Believe it or not, this kind of action-action that I've undertaken before at that diner that I mentioned in the last post on this subject- proves more effectual than a typical bystander or observer might initially expect. I remember this waitress who inspired this course of action by me in 2012 shaking with rage after I talked to her a little one time as I went about my business at her place of employment back then. This intent of this course of action was never to just make people mad, and I will attempt to illustrate the gist of my actions at that diner from about June of 2012 to about October of 2014.
This waitress inspired me to take this course of action due to a conversation I overheard between her and another waitress in the Summer of 2012. The instigating waitress went on at length about her ex and their kids and the conversation seemed pretty intimate for a customer to just overhear inadvertently. The conversation centered around her struggles as a single mother, and I wondered if a t-shirt I used to wear quite often might have offended her. The t-shirt had a silhouette of a stripper and said, "I support single mothers," on the front. The shirt read, "One dollar at a time," on the back.
I decided to stop wearing the shirt any time I ever dined there from there on out. This one male waiter seemed to try to ally himself with her. One time I ate at the diner early in the morning right at opening time. I said something to this male waiter, and for some reason he sang the the opening lyrics to the Carpenters' '70's hit, "Close to You," as he walked off. "Why do birds suddenly appear/ every time, you are near/ just like me, they long to be/ close to you."
If this kind of stuff strikes the reader as suspect as a kind of out and out harassment, well, the reader can note that I maintained a stance of emotional distance and boundaries in relation to these people as I ate there. I displayed appropriate courtesy to employees and customers, went about my business, tipped well, and would just go on my way. So any paranoid thoughts that resided in my head at the time just stayed there, as I made no effort to bother anyone with those thoughts.
This waitress, to my way of seeing things, had other allies who joined in her efforts to harass and intimidate me. These included her righteous boyfriend, the owner, and another waitress who displayed a kind of over-the-top friendliness to me for a time. Plenty of other employees seemed to have no part of this bullshit, and when things shook out, finally, I could count their number quite clearly.
So, one afternoon in October of 2014. I walked into the busy diner to find a table, and another waitress exclaimed in a louder than usual voice, "Like your Butthole Surfers t-shirt, Richard!" I said, "Thank you," and sat down. The waitress I accuse of instigating harassment and intimidation against me almost two and a half years prior came to my table and looked at me as if she saw ME for the first time as she attended to my drink order.
So, I will renew my commitment to this kind of action, because I recently saw it as necessary. I have the right to patronize any business I want to in a courteous and appropriate manner as often as I see fit to those guidelines. As long as I go about my business in such places and don't bother anyone, I'm fine with everything else. The personal lives of individual employees don't really concern me, and I will make no effort to connect with any employees, male or female, but especially female, on a personal level.