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Five unlikely people who should be on your dating radar

Don't assume that just because he's serving drinks that he can't own the cafe. If the drinks aren't too fancy for you, the employees shouldn't be either.
Don't assume that just because he's serving drinks that he can't own the cafe. If the drinks aren't too fancy for you, the employees shouldn't be either.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In your 20s, it's easy to get out there and date. You're hanging out with college friends, reuniting with high school friends and still on the social scene. Around your late 20s and early 30s, your friends start getting married and having kids so hanging out on a whim becomes a bit of a challenge. Although it can be done, if you're not a parent you're going to have to be patient enough to wait on your friends to find babysitters or spouses who'll watch the kids for the night.

This gets exhausting after awhile. Online dating seems a bit more appealing until you watch the news and see the new killer from a classified ad or cringe at the results from your dating profile. Then there's the group who is married or isn't into women. If it's starting to feel like there's no one left, open your mind and look around for the less obvious, single choices.

Train conductor or bus driver

Pros: If you drive to work, the extent of conversing with other travelers is a wave to other drivers letting you in another lane, or a middle finger and yelling to those who won't. But if you're choosing an eco-friendly way to get to work, maybe it's time you paid more attention to the train conductor(s) or bus driver(s). Clearly this person has a job, and there won't be any "I never see you" arguments.

Cons: Although he's not on the road as much as a stewardess, you'll have to be patient with him during his working hours. He can't just stop and chat with you instead of collecting passengers' Metra fares. You can sit at the front of the bus, but keep in mind you'll have to move if certain passengers get on the bus. And try not to have private conversations with him loud enough for all of the rest of his passengers to hear. When you get off at your stop, he still has to look these people in the face. And if you two break up, you'll either have to start taking a new route or make sure you don't sit in his train cars.

Mail carrier or post office worker

Pros: Relax. Although the stereotype is that they're all crazy, that same issue can be said of workers from plenty of other job industries. Check the news at any point and time. Criminals aren't all unemployed nutcases. It takes a certain level of patience and organization to be a post office employee. If he's a mail carrier, even better. Now you know for sure he's keeping in shape through rain, hail, sleet or snow. And maybe you'll be able to stop paying for that post office box or standing in long lines for books of stamps. In order to get this person's attention, you may have to make a few extra trips and start letting people in line ahead of you to spark up conversation. If you're an online marketplace seller on sites such as Ebay or Etsy, this can easily make your postage trips more consistent.

Cons: The hours can be brutal, and this is a physically demanding job. His free time will depend on when deliveries are complete. And if you two don't hit it off, you can go to another post office for shipping but you'll have to face him whenever you get a missed package slip. No matter how much you try to avoid him, the likelihood of you ending up in his line or making constant involuntary eye contact will increase far more now than it ever did when you wanted to date him.

Barista or coffee shop cashier

Pros: The pay isn't very good for someone who is trying to own instead of rent, but don't sleep on this guy. He may be serving drinks or he may own the entire cafe. Drake isn't the only one who started from the bottom, and now he's here. What better way to learn how a company works than to participate in other job duties? Still not convinced? Talk to previous baristas to see what jobs they went on to take. If the place you regularly get expensive coffee, tea and desserts isn't too fancy for you to invest money in then the people inside should be good enough, too. This group also tends to be heavily trained when it comes to customer service, memorization and dealing with money. Retail jobs also tend to be flexible as second jobs, so don't assume this is his only place of employment.

Cons: While low pay should be the obvious answer, unemployment rates have made "overqualified" people go for minimum wage to lower paying jobs. Pay more attention to how long he's been at this job as opposed to the job title. While this may be a job more suited for teenagers or seasonal job holders, would you rather him make no money while he waits for a dream job or some money while he's figuring out his future?

Mechanics or car dealership desk attendants

Pros: Hopefully this isn't someone you see on a regular basis. If he is, you need to focus on how to get a new car or give it up altogether and go back to looking at the bus driver and train conductor. However, this is someone you may see at least twice a year for oil changes, winter maintenance or maybe a tire rotation. No level of desperation should make you start zooming over train tracks just trying to get a flat tire. (Why do that when you have knives at home, and cops who will arrest you for vandalism if they don't believe it's your car?)

With desk attendants, it's much easier to make conversation. You've got an hour or two to kill and the same bland programs on television. Just talk about anything. However, getting to the mechanic requires a bit more finesse. It's worth it though. This is an incredibly useful man to date who can save you a boatload of money on car repairs and auto maintenance. Ask about car repairs or maintenance tips with him, and at least attempt to learn something new about your car. If your eyes cloud over while he talks cars, he'll catch on quickly.

Cons: A mechanic is in a room filled with warning signs about fumes, and he stands below tons of steel. Be upfront. He doesn't have time to wait for you to drop hints. You're better off finding a mechanic who has his own shop in his backyard or an independent location than someone who works for a chain company. Unless he's already into you, you'll turn into a nuisance quickly if you keep bugging him while he's trying to work.

Doctor or nurse

Pros: If you think the mechanic is busy, you better believe that the 15 minutes you spend with a doctor is timed. Depending on how good your health insurance is, you can find creative ways to see this guy. If you really feel uncomfortable about talking to him at work, attempt a conversation with him about where he's most likely to hang out. Doctors are notorious for making small talk, especially when they want to distract you from something uncomfortable they have to do for health reasons.

After you find out his hangout locations, then hang out there a couple of times. Try not to appear obvious. Go there and see if he recognizes you. He's out of his work clothes. He can let loose a little. If it comes down to a conflict of interest with him knowing very personal issues about you, maybe you need to start seeing another primary care physician. This could ease his concerns about dating you.

Cons: The money is good, but the hours are brutal. You'll definitely have to deal with his time spread thin. But more importantly, it is too easy for doctors, specifically gynecologists, to end up on awkward ground if they flirt back. There's a reason why many male gynecologists are required (or voluntarily choose) to have a female nurse in the room during a pap smear exam. Your flirting may fall on deaf ears for his job's sake. Even if he is interested in you, his job matters more. If you have a tech savvy doctor, maybe you can drop him a private message through the hospital's online messaging system. The downside is he also has assistants who answer those messages, and if his assistant likes him, too, your message will absolutely end up in the trash bin.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all of her latest Chicago dating, sex, marriage and work relationship entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Relationships channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her "Let's Talk About Sex...Health" Pinterest board.

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