The Nahployment 'Crisis'

Thanks for gracefully acknowledging error!

If we agree it’s not an open invitation to harassment, then perhaps it’s not relevant to the current line of discussion?

The fact you qualified this with an ‘if’ shows the comments relevancy as, I’m sure you know, many don’t understand this.

Ruling: Stands.


I think it is, if you know that behaving in a particular way to customers is a key to better tips, you’ll also know that there’s plenty of other jobs that don’t require that. An Excel spreadsheet in an office job doesn’t need you to turn on the charm so you can make the rent.

Not sure what you’re saying here. Are you claiming that it’s OK for jobs to require putting up with sexual harassment, as long as when there’s low unemployment people could at least theoretically find other work?

Not at all, I was pointing out that aspect of a service job which is yet another reason people could be leaving the industry

Ah. Thanks for clarification.

No, but the boss receiving the spreadsheet might just make things a little more difficult if you don’t turn on the charm. Or give the promotion to that cute colleague who does. Never assume a workplace is free from this type of powerplay. It isn’t. It’s mostly subtle and almost invisible to those not involved.

There is a certain directness about flirting and tipping that is hard to reproduce in the office environment.

We had this discussion in the tipping thread and the pro-tipping crowd seemed pretty adamant that outside of Hooters and strip clubs this didn’t happen.

The 70% percent rate in the article I linked in post #713 casts considerable doubt on that statement.

If the crowd posting doesn’t themselves committ harassment, and also don’t do servers’ work, they may not see it happening. It isn’t always blatantly obvious to other patrons.

According to our friends at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.” Harassment is defined as behavior that makes the work environment hostile or offensive. If management is turning a blind eye towards their customers sexually harassing staff they can’t argue they’re not responsible for preventing a hostile work environment.

Words and phrases used in a legal sense can sometimes have a very narrow definition compared to the common use. So I can certainly see why someone might think the definition of sexual harassment in a legal sense only applies very narrowly to only employee on employee behavior.

In the mid-1990s my sister was a waitress at a German restaurant in Texas pulling down more than $30k a year. When I asked how I could get in on that action she laughed and said, “You’re not a blond girl with big boobs.”

Re: the ‘crisis’, I was poking around BLS data last night, comparing June 2021 to January 2020 (all seasonally adjusted):

Civilian Labor Force Level: -3.4M
Unemployment Level: +3.7M
Unemployed + exited labor force: +7.1M
Job Openings (Nonfarm): +2.1M

So there are over three additional people not working for every additional job opening.

But I do wonder how well BLS accounts for some of the less traditional work we’ve been discussing.

Googling “BLS gig economy” gives some hits that imply they are tracking the (growing and growing) proportion of the labor force that’s employed in this way.

I wonder why job openings and unemployment are staying high?

What’s the micro explanation (since I have trouble understanding macro)?


According to this site labor participation rate was ~ 63.5% before the pandemic and currently 61.6% so roughly 2% of the labor force is missing.

I’m 58 years old, and I have never seen anyone slap a waitress on the ass. Is this really a common thing? What I have seen, however, is people coming on to waitresses, confusing their friendliness for interest in them and asking them out, etc. Most of these people are probably just socially maladroit and not predators.

I’m not trying to diminish the issue. Certainly pretty waitresses get leered at and propositioned and flirted with, and that’s not cool. I see ass slapping and being pulled into people’s laps and such all the time in movies and TV, but I’ve never actually seen it happen and was curious about it

The perpetrators are doing it when you’re watching. Also who they tell about these things is selective.

Bingo. Young people are choosing gardens and learning to cook and self-sufficiency. They are also choosing to put off getting driver licenses and other old hallmarks of adulthood. Talking to a young friend this weekend (age 26) he simply can’t figure out which job he wants beyond being physically active. But the Amazon warehouse is beyond him because he does not have his license and doesn’t see any benefit to paying for a car and insurance just so he can pollute twice a day driving to and from a job that is 5 suburbs away.

I haven’t either. But I’ve investigated enough cases of inappropriate touching in an office environment that I’m not at all surprised that waitstaff might occasionally find the unwanted hand of a customer planted firmly on their buttocks. I suspect most forms of harassment waitstaff are subjected to are less egregious but when combined with how terrible some customers can be in ways that don’t constitute harassment it adds to the overall stress.

Unless he’s living in an area with good public transportation or is within walking/biking distance of many employers, how does this person expect to find let alone keep a job he actually wants?