It's incredibly tough working in industries where you are serving people. You're dealing with big groups of strangers every day and trying to be nice through complaints, insults, and God only knows what else. Then there are those who decide to hit on you. At Work. Those people you have to be extra careful with less you end up turning down the wrong person, the wrong way.
The people in the following stories were just trying to get through their shift when a dime store Casanova walked in and made everything awkward. Content has been edited for clarity
"I was a waiter. A cute girl left me her number on a napkin, so I called her up and asked her on a date.
As we were eating, I made conversation and started to ask her questions about herself - where she grew up, favorite music, etc. When I asked her if she was in school and what classes she was taking, she started listing these really generic subjects, which I thought was odd. Then, I asked her what days she went to school. She answered, 'Monday through Friday.'
Oh my God!
'Are you in high school?' I asked. Yes. Yes, she was.
I was twenty-three."
"I worked at a deli when I was in college. A woman came in and was browsing our various salads, slowly making her way over to where I was standing behind the steaks.
'Can I help you with anything?' I asked her with a friendly smile. Her eyes were fixated on the case, although she appeared to be looking slightly off into space.
'Do you need any help?' I asked again. Her eyes slowly came up to mine, locking for a mere second before darting down to the case again.
'I'm just admiring your... meat,' she said in as seductive a tone as her middle-aged husky voice could muster.
It was at this point that I realized she was looking through the case at my man bits region. I had some pretty tight pants on, so there was too much package definition for my liking. I checked my fly as smoothly as possible, although I am sure she thought I was just pointing to that general region, before darting into the cooler, waiting for her to leave.
I was in there 'stocking milk' for about 30 minutes before she left."
"I am a female bartender. Therefore, I get numbers left by inebriated dudes (and women) a lot. For some reason, everyone wants to take home the bartender. It's a weird phenomenon, but I digress.
A guy came in who was awesome. He was exactly my type, funny and a fifth grade teacher. For all intents and purposes, he was my dream guy. I flirted like no woman has before. He flirted shamelessly back. I was pretty much picking out china patterns in my head. He left me his number.
This was the first number I had ever used. I texted him about an hour later and asked him to grab a drink with me after my shift. I told him to meet me at a bar near my house so I could run home and throw on some jeans first. I told him not to worry about dressing up or anything because I wouldn't be dressing up. He showed up in khakis and a dress shirt TUCKED IN with dress shoes. I was confused. When I met him, he was wearing jeans and a T-shirt and looked great. THAT WAS AN HOUR BEFORE.
I ignored it and exchanged friendly greetings. We went into the bar and got a drink. We talked and everything went fine. After two drinks, he was WASTED. I was a little put off, but it was not a deal breaker. THEN, his friend walked up to us. He introduced me immediately as his girlfriend. We met two hours before, mind you. I just smiled politely and mentally checked out. After another half an hour of him talking to his friend, I left. Two days later, after no contact with me, he texted and asked me to move in with him.
I no longer call numbers that are left at the bar."
"Back in the day, I used to serve/cook/bartend/EVERYTHING at a local well-known bowling alley. This one night I was working, we were pretty slammed and had a full staff, so I was mainly out on the lanes serving and trying to upsell my little heart out. I had one particular family that was ordering a whole bunch of stuff and were letting their kids go crazy.
There were two couples in this group. I say 'couples' because they were very much all over each other and the kids were calling them Mom and Dad. I knew they were attached to each other and there was no reason for me to think someone would be as bold as this gentleman was about to get.
I got their orders and asked the usual spiel, 'Tab or pay out now?' 'Anything from the bar?' 'Cookies for the kids?' Yada yada.
One of the guys says to me, 'Here, pay with this,' and handed me a credit card before saying, 'but come back and I'll give you your tip in cash.'
Sweet, I thought. Cash tips are best. You don't have to claim them! Ahem. I gladly went to ring them up and brought back the card. Then the guy informed me that he would give me my tip once I came back with the food.
Okay? I was starting to wonder if he was going to stiff me, but whatever. It had happened before. Once I got all their food down to them, I realized I had forgotten some straws for the kid's cups. I told them I was going to go grab some and the dude told me that he would 'come with me.'
Uh, okay? I started to walk away and he was quickly right by my side. He looked at my name tag before talking again.
