Let’s clarify a few simple things.
- Nearly all industries in the United States have a “customer service” aspect.
- As part of that, workers are required to be cheerful and pleasant to customers.
- Many men in the global West – myself included, sometimes – mistake “kind and pleasant” for “being into you”.
- That cute waitperson, or clerk, or whomever who is currently serving you? They are almost certainly not interested in you. They are required to be pleasant and kind.
- That kind and pleasant demeanor is emotional labor.
So, the above givens dictate a few simple rules:
- Don’t flirt with/hit on the person behind the counter/register/order pad/whatever while they’re at work. You are making their work exponentially harder by increasing the amount of emotional labor they have to do; they’re required to keep that cheerful demeanor even while turning down clueless dudes. Making their job harder is not making them more likely to want to go out with you.
- Do not ask for personal information like their last name, phone number, if they’re dating someone, or where they live.
- Don’t be persistent about it. Especially if you get a “no”. Not only is that rude and creepy behavior to begin with, but it’s especially bad when the other person is working and can’t show how uncomfortable they are because they’re at work.
- If, for some reason, you are sure they’re into you (they aren’t, but men are dumb), then write your number down on a bit of paper and give it to them at the end of the transaction. Do not point it out. Do not make a big deal about it.
- DO NOT MENTION IT EVER AGAIN. No response in this case is a response.