Dating Customers: 6 Ways To Know When To Flirt Back

A customer hits on you and wants you to flirt back. What do you do?

It happens to us all, even when we’re hideous and past our society-mandated “expiration date.” A client comes along and surprises us with a flirt, date request, or question that has nothing to do with the service.

The words shock us; the interest intrigues us; the solution stumps us. The remedy is evident when the patron is disrespectful and lewd.

don't flirt back

But what if a fine, smooth customer makes a play?

flirt back

What do we do when we have a “human moment,” and the other party piques our interest?

should I flirt back?
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Can we flirt back with a customer? Maybe and maybe not. Here’s how to decide:

1. Make sure it’s an actual flirtation.

You have to be certain the customer is flirting before deciding whether to flirt back. Some people are naturally personable, and they get misunderstood all the time. That doesn’t mean your client isn’t flirting, but you need to assess all possibilities.

Has the patron asked you for a date or phone number? If yes, you have your answer. If not, you must review other factors.

Did the client’s words leave wiggle room for multiple interpretations? The answer might be complicated if so.

flirt back interpretation
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Your customer may have toed the line by using questionable wordplay.

Sometimes people do that to avoid rejection. They make borderline comments in case the recipient rebukes their advancement. Then they can claim they meant what they said “the other way” to avoid embarrassment.

A shy individual might use that tactic, but you can’t risk guessing they’re low-key and responding inappropriately. Thus, you should always assume the person isn’t flirting if you aren’t sure.

Did the customer ask you a question that only an interested person would ask?

You can be confident that someone likes you if he or she asks a personal question, such as whether you are dating anyone. That’s not an inquiry uninterested people make if they don’t want to know for personal reasons. But if you’re unclear, you can ask them why they asked to see if you can get clarification.

2. Read the company’s guidelines.

Employees

Re-read your employee handbook and find the company’s policies on romantic relationships. Most handbooks mention whether workers can engage in office romances and fraternizations. Yours might also contain information about customer relations.

Speak to your boss or human resources agent if the manual is missing a customer romance addendum. Many companies discourage dating clients to avoid possible liabilities, so make sure you ask before you do it.

Contractors and Business Partners

You play the roles of the supervisor and HR when you’re a “business entity,” and you can manage how you deal with a client. But you still have to consider your business partners and contractees first.

You provide them the service of serving their customers, and thus, you must preserve their relationships with them. Use your best judgment when handling yourself to avoid alienating any clients from their businesses.

Reject a flirt with care or flirt back with caution.

flirt with caution

3. Think about your status and desires.

How do you feel about the interaction? Are you available? What are you looking for? Those are three questions you must ask yourself before proceeding. You can date as you please if you’re single. But think about your values, religious beliefs, goals, etc. before you flirt back. You’ll also need to gauge your emotional readiness and whether you can have someone in your life.

4. Evaluate the interaction for harassment and double standards.

Rethink the interaction and scan it for anything you might consider harassment. Proceed if your mind-search comes up null.

Harassment is any unwanted or offensive advances, physical contact, or innuendos. Unwanted and offensive are the key words here.

An interaction is not harassment if you welcome it, engage it positively, or pursue it.

It is harassment when you say no or stop, and it continues. It’s harassment when it offends you because it’s profane and unsolicited (you weren’t flirting or being overly friendly) as well.

It’s okay for new people to express their interest in you, but it’s not okay for anyone to talk to you like you’re a street worker or a piece of meat. It is sexual harassment to women and men. So, it’s not a double standard if you handle two situations differently based on the customers’ approach.

5. Consider how it affects your work performance.

Think about whether your workplace dynamic or performance might change if you flirt back with a customer. Ask yourself if you can remain professional when serving them in future work transactions.

Maybe you can have someone else serve the client if he or she becomes your significant other. Your employer/partner may also be willing to treat your relationship like a family connection and avoid having you provide services to that customer.

6. Flirt back with the customer—or not.

Now you can decide whether it’s acceptable and worth the risk to flirt back with a customer.

Getting hit on is something that happens to all people everywhere. It shouldn’t be an issue just because it occurs while you’re working, but weigh all the pros and cons of your response before you give it.

Don’t entertain anything that degrades you or is against company policy, but by all means, flirt back with a customer if you want to, and it’s okay.

Religious Faith Workplace Accommodations: Do They Still Exist Now?

judgement scale and gavel

According to the EEOC, the law
still requires employers to offer fair accommodations to workers with religious practices that differ from the standard business operations. No changes to the law have been reported to date.

Religious Faith Accommodations: The Cut-And-Dried Law

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits religion-based discrimination. Those guidelines bar employers from engaging in the following practices:

  • Firing or laying off workers because of their religion
  • Failing to hire and promote candidates because of scheduling restrictions for religious observance (i.e., Sabbath day or Sunday worship)
  • Paying workers unequally because of their faith
  • Harassing workers or allowing such faith-based harassment in the workplace
  • Segregating by placing only certain workers in unfavorable job assignments
  • “Punishing” workers because they have religious faith scheduling restrictions (retaliation)
  • Forcing workers to participate in other people’s “religious practices,” such as humiliation rituals

An employer’s failure to adhere to the law on those matters could have devastating effects. The penalties and repercussions can include steep fines, high-cost litigation, and nationwide or worldwide recognition for such discriminatory practices. Injured employees may be eligible for monetary settlements or job reinstatement as well.

Examples of Recent Religious Faith Discrimination Cases

  • A trucker received a $53,000 settlement from a South Carolina business that terminated him for not working on a Saturday because of his “Hebrew Pentecostal” faith.
  • A logistics company settled a $4.9 million lawsuit to compensate workers who had been refused positions based on their religious practices.
  • A healthcare company recently paid $75,000 to a worker whose religious beliefs required her to dress modestly.

