This post is targeted at the dating community but really anyone who is interested or would like to contribute to the dialogue is of course welcome to do so here.
Premise: a man is trying to get the attention of a girl at her place of work while on shift.
I saw this on twitter, but I’m not quoting anyone here. All text below is paraphrased.
Guy of indeterminate age went to a coffee shop. He ordered his coffee from the same girl most mornings for a week. He liked her, tried to make eye contact, chatted her up a little. She treated him professionally but didn’t engage with him beyond her professional mandate.
After a while, he got a little impatient. He upped the ante and smiled at her more, tried to converse with her more, deepened his eye contact.
She didn’t respond beyond her professional duty.
Next, he decided to show up with flowers and a box of nice chocolates. When it was his turn to order his coffee from the same girl, he handed her the chocolates and flowers.
She declined them both politely and offered to take his drink order.
Guy is offended. He spent 30 bucks, and went out of his way to be nice to her, right? He made a bit of a scene, noticed he got attention from the other patrons in the shop, sort of kind of admitted he may have lost his temper a bit, might have called her a bitch and dished out some unsolicited advice to clear up her attitude before wishing her a good life and departing the shop.
All this was described the by the guy himself and posted to social media in an attempt to do two things: drum up support for himself and demean women who have ‘evolved’ to reject men who are “just trying to be nice”.
Here are my observations
On some level I get what he’s trying to do. He desperately wants to earn her attention and when the standard friendly chit chat didn’t land him any interest, he planned on showering her with a grand romantic gesture.
His line of thinking is immature and old-fashioned, and he made the mistake of assuming that just because he showed a romantic gesture to the girl, she should be thankful and appreciative of the attention and accept the gift.
He did this at her work during her shift. She is paid to be courteous and professional to all her customers.
For him to force the issue of lack of interest while she is working is completely inappropriate and more than a little creepy.
The guy was unable to take no for an answer. If someone does not respond to a personal or social invitation during a work shift, then she is clearly not interested. If she had been interested, she might have smiled back or maintained eye-contact…
We all know there are multiple ways of letting someone know you’re interested in a customer. Wait staff have been known to write phone numbers on the bill or receipt, for instance. I know a male flight attendant who met a passenger on a domestic flight home to Toronto whom he is married to today. It can happen without risk to employment or personal safety.
But this guy didn’t read the signs from the girl clearly. Or, he ignored them on purpose thinking she could be pursued and conquered by sheer insistence.
He put the girl on the spot in front of other customers, not to mention her colleagues and possibly her boss. When she maintained a neutral stance and later declined the gifts during her shift, he got pissed off and maded a scene, eliminating his non-existent chances of getting to know this girl.
He couldn’t take rejection.
Imagine for a moment he is in a relationship with someone, and for whatever reason he wants sex at a time she doesn’t. She says no, he tries harder, she maintains no, and he gets mad. We all know what the next possibilities are…
The scene in the coffee shop is a red flag of epic proportions.
There is something strange about a person who goes all out in a public place to shower a staff member with a romantic gesture during a work shift. Based on his own admittance, he’s only known her as his barista for a week. It is unclear whether he even knew her name. Yet he showed up with elaborate gifts and presented them to her over the counter along with his coffee order.
It’s perplexing, really, in this day and age.
So now the guy is mad, right? What does he do? He complains on social media to get attention in his favour and he finds out the opposite happens.
The sad truth here is that he is incapable of seeing how he is wrong in this scenario. He is unable to grasp that he was out of line and his behaviour was inappropriate (and creepy).
Comments on the social media thread
The following comments were in the thread but I paraphrased them.
If we want to talk we will stop what we’re doing and pay you attention. Do not pursue someone who does not want to connect with you.
Do not put someone who is working and unable to avoid you in this position. She doesn’t want to lose her job and is paid to be polite to you.
This is not how to get a girlfriend, this is how to get on a registry.
If she’s not enthusiastically responsive to your advances, or at least lets you know when her shift is over, she is not interested.
This is the most uncomfortable form of unwanted attention, made worse by being at work.
Some people who commented described their own situations, shedding light that this happens often. For instance, a woman who worked in retail was approached by a customer who offered to give her a necklace, and made the comment that it will “accentuate your goods”. She told the manager who barred him from the store.
I admit that it is not an easy time for men to be men these days. Chivalry and old-school mentalities are often interpreted as inappropriate pending circumstances and context. The last time I was in a dating scenario was back in the late 80s and 90s before I settled down and raised a family; the way I remember boys treating me was considered normal back then but would be considered completely inappropriate today.
The dating environment has changed significantly over the past few decades and even more so since #MeToo thanks to Mr. Harvey et al.
I don’t know if it can be described as more complicated or simpler, that’s up to you to interpret.
I’ll go with simpler.
Because of consent.
To summarize, the guy wanted attention from a girl who did not indicate in the slightest that she was interested. He forced the issue with gifts during her shift in front of an audience, then lost his temper when she declined.
It’s a bad scenario from beginning to end.
I will close this article with a simple reminder:
Thank you for reading my post. To read part 1 click here.
See you in the comments.