So, he was trying to determine my relationship to my brother.
Can I ask you, if you were interacting with a guy and a girl you'd just met, what are the circumstances in which you'd want to know what their relationship was? You'd want to know if you wanted to know if the girl was single or not. You'd want to know if that guy was her boyfriend because you wouldn't want to try to hit on someone in front of their boyfriend. And let's drill down even more and get real specific: when would you ask the girl what her relationship to the dude was? Why? Cuz he didn't turn to both of us and go, "Oh, you related?" That's ok, if awkward, small talk. But he ignored my brother, and he asked me.
If I were alone, it'd be "Hey, you got a boyfriend?" But because I was with a guy, who might be that boyfriend, (who might get an attitude if he thought GW was hitting on his girl in front of him, or whatever) the inquiry went a little subtler.
Maybe you're saying, "If you look really similar, I could see a stranger asking if you were related!"
Yes, but then why did he say "Dad" instead of "brother", which would be the obvious choice if he thinks we're related due to how close in age we are?
I'm just throwing this out there, how many times has a stranger asked you how you know the person you're hanging out with as an attempt to start a conversation? I'm willing to bet the answer is "never."
It's certainly a fucking awkward choice for small talk, though I guess if you want you can suggest that the guy simply is socially awkward (after all, we'll never know) and his remark was totally innocent, if completely weird. Then why wouldn't he ask both people a question both could answer? If we're going back to "he's fucking awkward," that's fine, again there's no way we'll ever know, but what percentage of the population is that fucking awkward?
Is he that fucking awkward, and also so bad at guessing people's ages that he could legitimately mistake a guy two years my senior, who doesn't have gray hair or a beard or wrinkles or any of the marks of even middle age, for my father? I mean, even if he is bad at ages how young could he possibly think I was - 16? - even then, to have a 16 year old kid you're going to be like, 36. Minimum.
He wanted to know if my brother was my boyfriend. But if he said "Is he your boyfriend," it would be even more stunningly obvious that he was trying to hit on me. He probably knew it would be inappropriate. So instead he blurted out the next platonic role a male might have in my life, "father."
It's a potential lawsuit because if the employee has a history of customer complaints/acting inappropriately, and Goodwill has been informed of incidents like this and knowingly ignored them, they're liable for his pattern of behavior which starts to look more like sexual harassment with every additional woman he's sexually awkward to. It's a potential lawsuit if he's got a history of this pattern of behavior, as evidenced by background checks or similar, and Goodwill hired him and put him in a situation to continue it anyway.
It's a potential lawsuit because employers are liable for the behavior of their employees, particularly when they're on the job, and definitely absolutely if they've been alerted to that behavior before, or time and time again.
If a customer feels an employee behaved inappropriately towards them, I guess the most correct option is to raise to management and let them decide. It seems that's what they're doing here.
I feel like if I were an employer, I'd want to know if a customer felt uncomfortable. If it was spurious I could dismiss it. if it was small, maybe I wouldn't address it right away - but I'd at least have a little heads up there might be a problem down the line.
Honest answer: I hate getting hit on, especially by strangers, certainly by strangers who work at Goodwill, and definitely by people who I am forced to interact with repeatedly in the future (who I can't avoid because I have to go to the places they work) regardless of how I receive their advances.
Don't hit on someone who will be forced to interact with you in the future because they go to your establishment for business purposes. You're just making it fucking awkward for everyone. It's rude.
Again, I'll reiterate what I said to flag: this is a weird experience for me because I am so not a part of what is occurring as a direct result to how I was treated. On the other hand, if I were alone and went to that Goodwill and the guy asked me if I had a boyfriend, I wouldn't want to go back there for quite a while without someone else along. Because it would feel weird and I wouldn't like that attention.
I don't mind talking to strangers. But when a stranger hits on me, someone I've never talked to in my whole life before, I feel gross. When someone who doesn't know you hits on you, it's not a compliment - they literally don't know a thing about you, let alone whether those things interest them. Think about it. "Hey, it's me, a total stranger who felt so compelled by the symmetry of your features and the size of your bod that I couldn't leave you alone to do whatever you're out in the world doing without intruding upon it and making my attraction to you known!"
Now, there's flirting. If you're cute and you're subtle and there's a reason for your interaction, you can flirt with a stranger. But that reason should be something like "She dropped all her groceries and I stopped to pick them up" or "He grabbed the last Coke Zero right when I reached for it!" and flirting is done with no intention. A flirt understands he will probably never see you again, and that's life, but in this moment you're kind of cute so he wants to make you smile. He doesn't care if you have a boyfriend because he's not trying to date some stranger he ran into in the produce section at Acme. He has a life. He has a way to meet women. Or she, whatever.
Too long, and full of fucks, and ranty. But as a woman, I know a guy hitting on me when it happens. And the thing I know just as well as "getting hit on" is "guys telling me I wasn't getting hit on because the person wasn't literally telling me he wanted to date me."
Conversation has two levels; Text, subtext. The text of his question was "Is that your dad?" The subtext was, "Are you single? I'm interested."