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AIBU to want to do something about this pub regular? WWYD?

(45 Posts)
LucySnoweShouldRelax Tue 30-Jul-13 12:52:11

I work in a pub. It's a nice place, we don't have a lot of regulars in comparison to other pubs, but the ones we do have are friendly, say hi, have a chat, but generally mind their own business.

All except one. One particular regular insists on sitting in the same place, on the busier end of the bar, where he can pass comment on anything and everything any of the staff say to each other, which winds me up, but is probably par for the course. He's middle aged, everyone who works there is in their twenties. FWIW, he also has a partner, who comes in sometimes.

However, the reason he makes me uncomfortable is that he sits there for hours, by himself, leering at all of the female bar staff. I don't know if any of you have ever had to work while someone stares at you constantly, but it is horrible. It's 'just' staring, but all the girls there are on edge while he's there.

What has made it worse is that a new girl, very pretty, very friendly, started recently. One evening, he got even more blotto than usual and started telling her that he had been thinking about her all day, he wanted to have a drink with her, etc, etc, sleaze sleaze sleaze. Aside from "no thank you" she didn't really know what to say. After he left that night, he tried ringing the pub to speak to her again. Next time he came in, he claimed he couldn't remember a thing.

AIBU to want to do something about this guy? Or should I just expect this (no other regular in this pub behaves like this. In the past I have told customers whose behaviour I didn't like to stop, eg addressing me as "baby")? The Assistant Manager has already said that if he 'really' crosses a line, he will be told not to come back, but surely making half the staff incredibly uncomfortable IS crossing a line? I want this new staff member, who was pretty upset by it all, to feel like we're a team that will look out for her, it's a lovely family atmosphere we have among ourselves, and most of our customers, but I think this guy is ruining it for her. Anyone else been in a similar situation? What could I do?

*I realise I've used the term "girls" throughout here to refer to women in their twenties. Sorry if this sounds patronizing, it's how we refer to ourselves though!

JaneFonda Tue 30-Jul-13 13:03:43

Ugh, he sounds awful.

I think all of you who work there need to get together with the manager and explain that it is not acceptable for you to feel uncomfortable and leered at whilst you're working (it's not acceptable anywhere, but to have to deal with it when you're just trying to do your job is terrible).

Is the Assistant Manager a man or a woman?

LucySnoweShouldRelax Tue 30-Jul-13 13:10:26

He's a guy. I'm the most senior female member of staff. I've told the General manager that he was a creep, in passing, but he laughed it off. The GM was away when the calling the pub/I\ve been thinking about you incident happened, he is only just back. Him and the owner get on with him.

I think I need to sit down and explain how we feel, and that we need to feel that I, or anyone, will be supported if it happens again, and someone tells him he's not welcome back.

WorraLiberty Tue 30-Jul-13 13:13:51

You can't do anything about people staring at you when you're working behind a bar...other than ask them to stop if it's really bothering you.

Did the Assistant Manager or anyone else, tell him off for ringing the pub?

mignonette Tue 30-Jul-13 13:14:41

All the staff troubled by this man need to sit your manager down and talk to him seriously about this. Don't be the only one as it is amazing how people can convince themselves that something is only a problem when it is shoved right in their face.

And 'not remembering' has never been a defence, in law or anywhere else.

mignonette Tue 30-Jul-13 13:15:51

And don't mention things like this 'in passing'. It gives management the opportunity to forget/ ignore. Good luck.

LucySnoweShouldRelax Tue 30-Jul-13 13:18:37

But why? Why is ogling someone okay when they are just trying to do their job? I'm hardly working in Hooters. Believe me, there is definitely a difference between someone looking at you occasionally and someone constantly leering.

No, he said he couldn't remember anything, and it was left. It happened when I wasn't there, last week, should I mention it? I can imagine the response "Oh silly me, you know I don't mean anything by it, I come in here with my GF. Won't happen again" and then slobbering over her trying to apologise.

LucySnoweShouldRelax Tue 30-Jul-13 13:20:30

You're right mignonette but this was before it had escalated. I am going to have a serious sit-down conversation now.

LucySnoweShouldRelax Tue 30-Jul-13 13:23:53

Heading out now, thanks for all responses so far!

SouthernComforts Tue 30-Jul-13 13:26:29

I work in a pub too, I feel your pain.

However, if I barred every sleaze that tried it on with me, we would quickly go out of business.

In your situation, as the most senior female, I would quietly have a word in his ear. Say that she isn't interested, and phoning the pub to speak to staff members is way out of line. Say the managers are aware and will be keeping an eye on things. (Even if it's a lie)

MaxPepsi Tue 30-Jul-13 13:27:46

Refuse to serve him.

