Smack My Ass and Die

by September 29, 2012
filed under Activism

We may have changed the term ‘waitress’ to the seemingly less derogatory word, ‘server,’ but what about our ideals?

As a server, I am less worried about being referred to as a waitress as I am going to work and having my ass slapped, hair sniffed or getting an unwanted business card. When was it decided that it would be acceptable for guys to run rampant in bars, pubs and restaurants – with virtually no consequences? And why do we keep letting them get away with it?

I have a boyfriend, which makes me a bitch in their mind. I’m also not afraid to say, “no I’m not interested,” also making me a bitch. Not only am I polite when I say these things, but I have to remind these so-called gentlemen that I am working. Would they walk into a clothing store and smack the sales person on the ass, or the bank, or the grocery store? Bars are not simply a dark, dingy space to try and get some action, but a place to eat, drink and get together with friends.

In the very short time I have been working as a server, I encounter a different problem every single night. From the innocent telephone numbers on the back of receipts to the horrifying kiss on the hand, or worse even, the neck. Yuck. I’ve been told my boyfriend shouldn’t be able to come to the bar that I work at. Why not? I am not a stripper. What should I be hiding?

If I don’t seem nauseatingly excited to get a guy’s number or return his compliments, they get visibly upset. Some also don’t see the point of tipping if you tell them what’s up right away. Is that what serving is? Pretending you are available until you get paid?

Apparently because I don’t appreciate this kind of attention from men I am a “tip whore,” only nice until I get my tip. This is so not true. I do my job as best I can, giving the exact same service I would give at my bookstore job – except but no one tries to grab my butt at that job. And quite honestly if you encounter a bad server, they are probably just bitter and resentful because being too friendly and cute can create quite a few problems.

The fascinating part is that most women compliment me and seem genuinely happy that I am a friendly person.

And what can be done? Simply telling these guys that it is not acceptable doesn’t work – not even the threat of the bouncer. I try to dress as casually as possible, wearing sweaters, jeans and light makeup, but it doesn’t make a different. If a woman has boobs she is a target.

I get it. Guys are horny. Whatever. I don’t understand why the word “no” continues to fall on deaf ears. I also get that some servers may enjoy the attention, but that is their choice. I’m sure some of the male severs and bar staff out there get much unwanted attention. The point is that everyone should have their choice. We need to stop perpetuating the stereotype that all servers are there for your pleasure. Serving is a job just like any other.

I chose to work as a server, but I don’t have to listen to shit like, “are you a bad girl?” or “do you behave yourself when your boyfriend goes home?” I’m lucky to have a boss who respects his staff and who 100 percent backs all of the gurls, but not everyone does. I shouldn’t have my job performance called into question because I refuse to put up with what would generally be considered harassment.

Women who work in the serving industry should be treated with the same respect and dignity that one would give their own mother or girlfriend. Chances are those women are someone’s girlfriend, wife or mother.

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