Harasment or Flirting?

United States
September 9, 2008 9:16am CST
So today while I was working the register I get a customer who comes in. Well I gave him the incorrect change and he counted it and told me. I said "Oh I'm so sorry did I give you the wrong change, here let me get another dollar." then I had it to him and look up and smile. Then he flat out says "oh your so cute" I mean yes I am gay but I mean is that kind of harassment... I mean it made me feel a little awkward in the moment... I didn't really know what to say to that... I just kinda nodded... I wasn't really expecting that. So my question is where does one feel the line is crossed. For me if I'm at work I really don't feel adequate flirting on the job. I know I may be taking my job to serious but what do you think? Do you flirt with people on the job? Do you feel a little violated when people comment on your physical appearance in an open setting?
10 people like this
21 responses
• United States
9 Sep 08
Your discomfort sounds like you were just embarrassed because he caught you off guard. It doesn't sound like any line was crossed but then I wasn't there and don't know the tone of voice, how he looked at you or how long he stayed there after the comment. Do you flirt with people on the job? No I was never one to flirt on the job when I was behind a cash register but there were a few exceptions. There were a few regular customers who'd come in every day and we got friendly enough to joke around and harmlessly "play" flirt. Do you feel a little violated when people comment on your physical appearance in an open setting? Violated, that's a harsh word for a simple comment. A compliment can make you feel uncomfortable and embarrassed but the intent is not to harm or harrass. Just take it for what it is, a compliment. Say "thank you" and leave it at that. I'm kind of in a unique situation with the business I'm in now. I'm a singer in a rock band, so flirting, compliments and even some harrassment kind of go with the territory. There are people who think, for some strange reason, that just because I'm a performer that I'm no longer human and they can say and do anything they want to me. It can get really annoying sometimes. I've had to handle some really outrageous situations. I could tell you some stories.... .
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Sep 08
very logical answer thanks ^_^ I feel the same way. Its ok for that kind of comment if I know you and we have made some sort of friendship. I dunno I have never seen the guy before and his tone of voice and the way he looked at me made me think of a stalker lol. I could just be stereo typing which is bad on my part... but one has to be prepared for anything I suppose. Anyway thanks for the reply!
@annjilena (5620)
• United States
9 Sep 08
well i think it was not flirting he was just commenting on your nice smile ,i never feel violated when a person comments on my appearance i smile and let it go.you have to realize some people do that to start conversation are just to let you know they notice you.i don,t flirt with people but i will say something if they are wearing something that is nice it doesn,t mean i like them are anything like that they may have something that i think i may look nice in i will even ask where did they buy it.
• United States
9 Sep 08
It sounds to me like it was flirting, but the guy could have been harassing you as well, it is a little hard to tell.
1 person likes this
@DarkDancer (1012)
• Dayton, Ohio
9 Sep 08
I don't think that I would find that harassment. Harassment. I would say is something sustained. If he had kept going on and on about it, or came in every day and started up with that then yes, that would be harassment. I would probably just take that as a compliment and move on. The most inappropriate compliment I was ever given (and it wasn't the compliment, it was the time that it was given that caused it to be inappropriate, was during a job interview. The lady who was interviewing me told me that I was very handsome. I didn't really know how to respond....
• United States
11 Sep 08
lol yes I think being told you were handsome while getting an interview is a form of subconscious discrimination as well as a little bit of harassment. I bet you got offered the job as well huh? lol I think I'm ok with the idea since he is not really a regular customer. Why it was a little off the wall is because he looked like he was at least 35-40 I'm 20... I dunno maybe its me that's the problem lol
• Dayton, Ohio
11 Sep 08
She actually told me, at the end of the interview that if it were up to her, the job would be mine, It was a government job and it took them so long to get back with me about a second interview, that I already had another job by then......
• United States
11 Sep 08
Oh I got ya lol! I heard that government jobs take awhile to get! Well at least you found one =D Thanks for the reply's ^_^
@valeria1 (2723)
• United States
10 Sep 08
Oh you said in one of my posts that nobody would like to see you naked, LOL, seems is not true!!!!! Well I am kidding, but when it comes something like this, just answer back, thank you for the compliment and go do something else! Simple! Have fun!
@riyasam (16578)
• India
11 Sep 08
shes right.just ignore.may i say chill-pill????????
• United States
11 Sep 08
LOL I guess your right and its great that you remembered that HAHA! Maybe I could make some money as a stripper after all?!? LOLZ
@bellaofchaos (11550)
• United States
10 Sep 08
OK so he flat out said your so cute. Honey it's only harrasment if you feel your being harrassed. For me that would be oh thank you and I'd leave it at that. I guess I tend to just take the flirting and turn it into a compliment and then leave it. LOL!! That is when I worked retail. Did I ever flirt with people while I was on the job yep at certian jobs I did and I don't feel violated when someone comments on my physical apprearance in a open setting. I find it kinda flattering unless the come off really crass and ignorant. The your cute is fine but when they start saying your Boobs are great that is drawing the line to me.
• United States
15 Sep 08
now that would be something to see.. LOL !! Have a nice one.
@Shar19 (8236)
• United States
9 Sep 08
I think he was just being nice. If he said something sarcastic and vulgar than that would be harassment. Just relax and take it in stride.
• United States
11 Sep 08
I dunno joking around is all good with me. Then I come back to my main point. Is it ok to joke around like that with people you don't know? I have to remember that I'm at work. With my manager right there... it made me even more self conscious. If I knew him it wouldn't be a problem, but it was a perfect stranger who I'd never seen before that day.
@Shar19 (8236)
• United States
11 Sep 08
I think sometimes when people don't know each other it's a way to break the ice. Sometimes when someone is uncomfortable in a situation they make make a joke or even flirt to break the ice. Everyone handles the situation differently.
