Anila Kitteon

Anila Kitteon
Sniff the Daffs

Monday, 13 April 2015

Boundaries, Rights & Blurry Lines.

This evening I had an experience which has left me with thoughts, feelings and decisions which I feel are only a minor example of what many people; predominantly women, are left feeling on a daily basis.

A customer, whom I had met/served at the (lounge) bar recently, returned to the bar this evening. On reflection, he seemed kind of aimless... possibly indecisive in where he was headed. I recognised him, as I do with a few customers, said hello (as encouraged by the company) and he approached the bar but stood for a while. I asked how he was etc; made small talk and remembered that this gentleman had been chatty whilst at the bar before, but had moved along in reasonably good time.

On this occasion, I continued to serve/wait on customers within the lounge bar, continue with my duties and chat to the patron at the bar, periodically during quiet periods. The man tended to speak quietly, ramble and tell stories that drifted off on tangents. Mostly, they made sense if I could hear what he was saying; I repeatedly advised him that I couldn't hear him very well due to noisy beverage fridges, music/TV and dishwasher, however he didn't increase the volume of his voice.

After about 15-20mins of the man sitting at the bar, having paid for and drunk one beer, my colleague turned up to give me a 15min break; after which I would break our other colleague in nearby service bar for another 15mins. Before I left, the guy asked if I was going for a break and whether I'd be going out the front/outside for a cigarette. I advised him I wasn't and that I didn't smoke.

While I was gone, the colleague covering my bar text me to say she found the guy at the bar creepy. I replied advising she keep busy and that he would eventually leave.

I came back half an hour later and my colleague said the patron had asked if she had ever tried stripping. At this stage, I had only engaged with general topics. As time went by, I worked around the bar, which included using a step-ladder to reach high liquor cupboards and stretching to add new stock. The patron watched me and stated that my uniform didn't do my body justice. I uttered something about my shirt being too big... other comments from him were about how he wasn't ashamed of being a fan of women/their bodies, asking what time I finished/closed the bar, if I turned the lights off, how he would like to see me without my clothes on - to which I stated that wasn't going to happen,
None of the statements/comments/questions were encouraged by me, besides the fact that I couldn't stray far from the bar.

When asked {I forget the question but will complete when my memory is refreshed}, I stated that it was none of his business and an inappropriate topic.

Towards closing time, the man mentioned me finishing work, once again, to which I stated I was going home, he responded saying it's a shame we couldn't meet up this time. I advised him that at no time would we be meeting up. I told him I was going to take my empty dishes back. He said "good... you take that back then you can turn the lights off and I'll say goodbye" (or such similar).

On passing service bar/colleague, I mentioned the dude and that he'd told me he'd like to see me with my clothes off. Said colleague stated that's harassment, stated security needed to be involved and called our supervisor. He advised me to cover his bar while he went over to occupy the patron and wait for supervisor/security.

The patron had gone outside for a cigarette but returned. When I got back to the bar, there was a small crowd of suited individuals - police(?), security guards and my supervisor. I gave a brief rundown, the man was spoken to and escorted outside for trespassing.

I want to get to my points before I fall asleep!

- It's easy to continue to be polite... which can be misconstrued for interest.
- The process of what to be aware of, what to do and what can/will happen regarding these situations is rarely talked about within the work place.
- Casinos possibly contain a higher than normal number of 'weirdos'.

- It's easy to take blame and find reasons within your own behaviour.
- I forget I'm too sleepy...
- Next time I intend to nip such inappropriate comments in the bud.

Publishing this as it is for now.

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