'So, [my name], how are you tonight?' he asked.
'Doing alright,' I said. 'Just trying to make sure everyone has what they need.' I started walking a bit faster toward the straws.
'Aight, I feel you,' he said. 'You like working here?'
'It has its moments...'
I am used to people wanting to talk. You get to know your regulars in a bowling alley that way, but they usually know when I'm busy and need to be working. He stopped us about halfway to the food counter motioning for me to stop with him. This was the creepiest part. As he was handing me a $20, he said, 'Well, you're good at your job and I can't help but notice you. There was a reason I kept calling you down to our table. You look so good in that uniform.'
Now, this was amazing to me and I literally looked down at myself with a shocked expression. The uniform for my alley was a black polo tucked into a pair of khaki pants with black tennis shoes. I can confirm this was the total opposite of attractive. Not wanting to be totally rude, I kind of laughed it off and made a move to walk away. He stopped me though and asked for my number. I again laughed, not knowing what to say, and not sure if this guy was for real. I tried casting a glance down the alley to his party where his obvious baby-mama was sitting but, he was not paying attention.
'Sorry,' I said. 'I don't give out my number to customers.' This was a true statement, but especially true for him.
'Oh come on!' he said. 'What can I do to make you give it to me?'
At that point, he was hindering me from doing my job, my boss was giving me a This is not social hour look, and he was making me feel weird. I moved around him to get to the food counter. I'm still not sure why I said this but I said, 'We'll see.'
WE'LL. SEE. Creeper tip to myself #1: never give a creep any hope.
He was behind me at every turn. When I thought he was with his family, I'd turn around from a different group of customers and he'd be there with some lewd, unwarranted comment and then ask for the number. There was one point at which I was kneeling down WIPING DOWN A DIRTY TRASHCAN when he came up behind me, made an 'Mmm' noise, and commented that I 'looked so hot like that.'
Like, really dude?
I managed to duck him for most of the rest of the night until my shift ended. I had let my boss and other coworkers know what was up and had one of them walk me to my car. Luckily, he didn't see me leave and I was able to leave in peace. I never saw him again, though, and I quit soon after."
"I was serving tables in a restaurant a few years ago. I never considered myself a particularly attractive guy, and this was the one and only time I've ever been blatantly asked out before.
The table was two guys in their late 40s, maybe early 50s. They were super friendly all night and I had given them a lot of attention and freebies since it had been a slow week and I needed a big tip. After a while, it became apparent that one of them was making moves to leave, but the other kept lagging behind, ordering one more drink, asking for a little more water - that kind of thing. He kept getting more and more flustered. Every time I got back to the table, it looked like I was interrupting a very animated conversation.
Finally, after a two-hour dinner, in a place that usually flipped tables every 30 minutes or so, the guy that had been anxious to leave nudges his friend and says, 'Do it now, or never, because I'm tired and we're leaving.'
So the other guy, glaring daggers at his friend and blushing like crazy, clears his throat and launches into this pitch. His long-time boyfriend had left him up north, and he had just picked up his life and moved down here.
'I never do this kind of thing, but I'm new in town,' he said. 'I don't know anyone other than [the guy he was with] and I was hoping you could show me around town sometime?'
At that point, a few other tables were watching this whole thing go down. This guy was red-faced, sputtering, and looked like he could faint at any moment. He was practically shouting and speaking so quickly that his words were running together. I was just flabbergasted. This guy was acting like he was asking out Russell Crowe and I was just some average schmuck waiting tables in a dirty button-up shirt. I was sure as heck not going to publicly humiliate the guy by turning him down after that spectacle, so I told him to leave me his number and I would give him a call that weekend.
After work, I called the guy up and explained that I was already in a long-term relationship and engaged, but that I'd be more than happy to show him around, help him get settled, and all that good stuff. He was not interested in friendship, but thanked me for not flipping out or anything like that. It's rough having the balls to ask another guy out in the south. He was just happy I was flattered and not peeved."
"Usually saying, 'I have a boyfriend,' would do it, but this one guy didn't care.
He would only sit in my section and constantly try to talk even if I was swamped. He came in at least three times a week. He was nice but I was (and still am) serious about my guy. It started getting creepy when he started bringing family members in to meet me. They would smile a lot and say it was great to finally meet me.