• United States
9 Sep 08
I think you're going a little overboard. He just told you you were cute. I wouldn't really consider that harrassment or flirting. I don't see what you being gay has to do with someone giving you a compliment either.
• United States
11 Sep 08
The thing is... since you can tell that I'm gay... it could also have been his way of making fun of me. You have to understand that in my community its not something thats really looked highly upon (not that I think its really thought highly upon anywhere else) but people here are very rude to me in general. It's possible that he was also trying to humiliate me. So is it ok for me to complain about this? I think so.
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
9 Sep 08
I don't think I'd consider someone saying "Your cute" as harrassment...now if he propositioned you or made a grab at you...that would be harrassment. To be honest, I don't even think I'd classify that as flirting...just a compliment and most ppl can take one. Flirting, to me, would be asking if your dating anyone, asking for your phone number or hanging around the counter trying to chat with you. I think you may have your definitions of flirting and harrassment misunderstood. [b]**AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~ [/b]
• United States
11 Sep 08
lol that is true it was not that bad. I had a guy really flirting with me at the bus stop... he was the bus stop security as well... he was really to close for my comfort zone... and I kept walking backwards and he kept stepping forwards. That night I thought I was going to become a rape victim lol. Fortunately I wasn't. I dunno it's just when I'm at work I don't expect that kind of comment from someone I don't know. It was something that I've never heard before from someone while working... so maybe I'm just over reacting a little bit lol.
@roanne05 (1292)
• Oman
9 Sep 08
for me. it depends...actually you will feel it when he really meant something bad. the same as your reaction, would just ignore his comment or a simple sarcastic smile would do. he still a customer... as a girl i know when someone looks at me like he is imagining things or whatever,if you know what i mean...i would just turn and go as far as i can to that person...
• United States
11 Sep 08
I don't know. I'm still a little confused whether it felt wrong or if I was just caught off guard. Like I said above I didn't know him and never saw him before... I really can't tell if he was joking or if he was drooling. I work the night shift so I'm used to jokes... but this seemed just awkward.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
9 Sep 08
I think that there is no real formula for determining when the line has been crossed for anyone because something that offends one person may be considered completely harmless by another. For example, the comment made to you I would never consider to be harrassment if it was wsaid to me as it was a one off comment that certainly didn't appear to contain any venom or ill will behind it. However I think we can safely say that a line has been crossed the minute the person on the receiving end feels threatened, disgusted or uncomfortable in any way with what is being said or done to them. No I don't flirt with people as a matter of course and I also don't feel violated if someone comments on my physical appearance in an open setting. But then again people rarely comment on my physical appearance anyways! lol.
• United States
11 Sep 08
lol thanks for the reply. I believe that your right, when a person feels uncomfortable its time to stop... I think he was ok since he just left afterwards. It would have kinda creeped me out since he looked like he doubled me in age lol.
@riyasam (16578)
• India
11 Sep 08
i donot think that was flirting.that was just a cute comment. happy posting.
@palonghorn (5486)
• United States
10 Sep 08
I have to agree with others, lighten up, he paid you a compliment, gay or not had nothing to do with it. Would you have felt the same if it had been a woman giving you that compliment? I work in a male dominated line of work, if I took everything they said or commented on to heart, hell I'd be bringing up sexsual harrasment charges all the time LOL. Keep in mind I wear work clothes (wildland firefighter) not exactly sexy on anyone. Our little 'motto' at work is 'it's not harrasment if they like it' It is taken for what it is, a joke. I couldn't do my job if I took those guys seriously all the time. Next time someone wants to give you a compliment, take it for face value, and just say 'thank you' and go on.
• Philippines
10 Sep 08
I believe its not harrasment but rather a compliment probably he is also a ga and appreciated your looks. Do not get offended that easily as far as I know saying your cute is a pick up line not harrasment. Relax there my friend just simply go on and dont get bothered.
• Canada
10 Sep 08
I don't find the comment violating in anyway. "you're so cute" comes out of my mouth on a daily basis. If someone commented on my physical appearance in this way I would be flattered not bothered by it but that is just my opinion and if you felt it was wrong then thats how you feel, you have the right to feel how ever you want in situations like these.
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
10 Sep 08
I've worked in the public for years and you'll get that. Take it as a compliment and let it go. It is part of working in the public. I actually don't mind comments like that...they are nice. Some cusomers are rude and some make comments that will make me feel self-concious. Those are the ones that are uncalled for. Telling you your're cute is NOT harrasement at all. If he kept coming back and pursuing you...that may be harrassment. From what you've written, it is nothing at all to be concerned about.
@emarie (5453)
• United States
10 Sep 08
well, you have the 'customer's always right' rule to think about sometimes. if i was in that situation i would just smile and say thank you regardless if it was a guy or girl. as long as it doesn't get past that point. just remember to be polite. I wouldn't consider it harassment with a simple compliment or innocent statement. if it was something obscene and vulgar then that's another story.
@magojordan (3254)
• Philippines
10 Sep 08
Well for me it would be harassment, if I find it offensive. If I was offended badly in any way by a comment then I won't consider it as flirting.
• India
9 Sep 08
well i do flirt at a times at job while working its my nature being a normal guy.but if i feel uncomfortable or i m being commented for something i think is not right to comment at i really go for the heat.i dont take no nothing froma nyone be it my boss or my juniors or fellows.aout ur situation i dont know .
• United States
9 Sep 08
I dont feel its harassment, he gave you a compliment and went about his day. Now had he continued to make comments that could have been taken wrongly then maybe, but saying you were cute was nothing cross in my opinion. I will be friendly with ppl at stores or waiters at a restaraunt, and i like when they are friendly back, however yes there can be a point of crossing the line, but one comment such as this i think was fine and nowhere near harassment.