Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Sexual Harassment - Normal in Restaurants?

Wow - What a night.

When I started this blog on Tuesday, I mentioned that Saturday was a VERY bad night. I failed to mention the worst parts. One of the cooks was caught staring at my backside as I cleaned out the ice cream freezers. Apparently, he was also making obscene gestures.

I mentioned this to management and the waitresses who witnessed the whole thing were also spoken to. So were the others who have been caught bent over in daily sidework by this "peeping Tom".

When I made my report, I was told that this was the last straw for the cook because he has already been spoken to on several occasions for similar behavior. Imagine my suprise when I arrived at work last night to find him once again behind the line.

Slightly shaken up, and definitely irritated by the whole situation, I went straight to the manager who had been on duty Saturday. Apparently, he was also told that this cook (I'll call him Tom.) would be dismissed immediately. Upper management made the last minute decision to change his "punishment" to part time instead of full time. How exactly does this work?

Fully irate, and feeling a little left out in the cold by the management team (With the exception of Sat. night MOD) I began to ask around to find out what the other waitresses thought about the situation. What I learned disturbed me even more. One waitress had been cornered against a freezer as he pushed himself on her. Another had been assaulted verbally so badly that she would check the cook schedule before coming in to work. She has called out more often than not in the last weeks. And Tom was still on - but only "part time". Well, I work part time as well. And we seem to have the same schedule.

So, with no less than a little urging from my husband, I went to work tonight with the intention of finding a solution to this problem. Somebody needed to stand up for us.

Luckily, the Sat. MOD was on duty tonight. He is now my hero. I walked in and refused to go on the floor. It is certainly the most gutsy thing I have ever done, but someone needed to stand up and be heard. How much more are we really expected to take? Who knows how many others have had experiences like mine? Or worse, like the younger girl's?

Needless to say, I was on the floor within an hour, and the problem had been "resolved". I am not bragging in any way about what I did, and I wish that I was not the one to have to make a stand. But my husband was very supportive. And sort of pushing the issue. And there will be no more uncomfortable moments - at least until a new cook is hired.....

1 comment:

Just me said...

are you kidding me? how could that be normal? and how could they even consider keeping Tom? it's great that you could solve the situation, but, regretfully, others aren't that lucky...