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Why so serious?

With which generation would you rather deal — that which watched “Leave it to Beaver” or “Teen Mom”?

Just in time to coincide with the ridiculous Gillette ad chiding so-called “toxic masculinity” comes another millennial gripe fest about how something in which the subject chooses to partake isn’t to her liking.

The title says it all: “Not at your service.” UC-Berkeley student Katie Lakina once worked in a pizza shop, you see, a place that requires a thing called “customer service.”

But instead of recognizing this rather obvious fact, Lakina decides to philosophize about societal and gender mores:

One average day I was minding my own business, showing a new hire how to use the order-entry system when some random male customer walked in and said, “Smile, beautiful!”

I was shocked that a random man felt like he could demand that I smile. Throughout my job, I continued to deal with male customers who were disturbed by my naturally stoic resting face.

“I didn’t understand how my unsmiling face could bother men so much,” she continues, “that they thought they had the right to tell me how to behave.”

Lakina goes on to whine about how she found herself “striving to be perceived as friendly by male customers to fit the feminine mold they seemed to desire — a woman who was constantly exuberant,” and that it “was exhausting to constantly regulate my behavior for men.”

As someone who once worked in similar situations, here’s a couple of thoughts:

A pizza joint doesn’t require constant smiling, or even smiling at all. But as a business that deals directly with the public, it behooves those who interact with customers to be as friendly as possible. This includes smiling.

Instead of complaining men supposedly have the “right” to tell you to smile, etc, how about looking at it from their angle: that these men are paying customers of a business that, again, deals with the public … a public which, at any time it chooses, can patronize a different establishment. Like one with friendlier employees.

To wit: How many customers already did just that without saying nary a word … because of your attitude, perceived or otherwise?

You chose to work in a pizza parlor. If dealing with so-called “demanding” Y-chromosome types causes you to recite passages from a Women and Gender Studies 101 textbook, why not find a gig which allows you to avoid such situations … like data entry from behind a computer screen?

Lakina concludes in part by saying “certain men […] want to be served by a 1950s housewife.” However, with whom would you rather deal — someone from that era, or those from a generation raised by the “overly sexualized media” and “overly violent entertainment culture”?

To put it another way, the difference between those who grew up watching shows like “Leave it to Beaver” and “The Brady Bunch” … and “Teen Mom” and “Jersey Shore.”

MORE: 25% of millennials suffer from PTSD due to Trump’s election

MORE: UC-Berkeley resists demands to rename buildings that offend millennials

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About the Author
Assistant Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 15 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.

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