Spoilers: She isn’t.

You see her almost every day.

She’s young and pretty in an artsy way- not like how your favorite waitress at Islands is pretty in a wholesome way. Maybe she has a cool tattoo you see when her hair is thrown up in a messy bun as she toils over your drink. Maybe she has piercings that spiral up her ear like a silver snake.

Maybe she asks you how your day’s going. Or how the weekend went. Or she smiles a little too long while she rings up all your ridiculous drink modifiers at $.80 a piece.

Is she flirting with you? Does she like you even though you’re rude to her coworkers? Does she keep making eye contact with you on purpose or is it because you’re sitting next to the guy who keeps getting in trouble for taking his shoes off in the store and shoving honey sticks in the men’s toilet?

Don’t worry! Flirting with service industry employees is hard! That’s why I’m here to take the guess work out for you. So without further ado, here are the five easy ways to tell if your barista is flirting with you:

1. She’s not.

She is 500% not flirting with you. You should not write her a poem about her hair, fold it into an origami frog and then give it to her when she’s trying to throw out coffee grounds.

2. There isn’t any sexual tension. I assure you.

She is honestly waiting for you to stop talking and leave. There are three people behind you in line and a call-in order for one of those giant boxes of coffee. And also a man just told her that he broke the toilet. Like, he just owned up to it with no shame.

3. It’s not happening. Stop thinking it’s happening.

She has a boyfriend. Alternatively she may have a girlfriend. Either way they are definitely much younger than you, way fitter and probably more successful than you were at their age. And the cafe is out of Almond-Coconut Milk and all the yoga moms are taking it really hard, as if it were a real problem to have in life. She does not have time for this right now.

4. A lot of things are happening here, but flirting isn’t one of them.

She gets paid $9 an hour to just not murder anyone. And smile. If a smiling woman who isn’t bludgeoning you to death with a portafilter is what you look for in a mate, may I suggest looking elsewhere? Those are easy to find- except for here, because I promise that she is only being nice because she is being paid to be nice. She’s just smiling through the pain and screaming children.

5. It’s just hard to watch at this point.

You’re just talking and talking about this pre-owned boat you’re going to buy and everyone can see her eyes glazing over as she waits for you to walk away but you don’t- You just keep talking. And then, bless your heart, you pull out your phone to show her the boat and everyone in the cafe cringes. And then her coworker pretends the district manager is calling for her. The district manager isn’t calling for her, the district manager is never calling for her.


So there you have it, guys! Best of luck and let me know how she responds to being told you want to “steal her away” to your house in Lake Havasu because that’s a totally reasonable thing to say to a girl.