When Is Abuse Not Wrong?


I really think hell came to be invented by disgruntled people who had to watch abusive people (toward them) get away with abusive behavior.  What is that phrase “only the good die young?”  Sometimes it sure seems so.   And so for some of us who have been on the receiving end of what a user, taker, sociopath, narcissist, sadist, or whatever felt it was perfectly okay to dish out, sometimes all we have is hope in such things as karma, or some kind of day of reckoning after death. 

The trick for those of us who have to watch our lives fall to shambles because of the damage done by such people, is getting past the rage or resentment at the unfairness of it all.  Having to watch the person who directed abuse at us, go his or her merry way unscathed, and even often still liked or friended by people we thought cared for us.

It happens everywhere, I know but…for me it happened in Edmonds WA at a rather popular restaurant across from the Costco on Aurora.  Just head’s up from someone who learned the hard way.  If you are lonely, depressed, sad, scared, have a low self-esteem or whatever, do not stay late at any bar, do not confide in a bartender who says he’s your friend or believe it when they tell you that bartenders never repeat what you tell them in confidence to others, and in the case of this person who targeted me I suspect not wearing white lacy crocheted sweaters would be a good idea too.

I don’t know why sexual harassment or targeting of a customer at a bar is tolerated behavior.  I suppose for some restaurant or restaurant corporations it wouldn’t be, but certainly for the one I had the misfortune of being targeted at, it was.   I don’t know if it falls under the definition of sexual harassment or not, but as a bartender, and especially a head bartender, it’s that person’s job to monitor customers to prevent them from drinking too much.  It’s also important for bartenders to know the physical and mental condition of customers because alcohol can affect people with health or mental problems differently than healthy people.   In my view for a bartender to exploit someone with depression, which is what happened to me, and use his position as bartender to his own advantage to go after a customer, a regular paying customer and therefore someone just as deserving as anyone else of basic safety to their person, this is harmful predatory behavior and funny thing, because there’s no way to prove it, people shrug it off like it’s no big deal.   I reported what happened to the police, the Better Business Bureau (because it did cause me and still does cause me, financial and emotional damage), and The Washington State Human Rights Commission and no one really cared.  This happens all the time, I was told.   And you know what?  It does.

Why isn’t it a crime?  Why are there not surveillance cameras set up at bars for after hours–or even during hours?   Why isn’t there some law that requires two bartenders stay on the floor to close the restaurant, not just one that everyone trusts and assumes would never do harm to a lonely depressed customer?

What’s really frustrating…you can’t even report your horrible experience on places like YELP.   If you try they filter out your comment like ooooh, you can only say nice things about the restaurant that let such harm happen to you.  

Anyway, I just think it’s wrong that anyone could be so hurt and have it be no big deal, and I know it and much worse has happened to many others–it’s that kind of hurtful thing that people look at you and say, “well, that’s what you get for staying late at a bar,” or “that’s what you get for drinking too much.”  Like depressed or emotionally compromised women (or men) for some reason are permitted to be made uncomfortable, coerced or pressured into acts they really don’t want to do, just for trusting that a bartender would not wish them harm for confiding in them.  When really, sometimes, when the conditions are right and that particular bartender might not be happy in his (or her) life, they do.

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One comment on “When Is Abuse Not Wrong?

  1. Comment to the “Anonymous” poster who messaged me & didn’t have the guts to ID him/herself. Um, actually that isn’t true. I have taken the M.A.S.T. test here in Washington State and yes, bartenders are absolutely required to quickly evaluate a customer’s medical and mental condition. Usually this is done by the dialogue a bartender instigates with the customer before asking that customer what they want to order. By a few short sentences a trained bartender can hear how the person talks, judge if that person might have already had a few, might be on medication, is happy, sad, or whatever. Also by doing this the bartender gets how the person’s speech patterns/ mannerisms are before they drink so he/she can tell how much or how quickly a person is being affected by drink. This is what all bartenders are required to do. Also they are supposed to see to a customer’s safety. If someone slips a mickey into someone’s drink, if someone is being harassed at a bar, if someone has a heart attack, etc., the bartender’s job is to see to stopping whatever it is that’s endangering the customer.

    I do take responsibility. I was stupid to trust this man. I was stupid to drink when I was depressed. But this bartender lies through his teeth that anything happened and takes ZERO accountability for his actions,, letting it cause all manner of harm to me. Go tell him about being a man and not hiding behind a woman and letting her be destroyed by something that was 100% HIS idea, as the only one of us sober and as a head bartender who knew perfectly well what my condition was.

    I did, by the way, tell him NO for over an hour. Apparently that doesn’t make a difference, though? It was ok for him to still press me for something I didn’t want to do and didn’t feel right about and then fucked with my head for the next three years? See, I disagree. And I don’t appreciate having the blame dumped on me when I do take responsibility, I HAVE taken responsibility, and what he did was harassment toward a customer and should not have been allowed.

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