Saturday, October 31, 2015

Courtesy as Flirtation (for Parents)

Hello Parents,

No, this will not be an indecipherable message using educational jargon from your child's teacher. However, I do want to talk about an educational deficit that unfortunately falls upon you, parent, to fill. That deficit is teaching boys to respect female customer service workers.

Please make this an addendum to your birds and bees talk, or if you've already had that, perhaps a new discussion. You see, I've given up on the current crop of young men entirely in this regard, so I'm hoping we can catch this early in the next generation, a social inoculation. My own boy will be getting this talk soon.

Female customer service workers, like the ones I employ, are a captive audience. Their job is to be friendly and helpful, which, in this day and age of indifference and hostility, can be mistaken for flirtation. Boys see these women as "practice" for asking women out.  I've seen their fathers encourage this. Ha ha, you go junior! Bad form, dads.

It may seem cute to you, and it certainly brings light into my life when this happens to me as a man, the one or two times a year when it occurs, but too much light will burn a person out. That's what I'm left with. Demoralized, burnt out female sales associates who are constantly hit on by "men" as young as 12, often multiple times a day (not year). It's not flattering, it's just harassing. It also keeps them from being happy and productive, which is what I need from all my employees.

Please teach your boys to let these women be. They are not there for the amusement of men or for eye candy. They are there to do a job, an authentic job, next to men who do the same job. Captive female employees should simply be off limits. Hitting on them or questioning their authenticity (Do you even play games?) is oafish and offensive.

I shouldn't have to justify why women work in a game store, but I will mention they bring a wide variety of skills and perspectives that my male employees (and myself) lack. Unfortunately, with a 75% male clientele, they have to put up with constant grief to contribute.

Thank you, and next Thursday will be a minimum day and remember, no peanut butter.

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