I went to Kohl's and got a large fake diamond ring. The next time he came in, he was with his dad. I felt a little bad about embarrassing him in front of his dad, but when asked what was new, I proudly showed my ring. I just stood there blabbering about how my guy just proposed, how I was so happy, thinking about a spring wedding on and on. His dad kept looking at him the whole time like, What is going on? He just got red and kept staring at my ring.
He never came back."
"I used to work at a sushi restaurant. There was this older couple that would ALWAYS come in every week asking for me. Even when we changed locations, they would come on the days that I worked. I didn't think much of it and thought they just really like my company since I go and converse with them when I'm not busy.
One day, they came and asked what my horoscope was. They then started telling me how compatible I would be with the two of them. Next thing I know, I realized they were swingers and were asking me whether I wanted to go 'have fun' with them."
"One night, when I used to be a server, my last table was this adorable old couple who asked me to stay and chat with them for a bit. Old people are so cute, so I did. They told me the story of how they met, which was apparently waiting tables together at my restaurant. Freaking adorable.
We chatted for a bit longer (they were my only table), and they pointed out one of the guys who worked with me and how handsome and friendly he seemed to be. Since everyone apparently thinks it's fun to set me up with people, in classic old person fashion, they called him over and worked their magic. I found out later that he put them up to it, which somehow makes it even better."
"I worked at Cedar Point as a supervisor for a food stand. Most of my workers consisted of foreigners from Spain, Germany, and Russia. I would see so many females hit on the Spanish and German men. I would see cougars and soccer moms on vacation openly flirt with them.
I kid you not, one time, I saw a note with their name and phone number under a cash register after work. The bros and older men who would go there would flirt with the Russian girls. It was awful seeing all of them get hit on except for me.
Some notable examples were a 40-year-old Jersey type mother who asked a German worker if he wanted to 'ride her up' at the Magnum XL. Another lady gave a Spanish worker her phone number and told him that he will never have to work while he is with her. A bro asked one of the Russian girls for a phone number and when she refused, he said, 'She is the worst mail order bride ever.'"
"This guy was way, way, way older than me and had an unsettling way of asking loads of personal questions over a period of a couple of weeks before the actual asking out. After I said, 'No, thank you,' in the nicest terms possible, he came back to my workplace every day for a week to constantly corner me and tell me I had misunderstood his intentions - he wasn't trying to ask me out at all, you see.
I tried to accept this obvious lie and move on, but he kept coming back and telling me how stupid I must be and how I was a terrible waitress anyway, etc. He finally stopped just before I was going to get my boss involved. The thought still makes me shudder. I didn't feel safe in my own place of work."
"I got asked out a few times when working as a bartender, but I'll never forget one particular customer.
It was a pretty busy bar at night and he'd always hang around until I served him, telling everyone around him that I made the best drinks blah, blah, blah. I usually just laughed off his cheesy lines and reminded him I had a boyfriend until one morning when he came in really inebriated as we were setting up for lunch. He put Dire Straits' 'Romeo and Juliet' on the jukebox and sang every word to me while begging me to dance. My manager hung back, laughing at how embarrassed I was, then threw him out as soon as the song finished.
I still can't hear that song without cringing."
"I was working as a waitress at Ruby Tuesday years ago. There was a guy who would come in most days around lunch and usually ended up in my section. He was in his 30s, chubby, bearded (my type), and was just a really nice, hardworking person who was, maybe, a little lonely and socially awkward.
He had a few things working against him in the romance department. He worked at Papa Johns, although he may have been a manager, and I'm pretty sure he still lived with his parents. He was always happy to see me and tried to chat me up as much as possible. As time went on, I realized how happy I was to see him, too, whenever he came by. I was already in a serious relationship and I could not and would not pursue anything with him. But, nonetheless, I really liked this guy and felt a connection with him.
On one of my last days working there, I mentioned I was quitting and he looked sad. He made a comment about how he always meant to ask me out but was too scared. I told him that, in another life in which I wasn't engaged, I would have happily said yes. I was genuinely sad to say goodbye to him and still miss seeing him. I don't even remember his name, just his face.
I can't really explain it. It was not like it was with my husband in which when he and I met we immediately started having the most amazing world-changing conversations and I knew he was 'the one.' It was different. This guy just felt like someone I wanted to see every day, even though we mostly just made small talk. When I looked at him, I saw a road that I wasn't going to travel down, but I also knew that if things had worked out differently and I had chosen to travel down it, I would still have ended up happy."
