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I am a casual part time retail employee in Australia.

I work there once or twice a week, more on holidays (I am in high school).

I occasionally see this girl there. We don't really know each-other, but I'd like to ask her out.

The internet suggests don't do this in workplace. However, my situation's different as we're both casual employees.

I agree that it could be a little awkward if she says no, but the company is large enough that I never have to work closely with any one person.

Thoughts?

6

Ask her out for something casual maybe? Don't go all creepy with flowers and a dinner date, but try something simple. Do you ever finish shifts at the same time? Ask her if she'd like to grab a burger with you. Have a quick break? Invite her along for a coffee. Or just simply be nice at work: help her do stuff, smile at her, ask how her day is :) If you spend time with her you'll see whether or not she likes you. Then, maybe at the 5th coffee together, ask her out properly for a dinner. The key is taking it slow, so that you won't make her feel uncomfortable.

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I'm the OP. I asked my coworker who's been there for six years this question, and he said it's a no-no during work hours, if you meet them at a party or something then go for it. He said he knows one or two relationships that have happened but its not something people do.

  • 1
    Nice! I'm glad you're asking this; it's an important question, and it seems that you have an open mind and are willing to listen and learn. Yes, it certainly can happen successfully, sometimes - I wrote my answer to you while prioritizing your need to protect your job safety and security, as well as the safety of your colleague. Good luck! – D.Hutchinson Apr 1 '18 at 6:04
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Is she also a high school student, about the same age, also a part time worker? Then I think this could be appropriate, and you're at the same "place" in life.

Here's why it might be a problem for your boss:

  1. If your training or employee handbook forbids coworkers dating. Think back about whether this was part of your training. Maybe even ask your boss if there would be a problem with you asking out another employee.

  2. If you don't take "no" for an answer. If she says something like "Maybe," then the ball is in her court to follow up--take it as a no, and you'll be pleasantly surprised if she does follow up. (See script below.)

  3. If it causes "drama" somehow, like the coworker avoids you afterwards, or her ex is also working there, or you two end up making out all the time instead of working. If you're pretty good at focusing on your job, and so is your coworker, then there's probably a low chance of this being a problem.

Try a script like this: "Hey, I don't know what your work schedule's like, but would you like to go see [movie] with me on Friday night?"

  • She might say yes, possibly with a counterproposal ("already saw that, but we could see [other movie] on Saturday.")

  • She might say, "You mean like a date?"

    • And you can say, "Yes. I don't know you very well yet, but I would like to go on a date with you. No pressure to say yes -- I know it might be weird because we work together."
  • Or, she might say "Maybe" or "I can't make it" or something.

    • Your response: "Well, please let me know if you ever want to hang out. I wasn't sure whether to ask in the first place because we work together, and I know that might feel weird, so no pressure."

Note about this script: when you bring up that it might be weird because you work together, this has 2 main functions:

  1. It convinces her that you know you should not be "creepy" about this and that you will respect what she wants.
  2. It gives her a gentle way to decline if she's not interested.

She can still legitimately say she doesn't want to date you as a coworker, as the main reason not to date you or as an excuse, even if she has dated a coworker in the past or if she does in the future.

Think of dating a coworker as costing you something: for instance, it could be annoying or awkward if it doesn't work out or it might make your boss mad. So you should be a little more careful about asking out a coworker than someone you met in another way. (And you're thinking about that--that's why you asked the question!) The same is true for her, though. She might be willing to take a risk to date a coworker she has a huge crush on, but not to date someone she doesn't know well.

1

The answer is:

Don't ask her out.

Doing so will jeopardize not only your safety on the job but also your colleague's safety.

I'll expand on my answer in the context of a real-life example:

I've seen this happen recently, at a nearby store that I go to often for food. At this store, everyone is on part-time shifts. But when one male part-time worker started to hit on a female colleague, the rumor spread like wildfire, and soon, every part-time female worker and the owner of the store became aware of the creepy, persistent male colleague. The owner then reduced his shifts and work hours considerably - just short of firing him.

(I'm very close friends with the owner, who kept me updated on the situation.)

As you can see from this example, it's very risky, and the damage could be irreversible - you might have to leave your job, at a minimum, if things don't work out and drama ensues.

It's best to make romantic connections with people outside of your job.

  • 1
    wow ok, interesting. im glad i asked – Joao Mar 31 '18 at 7:02
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    "started to hit on a female colleague" - I feel like the problem in that store was that one employee started a campaign of unwelcome flirting. The OP should be sure what he does is not misconstrued, and that he does not keep "flirting with" or "sounding out" his coworker if she's not enthusiastically encouraging him. – cactus_pardner Mar 31 '18 at 21:58
  • @Oleg If you rank a female which is asking her colleague if he joins her for burger lunch once under creepy and persistent, you will misjudge her almost always. Mind you, this answer does not make any attempt to discern different approaches, it's all bad. Forbidden. Taboo. It's like saying "Never ever swim" because you are afraid of drowning. – Thorsten S. Mar 31 '18 at 22:25
  • I think there are huge cultural differences around coworkers dating. I don't think I ever heard it in Europe, while in the US it's common practice. The most useful thing would be some insight from somebody from Australia. – LinuxBlanket Mar 31 '18 at 22:28
  • @ThorstenS. thanks for explaining your downvote; my answer certainly leans toward minimizing risk of losing one's job - I prioritized the job security and safety of both the OP and the girl that they wished to ask out for a date. Workplace romance can and does happen successfully, sometimes - but it would be immoral to encourage the OP to pursue romance with a coworker, without making them aware of the potential consequences. – D.Hutchinson Apr 1 '18 at 6:10
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Go ahead and ask her out.

You're too young to be worried about corporate policy BS. Its a part time job. Unless you and your family desperately need the income from this part time job to survive, you have very little to lose. And I'd think it extraordinarily unlikely you'd be fired for simply asking her out. Even if she says no, its unlikely she'd complain to a manager. Just respect her wishes if she declines.

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