As a young woman in the service industry, you have to be unwavering, unemotional, make good banter and be "one of the boys".
You also have to be ready to turn them down; smile and do it politely to someone 20 years your senior, or take the hard line and hope you scare them enough to back off.
But what if they don't? What if it's the boss's son, or the boss himself? The sinister and predatory culture of Australia's service industry makes me sick.
At 13, I got my first job in a cafe. I was absolutely stoked; probably the happiest girl in all of Australia to be serving sausage rolls and pies from behind a counter.
I went on to work at several cafes and restaurants in NSW, and for the most part, I loved it. I worked with some truly wonderful men and women; we had a laugh, we had flings, we had misunderstandings, but most importantly, we had boundaries.
In one of my jobs, while I was still a teenager - and pretty oblivious to the fact that people older than me would even think to try anything - a man in his 30s or 40s was teaching me how to clean a coffee machine's steam wand, and told me to do it like I was "giving a hand job".
A female colleague had a chat to him, and he said he thought I was older.
He was embarrassed, but after I left, I always said hello when I saw him around.
At another restaurant, a chef - he was the boss' son and had a long-term partner - frequently commented on my looks and tried to get me alone with him.
I stopped being rostered on after a while, and he beeped at me when I was walking back from school some months later. He messaged me and we had a pleasant-enough conversation - in which he told me he had a new bed - until I said he should think about his partner.
He was embarrassed.
Fast-forward to yet another cafe, and my boss at the time - I thought of him like family - sat me down after work, when everyone else had gone home.
He held my hand and told me he "liked" me, and asked if I'd come home with him. I thought I might have misunderstood: "I like you too, as a friend?" I said.
"You know what I mean," he responded. He thought I was very mature for my age.
I told him I wasn't interested, and hugged him so he might think it was OK. I walked to my car shaking, and burst into tears at home.
I was genuinely considering going back to work the next day before I told my parents. He later transferred me $1000 so I wouldn't post anything about it on social media.
In each of these instances, I consoled these men; and they all had years on me.
Me - the teenager - sat there and soothed them, thinking it was my responsibility to make them feel like it was ok, or to let them down easy. I want to shake that girl, and tell those men to wake up to themselves.
When my sister started looking for jobs in the hospitality industry a few months ago, I went with her while she handed out resumes. I peeked through each restaurant or cafe's door, analysing each man she spoke to and how they looked at her.
Having worked in the area for a few years, I had some insider tips: "Don't go there, they have a bad reputation with young girls", or, "Don't do a trial for anyone who hires you at first glance without seeing your resume".
But it was probably an unfair analysis, given that statistics show sexual harassment is so rife in the industry, and the perpetrator could be almost anyone.
The Australian Human Rights Commission's 2018 Everyone's Business survey found that, of the people who reported being sexually harassed in any workplace in the past five years, 27 per cent of perpetrators were a co-worker at their same level, 18 per cent were a client or customer, and 26 per cent were a senior co-worker, direct manager or supervisor.
In the retail trade, 42 per cent of people had experienced sexual harassment in the past five years. That jumps up to 50 per cent for women, or down to 32 per cent for men.
About 84 per cent of perpetrators in retail were men, compared to 85 per cent in the accommodation and food services industry; 48 per cent of women in that trade reported being sexually harassed in the last five years, as well as 25 per cent of men.
Of all of Australia's sexually harassed workforce, only 17 per cent made a formal complaint or report. Of the people who didn't, 37 per cent thought their experience "wasn't serious enough".
Another survey by the Australian Council of Trade Unions quoted one female hospitality worker's experience: "My boss grabbed me in a bear hug and pulled my body into his chest. He kissed me on the top of my face and forehead as I struggled to keep my head down and away from his mouth. He said he had wanted to hug me for so long. I awkwardly waited until I felt I could break free from him and said I needed to go home."
The picture we are painting looks grim.
Society often talks about sexual harassment reportage rates as a measure of success for how an industry is tackling it; the more people who come forward, the more perpetrators or potential perpetrators will be deterred.
That may be true, but this attitude puts the onus on victims to address the wrongs of mainly men; where is the accountability? And what is a conscientious, keen teenage girl meant to do in a restaurant or cafe of less than 10 staff, where there is no HR office, and their point of call is their boss who may have been the perpetrator?
Yes, they could take it higher; to their union, maybe, or court - but we tend to fold up our aprons and move on, or keep at it knowing that it's "commonplace".
The onus needs to be put back on the perpetrators of sexual harassment in the service industry.
In the towns I worked in, industry women compiled a kind of "threat list" about the people who were known to have sexually harassed staff or co-workers.
That information was passed on through coffee meetings and messages to job hunters. It trickled down to younger sisters, cousins, and friends.
But we need to make the conversation wider and louder. For the young people who might be inclined to console, I'm telling you - and we should all tell them: it's not just a joke. If you're unsure, ask someone, and never think it's your responsibility to keep a man's self-worth intact.
Trust your gut instincts, get out of any situation where you feel unsafe quickly, and know that you have someone with you behind the counter who you can trust.
As our sparse systems flail and perpetrators reoffend, we need to rally together to condemn them.