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“A Bit More About Sexism”

On Sunday, after my son won his football game (he is a goalie and the wins for his team don’t necessarily come in abundance), we decided to celebrate with lunch in Blackheath Village. We went to a place we haven’t visited before called Zerodegrees.


It was well past the lunch hour, but the restaurant section (the restaurant is divided into the bar and the restaurant section) was still busy. The waitress sat us at the only available table and before we sat down the manager came in running screaming that the table was reserved for 3.30 pm. and if we didn’t have the reservation we weren’t allowed to seat at that table. To our utter surprise, together with his outburst, he didn’t offer an apology or another table for us to sit at. Of course, I have nothing against reservations and people booking tables but, first of all, the table should have a plaque saying “Reserved” as any other restaurant, bar etc. would have. Secondly, the manager, who wasn’t that bloody busy as there was enough floor stuff to take care of all the tables, should have been accommodating and communicative to us – paying patrons. I know, I know, my standards are pretty high; some may even say too high. I promise I’ll work on it. At the end of the day, I’m only a woman and shouldn’t expect much from life.

However, we decided to stay and seat in the bar section, which was much more attractive for my son ‘cos of the high chairs.

Me being me I couldn’t keep my mouth shoot and decided to speak up. I went up to the manager and told him that he was insulting and I didn’t like his attitude. And believe me or not he still didn’t apologise, quite the opposite. He decided to dispute the whole incident (as I said my standards are pretty high) with me. Even after I told him what I, a paying customer, expected from him. Nothing. He merely was comfortable to make a scene in the middle of the restaurant where other patrons were eating.

Interestingly enough, or perhaps not, his tune changed the moment I said that my husband and my cousin (male) also felt that his approach was rough and not in keeping with standards of the service industry.

What followed was quite fascinating to witness. His attitude changed the moment I had my “social proof” in the form of 2 blokes sitting opposite to me. When I was on my own, he was dismissive of me and my complaint, and I had to prove it to him that I was right and he was wrong.

If it weren’t for an article I read a couple of days before in the Huffington Post about sexism in the workplace and constant need for women to convince men that they are right and fully capable of doing the work they do, I wouldn’t have paid much attention to this incident but I did read the article, and I did pay attention.

I was right about his obscene behaviour and the treatment he served us. But on top of pointing that simple truth to him; I also had to waste my precious energy on an entitled asshole who decided that his dick was superior to my (and most likely any other) vagina

Don’t get me wrong; the food was very friendly, and our waitress was lovely, chatty and very kind. Overall we did end up spending a lovely time together.

However, the chances of me going back to Zerodegrees are close to none, taking into consideration that he didn’t offer us any discount, neither tea or coffee on the house as an apology for his little tantrum.

Besides, I’m lucky enough to still live in a city full of choices and places to go to, and I’m planning on exercising this very option.


Filed under: Polish Gal in London

About the Author

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Magda Olchawska is an award-winning independent filmmaker, writer and screenwriter. She writes not only about making films and writing but also about financially independent and sustainable lifestyle. Her current projects include Ecotopia Universe and School Runs.

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