How do I get waitresses to stop pseudo-flirting with me?
May 27, 2014 1:19 PM Subscribe
I've had a string of weirdly unsettling interactions with Manhattan waitresses and I'm not sure how to stop them. I'll be more specific below, but basically a few of them will treat me like they're forcing themselves to flirt with me. I didn't put this name to it until I realized that it never happened when I was with one other woman, it only once happened when I was in mixed company, and if I was with other men the same waitress would give every man at the table the same treatment. I'd like to understand what's happening here, if anything, and how to make it stop.
posted by anonymous to Society & Culture (53 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Usually it's a bunch of behaviors that are individually within the pale, like lots of non-Duchenne smiles, prolonged eye contact, and speaking in this syrupy-sweet tone. It took me a while to convince myself I wasn't just imagining it, because there's nothing I can single out as inappropriate, but something about the whole affair just creeps me out.
Once, it included taking our menus by bending across the table in this awkward and unnecessary way which both of us there later agreed seemed intended to let us peek down her shirt if we wanted. Another time, a different person took my order, then rested her hand on my shoulder while talking to the rest of the table.
I don't know how to respond to this because I don't know quite what the boundaries are. I would describe all of it as just being more familiar than I want from a waitress (or, generally, anyone I met literally two minutes ago), but I don't know how to express that without sounding like I expect some kind of cringing servility. Which I really don't. In fact, I would be much more comfortable with a gruff short-order cook who barks, "Next!" and then slides a plate down the counter to me.
I'm looking for an explanation for why they're doing this, and (if that would be appropriate) a way to say (politely), "How about we discuss my food, and then you bring it, and then I pay you a fifth of its list price, and then we both go on with our lives?"
This is anonymous because I suspect it touches on some issues of class and gender where MeFites have opinions that are strongly held but not always unified and definitely not clear to me, and I'm concerned about the consequences of associating this question with my username.