Jordan Gleason knows the customer service industry inside and out.
The Indiana brewery owner has heard his fair share of negative comments, but when a customer targeted his female employees with sexist remarks, he said it was something he simply couldn’t ignore.
Gleason, co-owner of Black Acre Brewing Co., took to Facebook last week to write a more than 1,000-word essay speaking up for females in the business and his post has resonated with thousands on the social media site.
The situation that prompted the rant all began when a 60-year-old customer was upset after he was banned from the pub for making graphic, sexist comments at women who were working behind the bar, Gleason wrote. When the customer came back, he asked to speak with the manager and went on to explain that the “servers were too sensitive.”
"He then told me that if what he said was a problem, then I should tell them not to wear low cut shirts, and that I should face the dish washing sink away from customers," Gleason wrote. "But since he apologized, he should be allowed to drink in my establishment because he lives in the neighborhood and will bring in business."
Gleason said he continued to refuse to serve the man and told the customer "what he said to those ladies was incredibly offensive."
“The simple fact that he couldn't understand that just because they were were [sic] working didn't mean they deserve his disrespectful language,” Gleason wrote. “That these ladies were part of my family, and were human beings that deserved respect. They aren't objects, and they certainly shouldn't have to wear different clothes because he can't be bothered with showing them any decency or respect."
He went on to say women in the service industry often get treated “more disgustingly.”
“The sheer number of times they get groped, or harassed, or treated like objects would blow your mind,” he wrote. “The worst of it is how normal their harassers think their behavior is. Every single lady in here handles it with grace and aplomb, and I applaud them for it. I've had their backs as we've bounced people out for that trash, but countless times they just deal with it before it even gets to me.”
Gleason isn’t alone in his observations.
According to a 2014 survey from Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a group dedicated to improving wages and working conditions for the nation’s restaurant workforce, women workers experienced sexual harassment from customers at twice the rate of their men co-workers.
“Sexual harassment from customers is the most uncomfortable form of sexual harassment for women working in the restaurant industry — with a greater percentage of women reporting discomfort at harassing behaviors from customers than from employers and co-workers,” the report states.
The report also claims that one-third of all sexual harassment claims to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission come from the restaurant industry.
“I want to acknowledge the struggle of every single woman who will read this,” Gleason wrote. “You deserve our respect and to be treated with decency. I want to stand up and say, I'm f---ing sick of this.”
His post has been shared more than 26,000 times on Facebook since being posted.
“We need to open our eyes and fight it everywhere we see it, because the only way this thing gets better is to start calling it out for what it is,” the post read.
To read the full post click here.