Creepy Men Take Advantage Of Retail Workers

Creepy Men Love Taking Advantage Of Customer Service Workers

"I get nervous when men break social rules in order to show interest."

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When I was younger, I would hear stories from women about creepy guys who would follow them around and shout disgusting things at them, but I always thought it was a rare occurrence. Even though I always believed the women, the idea of encountering a creepy man seemed rare. It wasn't until I got a job that I realized how often these exchanges happen.

I began working when I was 17 and immediately began to notice how often men decided to creep out female coworkers. We barely had any male employees where I worked, and for a good chunk of the time I was there, we had zero. Working at a register, my time with creeps was limited to a minute or so as I rang them up, but once I was moved into the Men's section of our store, things got a whole lot worse.

My job in the Men's section was simple; stock the shelves and racks while keeping the area tidy. Since I was the only worker in that area, I had no choice but to answer any questions the male customers had. Most of the time the questions were short, but a good amount of them turned into a conversation I didn't want to have. They'd start out innocent enough, I'd get asked about where the socks were or something.

Then, however, without fail, the male customer would look me up and down and ask the same annoying question; where do you live? I'm serious, that's actually what they would ask. I don't mean one or two men asked me this. Over the course of my two years there, I'd say at least ten men asked me this exact question.

When this would happen, I'd just laugh and throw out the name of a random town. Once I answered, they'd go about their business. One man, however, kept staring at me and then finally told me that he had seen me around the town that I was actually from. I honestly became petrified and removed myself from the conversation. He, of course, proceeded to follow me. Out of pure fear, I hid in the back room and waited for him to leave.

So basically, a man scared me so much that I had to cease my work to hide. I was at my own job, where I was happily employed, and yet I had to hide from a persistent creep. I have so many stories just like this one and sometimes even I can't believe they actually happened.

Because of how many creeps I've encountered, I rarely make eye contact with certain men at work. Most guys are totally fine, but some guys are a problem. The biggest creep give-away is when they look at your nametag and proceed to use your name multiple times when speaking to you. That's not normal. Normal people just call me "miss" or something.

I've learned to keep my eye contact with men in stores. I made the mistake not long ago of looking directly at and smiling at a strange man when letting him pass me in a tight aisle. I knew I messed up when he gave me a huge smile, moved close so that he was mere inches away from me, and calmly said, "well, how are you today?"

To some people, this may not seem like a big deal, but normal people don't do that in stores. People are supposed to keep their distance. If someone lets you pass, you give them a grin and a nod and move on. You don't invade their personal space and start a conversation.

I've had a co-worker ask me to join her as she walked with a male customer to show him where a certain product was after she deemed that customer a threat. I've had a co-worker cry when male customers shouted suggestive things at her while she was picking merchandise up off the ground. No one should feel this way at work.

I'm trying my best to explain this without sounding like the "triggered feminist" uneducated people like to whine about. No, I don't hyperventilate when a man says hello to me.

I get nervous when men break social rules in order to show interest. No normal person asks a retail worker where she lives after she's pointed out where the socks are to you. No normal person follows said worker around the store after she's ended the conversation. No normal person takes a stranger's polite smile as an invitation to get super close and engage in a conversation.

I have to change the way I carry myself in certain places to make sure I don't attract unwanted attention. It gets harder in a customer service job where I'm forced to be nice and smile to every customer. I shouldn't have to be scared of being pursued when I'm just trying to do my job. In short, why don't these men just leave us the hell alone?

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12 Signs You're From Jackman Maine

You know you're from Jackman just by these few things.
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1. You never lock the doors

The entire parking lot at the store is filled with running cars, all of them with the keys still in the ignition. All are so easy to steal and yet no one touches them.

2. You almost never miss a sports game

Whether you are a sports fan or not, you almost never miss a game. Either you go to watch a friend play or to hang out, there are very few games that you have missed.

3. The cold doesn't bother you

I can't tell you how many times I've gone out in 20 degree weather in a t-shirt to do chores, or have shoveled off the deck in bare feet. Almost rarely the cold seems to be a bother.

4. You own either a snowmobile or ATV

Because what else is there to do in town? Seriously?

5. You've walked down the street all night

And you know that after 5, the road is silent. Unless it's on the weekends when everyone from Quebec is driving through.

6. You go to Old Mill and not the Town Park

Let the tourists go to the park and enjoy it, we'll just enjoy our sandy little b each.

7. You LOVE going to Slidedown

If you don't love the falls, are you even from around here? How can you not love going to Slidedown?

8. The tourists are hilarious

Now we won't say that to any of them because Jackman is a tourist town and needs to have the tourism, but some of the things that people say or do are laugh worthy.

9. Everyone has seen a moose in their backyard

And I mean everyone. I've seen one walk around in the Post Office parking lot, if they're wandering around there, they will be everywhere.

10. Hunting is a way of life

So is fishing. I don't think I know anyone in town who doesn't hunt or fish.

11. Everyone is shocked at your graduating class number

Every time I tell people I graduated in a class of 11, people stare at me like I just grew horns out of my head.

12. You know everyone

Self-explanatory.

Cover Image Credit: Bill Jarvis

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If You Think Belly Dancing Is Sexual, You're Missing The Whole Point

Believe it or not, exposed stomachs aren't inherently sexual.

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What we know as belly dancing here in America started in the middle east as a way for mothers to teach their daughters how to isolate certain muscles that they would use in childbirth, thus making the process an easier one when it was their time to go through it.

This cultural dance began with mothers teaching daughters behind closed doors where men weren't allowed to watch. It's possible that this fact helped cause some of the negative stigmas behind it by people who do not know its true origin.

Long story short (because I'm not looking to place false facts in this article), belly dancing moved over to America after a while and it wasn't necessarily accepted at first. Today, there is a multitude of belly dancing styles, including belly dance fusion which combines more traditional dancing with modern takes on it by blending multiple cultures or dancing styles.

You're probably wondering why a white girl such as myself is trying to educate you on something that clearly isn't a part of my own culture. Well, for those of you who don't know (or who couldn't recognize me from the cover photo), I belly dance at my university as part of an extracurricular club.

This club is easily one that I am most passionate about. I joined the club in my first semester as a freshman and have stuck with it for the past six semesters, and plan to stick with it for my last two. I came into the club with little previous dance experience and no previous belly dance experience, much like almost everyone else I've seen come and go.

I've heard of professors at my school who said they wouldn't go to our shows because it "made him uncomfortable." Why? Because our stomachs are out and we're moving our hips? That doesn't make our dancing inherently sexual.

We have a rule within our club that if any of us go out to parties, we cannot use belly dancing moves to try to woo guys or girls. Because guess what? That's not the point of belly dancing.

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