First dates can be awkward; ridiculously painfully awkward. In my case they've been particularly awkward because not everyone involved has always known it was a first date. Yeah. It's been cringey.
One Reddit user asked:
and that sent me down this weird rabbit hole like ... how many servers were fully aware of all the cringe that happened? Did they go back into the kitchen and talk about it? How many people now know??? After I stopped spazzing I realized that situations like watching someone get shut down, stood up, awkwardly fumble their way through first dates, etc. must all be pretty commonplace for servers. These responses totally confirmed my theory, it happens a lot and sometimes it's just as awkward (and in at least one case potentially dangerous) for the servers as it is for the people on those dates. Brace for cringe in 3...2...1...
Expect The Unexpected
The biggest sign is when they order something the other doesn't expect them to get.
"I'll have a Guinness"
"Oh you like Guinness?"
One time I had a couple who were talking about what they had been doing the previous summer, indicating that they didn't know each other until recently. They ordered a bottle of 100$ red wine, and when I came back with the bottle the guy had started telling a gross story. He was bragging about how he was so hungover on vacation that his friends had to carry him inside the airport, where he had puked multiple times on various people/things etc.
The girl left the restaurant before she even finished her first glass of wine, and the guy stayed and drank the whole thing himself without ordering any food. The best/worst part was when he also chugged down her half finished glass before he left as well.
Weird lulls in the conversation that consists of information friends/partners should already know. Like how many siblings they have, desert island movies, etc.
Figure It Out
Staying way beyond being done with their meal and drinks, usually because they don't want to try to figure out if they're meant to be going home together or not.
Still Not Sure
On my first date with my now wife, our waiter figured it out for us.
We had been acquaintances for years through mutual friends and when we agreed to grab dinner that night, neither of us were sure if the other was in it for a date or just dinner with an acquaintance/friend. I guess we were being just awkward and giggly enough that our waiter (who had known us separately as regulars at this restaurant) blurted out "oh man, are you guys on a date?!?" We both just started laughing nervously while looking at each other and flop sweating. The waiter felt the awkwardness multiply and backed away like Homer Simpson into a hedge.
9 years later we're married, the restaurant went out of business, and I'm still not sure if it was a date or not.
Stop Talking About Your Ex
Not a server, but a former barback and one of my favorite things to do while working is to eavesdrop and try to figure out what the deal is between people having meals together. Here are some things that tell me that it is a first (or possibly second) date:
- "What do your parents do?" / "How many siblings do you have?" / "What do you do for work?"
- A surprising number of people (mostly male patrons where I work, no idea why) will ramble on about their past relationships. I've learned to use this as an indicator that they are on a first or second date. I notice it so frequently that I've been tempted to tell them to stop.
- If the couple gets quiet after disagreeing about something trivial like an opinion of a certain band or activity.
- Uncomfortably long pauses followed by something like: "It's been so cold out lately".
The Spilled DrinkGiphy
That giddy little laugh at jokes that aren't funny. The look of new love. The awkward trying to get close but shyness overpowers and maintains a distance. Also had a few women straight up tell me, so I'd help get them out of it. One woman paid me $50 to spill a drink on her, so she'd have to leave. Lol.
Yes, I did spill the drink on her. When he was in the bathroom she prompted me for help. I agreed and didn't ask her to pay me or anything, she came back afterward and tipped because of his behavior, but let me start at the beginning.
She ordered an iced tea and I "spilled" it when I brought it. When I did, the guy went nuts on me. Up until then he seemed like a nice, polite, and totally normal guy. He was terrifying. Had me in tears. She left even faster than she originally intended. He paid after more yelling and complaining to my manager (who was in on it) then left.
She returned and tipped me the $50. Her phone was lit up with messages from him, he was quite aggressive. Totally dodged a bullet there. She and I have since become friends. She always brings first dates to my job and we have a code worked out now. Although she hasn't needed it in a while since she is currently dating a good friend of mine. They are super cute together.
