blackhawk996 asks, "There's this really friendly girl who works at my local video rental place. We talk away at the tills about interests etc., and there's a lot of smiling etc. going on, but I don't know if she's doing that because it's her job or she feels it too. See it's hard to tell because it's a small town and there's rarely other customers in the store so I don't know if our talks are like a million others she has in the day too - nor do I know if she has a boyfriend. It started out as general chit chat, but recently an attraction started to develop and now its butterflies in my stomach feeling, and I'm renting crappy DVDs every few days as an excuse to go to the store. I want to ask her out but is it too soon? I'll never have a guarantee, I know that. But I want to make sure I have as good a chance as possible - any thoughts?"
Blackhawk, I feel unusually equipped to answer this question, as I too used to manage video rental stores way back when, and this kind of question came up a lot - both from staff and customers. Are they being nice because they have to, and if they're genuinely interested, how do you go from work-related contact to something more social?
To answer your first question: yes, she's most likely nice to you because that's her job, and because she loves movies. I used to spend hours out of my day helping folks find the "perfect" movie for them, and would get into long, detailed conversations about film, entertainment and whatever topic the movie was about with customers. More often than not, my single customers would ask me at some point if I was single in a roundabout way, and it would continue from there.
What kind of roundabout way? Some comments I heard more often than others:
- Your boyfriend/girlfriend must love/hate your appreciation/dislike for movie/game type XXX. (In my case, this was always, "Your boyfriend must love that you're into UFC and/or video games!" Another gal I worked with would usually hear, "Wow, you hate action movies? You must not watch a lot of movies with your boyfriend.")
- Do you ever get time to watch movies on your own? (You'd be surprised how many people answer this question, sharing either that they only watch movies with their partner, OR, that they don't like watching movies solo. If they say the second, it's time for you to casually suggest that the two of you watch a movie together sometime.)
Of course, use your own flair and style when asking, but make sure to focus on them, and listen closely to their response. If you still get the feel-good vibe from her after discussing a bit about her, then it shouldn't be too big of a deal to ask her if she'd like to hang out sometime, go for coffee, or discuss whatever it is you connect over after work. She may have a boyfriend, she may say no, but there's no way to really know unless you ask.
What say you, dear readers? Have you been in this situation? What did you do? Or, what would you recommend to blackhawk996?