Mike Davies, Editor-in-Chief Ω
Last week’s opinion piece entitled, “You’re probably not very good at your job,” was the source of some contention, apparently.
I feel it only right that I clarify my remarks in that particular piece, as it seems as though it was taken by some as a defence of the misogynistic tendencies of many food and beverage establishments — or that I was claiming that women don’t make good servers.
My intent was to address the service staff in the article written by Sarah Del Gallo of Ryerson University — which ran immediately above the article in question — who were complaining about the low-cut shirts and heels they were“forced” to wear by their employer and the lack of breaks they found themselves taking during their shifts.
The point I was trying to make is that those servers have a choice in their employment, and instead of complaining about their circumstances perhaps they should pursue other employment options.
These businesses that encourage exposure of their servers’ bits exist because there is a demand for them.
They will continue to thrive because they have people willing to work under these conditions, and patrons who will continue to frequent them.
I do not claim that it is right.
But if I’m unhappy with the expectations demanded of me by my employer, I find a new employer — if I’m unhappy enough.
Which was the point I was attempting to make.
These female servers stay in these jobs because they realize that they may have to try harder in that industry if they work somewhere else — somewhere where they can’t make a bunch of extra money just for being attractive and revealing that fact (pardon the pun).
I have met many excellent female servers during my time in that industry, and my assertion that “it’s easier for them,” than it is for their male counterparts to be successful in that position was NOT meant to be a statement that you will not get good service unless you “get the guy,” when you go out to dine.
I used that first-hand example because it is a true story. In fact it is many true stories.
I was often confronted with this type of statement during my time in the business — and in fact had groups request my section when they saw me on the floor (if there was a host present), or directly ask me if I had an available table where I could serve them because they had dealt with unacceptable levels of service from women in revealing clothing too many times in the past.
My point in this apparently controversial piece was that as long as there are women willing to work in skimpy outfits and men willing to pay them to do so — regardless of the level of service they receive — this situation will not change.
And there will likely always be women willing to work these jobs.
Because like I said, they do not have to be as good or try as hard in those positions in order to make a decent living — and they know it, which is why they complain instead of just leaving.
I’ve worked in establishments where female staff were told specifically to dress more conservatively than they were — and didn’t like it because it took away their opportunity to make bonus money from chauvinists who pay extra for some skin or cleavage.
It is not right.
But it is what it is.
As soon as everyone refuses to put up with it, these businesses will change their approach — but I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for that.
I do not defend the people that operate these businesses but also don’t see the defence for people who choose to work for them and complain about it.
I do understand why both exist, though.
It’s called capitalism.
Prove me wrong, ladies. I sincerely hope that you do. I’m not being patronizing — I genuinely hope that I’m wrong about this.
You go into work wearing full-length black pants instead of a skirt and a collared long sleeve shirt done right up to the top (or at least second from the top) button for the next month at your serving job.
And let me know how that works out for you financially.
Note: You can see the original story that caused the outrage HERE