We also have a note in the woman's room that explains if you order xxxx drink (changes regularly) we will help you leave without causing a scene. We have a similar note in the men's room, with completely different appetizer instead of drink (yes, men need an out now and then too).
The Employee Discount
When he leaves before the food he ordered is made. I brought it out and she asked for the bill because he left. Brutal experience. She had to pay for his drinks and food. She didn't even want to packed his dinner up to eat later. This was not a cheap restaurant but the tables were close together so it must have been mortifying. I gave her the employee discount.
Get A Drink
The dead give-away is the conversation; it's always about mundane stuff that people would know if they were friends, colleagues or had been on a few dates before; childhood stuff like schools and towns you lived in, vacations which were cool, first date topics.
Not ordering booze whenever the person who ordered first doesn't order booze is a good one to. If you go on a date and you want a glass of wine, beer or cocktail; freaking order one. Doesn't matter he/she just ordered a sparkling water; they are nervous too. Take the lead, get a drink.
The Blind Date
When they come in and ask for tables separately, then sit across the restaurant from each other for ten minutes before realizing the other was there. (It was a blind date.)
Bartender here. I work at a cocktail bar that has a nice ambiance and gets a ton of people coming in for dates.
First dates take the longest time to order- they have the introduction/ice breaking to overcome before they even look at the menu. Then, when they get to the menu, they are often still kind of interacting with each other "what do you like? Bourbon?" And not really taking in what they're reading.
Once they finally order, I like to make their cocktails right in front of them, maybe do an extra fancy garnish, give them something to talk about!
The best dates are of course the ones who don't even notice me there, they're locked into their conversation and don't have eyes for anything else around them. They drink their drinks really slow, more likely to get another round. And they could be talking about their childhood dog or how many brothers they have. The worst trouble they got into while growing up is a topic I've heard a few times.
And then there are those dates that fizzle out. These ones drink their drinks very fast, or don't finish them. Lots of people sitting in silence, both credit cards out.
When they're sitting at the bar top playing 20 questions and both are too nervous to get more than one drink and actually eat something.
When the wasted guy went to the restroom and the girl took the opportunity to ask me to cash her out as quick as I could so she could get the fuck out.
I ended up getting her an Uber home.
It was how slow and carefully the guy ate his food. Gently wiped his mouth and chewed all the food before talking again. Also, not constantly on their phones.
I waitressed at a somewhat fancy family restaurant. Our menu was in the 15-25 dollar range for entrees, and the atmosphere was very cozy. Full bar, great appetizers, and awesome desserts... Usually, first time dates would be slightly too dressed up for the atmosphere, and generally the guy would be really nervous.
I will always remember this one time a gent came in dressed up and got a table in the quieter part of the restaurant. He was very friendly and did tell me he was on his first date with his crush of 3+ years. He only got two waters on the table and was fidgeting around. Unfortunately, he waited at least two hours with no texts or calls back. I could just tell he was super crushed. He left without saying a word, but I saw him crying as he left the building.
Its pretty easy. Their face expression is very awkward. (Most) don't have their phones out at all. If you are on a 5th or 20th date. Chances are you'll have your phone out or at least on the table. How they posture themselves is also very alert. Not a lot of comfort.
Get The Fried Pickles
I once stopped by the table while one of the parties was in the bathroom and had the girl ask me "We're on a first date, what food should I get?" And I was like whatever you want - but she was concerned about what her date would think of her food choice. she wanted fried pickles and a quesadilla but thought a salad would look better. I told her get what you want cause if a boy doesn't like that you are eating fried food he's a tool anyways.
Nobody likes the truth.
We pretend we do.
The truth tends to lead to hurt feelings.
But we need to hear it.
RedditorSkinny_Cacitas wanted to get into some truths, though it may fall on deaf ears for many. Theyasked:
"What's something Europeans aren't ready to hear?"
I personally enjoyed Europe so this will be interesting to hear.
"Y’all are getting pretty damn fat too."