"I was a barista and pretty much got hit on daily. Most people took the polite decline well and carried on, continuing to be nice regular customers. We had these regulars that the entire store hated. It was a mother and son duo that was rude and so cheap. They constantly complained about the place (If it is so terrible why do you keep coming back?) and always tried to scam free stuff, yet constantly flaunted their wealth.
The son was a disgusting, late 40s-year-old who felt that he was owed hot twenty-something women. His way of hitting on you was to talk about his expensive cars, homes, and clothes. His mother actually told me she decided I was 'worthy' of him, that I should hook up with him, and that I would never have to work again.
I politely declined, but she would corner me on my break with this folder that was basically a portfolio of topless pictures of her son flexing and photos of his material possessions. She actually tried to complain to my boss when I continued to decline to go out with her son."
"I was a bartender. I'm a female. This totally weird guy (way older than me) used to come in and talk to me during my slow Sunday day shift. I was not rude, but I definitely was not overly friendly.
One day, he came in with a gift bag for me. He told me I should open it in the back. Alarm bell. Worried, I went back there and opened the bag. It had a pair of lacy thong underwear and some sort of card that intimated what he wanted to do to me.
The cooks thought it was funny. My boyfriend - who happened to be a server - did not. He told the dude to bail. It was weird."
"It was a slow night and this one gorgeous, incredibly cute girl walked in and sat by herself at the bar. I tested her on a few things to find her a drink she liked and made some small talk since I was very much attracted to her from the get-go.
She pulled out a journal and started writing and drawing in it, minding her own business. I asked her if she was a writer or artist of some sort. It turned out that she was a fairly legit musician and she was just doing sketches and writing down random things to keep track of her travels, as she was from out of town. I asked her more in-depth questions about her work. She gave me her website. We flirted a little more, she paid, and left. The owner of the bar was in that night so I didn't want to look unprofessional asking for phone numbers at the bar. The moment she left, he came up to me and said, 'I hope you got her number after all that.'
'Aww no, I'm a professional,' I said. 'I don't wanna be doing stuff like that.'
'Listen,' he said, 'you're not a professional bartender unless you get a few numbers here and there, alright?' Life lesson.
I started beating myself up over not having gotten her number, so I decided to check her website and see if there was any way to get in contact with her. There was a comment box on it, so I figured why not give it a shot.
A day later, I got an email back from her. She was excited that I found a way to get in contact with her and said that she was only in town for another week or so. She said we should get a drink. So we did.
We hit it off really well. She was a super down to earth, adorable, and sincere girl. We went back to the apartment she was renting for the week. We had incredible chemistry. It was really something else. I asked her about what she wrote that day in the bar. It turned out she was writing about me. She wrote things like 'I hope he asks me out,' 'Cute bartender,' etc etc.
We ended up having a week-long fling until she left. We just hung out, explored the city. It got pretty involved for just a week's time. It was also pretty cool since she was five years older and I was a fair youngin' at the time. The best part, though, was that I had a song written about me and the experience... or at least she says. There's always the possibility she keeps one in the arsenal to tell every guy she sleeps with. Who knows?"
"I served at a little ma and pa pizza restaurant in a suburb of Chicago. We served deep dish pizza and I had a table of middle-aged ladies. Bringing out their ordered food I said, 'And here I have a delicious large deep sausage pizza.'
Then one of the ladies replied, 'I'll take you if we minus the pizza.'
I was so in shock and did not know what to say that I just did that You made me feel really uncomfortable laugh. As she was leaving, she persistently said, 'Offer stands.'
I really do not think she knew she was talking to a 17-year-old."
"I've been a bartender for ten years here so. I've been asked out thousands of times, but only actually accepted once. That would be my husband.
It was love at first sight and he did everything right. He gave me his number instead of asking for mine, tipped nicely when I bought him a couple of drinks - all of the things that idiots mess up when they're trying to hit on the girl behind the bar.
He moved in two weeks later. We've been together for three years now and have a beautiful 1-year-old son. I would say I have probably served a million people throughout my career. For some reason, as soon as my eyes met his, I just knew he was the one."