! - because I'm a sincere and harmless old lady now. And because every time I've had such a thought and not said it to someone, I've regretted it. It seems like a sin to not say something nice when there's the opportunity. It helps that my SO and dinner companion is immaculately respectful to waitstaff.
That said, I don't disagree with Missy. They're doing a job and should never be made to feel uncomfortable. I'm pretty tactful.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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30,617
You just don't understand Chinese cultures...:rolleyes::wall:
There are Cantonese speaking PSers here maybe they can explain it to you. Saying hey pretty girl in Cantonese is not sexual harassment.

DF, you just don't understand American culture ...
:wall:

There are English speaking PSers here maybe they can explain it to you. Saying hey pretty girl in English is not sexual harassment.
 
W

westofhere

Guest
Just because a culture is misogynist doesn’t mean other cultures should jump in and be misogynist, too.

(And Dancing Fire, a good test: Are you Brad Pitt or Ryan Gosling? If not, remember that a “compliment” from an undesirable man is actually an insult. And if you’re a senior citizen, know that the waitresses are probably laughing at you and talking to each other about how gross you are).

Here’s some rudimentary reading on your topic to get you started:


 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Just because a culture is misogynist doesn’t mean other cultures should jump in and be misogynist, too.

(And Dancing Fire, a good test: Are you Brad Pitt or Ryan Gosling? If not, remember that a “compliment” from an undesirable man is actually an insult. And if you’re a senior citizen, know that the waitresses are probably laughing at you and talking to each other about how gross you are).
Thanks for giving me a lesson on Chinese culture. :wall:
 

ean

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 16, 2014
Messages
426
I will tell a younger waitress who has beautiful eyes or hair or skin that she does, - or a lovely ring! - because I'm a sincere and harmless old lady now. And because every time I've had such a thought and not said it to someone, I've regretted it. It seems like a sin to not say something nice when there's the opportunity. It helps that my SO and dinner companion is immaculately respectful to waitstaff.
That said, I don't disagree with Missy. They're doing a job and should never be made to feel uncomfortable. I'm pretty tactful.

Same here! This has been weighing on me. I’ve always been mindful of the saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything”. But when something is so striking or there is something unique about a person, I always tell them or else it bugs me the whole day. For example, there was an older lady that regularly came to our store. I always thought “ I want to be like her when I grow up.” And it’s not necessarily about their looks, but their elegance and the way they carried themselves with such confidence. I broke down and finally said “You are so gorgeous. I want to be like you when I grow up. ( I was 19 at the time). I hope I didn’t make the lady didn’t feel uncomfortable.

I also always make it a point to tell people with colorful hair I think they look awesome (because that is something I always want to do but never had the courage to), or children wearing glasses, casts, or other medical devices (I mean like colorful bandaids or fully decorated wheelchairs) that they look super cool (I started wearing glasses when I was 6 and I was so insecure about it), because I’ve always been so open and accepting of “proper” and “genuine” compliments I never thought of how it makes other people feel. I sure hope I never offended or make any of these people uncomfortable as it is seriously not my intention.
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
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8,031
@Dancing Fire is correct about his culture so we should respect and not judge through the lens of our own culture.

#1 - 你很漂亮! / 你真帅!
Nǐ hěn piàoliang! / Nǐ zhēn shuài!
You’re beautiful! / You’re handsome!

This is probably the most popular compliment you will hear in China. Girls are often referred to as beautiful women 美女 (měinǚ) and boys as handsome men 帅哥 (shuàigē). Even complete strangers compliment each other’s appearance.
 

ean

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 16, 2014
Messages
426
@Dancing Fire is correct about his culture so we should respect and not judge through the lens of our own culture.

#1 - 你很漂亮! / 你真帅!
Nǐ hěn piàoliang! / Nǐ zhēn shuài!
You’re beautiful! / You’re handsome!

This is probably the most popular compliment you will hear in China. Girls are often referred to as beautiful women 美女 (měinǚ) and boys as handsome men 帅哥 (shuàigē). Even complete strangers compliment each other’s appearance.

I used to also live in a part of Asia where it is customary for street vendors or lower establishments to call patrons “handsome” for boys or “pretty” for girls and no one thinks bad of it. We also call every one older than us “older brother or sister” middle aged men and women “uncle” or “auntie” and older ones “ grandpa” or “grandma” despite not being blood relatives as a sign of respect.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
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14,079
I try to consciously not say anything about anyone's appearance (e.g. "you're so beautiful/handsome"). If I want to give a compliment, I try to make it about something that they have more control over (e.g. "I love your haircut, I've always liked/wanted that style/color", or "that shirt/ring/shoes are super cute, can I ask where you bought it?"). That way I am giving a compliment, but without furthering the problematic weight we put on looks. Someone doesnt have to be 'hot' or 'pretty' to be complimented, so I keep it away from that.

I also HATE any comments about body weight or shape. There is never a good reason to compliment weight loss. It sucks, it buys into our awful obsession with thinness, and doesnt help anyone. So I'll never do that, and am incredibly uncomfortable when I hear someone say that to me or anyone else.
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
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yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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A few years ago I was driving between states alone in the middle of the night. I was having relationship problems and I was a wreck, emotionally and physically, and I’m sure I looked it. But that particular night I’d put my favourite song on repeat and had been singing along for who knows how long, and I was marvelling at how unusually happy I felt, and I pulled over for petrol (in NJ where you don’t pump yourself) and as the attendant gave me my receipt he said “you’re very beautiful - a natural beauty!”.

It came out of nowhere. I said thank you and yup, I tipped him nicely. I still remember that moment. He couldn’t possibly have known how good he’d made me feel at a time when I felt like I might never be considered “pretty” by anyone again.