"Edit: it seems people really aren’t ready to hear this since they keep countering with “bUt aMeRicUH!!” We know there’s land whales here, that ain’t a secret."
A Dutch thing...
"The Dutch toilet is weird, it's externally awkward seeing my own pile of poo just chilling on the integrated poop shelf."
"I wasn't aware that this is just a Dutch thing. However, it's not just to admire your work. It's also an easier way to check if something's wrong with your poop. When it's drowning in yellow-brownish water it's much more difficult to see if there's worms, it turned out to be green or sentient."
"A lot of European politicians (especially Western Europe) use the US as a tool for international diplomacy that would be unpopular political domestically. They'll openly condemn US foreign policy when talking domestically, but a lot of that policy is stuff they explicitly support in meetings like the G7. Europe intentionally has the US act as 'world police' so they can paint themselves as comparatively peaceful, all while reaping direct and immediate benefit to US military action."
"The problem with France is French people."
French people might agree with you. Parisians hate suburban banlieusards, the rich banlieusards (Vincennes) hate the poor banlieusards, folks from Bordeaux think they represent the true France, the Bretons would rather have their own culture, Corsica hates everyone, French overseas departments and territories (Départements d'outre-mer, Territoires d'outre-mer) distrust each other and so on."
GoneUnited Kingdom Eating GIF by Declan McKennaGiphy
"Tesco have pulled Heinz beans from its shelves."
I love all beans. So I don't get why that's an issue. Oh well...
the equivalentTravel Click GIF by Shay MitchellGiphy
"When you come to America and complain about how we do things here… you’re the equivalent of the American tourist you hate that complains about stuff in Europe."
"Americans do not put hot dogs on pizza."
"I’m not saying it would taste bad, I personally would not eat it. Even though I do eat hot dogs. But in some European countries they think that hotdogs on pizza is a normal thing like ever pizza place has such an item on their menu. It’s just like the Japanese that think Americans eat KFC fried chicken as the center piece on Christmas."
Free for All
"Nobody should pay to use the restroom. Cleanliness is part of the bathroom attendants job, if you want a clean bathroom, raise the wages of the bathroom attendant, don’t pass along the charge to the customers. I also find it ironic that the same people against tipping find no problem with this issue."
"Us lazy and fat Americans don’t drive everywhere because we are fat and lazy, but because we literally don’t have a choice, there’s no infrastructure for it, even the sidewalks have random dead ends, too close to the street, or you have to wait 5 minutes for the walking signal to turn green/white."
"And even if we could walk safely and swiftly, suburbia is just neighborhoods with no end in sight and it takes hours to get to a store by foot."
"Edit: this also applies to America-lite (Canada) I’m not exactly sure about Mexico and the rest of NA but this is definitely a problem."
Hurry UpSpeed Racer Vroom GIF by Prime Video CanadaGiphy
"In an unlimited speed zone (fast lane), Germans get super mad when you're driving at 230 km/hr and your gauge goes to 300."
Well that's an earful. Hopefully nobody is offended.
Everyone has a unique story about their job that no one else outside of their profession understands.
That's what's so great about the proverbial conversation starter, "So, what do you do for work?", when meeting people at any gathering.
Even a job in the customer service industry–like a server or flight attendant–can have amusing anecdotes to share among coworkers because every day and every customer interaction is different.
Curious to hear fascinating workplace stories from strangers online, Redditor sparklingshanaya asked:
"What is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever had to deal with at work?"
Not all workplace environment foster loving and caring employees.
Tony's At It Again
"A drunk guy in his early 60s who was constantly sh*t-faced at work. He’d have screaming matches with my boss in the middle of the office, he’d call me on the phone from his cubicle to ask why he was cc’d on certain emails (they were short emails sent for informational purposes to everyone and I wasn’t even the author of these emails) and my favorite thing was when he would pass out and fall out of his chair. 'Call 911, Tony collapsed again' was like a monthly thing. I really liked my boss and when she left, the new boss kept asking me to finish Tony’s work. I left shortly after."
