Dear English Gentleman,
There’s this girl who is a waitress at the same restaurant where I’m a bartender and I think she has a crush on me. She keeps sending me text messages on the phone, chatting with me at the bar, and “bumping” into me in the parking lot, apparently “by coincidence”. As you can imagine this rather disrupts my usual routine, and flattering as it is to be the subject of her attentions, I’m really not attracted to her, for various reasons I don’t need to get into right now. What is the best way to politely, but unambiguously and unequivocally let her know that I do not share the same feelings for her? I don’t want to make an enemy at work, nor hurt her feelings, but if I’m too subtle the remedy might not “stick” and if I’m too explicit it may be quite embarrassing if it turns out I was mistaken and meaningless flirting with the bartender is just normal behaviour for waitress girls her age. Any ideas?
Don’t forget the ‘do nothing’ option. I’d recommend, at least for the time being, doing nothing explicitly to address this issue. In this way you will not hurt her feelings, nor make an enemy of her at work, plus you avoid any potential for embarrassment. By this I do not mean that you just ignore her, for that would be rude and ungentlemanly; be polite and be flattered and grateful that she notices you. (It’s always worth considering how you would feel with the other extreme – imagine she ignored you completely!).
I am assuming from what you have written that her behaviour isn’t interfering with your day to day life, nor forcing you to significantly change your lifestyle. If this is the case, then far more likely it’s a little bit of flirting and there’s no reason for you to intervene. At the end of the day we are all individuals and it’s up to each one of us to conduct our own lives, interacting with people as we find them, not trying to change others’ behaviours to suit us. After all, that makes the world a much more interesting place within which to live!
That being said, if the young waitress’ attentions truly bother you, consider perhaps inviting your girlfriend or significant other to the restaurant one evening. Show him or her around, and introduce your other half to all of the restaurant’s staff. This should unequivocally signal that you are for the time being unavailable, should anyone be interested, and requires no confrontation or awkward conversations.
Good luck, BartenderBoy!