trinsy: (bovvered)
[personal profile] trinsy
Dear Men,

Like many women, I work a job in which customer service is integral. Specifically, I’m a barista at a coffee shop, but the details aren’t important for the purposes of this letter. I could work in a restaurant or in a grocery store or on an airplane, and everything I’m about to say would still be relevant, so take note:

Don’t tell me I look nice. Don’t tell me I have a great smile. I’m not at work looking for compliments. I’m not at work looking for your attention. I’m interacting with you because you’re a customer. I don’t need you to tell me I have a nice smile. I’ve seen pictures of myself. I know I have a nice smile. I’m smiling at you because you’re a customer. Smiling at you is my job. I don’t need you to say anything about it. I just need you to tell me what you want to buy from me. That’s also my job.

If I were guy, you wouldn’t say anything about it. If I were a guy, it wouldn’t even occur to you to say anything about it. But if I were a guy, I would still be smiling at you, because smiling at you and pretending you’re not creepy as hell would still be my job.

On a related note, I’m not your “darling” or your “sweetheart”. I’m the person handing you your overpriced latte. No, it isn’t cute or endearing or nice when you call me that. It’s patronizing. If I were a guy, you’d call me “sir” or nothing. I’m not asking you to call me “ma’am”. I’m fine with nothing. I’m not fine with terms of endearment you haven’t earned the right to call me.

I don’t need you to validate me with unnecessary compliments on my personal appearance and inappropriate pet names just because you’re a man and I’m a woman. I actually know exactly where I fall on the scale of attractiveness. I know which of my features are working for me and which aren’t. I don’t want your stamp of approval, and I certainly don’t need it. I didn’t have braces for eighteen months for you. I had braces because crooked teeth bother me. I didn’t do my hair this morning for you. I did my hair this morning because I felt like it. I don’t know you. I don’t care what you think.

So please, stop with the creepy compliments to female cashiers. Stop with the “darling”s and the “sweetheart”s to your waitresses. We don’t want it. We’re just doing our jobs. We’re just hoping that if we grin and bear your patronizing creeper act, you’ll remember to tip. Stop being arrogant enough to assume it’s because you’re validating us. You’re not. Not even a little.

Thank you. Have a nice day. Now take your patronizing, arrogant, creepy bullshit, and shove it up your ass. Who knows, those smiles you apparently like so much might even become genuine once you do.
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June 2013

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