Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Co-Worker Getting Too Close for Comfort

DEAR HARRIETTE: At my job, I interact with a lot of customers and often must make small talk. However, one customer comes in and stays a little longer than my liking. He is very kind and polite, but he has been distracting me from my duties. Because he is a customer, I can’t ignore him, but I have to take care of other customers as well.

He has hinted at us going out on a date, but I don’t respond, hoping he won’t ask again. Every week he asks me out, and I ignore him. The last couple of times he has asked, I said, “No, thank you” or “I’m not interested.” He still asks, and it’s getting frustrating that he isn’t listening. How do I make it clear to him that I’m not interested so he’ll stop asking me out? -- He Doesn't Understand "No," Jackson, Mississippi

DEAR HE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND “NO”: First, report what is happening to your boss so that you have support when you tell this man that he is making you feel uncomfortable by constantly asking you out. Even though he is a customer, he doesn’t have the right to badger you. Ask your boss to intervene if he refuses to back off. Ultimately, you will probably need your boss’ support in order to get this man to stand down.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)