Many similar cases exist, as do open complaints about such discrimination. The EEOC reported that more than 2,400 new discrimination cases were filed in 2020, and almost 2,600 mature cases were resolved. Settlement amounts totaled about $6.1 million for cases that closed with monetary awards.

Religious Faith Clauses and Loopholes

Some clauses and loopholes exist in these matters. These are some of the most prevalent challenges:

Undue Hardship on the Business

The law allows employers to refuse accommodations if a worker’s request causes the business a hardship. The hardship can relate to a profit loss, worker shortage, or a request that puts the company at risk for health and safety violations. Thus, the employer can use the “hardship” angle to refute a complaint.

The Employee or Applicant’s Burden of Proof

Unfortunately, the burden of proof lies solely with the employee. Culprit-witnesses and well-entertained spectators aren’t likely to testify on the victim’s behalf. Furthermore, the level of seriousness in harassment and discrimination cases is subjective, and people still disregard, invalidate, and minimize emotional abuse.

All Religions Are Included

The laws don’t solely protect people of Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, or traditional Hebrew religious faith examples from practicing at work. They also protect New-Age religions, Atheism, and Satanism. Let that marinate for a sec and think about the workplace dynamics in places where the leadership and higher-ups belong to one of those “religious” groups, and only a few workers belong to another. Whose practices are more likely to be protected?

Do Most Workplaces Provide Religious Accommodations?

employer getting five stars for religious faith accommodations

Most workplaces still provide reasonable religious faith accommodations to workers, such as scheduling modifications, dress code adjustments, time off, and other considerations. Some huge-name employers even go out of their way to provide their workers with dedicated prayer rooms and paid breaks to communicate with their higher power privately.

religious faith

That said, some establishments use under-the-radar discrimination practices to purge religious workers via voluntary resignation. Making the workplace intolerable for an employee by allowing and masking harassment is an example of such a practice. Stating “intangible” reasons for numerous promotion rejections is another. Changing a worker’s first workday or orientation date to an unavailable day is yet another.

A religious employee’s experience depends on the employer, the spiritual ratio, and the condition of the business as a whole. Workers can make better employment decisions by checking each company’s culture, mission statement, employee reviews, and the number of settled religious discrimination cases.

The EEOC is available to assist employees and candidates with religious faith discrimination issues. Seasoned employment lawyers are delighted to help as well. At the very least, a concerned worker can discuss a religious faith matter during a consultation.

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Workplace Bullying: Here’s What You Can Do Now To Stop It

Get to steppin’ if you experience workplace bullying at your job. Clear your desk immediately or turn in your uniform and don’t let the door hit your booty on the way out. That’s what you should do if the job is causing you extreme emotional, psychological, or physical distress.

However, not everyone has the wherewithal or resources to leave right away. Here’s how to deal with workplace bullying if you need to keep the job while you seek a kinder, gentler atmosphere:

Speak To the Alleged Bully or the Supervisor

There’s a slight chance that the offender will stop the workplace bullying if you discuss it privately, and there’s a big chance they’ll turn it up. You can try your luck to keep your job, but offensive personality types usually thrive in certain workplaces. Coworkers and leadership trainees often turn a blind eye to the behavior, or worse yet, they participate in it themselves.

Your supervisor may be just as reluctant to do anything to stop the behavior. In fact, he or she may defend the other person’s actions or advise you to “pray” or develop a thicker skin. If your supervisor is the offender, you’re out of luck, my friend. You’re also beat if you’re dealing with a clique with a nasty ringleader.

Take It To Human Resources

Employers expect their workers to follow a chain of command when presenting complaints and issues. Thus, Human Resources (HR) is the next stop if you still want to keep your job.

HR is a department you can go to if you want to file a complaint and launch an investigation about workplace bullying. They’re available if you can’t resolve an issue with your coworkers and immediate supervisors. You can request a meeting by visiting their office or calling the dedicated number they should have given you during your employee orientation.

HR may assist you if you have solid evidence and documentation of the abuse. Unfortunately, emotional abuse and hostile work environment situations are hard to prove without witnesses willing to help you, recordings, videos, etc. That’s why so many manipulative and unkind personalities use those tactics.

Furthermore, HR’s allegiance is to the business. So, you’ll have to come up with a report with something more than “he said” or “she said” to get help. Many loopholes exist in the employee relations realm, so it’s always a dice roll when you go to the higher-ups.

Call the Ethics Hotline

Many businesses also have an “ethics” department workers can contact to report unethical practices. The hotline is more suitable for incidents such as stealing, time theft, and insider trading, but you might be able to get them to help you with your stolen self-confidence. Abuse is unethical.

Get To Steppin’ and Tell ‘Em Toodles

woman leaving after experiencing workplace bullying

No job is worth your peace, sanity, or physical health. Therefore, you should consider leaving if you can’t find a remedy for workplace bullying. Many workplaces allow bad behavior, and some even encourage it. It’s not likely that a rotten culture will change. You can start anew if you haven’t been there long, and you can recover fairly quickly. Hopefully, your next job will be warmer.

  • 35 percent of workers have experienced workplace bullying from coworkers or members of management.
  • Female bullies target other females 80 percent of the time. There’s definitely no girl code there.
  • One in five workers quit their jobs to escape bullying.
  • Adult workplace bullying is more prevalent than high school bullying.

That says a lot about humanity’s evolution. What’s your take on workplace bullying? Have you ever been a target in the workplace? What is the most common workplace harassment? Leave a comment to start a discussion.