"Worked in HR for a nonprofit that hired people who are legally blind. That was the mission. One day, two employees got into a fight. One was partially sighted and the other totally blind swinging his cane. I had four witnesses to the altercation. But they were all totally blind and thus, couldn’t tell me what happened."
The Mystery Pubes
"Call center setting. Someone came to me to complain that there was an inordinate amount of pubic hair on the flat top of the urinal in the men's room. Went to check and there were a remarkable amount of pubes there. Nasty. And clearly placed there by someone on purpose."
"Cleaned them off with a paper towel, washed hands vigorously, and continued on with my day."
"A couple hours later, I'm told the pubes have returned. Not quite as much as the first time, but still too much for the universe to have deposited there naturally."
"I and another manager have our suspicions as to the culprit. We try to catch him, but can't get more than circumstantial evidence. Not enough to confront."
"After a third iteration, I've had enough. And so call all the male staff into the board room and address them as a group that the disgusting behavior had to stop immediately, because there would be grave consequences for whomever was caught doing it. I make sure to make eye contact with the main suspect multiple times during the meeting."
"It never happens again."
"Still boggles my mind that I had to deal with that crazy behavior, but you know...call centers."
People who work remotely from home are spared some of these encounters.
They Were All The Rage
"A coworker screaming at me for leaving food to rot in the shared fridge. It was my first day there and I hadn’t even unpacked my belongings yet."
"Had a coworker eating other peoples lunches instead of bringing her own, or just take one or two things. She'd sneak in the breakroom before breaks."
"Jobs would be so much better if there were no other people."
"Maybe i should be a fisherman. But i like fish. No fish has ever yelled at me on my first day of work. :("
People share their workplace drama dealing with interesting customers.
"I work at a library. The amount of people who don't bring their library card with them and then refuse to give me ID so I can look up their account is baffling. I'm just trying to prove they are who they say they are."
"Also a mentally ill lady once told me that Osama bin Laden wanted to steal shoes from the artist formerly known as Prince."
"Yep! Fellow library employee here. The people who act surprised when I ask to see their library card! One guy got ANGRY when I told him he owed 30 cents for a late DVD. He kept insisting 'I turned that in!' Left the desk, marched over to the DVD stacks, found said DVD, came back, plunked it on the counter and insisted 'SEE, I turned it in!!!' I took a deep breath and said 'sir. That’s not the issue. We know you turned it in. You turned it in a day late.' He pauses, says 'oh…' and gets his wallet out."
Customer Thinking They Were Playing A Midway Game
"I had someone throw a drink at me through the drive-thru window, which is an unwise thing to do to someone standing in front of a shelf of other drinks waiting for the customers behind you."
"Close second: we had a guy that robbed our gas station for like a month with a finger gun before he finally got caught. Everyone knew it was a finger gun, but you have to comply when someone robs the store so.... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯"
"I work at a pet resort/spa. I’m checking in this lady’s dog at like 7 in the morning. Real sweet lady, she has an Australian shepherd. But before I take the dog inside to his kennel for the groomers, she asks me to tell the groomers to separate whatever hair they shave off him into separate ziplock bags based on color and texture. Turns out she makes jewelry out of her dog’s fur. Later in the day I bring out the dog along with probably 7 little baggies of hair and the lady was very excited. She gave me a fat tip so I didn’t complain but that’s by far the weirdest request I’ve heard in all my time working there."
The Missing Bullet
"I work in the funeral industry, so I get to deal with new ridiculous things on a near-daily basis. For example, today I had to look for a bullet in a body bag, because the list of personal effects of a deceased that we got from the medical examiner included 'ammunition x 1.' This person was going for cremation, and bullets in a crematorium are a no-no for obvious reasons."
"So, we looked and looked, inside the body bag, inside the clothing, pockets, shoes, under the body; I even shone a flashlight into the hole that used to be the deceased's face to see if it was maybe still in the head-ish area, but no. So after 20 minutes or so of thoroughly searching this poor dead person, I called the MEO to see if they had the bullet. The girl who answered the phone checks with the morgue and comes back to say 'yep, it's here, we always take and keep the bullets!' Great! Then WHY list it on the personal effects sheet with everything else that is still with the body??"
