This is how every manager should react to an employee being harassed
Working as a restaurant server is not what anyone would call an easy job — this goes double if you happen to be a woman. The service industry is rife with tales of male customers thinking it perfectly fine to hit on female employees — or worse — harass them. Now, one manager’s reaction to a server’s story of sexual harassment by a regular at the restaurant where she works is going viral.
Because it’s what every boss should do.
Reddit user alymday shared her story of being sexually harassed at work on the r/TwoXChromosomes subreddit. She works at a diner in a college town and says the servers are young women between the ages of 16-21. That’s what makes her story about a man who frequents the diner especially disturbing — and her boss’s reaction especially incredible.
She writes, “He was one of our regular customers, but was always kind of rude and creepy in the way that he’d stare at you and look you up and down all while you’re preparing his food. I was taking his order the day after halloween, and he asked me if I had dressed up.”
When she told the man she hadn’t, he replied “Good, you shouldn’t. It should be called slut-o-ween. I saw girls last night that looked like they needed to be sexually assaulted, they’re literally asking for it when they dress like that. I mean, it’s good that you didn’t dress like that because you seem nice, but I’m sure your boyfriend wouldn’t mind it, I know I wouldn’t if I were him. I wouldn’t want my step-daughter to dress like that though.”
Wow. There’s a lot to unpack here. Slut-shaming, victim-blaming, creepy paternal protectiveness. This guy is a real triple-threat of repulsiveness.
She says she can usually brush off creepy comments, but this one was clearly next-level. “… the fact that he took it to such a grossly personal level was too much. It just felt dirty.”
The man’s transaction was complete, so she asked a male co-worker to deliver his food so she wouldn’t have to face him again.
A few days later, the diner’s owner heard the story of the customer’s gross comments. She knew who he was, a local business owner, and wasted no time handling the situation. “She immediately walked over there, marched straight into his store, and chewed him out, in front of his customers and all. She told him he was never welcome back, and that he was disgusting for talking to young ladies like that, especially since I easily could’ve been underage.”
This woman deserves several standing ovations. Hell. Yes.
The Redditor was grateful and surprised by her manager’s reaction. “I thanked her over and over. I’ve never had a boss, let alone a business owner, stand up to a male for harassing a female employee. Over and over I’ve just gotten, ‘yeah that’s what happens when you’re a female in customer service.’ This boss, however, is so different.”
“She said that he had no business speaking to me like that, and how disrespectful and degrading it was to me as a female and a human, and she wouldn’t stand for it. His daily business at our restaurant was not worth her employees feeling unsafe.”
Can we get an Amen? As a college student, I worked at a big box electronics store in a shopping plaza with a few chain restaurants. Saturday nights at the customer service counter were especially fun as dude-bros hopped up on a few beers would come in wanting to return their damaged or out-of-policy flatscreens and DVD players. They often didn’t react well to a tiny, 21-year-old woman telling them they couldn’t get their money back, and I was called more disgusting names than I care to remember. Never once did a manager ask one of them to leave — it was all about keeping the customer happy while I felt unsafe and disrespected. Like I didn’t matter. I would’ve worshipped any of them had they taken my side over an abusive asshole’s.
And that’s exactly how this server feels after her boss proved her feelings meant more than profit.
“I’ve never been happier with the business and people I work for.”
This is how it’s done, managers. Pay attention.