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  1. #41
    heart on fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrielle View Post
    I'm sorry, but it is a similar behaviour and there are similar reasons for its existence. I meant to compare the behaviour to animals similar to us, not to say that we are "monkeys".
    It's just a peeve of mine that people are so eager to look back at primates to excuse/endorse human behaviors. It's a quirk of mine.

    However, I would more eagerly buy comparing such rituals to human tribal social customs. It's problematic in modern life.

    Advertising and employers try to link into our tribal social instincts to create false sense of loyalty to either their brand or the company one works for. "Family" is the most over used word now and it's in danger of becoming meaningless or even a caricature of itself.

    Tribes were based family or marriage ties usually and provided an expectation that if one fulfilled what the tribe needed and expected from them, then the tribe would take care of them and protect them.

    In modern life, no such real assurance exists, though we're often encouraged to delude ourselves that it does. We live in a world filled with strangers who compete with us for resources and jobs. Employers can and will lay a hard working, loyal employee off. A spouse maybe divorced at will upon a whim. Families can disinherit and disown at will on whim.

  2. #42
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    It doesn't usually bother me unless they are very persistent about applying for a credit card, etc. Truthfully, I tend to chatter at them so they don't have too much of a chance to annoy me. They are probably glad to see me go so they don't have to pretend to listen to me anymore.
    “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

  3. #43
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    We live in such a rotten culture of nonspeak that we've come to think of others like our cars who talk to us. Now that irritates the heck out of me - a talking machine. But people? Even monkeys do display some competence at social custom.
    The "Did you find everything ok?" is part of a canned speech some employees are forced to say at the register, along with "Do you have our credit card?" etc. I know this because I have been to said stores more than once. Every time I go, it's the exact same "conversation" at the register. This is exactly why we think of others like our cars who talk to us. They're forced to act like cars who talk to us. I know the woman at this one store recognizes me because I shop there a couple of times a month and I can tell from looking at her that she recognizes me. She still says exactly the same thing every time.

    I'm not talking about whose fault it is, just that I find it bizarre and dehumanizing. I know she knows I won't give my phone number, don't want the credit card, don't want to buy the hand lotion or whatever, I know she knows that.

    This is becoming more and more ingrained in our culture and there's nothing that can be done about it.

    Spontaneous actual conversations occurring among strangers anywhere is like a little miracle and it's always a day-brightener. It's great if it happens but you can't force it. And yeah, Heart, it's like trick love, like we're supposed to feel warm and fuzzy about all this fakeness we're being forced into.

    It's a conspiracy...

  4. #44
    Free-Rangin' Librarian Jae Rae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    Well, you know. And take people at their word. If they ask if you found everything okay answer them if you didn't. A good employee will follow through and help you.
    Usually I mumble something noncommital, except at Trader Joe's where the checkers are genuinely nice and even know when the Gala apple juice is supposed to be back in stock.

    Today I went to a flower shop looking for a condolence card; the owner pointed me in the right direction. As I left without buying one, she asked if I had seen them. "Well, you only had 3."
    Proud Female Rider in Maverick's Bike Club.

  5. #45
    beyondaurora
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    Most the time I am irritated by the same old checkout chit-chat. I just want to say, "what the fuck do you care about how I'm doing".

    But sometimes, when I'm in a good mood, I'll playfully bounce back with the stock response conveying a "yes, I know we have to do the formalities, so I may as well make it fun" sort of attitude.

    And sometimes, when the cashier has a long memorized spiel for me, I'll joke with them, asking them if they wished that they could record their spiel and push a button every time a customer approaches.

    But in general, forced interaction just bugs me.

  6. #46
    Feelin' FiNe speculative's Avatar
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    Usually, they're chit-chatting with the person in front of me in line. For a quarter of an hour. Then when they get to me they act like I have the plague or something.

    So now I shop at Wal-Mart at the self-check, and actually the people there who assist with the self-check have almost always been 100% nicer to me than any actual checker has been, ever! (Maybe it's because they're only .0001% away from being structurally unemployed? lol...)
    "How can I be, all I want to be,
    When all I want to do is strip away these stilled constraints
    And crush this charade, shred this sad, masquerade"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGeq5v7L3WM

  7. #47
    heart on fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by beyondaurora View Post
    [
    And sometimes, when the cashier has a long memorized spiel for me, I'll joke with them, asking them if they wished that they could record their spiel and push a button every time a customer approaches. ]
    Now this is something I would never do.

    I remember too well having to say certain phrases at certain times and having people make supposidly "witty" comments that I had to respond to (employees can't ignore customers like customers can employees) and it would just totally put me out of my concentration and then I had to register what they'd just said and then come up with some answer for them and it added to exhaustion of the whole situation. Men were especially bad about trying to be witty and they were also so damned touchy if one didn't laugh like it was the funniest thing one had ever heard.

    I'm never checking out my own groceries or other products unless I get like a 30 percent discount, the store is saving on paying an employee after all. The economy is in trouble enough w/o handing money over to corporations so they can layoff all their checkers and we all still pay the same for goods.

    I saw customers in a grocery store in Indiana stand there and let a checker trainer bark orders at them like they were dogs, so I don't know about the people who help with the self -serve checkstand always being so nice. I couldn't believe people were willing to stand there and take that...while they were giving their labor away to the store with NO discount on their goods!

  8. #48
    Senior Member quietmusician's Avatar
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    This happened to me last week. And I tried my best to seem as interested as possible because I don't want to come across as a jackass. I know they're just trying to get people to come back and spend more money with their small conversations. And yet at the same time I try and let them know I'm not up for a long conversations with my "yeahs" and "uh huhs". Sometimes I do the looking around thing to make it seem as if I have somewhere else to be.

  9. #49
    heart on fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by quietmusician View Post
    Sometimes I do the looking around thing to make it seem as if I have somewhere else to be.
    Yes, this is the best defense. Communicates disinterest without outright rudeness.

  10. #50
    Senior Member quietmusician's Avatar
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    Yeah, like I said I try not to be an ass. I do appreciate them wanting to have a brief connection, but let's keep it short, lol.

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