Category: Harassment


You Won’t Be Marinating His Meatballs Anymore

| QC, Canada | Harassment

(I am female, and 16 years old at the time this story is takes place. I am working in a large chain sandwich shop where you build your own sandwich. I just started working there a month prior and am still in training. A man, who looks like he’s in his 70s, walks in and my supervisor greets him by name so I know he’s a regular.)

Me: “Hello, sir, what can I get for you today?”

Customer: “Oh, I’ll just take a 6″ sub on Italian bread.”

Me: “Coming right up!”

(I turn around to grab his bread, I hear him whistle at me and abruptly turn back.)

Me: “Uh…” *deciding not to comment* “What meat would you like?”

(My supervisor comes out to the front to wash her hands; she nods to me and watches me make the man’s sandwich to check my progress. I’m about to ask what vegetables he wants when…)

Customer: “You must be new here. I’ve never seen you before, and trust me, a girl looking like you I would NOT forget.”

(As I stand there, stunned, my supervisor steps closer to me.)

Supervisor: “Yes, [My Name] is one of our new, UNDERAGE employees. She’s 16; in fact, she attends the HIGH SCHOOL up the road.”

Customer: “That’s lovely.” *turning to me* “With a young beautiful girl like you to serve me what more could a man want?”

Me: *nervously laughing* “Hah… Not sure, sir…”

Customer: *looking me over and smiling* “Yup, they sure don’t make them how they used to!”

(My supervisor then steps harshly directly in front of me and in a strict tone, while never taking her eyes off the man.)

Supervisor: “[My Name], please go into the back immediately. I need you to finish cutting up the vegetables.”

(I silently go in the back, immeasurably grateful to my supervisor. While I’m walking to the back I overhear some of their following conversation.)

Customer: “Oh, no, is she in trouble?”

Supervisor: *in a tense voice, obviously a fake cheery voice* “No, no. I just thought since you’re a regular I could make your sandwich faster. She’s still in training.”

(After a couple minutes I hear the oven beep.Since my supervisor and I are alone I know I have to go back to the front to take them out as it is company policy to serve the customer first and foremost unless there’s only one employee, and that we have to throw out any bread we burn, and if it happens too many times we get penalised. I reluctantly walk back to the front and start taking out the bread.)

Customer: “Well, look who’s back!”

(I just smile and pretend to be very concentrated.)

Supervisor: *ignoring a question about my personal life* “Your total is [total]. Will that be for here or to go?”

Customer: “To go…”

(My supervisor hands him his food and his change. As he walks out my supervisor gives me a knowing look.)

Supervisor: “You can have my free cookie tonight.”


I Name Thee Creep

| NJ, USA | Harassment

(A couple of my friends are having a dispute with two other folks. Apparently I’m the official “negotiator/moderator” of our circle of friends, so I get invited onto their IRC group to settle it out. My online handle is a gender-neutral nickname, but admittedly it’s often used by females. About 10 seconds after logging in, I get a private message.)

Stranger: “Hey!”

Me: “Hi?”

Stranger: “Long time no see!”

Me: “Sorry, I must have taken someone else’s name; this is my first time on this server.”

Stranger: “You sure? It’s the exact same name.”

Me: “I’m sure; it’s not exactly a rare name. I also don’t want to talk. I’m here to settle an argument between some friends.”

Stranger: “Well, why not?”

Me: “Because I literally just said why.”

Stranger: “Well, you should talk anyway.” *then immediately another message* “36M. Married, BTW.”

Me: “That’s nice. Don’t care.”

Stranger: “You should! I’m a nice guy! I’m not trying to be a creep. I’m just making friends! Hey, you should come by my channel, and talk to my other friends, too!”

Me: “So if you’re not being creepy or hitting on me, the fact that I’m male and just have a gender neutral nickname shouldn’t matter, right? Oh, and should I invite my boyfriend along, too?”

(Stunningly, he stopped messaging me! So much for not being a creep. Went on the /ignore list anyway just to be safe.)


Unfriendly Friend Requests

| Indianapolis, IN, USA | Harassment, Non-Dialogue

This happens when I am 18. I work the night shift at an airport. I am one of the people who gets off at 2:30 am and often walks out to my car on my own, despite my shift manager asking one of the guys to walk me out. He hates the younger female employees walking by themselves at night. I often listen to music on my way out.

I am heading to my car one night and am waved at by an older male employee cleaning the floors. I politely wave back, but see his mouth moving. I took out an earbud and say, “Sorry, I didn’t catch that?”

He repeats himself. He is asking me if I have just started, says he has never seen me around, etc.

I politely make small talk, though my gut is screaming at me to get out of there. It is late at night, no one else is around, and I am only 18 and being suckered into a rather awkward conversation by someone old enough to be my dad.

The conversation turns personal. He starts asking if I have a boyfriend. I immediately shake my head no. He asks what kind of men I like. I say, “Actually, I– um, I’m not looking for a relationship.”

He looks disappointed but asks if I want to be friends with him. As I try to answer, he steps closer to me and says, “You know, I would really like to be your friend.”

I quickly stutter out an “um, I guess?” and make up an excuse as to why I have to high-tail it out of there.

As I walk away, I spare a glance over my shoulder. He is staring at me as I leave.

The second I knew he couldn’t see me, I sprinted to my car. I didn’t see him around work after that incident, but I can’t say I was too upset to have never seen him again!


Not A Match Made In Heaven

, | Maple, ON, Canada | Harassment

(It is my first day but second summer at this amusement/theme park. I am alone in the store but my manager is teaching five other trainees how to work cash. A customer walks in and I recognize her from a helping-the-homeless initiative my religious institute does with hers. She comes to the front with three tee-shirts and a keychain.)

Woman: “Oh, I remember you.”

Me: “Yes, hello. How have you been?”

Woman: “I am blessed, darling.”

Me: “That is wonderful.” *I go to scan her items but she stops me*

Woman: “Um… can I have someone who believes in Christ help me?”

Me: “Uh… it is only me on staff.”

Woman: “What about them?” *points to trainees*

Me: “They’re in training.”

Woman: “Well, I refuse to pay unless I get someone who is a god-fearing Christian. Get me your manager!”

Me: “Let me see what I can do.” *goes to manager and trainees* “This woman refuses to pay unless a god-fearing Christian helps her.”

Manager: “How does she know you’re not Christian?”

Me: “We’ve met before.” *in a whisper* “And she was the nicest then, either.”

Male Trainee: “I can help you.” *we walk over together and we finish cashing her out. When I give her the bags she doesn’t take them*

Woman: “Let me set you up with a nice Christian boy.”

Me: “No, thank you.”

Woman: *giving me the evil eye* “Just give me your phone number and I can—”

Me: “No, thank you.”

Woman: “Let me talk to your manager!”

Me: “My manager doesn’t decide who I date. It is all up to me and if you don’t leave now I will call security.”

Woman: *grumbles under breath but takes bags and leaves*


Unable To Pickup On Her Diss-interest

| Denver, CO, USA | Harassment

Customer #2: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Hold on a moment, please.” *finishes talking to [Customer #1]*

(Customer #2 huffs and crosses his arms. He paces the floor even though I finish dealing with Customer #1’s problem in less than a minute.)

Me: *putting on the fake smile I use when dealing with difficult customers* “What can I help you with today, sir?”

Customer #2: “I had a funny pickup line I was gonna use but you made me wait so long I forgot!”

Me: “Isn’t that a shame.”

(I twirl my hair around my finger, prominently showing off my engagement ring.)

Customer #2: “Uh…” *walks sheepishly away*