People really should be much more careful about what they do with their business cards.

I have the business card of the executive director of a very reputable company on my desk. It lists his home and work telephone numbers, the URL for the Website of his company (which includes his boss's email address) two email addresses for himself and his home address. The Website lists the names of prominent citizens of the city I live in with whom I am well acquainted. Scrawled on the card in ballpoint pen, is:

Please call! (the exclamation mark is circa1970, when people wrote in circles.)
Let me take you out,
Let's get to know each other (another exclamation mark - this time, one that fits the current era).

Sitting here, looking at this card, I am struck by the seriousness of so casual the use of a business card.

I came by this card because I went to visit my daughter last Sunday. She is working three jobs to put herself through school, one in a pub, waitressing. While sitting at the bar drinking a cup of coffee, waiting for her to finish with customers and cashing out, I noticed a 50 year old man taking a disproportionate amount of interest in her. She noticed too. In fact, it frightened her. When he left, he did so walking backwards, giving her long, lingering stares. She found his business card on his table along with a meagre tip and gave the card to me.

I read it and looked at her. We exchanged a blazing, knowing look for a moment. Then she went back to work and I put the card in my purse.

I used to be a waitress. Once, while serving a plate to a customer with great care, he grabbed me by the collar, pulled me down into the centre of the table and announced to his friends, "See? I told you she wasn't wearing makeup."

30 years later, my daughter is being frightened by customers. What is this? Do they not recognize that serving people is an art and a skill? Do they think that women waitress in order to make themselves available? Is this not just a little questionable?

So I sit here looking at this business card, resisting my maternal instincts to do this person who is old enough to be her father and should know better, major damage.

And do you know what strikes me? If I attempt to straighten him out by email, he could give her a hard time or worse because he knows where she works.

I am pulled once again into the centre of a table by my collar. So I say,


Waitresses are working people. They have their own lives.The customer is always right, in the eyes of a good waitress. That does not give anyone the right to inflict their sexual fantasies upon them or abuse their careful service.

The executive director's card sits on my desk. I haven't decided what I will do with it.

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