To anyone who has ever felt uncomfortable by someone who keeps approaching you in a restaurant/bar... don't be afraid to ask for an employee to walk you to your car!
I am a restaurant server in a rural town. Last night there was a forty year old man who kept approaching two 18 year old girls that were sitting at my table. A few times outside while they were in their cars and again once they entered the restaurant.
Since they were obviously uncomfortable, I asked my manager if he would walk them to their car. I have seen posts like this before but I just wanted to say it again. I know bars and restaurants are the main place where most women will be walking in and out alone at night. You should never feel unsafe and truly it is our jobs to maintain a comfortable restaurant atmosphere. So if you need someone to walk you to your car never be afraid to ask!!!!
It may seem like a small thing, but I watched the man when the girls left and he stood up from the bar like he was going to follow them until he saw my manager walk out the door behind them.
My friend was roofied at a bar in NYC and my boyfriend just had knee surgery so was on crutches and couldn't help get her out of the bar. The bartender carried my friend out to our car. Edit: this happened 20 years ago. My friend was talking to two guys not too far from us but I guess they didn't realize that she was not alone. She was like a rag doll from the drug. It was so scary.
I am so happy to see someone encouraging others to ask for help in these situations. As a teen, and in my 30s, I had to ask service/hospitality staff members to help me get away from guys who fixated on me in a short period of time. Once I was in New York and a guy followed me for several blocks, trying to chat me up in a lewd manner. I ducked into a hotel and the manager brought me into the back offices until they could handle the stalker. The other time, someone followed me off a bus, in San Diego. I was eating at a Sushi place and this stranger bought a dozen roses and tried to give them to me. He was clearly imbalanced. The Sushi artist could see my fear and asked if I needed assistance. I said that I did. The manager swooped in and took me through the kitchen, up a flight of stairs, and into another business, where I could leave- even comp'd my Sushi. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP!
Having been in your friend's situation, my friends are the only reason that a bad night didn't turn into a horrific night. Don't ever leave friends who you suspect may have been drugged alone. If you can, take them to a hospital and call the police. One of my great regrets is that I didn't report the event to the police the next day. When I finally did, it almost was worse than actually getting drugged--they told me I had probably just gotten too drunk, that the bar we were at made super strong drinks (I had one drink that night). Nope! Turns out there was a whole drugging ring going on there, and close to 30 people reported being drugged and often assaulted.
Tldr; Don't leave friends alone if they are acting strangely at a bar. Take them to the hospital or call the police. It could save them and a whole lot of other people from a much worse situation.
I am a male server and I can't think of a single person I work with who wouldn't do this in a heartbeat if a woman (or anyone, frankly) felt unsafe.
I think it says so much about how we're brought up that we don't feel comfortable asking for help. We were told all through our childhoods to never talk to strangers, then as adults we're expected to suddenly know how to ask them for help. I'm glad you resolved the situation so smoothly.
This exactly. Also the bartender will watch and they have the right to kick creepers out. Shit we all do as servers but for sure speak up. Once a guy bought a drink for me Walked around and who knows where with it and came to hand it to me and the observant awesome bartender said Wait I'll remake that No qualms. So nice
We didn't report it to the police because my friend didn't want it reported. She was embarrassed. Doesn't that remind you of rape victims? But the bartender and the bar management were aware of what happened and were on the lookout for future attempts.
Reminds me of when I dated an alcoholic. Girl worked as a cocktail waitress and was a mess. She'd get drunk nearly every night after work with her coworkers. Well, one night, she passed out drunk, and some of her male coworkers/friends tried to secretly carry her off so that she wouldn't create a scene or be caught by the management. A bar patron saw the suspicious activity and called 911.
She was furious. She yelled about it with me afterwards that she hated that people wouldn't just mind their own damn business because everyone was talking about it now. I disagreed and said that it made me really proud that strangers cared enough to report something like that.
I like that there are good people in this world. I think there are a lot more of them around than we realize.
I am glad you got out of every situation safely. I could tell the girls at my table were very intimidated but probably would have never asked for help about it. I thought it would be nice to reassure people that as part of the staff it is our job! Thanks for sharing your stories too. Anything to influence just a few more people to not be afraid!
I agree about the way we were raised. Also, there is always this sense that by asking for help you are being dramatic. As if you have to deny the discomfort you feel in order to not draw attention to yourself.
Throw in movie theaters and night classes too, good show
Actually, ask two employees to walk you to your car, so the employee isn't alone on the walk back. Recently in my city, a waitress (and mutual friend) was walking to her car alone at night and was kidnapped and murdered. Be safe everyone, and don't take any chances!!
