Don’t you just hate it when you're slaving hour after hour for minimum wage, refilling all the toppings, making those orders, running back and forth from the kitchen to the front and vice versa all so you can afford food and college text books? And all of a sudden, a customer objectifies your subserviency even more by hitting on you whilst working for food and textbook money.
Recently, a turn of events during my shifts have occurred for the past couple of weeks: I’ve been hit on by male customers at my dessert shop part-time job. Now this is not a common thing to happen in my life, nor has it ever happen that many times in a short period of time. All of these “compliments” came from men from the age range of 20-50 years old. Didn't expect that, did you?
When I clock in, I do not need another crappy pick up line thrown at me like a basketball hitting me in the face. I also don't prefer being subjected to your horniness. I get it, it’s summer. You’re “summer lovin,’” longing for your Sandy to your Danny, your Robin to your Ted, or your Rory to your Dean/Jess/Logan/random Wookie hookup. But going up to the female worker and tell her she’s “kind of hot” nonchalantly. You are just making yourself look ridiculous and her seriously uncomfortable in her own skin.
Do you know what happened after each cringe-worthy situation? I questioned myself. I questioned my outfit, the way I talk, the way I smile. Maybe, I was too friendly, or too smiley…But then I realized something: It’s not my fault. I’m friendly, damnit. I can hold a conversation about Disneyland, minimalism, and milk tea under five minutes with a customer. And these customers f*cking love it when I do. And I smile. I work in the food industry, if I wasn't smiling my boss would have fired me already because (1) customer service (2) RBF.
It’s these guys that don’t know how to approach a girl within a social setting and court her properly. Like I’m working on-the-clock, why do you have to sexualize me like some pre-Vietnam War protesting Jane Fonda stripping off an astronaut outfit in space? No woman anywhere in public shouldn't feel uncomfortably objectified by strangers, especially at her workplace.
(Jane Fonda promo from "Barbarella" (1968))
I don’t know about other female minimum wage workers (even male ones), but I don't prefer being hit on at work, belittled to only a subservient gaze only served to make these men feel like they have every right to sexualize me at a workplace, a professional setting (s/o to the creep in his 50’s that told me I had “pretty hair”). I mean I’m already in a subservient position working a wage job why do creeps have to make it worse? I can act like your friend that knows everything about the menu, but I’m not your Playboy magazine to mentally jerk off to. So back off.
I’m not your subject to your Male gazed eyes.