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On friday night I was out with some friends of mine, we often go to a hookah lounge (which are quite common here in germany, I don't really know about other countries - basically you can smoke hookahs, have some drinks and enjoy your company with your friends).

There was this new service staff, which seems to be new since I've never seen her before. To me, she was stunning. Still can't get her out of my head. So my goal definitly is to get to know her. The question is, how do I do this, without interrupting her work?

This lounge, as the name suggests, isn't really oriented like a bar or something similar. Basically there are many couches where you can sit with your friends. There is like a counter, where you can order drinks but usually the staff just comes right up to you if the notice your empty glasses. Also, in most cases, it's not possibly to stand at the counter without annoying other customers, because there are couches in front of that counter too.

As I said, I dont want to get in the way of her serving other customers. I don't want her to get in trouble with her boss.

Any suggestions?

Edit (forgot to include that information):

Atleast I already know her name. A friend of the friends I was with there knows this girl quite well. But I've never seen him or the girl ever before, so I can't just go ask him or something :/

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    What would you define as the point where you've 'gotten to know' her? Would that be knowing her name? There's only so much getting to know you can do with a person while they're working, especially without disrupting their work. Could you make your goal more concrete, so that answers can take into account what they're working towards? – Tinkeringbell Jul 16 '18 at 7:42
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    Would be getting her phone number a good start? Because you shouldn't flirt with service staff during their work as they need to be as nice as possible and you might misinterprete it – XtremeBaumer Jul 16 '18 at 7:44
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    Also related: interpersonal.stackexchange.com/q/11008/1599 (yeah, it's a cashier and not a service staff member, but the same principles might appy if 'getting to know her' means you want a date) – Tinkeringbell Jul 16 '18 at 7:44
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    @Tinkeringbell Also thanks for the other post, I already read that, but I can't quite figure out how this applies to my situation. A cashier has to literally handle customer after customer without any interuption inbetween so nobody has to wait in the queue. In my case, she sometimes has like a minute or two where she stands behind the counter or is on her phone. That might be a good moment to approach :D – Suimon Jul 16 '18 at 7:51
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    @Suimon I don't think that's any better a chance to approach her; it might actually be worse. If I worked in the service world and carved out a 2 minute break between handling customers to check my phone, the last thing I'd want is to have that break interrupted by another customer. – Lord Farquaad Jul 16 '18 at 13:54
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You have a simple way of meeting her outside her working hours.

A friend of the friends I was with there knows this girl quite well.

Here's the key! First of all, work to get better acquainted with this friend's friend. Then, tell him your story, tell him how bad you want to know the girl because she stole your heart etc. This way, you can know first of all if she's free and potentially interested (maybe she already has a partner, maybe she's lesbian/asexual/saving herself for her marriage/a mermaid in disguise/you name it). If the odds are in your favour, you can ask your newly acquired best friend to arrange a meeting. Gather a big group of friends and go out all together: if you two click, you'll have the chance of talk; if not, there won't be any embarrassment between the two of you. That's it!

Also, you mentioned in a comment that

With the other staff members we frequently chit-chat a lot because they already know us and we are there often.

So just keep going there. The simple fact of seeing you often and in friendly terms with the other staff members will accomplish the double goal of seeing you as a friendly and nice person (you're already accepted by the others) and of getting her familiarised to your face.

Also, if by simply going there you ended up acquainted with the rest of the staff members without giving them trouble with the boss etc, I can see no reason why the same wouldn't happen with this one girl. Try including her in a conversation that involves other staff members as well: it's unlikely that the boss scolds only the newly arrived girl for talking with customers.

I wouldn't just go there and giving her your cellphone. This is way creepier than getting to know her little by little over the course of weeks, and holds way less success probability - unless she saw you and felt the same as you (sorry, but not that likely).


I'm aware of cultural differences regarding this topic, but here (Southern Europe) it's perfectly normal to engage in smalltalk or even longer conversations with the staff of a bar / pub where you go often. Nobody would dream of defining it inappropriate in itself. It's also normal for staff members to stop the conversation if they have to work, or to be able to set boundaries with impolite customers (also bluntly, if necessary) with no repercussions with their boss.

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How to get to know a service staff without interrupting her work?

You can't. Getting to know someone via socializing/talking, etc, at any meaningful level beyond just client-customer, is something that can only really happen in non-work time. You're in non-work time, but they are not unfortunately! Trying force the socializing/situation and the "getting to know the person" when the other person can't is at best awkward, and at worst, disrespectful and detrimental to the working person's job.

Be respectful, if she really wants to get to know you while at work, they'll take a break and come to you, and interact with you in a more of a non-client-customer level. It'll probably be pretty obvious -- the scene from Harry Potter 6 where's Harry's at this coffee place at the train station and the waitress is very clearly giving him all the signs that she wants to spend more time with him -- after getting off work. Study that bit.

I learned this one the hard way, and BTW I'm from South America but have lived in the US and Europe. The best thing you can do, is towards the end of your visit, tell her (or if she's too busy: pass her a piece of paper with a note or your just number) that let's her know you'd love to see her outside of her work hours for X. Big smile then and then leave, and hope for the best. She might reject your advances or might not, the important thing here is that you made your intentions clear in the best way possible.

If she doesn't take up your offer, c'est la vie... just suck it up and carry on like usual, don't make it awkward, just pretend it never happened and keep being a good customer. She might not be able to take you up on your offer now for whatever reason, but she might later, now that she knows, so just be cool about it either way.

  • Well, this Client-Customer-Relationship you are speaking of isn't that focussed on only serving us as customers. With the other staff members we frequently chit-chat a lot because they already know us and we are there often. Maybe, as I said in another comment above, I could try to approach here while she's on her phone at the counter or something. Maybe order a drink, do some smalltalk and then later try to interact again if she seems interested or ask for her number or something? – Suimon Jul 16 '18 at 8:05
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    As you say "I learned this one the hard way. The best thing you can do, is towards the end of your visit, tell her ( or if she's not too busy: pass her a piece of paper with a note or your just number) that you'd love to see her outside of her work hours for X. Big smile then and then leave, and hope for the best." - But thats literally what I wanna do...guess I could leave my number instead of asking for hers yes... – Suimon Jul 16 '18 at 8:24
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    @unknownprotocol Okay I'm sorry, didn't set my goal 100% clear! My bad. But I still think it would be better to do just a little smalltalk (maybe while ordering and waiting for my drink) before giving her my number at the end, when I leave. Wouldn't it be even more awkward to just give her the number out of the blue? – Suimon Jul 16 '18 at 8:35
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    @Suimon And yes, let her decide if she wants to say yes, on her own time. Not right there and then when you're her customer. – unknownprotocol Jul 16 '18 at 8:36
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    Probably worth pointing out the risk in passing her a note. You may make it awkward in the future for either yourself, or the new employee. In that regard, it is worth considering that you may still be putting them in a bad spot by giving them the note and then leaving; since they will likely be back to this bar. – JMac Jul 16 '18 at 15:18

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