9 year veteran chef, I've been walking my servers to their car for years, 4 years ago or so, one of my girls, let's call her Courtney, was being harassed by this drunk guy who insisted that he was gonna wait for her and take her out after we closed.. at the time all of us had to park at a neighboring company so customers could park at our restaraunt, this night I was walking her across the lawn and this dude came flying out of the bushes, fight or flight took over and I beat the shit out of him.... needless to say the whole parking next door thing changed after that. And charges against me were dropped... ... so yea ladies... never feel afraid to ask for a escort.. especially of your on the restaurant buisness... chances are theirs a pissed off cook looking for a reason to beat someone down after the rush
I worked at a bowling alley last summer. A guy was obsessed with one of our waitresses, and would constantly come in asking for her, when she would be here, her schedule, etc. One time she had to close (2am) and he said he would wait for her, so we got a manager to walk her out.
He showed up again a few weeks later with a knife.
Good point! I took a night class in the city before and would run to my car every night. Should have just asked campus security to walk me. It is not worth feeling afraid all the time.
I worked on a few projects at some local community colleges and had a few students ask me to walk them to their cars. I remember one girl said she had seen a guy following her after her class the past few days and didn't feel safe so every Tuesday and Thursday for an entire semester myself or someone else on my crew would walk with her. It was a nice break for us from running cables everywhere and she felt safer so why not? Crazy what you ladies go through everyday.
Might be late to the party but this happened to me a couple weekends ago. I was at a restaurant/bar around 8pm, sitting out on the patio. I always conceal carry, and I must have been sitting in such a manner that the buldge of the gun was noticeable. Just as we finished eating a group of girls walks up to our table and asks if I'm carrying a firearm. I immediately sigh and think "here we go again", but before I could even open my mouth about how no one is in any danger, they tell me there's a guy outside who followed them to the bar, and has been waiting outside, seemingly watch them drink at the bar. So I looked over and sure enough this guy was standing awkwardly by a tree trying not to look in our direction. So I got up and told them I'd walk them to wherever they needed walking to. The guy still didn't quite get the hint, on account of he started following us. So I stopped them, took my holster and gun off my belt, and handed it to one of the girls. The guy immediately turned around and started speed walking in the other direction. Girls left, I went back to the restraunt, and we never saw the guy walk past again. No harm in asking for help in any situation.
Over in the UK we have this little campaign going on in bars and pubs called Ask for Angela, where you go to a member of staff and "ask for Angela" and they're supposed to help diffuse the situation and get you to leave safely if needed.
That is horrific. You are right, that is an even better idea.
That's like looking a roofied gift horse in the mouth
I manage a sports bar in a somewhat sketchy part of town and I would have absolutely no problem walking someone out to their car if they asked. If management is at least half way decent, they'll make sure you leave their establishment safely and deal with whoever is bothering you. Even if it's not purely out of the goodness of their heart, that's the companies reputation on the line, so they'll make sure at the very least to keep the company's rep solid
Security guards at clubs/bars are usually prepared to walk people to their cars too. It's often part of their responsibility, or at least something they take pride in. Heck, half the time they'll thank you for giving them a break.
Safety comes first!! We started a policy at the restaurant that I work at that employees aren't allowed to walk back to their cars alone at night and always have to have 2 people escorting them. And we would absolutely walk customers back to their cars if they asked.
Exactly. And what if-cringe-you were overreacting and you look stupid. Suddenly you're the one undermining your own justifiable fears.
Fair enough. I completely understand where she was coming from--I did the same thing. I'm glad she's ok!!!
The university I went to had a sort of "safety patrol" whose main job was to patrol areas of campus and ended up giving lots of rides in golf carts for people who felt unsafe. It was pretty much to supliment the campus police and give more of a security presence around campus. It was mostly other students working it, and they had pretty high requirements for who could join, like having certain things on your record could disqualify you. It was a pretty nice idea.
A friend and I (both female, probably 19-20 at the time) were walking out of my car to go into a restaurant and were being harassed by a couple guys in a car next to us. We tried our best to ignore them and just walked inside. As we were heading out to leave after eating, we see the car still there and the guys still inside. They were arguing loudly and slamming the seats and sides of their car. My friend and I felt very unsafe. We walked back inside, planning on waiting a bit to see if they'd drive off. A staff member approached us and asked if we were alright. We told them what was happening and they went to tell a manager. The manager walked outside, said no one was in the car, and told us we were fine. We peaked out and sure enough, they were gone. The manager seemed annoyed with us. My friend even said "What if they're behind their car?" (It was a Jeep). The manager sighed, told us we were fine, and to get moving.