"My job is weird as hell, y'all."
I worked in retail once when I was 16, selling video games.
During one shift, I had a kid who leaned over the counter and grabbed a Nintendo video game and ran off with it. I contacted security and they managed to apprehend the young teen. Later, the kid's mother came into the store after being asked to pick up his son from the mall, and she chewed me out for accusing him of stealing.
That same shift, my co-worker said she was going to take a break. I didn't know it was going to take an hour. I also didn't know she was shopping inside the mall with her boyfriend–who was the manager of our store and was cognizant of the fact that she was still on the clock. Meanwhile, I was in the store by myself and I had to improvise when dealing with a return transaction.
It was my first day on the job. It was also my last.
I endeavored never to work in retail again after that. So far, I've managed to avoid it.
I get we all need to make money.
But how much of our soul are we willing to compromise?
How does one sleep at night when your day job is being a thief?
There are some shady yet legal jobs out there.
Let's discuss...Redditor tony971 wanted to discuss on what jobs maybe need a personal rethink. They asked:
"Which jobs are morally wrong?"
I almost sold kitchen knives. My set couldn't cut the can. So I ran.
Saviors for $$$Celebrate Thank God GIF by KeshaGiphy
"Televangelists that manage to convince their followers that God will provide for them... IF they make a one-time (which turns out to be multiple times) donation."
"Call center scammer."
"A friend of mine used to work for the OG pre-paid travel scam. If you are not familiar, this is a scam they used to run in the 80's and 90's where a mark would pay 4 figures or so to join a travel club. The deal was that the member could choose vacations and pay minimal fees."
"The truth was that none of the desirable vacations were ever available and the available vacations had super high fees that actually paid for the vacation. The thousands of $ initial club fee was actually paid out to the phone scammer and the company that sold it. Very little of the fee went to travel services."
"My friend's job was first selling the vacations then working the customer service line. The sales people made ~$20/hour + a $200-$300 bonus for every sale. They had phone sales people making $80k in the early '90s. All that mattered is that they could sell the mark the dream of travel that they knew they would never deliver."
"As a customer service person she knew all the rules to a letter. After 3 days there was never a refund. She would just politely say no in different ways over and over again. Probably not coincidentally, she had a lot of trouble telling the difference between what was legal and what was ethical. She didn't realize there was a difference."
"Addictive Design Engineer."
"I tried to use TikTok and I just found it overwhelming. Auto-play videos, stuff showing up on my feed I don’t want, etc. Kind of a nightmare for someone who gets overwhelmed easily. I’m sticking with watching TikTok compilations on youtube like a grandma."
Sell it Off
"Those people that market fake health insurance bulls**t on the TV channels aimed at the elderly, or sell snake oil to the old/disabled/chronically ill as though it actually works. I'm not sure what those jobs are formally called, but back in my day we called them 'con artists.'"
"Marketers. The job is literally to convince someone to buy something. Whether they want the product or not."
"And fair, sure, there's a niche for people like that. What I can not stand though is Marketers. The disingenuous bullshi**ery of a 1984 language to try and shoehorn something into someone's life. The unnaturalness of it... It's like speaking to a person that can not feel emotions but pretends that they can. To manipulate you to drop a few bucks on some random bullshi**ery."
PaydayMake It Rain Dance GIF by State ChampsGiphy
"People who work for payday loan companies."
"This is one of the few comments in the thread I agree with entirely without any reservations. Pure evil."
Why is our insurance such a disaster? Lord knows we pay enough.
"Dog breeders for breeds like Pugs that are guaranteed health problems."
"Scammer. Tricking 70 year-olds into giving you their savings."
"That happened to my mom. She won a big settlement for some medical something or other and was convinced by some random dude that if she gave him half of the money (around 25K), he'd TRIPLE it in like six weeks. She never saw that money again... or the dude. When I found out, I was pissed."
