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Supportive Coworkers Are So Important

, , , , , | Working | January 25, 2022

I recently began working at a boutique, premium bar and restaurant. I am autistic, which isn’t widely understood by employers. I have to work hard and be patient to educate my employer. That includes being understanding to what extent sexism, racism, and so on is a problem, right?

I am speaking to a petite, female coworker aged twenty-five. I am male, and I’m thirty-four.

Me: “Hey, [Coworker], I have a funny question. Do you ever experience any— I mean, are you ever a victim of any sexual harassment here?”

Coworker: “What? Erm, no… not really. Well, a bit at the wedding.”

We recently hosted a small wedding when we were extremely busy.

Me: “Oh? So, not really from any of our regulars, or people here for a few pints?”

Coworker: “Nope. That was the first time.”

Me: “If you don’t mind me asking, what did he do or say that made you feel uncomfortable? Or she?”

Coworker: “He was just asking stuff like whether I was taken and when I was getting off shift. Nothing major. I’ve dealt with it before. Why… why are you asking?”

Me: “A video cropped up on my Facebook feed of a barmaid ranting about what was and wasn’t appropriate. I wanted to know what my own colleagues experience here. Also, we should be looking out for the teenage girls who work here. He didn’t touch you?”

Coworker: “No. And anyway, in the area we are located…”

Me: “You mean million-euro homes for half a mile around? We don’t exactly get students or a rowdy pub crawl, no. But if you’re not comfortable serving someone, just ask me to serve them, nothing more.”

Coworker: “Nothing more?”

Me: “I mean, you don’t need to say what he said or did, like if he said he wanted to motorboat you. If you’re not comfortable serving someone, just tell me you don’t want to serve them. I’ll serve them. That’s it. I won’t ask you for reasons.”

She looks confused and then looks down at her larger-than-average chest. Maybe my crude example of sexual harassment caught her off guard, but then she thought about what I was getting at?

Coworker: “Thank you, [My Name]. I’ll remember that. I’ll also serve someone for you if you don’t want to.”

Me: “Aww, thank you.”

We now have an unofficial anti-harassment pact. I think that is cute because I’ve always had difficulty relating to my work colleagues.

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