I hate people sometimes.
I also think it's important for the manager or someone else to speak to the person who is harassing others
I completely agree. Unfortunately I work for a corporate restaurant. There is a lot of red tape when it comes to confronting a guest or kicking them out. It is ridiculous.
Please always tell staff if you are uncomfortable, whether in a restaurant or bar. Hell, retail, too! I get upset when someone leaves and then I hear about a creep hours after they have left. I'll kick those fuckers out so fast they won't know what hit them, but not if I don't know about it.
As a (former) bartender, I would just call security or whoever over and ask them to help, you don't need to be a dick about it
This reminds me of an experience I had in Paris a few years ago. My friends and I were currently on a semester abroad and oddly located at about the same distances from Paris, with the exception of one friend who studied in Paris itself. We decided it would be cool to meet up. So we were a group of 5 girls between 20 and 23, out and about in Paris. As the day neared its end, we had a drink at a bar. After that, we wanted to take the metro to our respective train stations to get back home. We did get there but it was quite the nerve-wracking experience.
I first noticed someone was following us when we entered the metro station. As we're German and the dude following us in all likelihood did not speak German, I informed my friends that someone was following us but asked them not to turn around. We decided to test if he was following us by taking some deliberate wrong turns, backtracking etc. He was still there. He followed us all the way to the train station where we didn't want to get out in case he cornered us (at this point, it was just me, a girl who also studied in Brussels and the Paris-resident - everyone else had already been able to take their trains).
He did end up groping my friend and then scurried off, at which point said friend realized that the dude had been sitting at the table next to ours in the restaurant. She later told me she went back there and asked if the staff possibly knew who he was. They didn't but they had noticed him staring at us. I still sometimes wonder what would have happened if he had been more brazen or alternatively if the staff had said someting, either to him or us.
Totally support this. I used to work in food service and was always happy to do it - one of the few rewards to the job was making people's day feel a little bit better.
Absolutely!!! I've owned a number of hospitality businesses in the past 20 years. From restaurants to bars and nightclubs. We will always look out for our customers. Bad people breed bad reputations. We want those creepers to feel uncomfortable and to move along as much as you do. Ask for help, point these people out, and never be afraid or worried about asking for an employee's assistance.
Inappropriate behavior is always unwelcome in any business. Don't ever hesitate to point it out, and let employees properly deal with it.
And if you don't get the help and response you deserve in a risky situation; raise a stink and make a scene. Your safety is far more important than being civil.
I got groped in Paris too! Dude just walked up, grabbed my breast, and kept walking. I know it's a big deal, but honestly I thought the whole thing was hilarious. It was so silly I started laughing.
What's not silly is a man targeting and stalking a group of women. That is Very scary and it's wonderful that you were so observant and confident in that situation. High Five!
I work at a college and second that! Never hesitate to call security if you feel unsafe or there is someone suspicious around.
I do think it is appropriate. And if the situation is so severe that the person walking someone to their car also feels threatened then multiple people should go. The girls were intimidated by the man. My manager was not intimidated what so ever. If he had been then I would have gone too. Or maybe a cook.
The problem with defending yourself is that you actually have to be involved in an altercation. Any martial artist or professional fighter worth their salt will tell you that running away is always going to be option 1. Actually having to defend yourself should be plan b.
Also, chances are the person you're defending yourself from will be bigger and probably stronger than you. Maybe you'll win through self defense, or maybe you won't. It's easier to remove yourself from the situation entirely than to try to fight your way out of it.
I fully agree that everyone should know how to defend themselves, but it shouldn't be the first thing you try to do in a situation like OP described.
I've worked security for the odd wrestling event (think WWE, but not on that big of a level) and I've walked people to their vehicle because someone was causing them some sort of distress. I'm probably one of the least approachable looking people at the event, but people never hesitate to ask for an escort when they feel it's needed and I don't mind. It's the second most common thing I'm asked, the absolute most common thing is "where's the bathroom?"
I think being afraid of rape is the issue at hand here.
People already in a way feel ashamed with asking for help. Your actions are exacerbating the problem.
Nice to see such a caring and aware person. There is nothing worse than being followed out to your car or wherever at night when you are a single girl.
For night classes also check with your school to see if there's a program to provide security escorts. At mine the program is staffed by ROTC, and I think the campus bus system will also come pick you up.