Tell the rest of the staff to refuse service.

When the managers want to know why, tell them they did nothing to protect you or your co workers so you are now protecting yourselves.

They can either serve him, or speak to him about his behaviour.

YOur managers sound like knob heads. I've never come across a pub/bar where the needs of one horrible letch has been put above the feelings of staff.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 30-Jul-13 14:15:58

If your manager wont listen I think( this is a bit naughty) kind of just freeze him out...dont make small talk with him,smile but dont look him in the eye.He obviously thinks you are all a happy family.I would find it hard not to say something indirectly.

LucySnoweShouldRelax Tue 30-Jul-13 14:18:28

SouthernComfort I think I have been a bit blessed, because he is the only letch we get at all on a regular basis. To be honest, someone cracking on to you, we can deal with that, in whatever way we choose, and as long as the other person gets it, it's no issue. The leering is almost worse, it puts you on edge, because there's nothing you CAN do, realistically.

OK, I'm going to have a one-on-one with the GM, but challenging the everyday sexism round this place feels like an uphill struggle, this is probably the straw that broke the camel's back (a few members of management come from traditionally very macho cultures) Will probably get a pat on the head and told to get on with it...

WorraLiberty Tue 30-Jul-13 14:20:36

Because one person's 'ogling' and 'leering' is another person's looking.

I wouldn't mention the phone call to him now unless the barmaid in question actually wants you to.

I'm afraid you can't ban every person who makes your skin crawl, unless their behaviour breaks any rules or laws.

The pub I worked in would have had hardly any customers left.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 30-Jul-13 14:26:43

I've worked in bars...all through my teens. I had this a couple of times nd the best way was to shoot them down by humiliating them. I never once thought of complaining but dealt with it myself. I'd laugh at them openly....whisper about them and snigger. Make THEM feel uncomfortable.

It was the 80s though and nobody complained then.

DidoTheDodo Tue 30-Jul-13 14:30:13

I was with you until you said "he's middle aged and we are all young" (paraphrase). Your point being?

LucySnoweShouldRelax Tue 30-Jul-13 14:33:20

Limited You're right! Most of use refuse to engage with him already. But as soon as the GM or the owner are around, it's all matey as you like.

LucySnoweShouldRelax Tue 30-Jul-13 14:34:55

Dido Because if it was someone my own age, I would find it easier to call them up on it, TBH.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 30-Jul-13 14:38:52

If he thinks you are all ignorant lol he will prob bugger off.If you did the same in front of your GM what would he say?would it perhaps help him to see that you really dont want him sat drooling like a letch?

Whothefuckfarted Tue 30-Jul-13 14:39:24

I think you should all get past it and ignore him, he comes in, spends a fair amount of money and is a loyal customer.

So he stares at you all, I'm sure you all get stared at by a few customers, he just happens to be a 'regular'.

Being 'ogled' is kinda part and parcel of being a barmaid/barman.

I honestly think from what you've written that if it was a young, good looking 20 something guy staring at you all, you'd have no problems?

He's not groping, or saying inexcusable sexual remarks.. he's just looking.

If he crosses that line, then is the time to do something about it.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 30-Jul-13 14:39:47

Yeah id find it harder to pull up someone im not close to who is older than me.

Vatta Tue 30-Jul-13 14:42:42

I think you might have some protection under employment law here - the rules changed a few years ago so if a customer/client is behaving badly (ie is behaving in a way that wouldn't be acceptable from a colleague by leering at all the girls) then your employer has to protect you from that?

Not an expert though so suggest you google to check!

LimitedEditionLady Tue 30-Jul-13 14:44:15

Personally i would find that unbearable,even a twenty something year old,unwanted attention is the same whatever the age.

LucySnoweShouldRelax Tue 30-Jul-13 14:57:28

whothefuck Nope, a twenty-something staring for two/three hours at a time would also make me damn uncomfortable. The age difference, I find, does make it more intimidating for me.

Love that, because I serve people beer for a living, reduces me to a piece of meat to be gawped at. Good to know.

Whothefuckfarted Tue 30-Jul-13 15:38:11

'Love that, because I serve people beer for a living, reduces me to a piece of meat to be gawped at. Good to know.'

I'm not saying that at all, just it is part and parcel of being a barmaid/barman. Right or wrong it comes with the territory.

I have to add though, the phone call thing is a bit weird and probably a good 'in' to air the grievances you all have with this customer to your boss.

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