As we approach the Christmas party season, more people are heading out to bars and pubs to drink and socialise. Bar staff are often in the front line or the revelry and female bar staff in particular do not always feel safe.
Being harassed by drunk men can be a regular part of the job but many staff feel unsettled and reluctant to report it for fear of repercussions. Once large amounts of alcohol are consumed, control can be lost and violence can ensue.
Media and communications student Nabil Rasid, who works at Wetherspoons in Kingston, said: “Most of my female colleagues who are also students gets perved on all the time, even me as a male I get creeped on by older men. It’s so weird, unsettling and uncomfortable. We usually report it to out managers and they kick them out.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the rise of the digital age, food and drink can be ordered through scanning a QR code on the table. This measure also helps to prevent men requiring unnecessary ‘assistance’ from a female employee.
Juliet Dolton and Nieve Foster, two KU student who also work at Weatherspoons said: “We feel patronised by older men at work at times, they seem to get more touchy and aggressive the more they drink. It does even happen to some male employees too”.
Staff have mentioned an overwhelming feeling of dread when they are scheduled to work on a Friday or Saturday due due to the number of drunk men they will have to put up with and the treatment they will undoubtedly receive.
Last year Wetherspoons introduced bodycams for staff after an increase in physical and sexual assaults on staff.
Women have reported feeling sexualised when men stare at them and are made to feel that they have to put up with this part of the job. Some have mentioned that they are scared to aggravate intoxicated men by speaking out.
Tolerating this behavior on shift can affect levels of confidence and can make them question whether they want to continue to work there.
Female bar workers work hard to keep a smile on their face for the entire duration of their shift, they should not have to put up with this.