Different circumstances than what’s being discussed, I know. But just to point out that compliments on appearance aren’t always taken poorly. I’m glad that man didn’t stop to worry that he might offend me by saying something nice to me.
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
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Without reading the comments, I will say that it is very much not just women working in places that get tips. If the customer is unhappy with your response or "attitude" and complains, you can lose your job. Working in any sort of customer service position means having to keep the customer happy. Unfortunately, some of them are that way and you have to walk a careful line between your boundaries and self respect and being able to pay your bills. At the end of the day, it comes down to he (customer) said she (customer service worker) said. I have worked with women who flirted mercilessly then complained if the customer (man) replied with a flirt back. I have also watched men push the bounds of appropriate into, arguably, inappropriate only to say they were "just being friendly" and didn't mean anything.

Anyway, eliminating tips wouldn't touch the issue. It would still be there. I had the worst issues at a place with no tips than the places that had tips. Everyone knew better to complain because the category of employee. He was the sort that mattered. We were the temporary contract. Who would believe an uneducated, hourly worker over this educated salaried person?
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
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Waiters get it too.
You would be shocked how often someone puts their hands intentionally on a waiters private parts area.
They get laughed at if they complain about it.

I wouldn't be shocked. Had someone seriously suggest I ought to do this because "all men like that sort of thing" and I would probably get better service because of it. Yeah.... I am not friends with that person anymore.
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
9,673
My **favorite** is when you reject or dismiss yucky comments and men get all mopey and sad. Puh-leaze!!!

I hate it when men comment on my appearance at work. I want to be taken seriously! And no, I’m not a circus animal who smiles on command.

I’ve had inappropriate comments in corporate environments too. I’m sure service jobs are even worse. My worst incidents, however were from coworkers.

Yes! My first real job was as a barista. The customers were all business (mostly nice, some rude but always about the job not harassing) but a few coworkers liked to talk about beach house visits, gorgeous bodies, who looked best, and even pried into my s*x life. Never felt uncomfortable by a customer, but did with those coworkers!
 

TooPatient

Ideal_Rock
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Same here! This has been weighing on me. I’ve always been mindful of the saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything”. But when something is so striking or there is something unique about a person, I always tell them or else it bugs me the whole day. For example, there was an older lady that regularly came to our store. I always thought “ I want to be like her when I grow up.” And it’s not necessarily about their looks, but their elegance and the way they carried themselves with such confidence. I broke down and finally said “You are so gorgeous. I want to be like you when I grow up. ( I was 19 at the time). I hope I didn’t make the lady didn’t feel uncomfortable.

I also always make it a point to tell people with colorful hair I think they look awesome (because that is something I always want to do but never had the courage to), or children wearing glasses, casts, or other medical devices (I mean like colorful bandaids or fully decorated wheelchairs) that they look super cool (I started wearing glasses when I was 6 and I was so insecure about it), because I’ve always been so open and accepting of “proper” and “genuine” compliments I never thought of how it makes other people feel. I sure hope I never offended or make any of these people uncomfortable as it is seriously not my intention.

Same! Usually met with a big grin and a brief (or not so brief!) conversation.
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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@dk168 , @Phoenix , @icy_jade . They speak Cantonese.

Yup, I grew up being called that when I was young (pre-teen) and still living in Hong Kong, both male AND female relatives would use that phrase, and I had many relatives.

Can't remember being called that since I came to UK to study in the late 70s.

My brother would be called the male equivalent.

It was, and still is, a term of endearment when a young child is being presented to an older relative

DK :))
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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47,502
I try to consciously not say anything about anyone's appearance (e.g. "you're so beautiful/handsome"). If I want to give a compliment, I try to make it about something that they have more control over (e.g. "I love your haircut, I've always liked/wanted that style/color", or "that shirt/ring/shoes are super cute, can I ask where you bought it?"). That way I am giving a compliment, but without furthering the problematic weight we put on looks. Someone doesnt have to be 'hot' or 'pretty' to be complimented, so I keep it away from that.

I also HATE any comments about body weight or shape. There is never a good reason to compliment weight loss. It sucks, it buys into our awful obsession with thinness, and doesnt help anyone. So I'll never do that, and am incredibly uncomfortable when I hear someone say that to me or anyone else.

I love everything you wrote here and agree completely.


It was, and still is, a term of endearment when a young child is being presented to an older relative

Yes, I can see that and appreciate that. My grandma used to call me "Shana Madala" which means pretty girl in yiddish. It was a term of endearment and a compliment all at the same time and I loved when she called me Shana Madala.

But what about a complete stranger calling you hey pretty girl, here in the states? What if you were a female server in a restaurant serving customers? Would you feel OK if the customer called you by saying "hey pretty girl" or something similar? I am just trying to gauge if you feel it appropriate here in the states to be refer to young ladies who are serving customers in a restaurant in that way?

I am not judging any one culture here. I am speaking from my perspective. As an American in the Northeast USA. And, from my perspective, calling a person you don't know- honey, baby, sweetie, sweetheart, pretty girl, etc. can be condescending and demeaning and IMO unprofessional. Particularly in the workplace. That kind of sexist language is not acceptable IMO.

You are in a place of business/work.
Keep it professional.
Even more importantly, keep it respectful.


I will end this by saying yes, it depends where one lives and yes calling someone hun, dear, etc might be more acceptable let's say in the Southern states of the USA but again, speaking from my perspective only. And I suspect many other women feel similarly. I never think it is wrong to err on the side of respect and professionalism. Respect never goes out of style.
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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Perhaps I am not as sensitive and do not take offence as easily as others.

Perhaps I give out some kind of aura that says 'don't mess with me'.

Otherwise I would go out about on my own much less, especially to places like pubs where a pint-drinking ethnic minority female of a certain age stands out like a sore thumb!

Based on my own experience and all that.

DK :))
 
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