Don't have 2 x chromes, but as a bar manager we would be happy to get some fresh air and help ya make it to the car, some people are real creeps and it is always better to be safe than sorry. I've had to confront people for following a female to her car more than once and we are used to handling drunk confrontations
Kudo's to this post. My company does this too. We get transients in our area due to it being a popular tourist spot and normally most are nice. But others no matter if they were a man or a woman, they would follow and harass you (mental illness/drugs). We had a case of a crazy dude randomly spiting at people and exposing themselves. I didnt know and I work late shifts sometimes. My coworkers had me escorted to the car and explained the situation as the transient was not far from our parking garage. Never felt so much prouder with the ppl I work with.
It's not a question of 'learning to defend myself', it's a question of realistic ability. a 250 lbs 6' man is likely to win in a fight against a 125 5' woman, especially if he takes her by surprise. Sure she may have taken a self defense course and she may get away but.. if you can avoid a fight, you should.
I'm all for self defense, but a good way to defend yourself is to not put yourself in risky situations in the first place.
Come on dude, even if you know how to defend yourself if you get jumped by someone who is bigger, has 100 lbs on you, or has a weapon, or isn't alone... you can be quite fucked.
There's also a legal issue, lets say a dude jumps me and I hurt him. Without witnesses I could be charged with assault, because it would be their word against mine.
I have worked MANY customer service jobs, and in all of them we would be happy to escort someone out to their car if they asked us. There's not a place I have worked where the people there wouldn't be willing to help someone who didn't feel safe.
Safety in numbers is a thing. Also, bears only tend to attack single hikers, not groups, because two people are not easy prey vs one.
This subreddit should just be called 'stories about creepy guys'
Thanks for having their backs and sharing the story! Always better safe than sorry when it comes to these kind of situations.
Bouncers, campus safety and security or campus cops, etc will usually help you out.
I worked in restaurants in the past, and I can vouch that no one would ever hesitate to help someone in this way and we would've never seen it as a burden or too much to ask.
Is it much of a risk? Like, is it really more of a risk to the person helping than if they had just been walking to or from their own car alone? No one was stalking or behaving creepily towards the helper. There's probably very little chance that the creeper is going to refocus his rapey intentions on the guy who was helping.
Frankly I'd be happy to take a minuscule risk to myself in order to mitigate or eliminate a large risk to someone else. And if you aren't, then you are of course well within your rights to say no.
I want to second this. I had never been single before and decided one night to stop at a restaurant for a glass of wine. I was reading and minding my own business when a man next to me began talking and then saying dirty things under his breath. I paid and asked the host, who happened to be a guy, to walk me to my car. He said no without hesitation and on the short walk to my vehicle he briefly, but not in an accusing or interrogating way, asked me why. I told him and I got the impression that the guy from the bar would be asked to leave or at the very least, a sharp eye would be kept on him. I like to think that I (and the host) potentially saved myself some grief that night and hopefully other women down the road.
Thanks for posting these reminders, both to take care of ourselves and also to remember there are good people out there too!
I never knew this! Thanks for the info!
Yup, I was a restaurant manager, did this more than a few times.
Don't be afraid to ask.
Uh, this comment makes no sense to me... You are literally telling the story of how your parents met. The staff of the bar (some being men, I'm sure) kicked the gross asshole out of the bar. Then your father (a man) escorted your mother to her car and they fell in love. Yet you say "men are terrifying"... Trust me, as a female I do get the point you are trying to make - but I am finding that to be a very gross generalization.
Its no laughing matter and you did the right thing by leaving the workplace. You deserve to be respected and your manager was way out of line with that comment.
Same goes if you are in a club! Just go to the security and tell them. Many places (in UK especially but probably all around the world ) have zero tolerance policy. That means that if you complain - the security kicks them out. I am a guy and many times if some drunk ass bothers me I just tell the staff - we go to clubs amd restaurants to have fun not to deal with assholes!
Also, don't be afraid to tell them to fuck off.
Why not both?
Usually in a situation like that there's a second employee who's keeping their eye out, or two go. I've worked in many retail jobs, a few in areas where there has been shootings. At the end of the night we would always walk together to the parking lot and keep an eye on each other, and we'd do the same if someone felt threatened.
We should all help each other, nobody is an island. Besides I'd feel terrible if someone got assaulted or kidnapped near where I worked because they didn't feel like it's ok to ask for help.
Or at any business, honestly.
Absolutely. As a MAWG that has spent some time in bars, there are some scary people you meet there. I've been in a few fights and have been threatened more times than I can shake a stick at, and I'm a big fellow. Even though the vast majority of people are generally honest and good, be careful out there