A SoHo bartender is fed up with misogynistic bros treating her like a piece of meat, and she's written a powerful open letter to the hedge funder who she says grabbed her ass at work. Laura Ramadei, an actor who tends bar at Lucky Strike on Grand Street, says that when she asked customer Brian Lederman what he'd like, he immediately groped her. And after she made it clear she wasn't enamored by his charms, he left her with a shabby tip. Ramadei's outraged Facebook message to Lederman is going viral, but we'd like to see it printed out on leaflets to be dropped over most of Manhattan and Williamsburg. Here it is in full:
You came into the restaurant where I work and ordered a Stoli on the rocks. When I asked you and your companion if you'd be eating, or needing anything else from me, you put your hand - ever so gently - ON MY ASS and asked if you could take me "to go". When I immediately stepped away and said "Sorry, what?" you probably gathered that I was and am not receptive of such advances from customers. We were in a family-friendly restaurant, around 6:30pm, and I was wearing a loose-fitting, long sleeve shirt, jeans, and no makeup...so I'm not sure where the confusion arose as to what kind of service you were being provided. You left soon after, leaving a signed credit card slip and a two dollar tip (see picture included!). Your name is Brian Lederman. I found you, instantly, via a quick Google search online. I looked at your face on Linked In, the World's Largest Professional Network. You work at Swiss Performance Management and Truehand AG, in Investment Management. Of course you do.
I work as a bartender, and have for more than five years now. I graduated NYU with honors, and have at some point held down every conceivable part time type job including but not limited to food service, administration, and even temp work at firms such as yours. So far, bartending allows me the most flexibility to pursue my artistic career, while comfortably covering my basic living expenses, including my outrageously high student loan payments. I have a good job that I'm grateful for. The environment is low key, I have incredibly supportive coworkers and managers, and - in general - the clientele is nice.
But I still hate being a bartender. Over the years my knowledge and skill set have expanded, but I seem to be getting worse at tolerating the "service" part. I deal with incredible amounts of entitlement, condescension, and drunk nonsense. And at a bar, it is impossible to ignore the fact that misogyny is alive and well. I can't tell you how many times people have treated me horribly and I've memorized or photographed the names from their credit cards, fantasizing about internet revenge. But every time I've been tempted in the past (even after verbal attacks, physical affronts, or sexual harassment) I've stopped myself and let it go.
So congratulations, Brian! You've done it! You broke this tired ass camel's back. And though this is obviously a public shaming, I truly don't mean this as an attack. Maybe - just maybe - via the intimately connected internet world, my post will reach you, and you'll learn something about how hurtful and upsetting a small comment or gesture might be. Or at the very least, maybe a Facebook passerby will read this and more deeply consider how they treat women, how they treat servers, and/or how they treat other people in general. And thank you. Without your inspiration I wouldn't be quitting my job today, and endeavoring a better chapter of my life.
p.s. Everyone else - please be kind to your server. If your drink took a while, it might just be because your bartender was rage crying about misogyny in the bathroom. Also because if you're not nice to her, she just might memorize the name from your credit card, find you online, hunt you down, and pee in your bed while you're sleeping.
p.p.s. I'm looking for work to sustain me until all of my acting dreams come true! Something that requires only 30ish flexible hours a week and that covers NYC rent and NYU student loan payments. Open to all ideas and input.
It could have ended there, with everyone assuming that Lederman is the entitled chauvinistic d-bag he appears to be. But then the NY Post gave him a call, and he happily took it to the next, lower level. "I’ve grabbed plenty of girls’ asses in my life,” Lederman, who had just arrived from Central Casting, informed the tabloid. “But I’ve never grabbed hers." Huh, guess that bartender must be lying!
At this point you might be ready to click away, having concluded this guy is your typical obnoxious finance industry tool. But let's not judge Lederman too quickly. No, let us savor the sweet ambrosia of judgment—for when informed of Ramadei's open letter, Lederman took us to DoucheCon 5: "That f-king c-t, for her to do something like that is pretty ridiculous. I will make sure she doesn’t get another job in New York City. I know everybody. The bar owners, the club owners — that’s a terrible thing to write about somebody."
Terrible, indeed. Those feeling sympathetic for poor Brian Lederman can feel free to send flowers and muffin baskets to his office; Ramadei shared where he works in her terribly insensitive missive.