Stop Hitting On Women Who Are PAID To Be Nice To You

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Stop flirting with waitresses and sales staff

Typically when you’re at your job, you’re there to do one thing: your job. You’re probably busy, maybe even overwhelmed and likely don’t have much time to humor others.

Well, here’s a life tip: that bartender who just made your drink, the retail associate who just told you that shirt really brings out your eyes, the server who’s laughing at all of your corny jokes? She. Is. At. WORK. She is literally paid to be nice to you — stop mistaking it for flirting, and stop taking as a hint to ask her out.

In 2011, an estimated 52% of people working in restaurants and bars were women. For 8 years of my life, I was one of them. There’ve been countless times where, instead of leaving a tip, a guy would leave his number promising to “make it up” to me later. Or worse, those who’ve camped out at a table well after finishing their meal to talk to me, meaning I miss out on serving another paying customer.

And let’s not forget about the guy who thinks, “Yes, that suit looks great on you! Would you like to try any other sizes?” means “let’s get it on.” Or worse, the man you have to kick out of your cosmetics store for getting visible erections MULTIPLE TIMES during a free hand massage (true story).

If you’re a person who doesn’t grasp the problem with hitting on your server, bartender, retail associate or anyone else paid to deal with your shit, let me break it down for you:

1. She needs you, or else she can't pay her bills. 

FYI, the minimum wage for servers and bartenders in some states is a measly $2.13 an hour. This is a real life paycheck that your servers receive (assuming they even get one, because sometimes, they don’t):

This means she has to continue being nice to you regardless of how she really feels, because if she doesn’t, it’s likely you won’t tip — meaning she’ll end up paying to serve you. Even worse, if you complain about her service she could end up getting fired.

2. She has no way out of uncomfortable situations.

Take it from me: getting hit on at work is 25 million times worse than being catcalled on the street, because you can’t just walk away. If she’s uncomfortable with your advances, there’s not much she can do without fear of consequences. She has to return to your table to finish her job, and has to continue to listen to your garbage until that job is done.

This isn’t limited to customers, either. Coworkers, managers, supervisors and owners: I’m talking to you, too. I’ve been asked out by people higher-up in the employment chain, and often felt obligated to go for fear of losing my job.

3. You aren’t special — she deals with it all day.

Since customer service requires you to be friendly no matter how tired, hungover or sick you are (which describes all of them, most of the time, because they have to listen to people like you all day), you can trust that you aren’t the first to read too far into her smile. I’ve even had girls misread my vibes. After being forced to tell a group of girls I’d meet them out after my shift because they wouldn’t leave the very-closed restaurant until I did, they left me this as a tip:

4. She can’t pay her bills with compliments.

You can tell her how beautiful she is, how pretty her eyes are and how funny she is all you want. But at the end of the day, she can’t forward those compliments on to pay her rent or student loans. And just like she can’t pay her way through life with compliments, neither can you — don’t expect a free drink or meal just for being flirty.

Here’s a hint: if you really want to grab her attention, just be normal! Let her be the one to let you know you have a chance. It means a lot more to her than you think.