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Gwen's Story

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I got my first job as a waitress this past summer at a Bar and Grill back home. It was active all day and almost every night. I realized pretty quickly that every waitress was a female in their 20s except for the bartender, the wait staff manager, and one guy who only worked mornings. I also realized that many of the regulars who came in every day felt an ownership over the waitresses. On my fourth day I was sent to wait on a table of older men who were drunk and had just finished golfing. They stayed for hours drinking and said the nastiest things to me. I told my manager that I was uncomfortable with their comments, most of which revolved around my body (from asking me how tall I was to asking me how long I could "go for"). She told me that to deal with it because they were regulars and they left a big tip. These men were not a unique experience. There was a man who would come in every night drunk, steal beer from people, and constantly tell me to meet him outside. A couple times, he cornered me on the patio. There was a man who came in every night and got drunk and told me about how he knew my father. He would make comments towards me and constantly request me as his server. There was a young man who got drunk one night and followed me around the dining floor, grabbing me and asking me for my number. There was a group of young men who sat down where I was rolling silverware and asked for my number and asked that I come to a party with them after I got off. Once when a group of men were harassing me, their wives sat by and laughed. It was literally endless. I had been working there for a month when I reached my final straw. The owner of the bar would come in every night and drink. This night, he was particularly drunk. He had taken his shirt off and was slurring his speech. I had messed up a credit card tip and was asking for advice from the manager. The week before, I had had all of my tips stolen. The owner cornered me in the kitchen, grabbing me and yelling at me for ruining his business. He told me I was too stupid to be a waitress and that I needed to learn how to serve people better. When I broke away from him, he went back out onto the floor. I couldn't handle it, so I got my things to leave. When I went back out onto the floor, he came up and began hugging me, telling me that he loved me and that he wasn't mad and that "some people aren't just cut out for waitressing." I waited for a manager or anybody to intervene. But in the packed bar, nobody said anything. The manager just gave me a sidelong look. I grabbed my things and left. When I realized that I had left behind my wallet, I drove back. Outside the bar was a large group of men. One of them came up to me and physically lifted me off the ground and said "you're back!" I got him off of me when one of the cooks (who had asked me out several times) came up and tried to corner me. I dodged him and got inside to get my purse when the owner found me again and attempted to apologize (shirt still missing). I couldn't believe what was happening. I drove home in disbelief, crying in anger. That night, I texted a male friend who said "yeah everyone knows that the owner hires girls for their looks and that they'll be friendly." I immediately called the manager to quit. When she asked what happened, before I could say anything she said, "Was Tom grabbing on you?" I said yea. She said, "oh he does that sometimes. He doesn't mean anything." She then proceeded to ask that I finish out the month working there so she wouldn't have to rework the schedule.

Date of report: 
Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 18:30
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