"Insurance company employees who dictate what Doctors can and cannot do."
"Yeah insurance is scummy. I interviewed at a law firm that represents insurance companies and got a call back, but I turned it down to accept a job at a firm that sues nursing homes for abuse and neglect, and I’m glad I made that choice. I don’t wanna represent insurance companies at trial. Idk why I even interviewed. Ok I do. It was the money. But I didn’t go through with it!"
"When I was an intern I was working for biodegradable plastic company, they added an additive that reduces the lifetime of plastics from thousands of years to dozens of years in the environment. But it produces an increased volume of micro-plastics in the process. And by using their additive, it introduces degradation properties into other plastics meaning the products can't be recycled well and will eventually end up in landfills and cause other plastic feed stocks to end up in landfills."
"Beauty influencers, especially those that target young people and profit off the envy they inspire. Hawking diet pills, magic hair powders and other crap — and girls who are made to feel bad about themselves because they are swiping through these unrealistic videos and images all day wondering why they just don’t measure up will buy anything they sell just for the chance to be prettier or to fit in."
JawsKaty Perry Sharks GIF by VevoGiphy
"Shark fin harvesters. They cut fins off sharks (obviously) for soup and then let the helpless shark with no fins die In the water."
I say veto these gigs for sure.
Girls, let's be honest. Most of us have been in a situation where a guy was flirting so badly, that he came off creepy.
Fewer girls have been in a situation where a guy they were talking to was actually creepy, but unfortunately, it's not a rare occurrence.
Sometimes, the guys think being creepy is the way to get a girl's attention. Other times, their intentions are malicious. Whatever the case, we have to be on high alert when something like this happens
Curious about what creepy comments girls have gotten, Redditor Capable-Parsley2368 asked:
"Girls, what is the creepiest thing a guy has ever said to you?"
An Alluring? Scent
"“You smell just like my wife”"
"“You smell just like my husband.”"
"…is probably the worst alternative."
" I could steal you away and no one would even know till it’s too late”…he was trying to flirt 😖"
"Bruh that’s possibly the worst pickup line I’ve ever seen."
“I love how you look like a legal version of a child.”
"What in the actual hell.. this is disturbing"
Do You Want To Be Her Dog?
"I was walking my dogs and a 50+ year old man approached me and said ''you could put a leash on me and take me for a walk ''
Don't Take The Money
"I was working as a Private security officer i was 19 at the time when a 40 something year old man from the private event I was guarding asked me to go to his house. He felt bad because the event ended in 2 hours instead of 8 hours. I wasn't bummed out or anything because I was tired from the day before I wanted to go home. My security partner left home and as I was walking to my car he offered me a job as a maid to clean his house and he would pay me 20 dollars an hour. I rejected and he tried to give me 80 bucks, long story short I threatened to hurt him if he kept following or trying to touch me and he left."
Is That Supposed To Be A Good Line?
"Two different guys, both clearly flirting with me: "You're so cute, you remind me of my little sister""
"This is why I hardly dated in my early 20's"
Close The Windows, Lock The Doors
"As a teenager I was home alone one night and my phone rang in my room. Some guy said “I see you”. I thought it was a friend pranking me. I said, “really?!? Then what am I wearing?”. Guy replied, you have a green towel on your head and a blue one around you. I did! I slammed down the phone, ran around the house locking the doors and getting my dad’s shotgun. He would have had to of been right at my window to of seen me. Freaked my sh*t. Mid 80’s."
"“I was attracted to you because of your pointy nose” dude just tell me you have a thing for witches and keep it moving"
There's A Reason He Needed You
"“Can I tell my friends and family that you’re my girlfriend even though you are not?” Said the grown man living in his mothers basement I met on discord. This was online and he then proceeded to explain it was like “having a girlfriend in his pocket at all times”"
Always be in high alert in these situations. Protect yourself. And never reduce creepy comments or actions to harmless flirting. It's better to be safe than sorry.