I just realized that I could have sued for probably more than half of the guys at work for sexual harassment at one point or another. Like many professional kitchens, our kitchen consists a high percentage of those of a Latino background. To most of them, English is a second language. Some of them do not speak it too well or at all. And they sure do seem to have a thing for Asian women. Hearing remarks such as “chinita bonita” has become almost expected. How disturbing is that??! I And they say it like they’d think you wouldn’t understand. I have heard about and seen other Asian women who work in the food industry encountering similar experiences with their Latino coworkers.
Someone told me that these Latino guys are just fascinated with Asian women because we are “exotic” to them. Sometimes, I wonder if hitting on and luring over one’s colleague is not perceived as a huge taboo in some of the Latin countries as it is here. I am sure that every red-blooded American is aware of the seriousness of sexual harassment in the workplace. But I wonder how such issues are dealt with in countries like Mexico. I am guessing it must be a cultural thing. In almost every professional kitchen that I have been in, some Latino guy(s) has made a pass at me. And I am beginning to wonder what is up with these Spanglish speaking sleeze balls? I am no supermodel…just an average looking Asian girl. And the fact that many of them have found such behavior to be acceptable is profounding.
Sleeze ball #1
My first sleeze ball encounter at (my current) work was L, one of the cooks. He would always ask me for a kiss. “Give me one kiss,” he’d say in a Spanish accent. “No,” I’d say pushing him away. “Then I give you kiss,” as he tries to lay one on me. And that was the first sexual harassment report I made with the HR people. And that was the end of that. He never asked me for a kiss again after that. But he still occasionally tells me that I look “beautiful”.
Sleeze ball # 2
The dishwasher, M. I think this guy is like in love with me or something. “you mucho bonita. You want to be my girlfriend?” he’d ask me. And whenever I needed help reaching something that was high up or lifting with heavy things, he would say, “you not my girlfriend. Only for my girlfriend,” I once needed something washed ASAP, but he refused to wash it because I wouldn’t be his girlfriend. That is when I had enough of his BS and reported him too. Well, after the warning, M’s lewd behavior stopped for a while. But lately, he has been creeping me out again. I find him way too often purposely finding ways to bump his body against mine, and enjoying it a little too much. He still says, “me like you mucho.” Errr…. I honestly don’t get flattered by all this. And I’m not going to lie. If it was a hot sexy guy, I would feel differently about it. I wouldn’t consider it sexual harassment if that were the case lol. Yes, I said it. Why lie?
Sleeze ball #3
A busser that works during the daytime (I only work dinner but he’s always there finishing up when I arrive). We’ll call him the owl (he looks like one). He stares at me in the most creepiest and lewd way. Whenever I am in the hallway fixing my hair or whatever, he lures at me. I mean GAWKS at me. He just stands there and watches me. Then he’ll offer to help and even laid his hand on my hair once. It really creeps me out when he finds ways to try to touch me, like when he glides my back as I walk by. Ewww! When I am out of my chef’s uniform, he looks at me up and down in a way that no person that you are working with should be doing.
Sleeze ball #4
Another busser, L. Honestly, this is one guy that I really don’t care for. He annoys the hell out of me for other reasons as well. Anyways, when this guy hit on me, it was the most disturbing. It’s probably because I feel so ewww about him. “did somebody tell that? You are very beautiful,” he said. And when he said that, I was thinking…” oh God, another one.” Yes, telling someone that they are beautiful can be flattering, but again…that’s really not something to be saying to someone you work with. That’s how sexual harassment suits get filed.
I am not making mountains out of mole hills, right? This type of stuff should not be occurring in the workplace. As much as I have become used to this type of lewd behavior, I still get creeped out by it.
I walk to my car around 5-5:30pm every night to move it into the parking lot. As I approach my car, I found a flower pinned to my car windshield. I was like WTF?! Again? This type of creepy, stalker-ish act is really disturbing. Just what kind of a message is this sleeze ball trying to send?