Should I write a note to the cashier at a supermarket to tell her that she’s kind and sweet and that I hope to get a chance to get to know her?

Answered Jan 3, 2019

I’ve worked at jobs dealing with the public, and experienced various inappropriate behaviours and attitudes from people who ranged from stupid to dangerous.

And your idea would definitely fall under “inappropriate”. Or to be more direct, creepy.

I was nice and sometimes quite friendly, but my motivation for being there was to exchange labour for money, not to socialise.

I encountered:

  • People who expected me to stop doing the job in order to hang out and socialise with them, just because they were bored. This included situations where I was paid strictly on how much I got done, without any hourly wage. So hanging out with them would have reduced my earnings.
  • People wanting “free” products or services, and failing to understand why that was unrealistic, and that I wasn’t there to owe them personal favours.
  • People who failed to comprehend that, while they were having leisure time, I was there to work.
  • A random guy (a customer I only met once) who directly asked if I would call him if he gave me his phone number.
  • Creepy vibes and harassment from men (and the occasional woman) up to the level of direct sexual propositions. My favourite was the charmingly intoxicated gentleman who said, “Ah pay you wa lick mah bitch’s pussah”. (I declined that offer).
  • Highly threatening attitudes in situations where it was just me, the customer, and nobody else.

When very young, I actually did allow a few people into my personal life, after meeting them at work. It was always terrible idea. They ranged from time-wasters up to dangerous.

I did have a couple of friends whom I met as coworkers. But a lot of coworkers are just completely annoying, so I prefer clear separation.

If I received a note like you suggest, I wouldn’t contact the person. And would try to avoid them in the future.

Dealing with the public (or with business-to-business customers) is constant stress from their constant bad attitudes and behaviour. Including mass refusal to respect basic personal boundaries.

Being kind, sweet, friendly, attractive, smiling, etc is not an invitation. You might think she is nice, but she has no reason to trust you or feel comfortable getting personal with you. She doesn’t know if you’re a stalker or rapist, but she will very possibly perceive that you don’t respect the boundaries of the situation (which is a red flag).

If object of your attention is physically attractive, she might be extremely tired of getting this kind of approach from random guys, when she is just trying to earn a living. Customer-on-cashier sexual harassment has even resulted in an expensive court case and organised labour action:

Are Businesses Liable for Sexual Harassment by Customers?

FOR CLERKS, SMILES CAN GO TOO FAR

Hastings Women’s Law Journal 2000

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