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View Poll Results: Do you like making small talk with bank employees?

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  • I'm an I and I agree with Bill.

    15 48.39%
  • I'm an I and I agree with Melissa.

    8 25.81%
  • I'm an E and I agree with Bill.

    2 6.45%
  • I'm an E and I agree with Melissa.

    6 19.35%
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  1. #1
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Default Greeters/Small Talk While Running Errands

    I was listening to the radio this morning, and they were having a debate about "greeters" and small talk with employees, specifically at the bank, but also more widely at any type of business - department stores, the cell phone store, Walmart, etc.

    So on the one side, there was Bill. Bill said he hates when people at the bank pretend they're his friends - like when the greeter says, "Hi, can I help you?" and you have to say "No, thanks," but what you're really thinking is "I'm going to the bank! I can see where the tellers are, I can see where the line is... I don't need your help, and I don't want to talk to you!" Or when the teller starts trying to make small talk: "How was your weekend? What did you do?" Bill wants to say, "None of your beeswax!"

    Bill's wife, Melissa, said she couldn't understand this attitude, and she didn't think ANYONE else would feel this way. She likes the personal contact, and even said that if she goes into the bank or wherever feeling crabby, and the Greeter greets her pleasantly, it brightens her day.

    To me, this was a pretty obvious Introvert/Extrovert issue... I totally agree with Bill - if I have a question, I'll ask, otherwise I don't want to talk to employees at the bank or the department store. I want to get in, do what I came to do, and get on with my life. And especially if I'm cranky, a stranger talking to me is NOT going to brighten my day!! (Unless they happen to be a really exceptional stranger.)

    So I'm curious, dear readers.... is it an Introvert/Extrovert thing? Please respond to poll and elaborate, if desired.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    When I was in college, I used to get really pissed whenever people would pass me and say, "Hey, whassup?" or "How are you doing?" I felt like they really didn't care, so the words were empty and mindless. It felt like a pointless intrusion into my space.

    I just see it differently nowadays. I'm not expecting a conversation to either be non-existent or else be a deeply meaningful, philophically complex thing. I just see it as a way to say, "Hey, I see you; you exist; I'm letting you know you're part of the social web." It's actually meant as a nicety much of the time.

    I also see there being various tiers of relational access, and that is just one of the many levels... I don't have to expect a trivial greeting to be deep, nor do I have to label it as worthless just because it's trivial.

    It just is what it is.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #3
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    It all depends on my mood.

    There was a time at Wal-Mart where a trio of young, clueless credit card account reps were trying to get people to sign up for a card (by approaching them as they walked down the main aisle at the front of the store) and as the bumbling fool scurried toward me and began his pitch, I extended my right arm outward and held up my hand like a traffic cop directing traffic to stop. It was so rude, but I was getting pissed just dealing with the sleeze in the air, it was actually the most polite thing I could have done, because if I did open my mouth, it would not have been civil at all.

    BUT - the bank I go to is a different story. Their staff are actually really cool. Whenever I come in with my girls they make great efforts to entertain them. They always mess with me if I am in my business attire also, because most of the time I am wearing gym shorts and a tank top. They all know me by name, and are consistently nice, so I guess I've elevated them above "greeter" status.

    Maybe what this boils down to is that we all have some disdain for being approached by strangers feigning shallow pleasantries for purposes of pitching their alterior motive?

    I admit if I have time to chat with random folk and in the mood to do so, I'm there. I'm a total whore of the Church of Extroversion.



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  4. #4
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    "How are you doing?" is tolerable since, underneath the question, it's just a greeting and only requires a shallow response.
    "Can I help you?" is fine, too. I understand your friend Bill's mindset with that one, though.

    But "How was your weekend?" from a complete stranger? No, thanks. The feeling of 'intrusion' aside, how exactly is one supposed to respond to that?

    For me, I think the 'tolerableness' has to do with how specific the question is.

  5. #5
    (blankpages) Xenon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm not expecting a conversation to either be non-existent or else be a deeply meaningful, philophically complex thing. I just see it as a way to say, "Hey, I see you; you exist; I'm letting you know you're part of the social web." It's actually meant as a nicety much of the time.

    I also see there being various tiers of relational access, and that is just one of the many levels... I don't have to expect a trivial greeting to be deep, nor do I have to label it as worthless just because it's trivial.

    It just is what it is.
    I don't mind the small gestures like that. They don't feel intrusive to me either, as long as I have some routine response I can use (I wouldn't like the 'how as your weekend stuff' though, or anything I'd have to actually think about). I don't need to make conversation, and I dislike when an employee is obviously dragging herself through the friendly chit-chat attempts because she's supposed to. I think having greeters is silly too. If someone has the job of being available to assist you or answer questions though, it makes sense to just let you know that. So I'm fine with someone asking if they can help me, as long as they leave me alone if I say no.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I don't mind the chit-chat. I actually make it a point to engage employees to some degree because I know it sucks to be treated like you're not a human. I want to show solidarity and validate people when I can and something like a little common courtesy doesn't take much effort from me.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  7. #7
    Post-Humorously stalemate's Avatar
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    I guess I'm more like Melissa but not exactly. I don't mind the chit chat at all, I actually enjoy it and I initiate it sometimes. But I don't see it as a requirement and it probably isn't going to change my outlook on the day one way or the other.

    So, I don't really care if I chit chat with them or not, but if it happens, that's awesome too.

  8. #8
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    I don't so much have a problem with making small talk with the cashier or teller or whoever, and I certainly am not rude to them - I always say hello and thank you and smile. But it's more the people I'm not ALREADY in direct contact with, like greeter type people, or the person at the bookstore who comes up and asks if I need help, especially if more than one does it. I know they're supposed to do that, but I'd rather not have to say, "I'm just browsing" or whatever every three seconds when I'm looking for a book. Especially if I'm already crabby.

    But if it's like the coffee shop I go to a few times a week, somewhere where they DO know me, I'm okay with it-- it's just places that pretend they know me/they're my friend in order to get my business. That makes me want to NOT give them my business.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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  9. #9
    Crazy Diamond Billy's Avatar
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    Bill sounds like a douchebag, if you dont want people to talk to you because youre so obsessed with being an introvert do your banking online.
    Ground control to Major Tom

  10. #10
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
    Bill sounds like a douchebag, if you dont want people to talk to you because youre so obsessed with being an introvert do your banking online.
    Sometimes you have to go in to the bank. If I need a money order, to do a wire transfer, or to withdraw a larger sum than the ATM will let me, I have to go in to the bank.

    Seems kind of harsh to call him a douchebag for not liking to talk to strangers... of course he (and I, and I think most people) will still respond politely and observe the social niceties, but it's just that we are annoyed at having to do this.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

    My blog:
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    Wordpress: http://introvertadventures.wordpress.com/

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