Sunday afternoon was slow at the restaurant where I work delivering pizza.
I exited the bathroom in time to hear my workmate Joaquin, at the front counter, talk about good-looking waitresses probably asking men to do their job. After a minute, I accused Joaquin of sounding quite offensive. I even accused him of sounding like a pimp, one who presents the world with delectable commodities who happen to be “young hot girls”. Since we were being crass. He did sound like that, to my ears. Also, we were Front of House (with no customers), whereas his and my filthy work area is Back of House. I then admitted that I entered late, and tried to hear him out. It was me, a female driver, Joaquin, a male driver who’d told me he was recently invited to wait tables, JoeBoss, a male manager/cook and Robin, who is male and both driver and a waiter.
I joined in the discussion; I felt compelled to. I inserted, in context, “Why do women have to be judged only on their looks so much?”and Joaquin actually sounded even more pimp-like and sexist. I said “Joaquin, I love you but you’re very very sexist. Ha hah ha! And I hope you know it’s illegal to hire based on sex.”
His response was “Nobody’s talking about sex! Wait a minute! IF I did bring a waitress in here, and she was at least what most people would consider good-looking… wait, wait, my friend over there is applying for work here and since he’s a guy, he should be a driver… er wait, I’m just saying some waitress might use her looks to flirt with a man and ask him to do her job.” I had to state “male/female” to clarify my statement about legality because twenty two year old Joaquin, hadn’t understood. He seemed to think that I had been referring to something else when I said “hiring based on sex”.
I can’t state the whole discussion here because I don’t remember it all. At some point after only a few minutes, I said “I am obviously very triggered about this, because of the horrendous PTSD that I have about this very issue, and my shift is almost over so I will try to quietly punch out and leave” but I also definitely said beforehand that it’s been law a longterm law in the US that one cannot deny hiring based on sex. I also stated that I am recommending to management, who was present, that Joaquin not be a hiring recruiter (although he called it “bring people in” so I used that term) because he’s doing it based on looks and gender/sex.
But I couldn’t leave, because I had to bring my credit card receipts in from my car back to Front of House, for the check-out procedure this time with JoeBoss, the manager on duty and get paid my daily tips. Reminiscent of several sexual and violent assaults I had as a waitress or driver; both jobs subjected me to sexual assault. Same situation – I couldn’t easily leave, because I had bills to pay.
I was courteous and very quiet during the check-out procedure. After paying out, JoeBoss said “May I just explain one thing?” and I said yes. Here’s my memory of what he said:
“In here, we prefer females be wait staff and males be drivers. Nobody wants some burly tall guy approaching their table. At least not our customers. Plus, that’s just how it is. And it makes sense for guys to be drivers.”
I said, “It’s illegal to hire based on sex.”
JoeBoss said “No, it’s not.”
I turned around while saying, “You might want to look up that law” and I left.