It’s Like This

Updated: July 27, 2018

The customer is wrong

By Bob Palmer

If you think leaving a 15 percent tip and a couple of beers grants you groping rights on the waitress delivering your credit card receipt, a petite Georgia pizza slinger has a message for you.

In a video that has gone viral, Emelia Holden, 21, was waiting tables at a downtown Savannah pizza restaurant called Vinnie Van Go-Go’s when a man grabbed her butt as he walked by.

Holden snatched the masher by the back of his t-shirt and slammed the man who out-weighed her by about 150 pounds to the floor. He lay on the bricks while Holden scolded.

“I just did what I felt was best,” Holden explained to “The Smokeroom.” “I took the guy down and had my co-workers call the police. As soon as the cops saw the CCTV footage, they immediately arrested the man. He sat in jail until Monday, so in my opinion, he got what he deserved.”

Holden may have also opened the cover on the next episode of the #Metoo movement.

A 2014 survey reported in “Slate” claims 90 percent of female employees of restaurants and bars have experienced some form of sexual harassment. The sad part is that it comes not just from tipsy Lotharios at their tables, but from male supervisors, as well.

“Two-thirds of women in the field reported being harassed by managers, 69 percent experienced sexual teasing or lewd comments from co-workers, and 78 percent reported harassment from customers,” the report stated. “More than half of the women who reported sexual harassment said it occurred on at least a weekly basis.”

A survey in Great Britain shows the problem is not limited to the United States.

Women who work only for tips and other non-employee schemes appear to be the most vulnerable, expected to keep on smiling and serving by both customers and management.

In some countries the culture promotes such attitudes.

In Italy I was expected to tip the waiter $5 to pinch my wife’s bottom. A woman riding a Roman bus could also expect manual attention. I would hang on the strap while my wife and daughter sat. The atmosphere was no more threatening, however, than wolf whistles from an urban construction site. Italian men viewed pinching as more or less a complement.

The rules, or if you prefer, the boundaries, have changed. Let the schmuk lying on the floor of the Savannah pizza joint explain it to you.

Transferring your fantasy of male possession and dominance to some young lady trying to make a living is out of step with today’s America. A tip is not fondling fee and a couple of beers does not make you God’s gift to females. Her smile does not mean more than she is trying her best to give you a pleasant dining experience.

If the waitress is interested in some relationship beyond the dessert course, she’ll find a way to let you know. That’s assuming your wedding ring has not left a tan line.

Once in a Dublin pub, I watched a salesman eating at the end of the bar hit on the young lady bringing us drinks.
“Ah, you be knowing what your luck is,” she replied in a beautiful Irish accent.

Can you figure that one out, Sean boyo?