This first picture is a screen shot of a facebook status of my sister’s from January 18th. She works at a gift shop where she is the only staff member in the store. This opens her up for a number of unsolicited interactions. The majority of these unsolicited interactions are acted out by men. She is forced to listen to and appease these men in her place of work and has little to no exit plan being the only staff member on duty. However, the same thing happens when she is a customer at stores where men are the only staffmembers on duty. A few hours after this post, she went to buy cigarettes before going grocery shopping. The gas station clerk refused to take her $5 and ring her up for her smokes until she answered personal questions such as her name, marital status, and where she worked. This is something that her and I have both experienced often. I know many other women must experience this as well and it can be very frustrating. I feel much more comfortable with female clerks or when there are multiple staff members and multiple customers in the store. However, it shouldn’t be this way.
Don’t harass clerks and retail employees or baristas or bartenders or workers alone in their shops.
Also, don’t harass women who are buying things from your store. No, they do not need to smile for you to ring them up. Nope, they don’t need to answer personal questions. You are not entitled to anything.
My sister came over after the grocery store and she asked me to watch out for when this happened to me and see if it was happening to other women and to write and dialogue about it. It was coincidence that I had seen this facebook post from Whitney Way Thore- star of my Big Fat Fabulous Life. She details a similar interaction with a store clerk where he forced her to smile and belittled her and refused to process her transaction. It only proves how common these kinds of interactions really are for women.