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  1. #1
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Default INFs -- Chit-Chat from the Checkout?

    I'm curious to know how many of us are driven crazy by chit-chat from the person at the register when you go to pay for your items at a store. They all seem to have a canned speech now, that goes pretty much, "Do you have a membership card? Do you want one? Would you like to sign up for a credit card? You'd get 10 percent off ... Would you like to buy a hand lotion? (or whatever else impulse stuff is sitting on the counter)" Honest to God, I just want to tear my hair out. I want to pay and get out of there, is all I want.

    But even when it's like yesterday, "How are you?" "Fine, thanks?" "Ready for the New Year?" "uh-huh" "Are you going out?" "uh-huh" etc etc.

    WHY CAN'T THEY JUST LEAVE US ALONE?!?!?!?

  2. #2
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    I'm not an INF, but I definitely get irritated by meaningless things like that, especially when I engage in them! I liken it to sending Christmas cards: you really don't care if you get one, and the other person doesn't really care if he/she gets one, yet both of you will end up sending them anyway to save face and keep peace.

  3. #3
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Well I know when I worked in retail I HAD to say those things as part of the job. Sometimes my manager would be standing behind making sure I said it. And sometimes people did come often enough into the store where asking if they'd like a member card or whatnot would be beneficial.

    It's just chitchat, I don't know what else to say about it. Sometimes I think asking 'how are you?' is the most dangerous phrase in English. Are you just venting? Usually smiling politely and adverting your eyes quells most small conversations like this.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
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  4. #4
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    They have to say that membership card speech or else they'll get fired.

    It's work. They're not there to make you enjoy yourself. They're there to make money for their company.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's annoying, but I had to say it when I worked in a store. Of course I hated having to chit-chat because I knew it was annoying to most people. However, sometimes I feel irritated if it isn't there at the checkout, and it makes me wonder how well run the rest of the place is (if it's a big store). Maybe because I've been socially trained to expect it and know supervisors are always, in some way, hovering nearby making sure you say the right things.

    My solution is to just ignore it and answer most questions with "no" and a non-commital grunt. If I'm in a really peppy mood or the cashier sounds kinda down, I'll answer properly and with a certain amount of enthusiasm.
    "I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference."

    Robert Frost

  6. #6
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    I currently live in a remote country town, so checkout chit-chat never seems as artificial as the city version. Plus, the checkout servers favoured by the (2) "supermarkets" here tend to be female aged 16-22, so they tend to quickly deviate from the script into minor flirtation, I've noticed. Well...maybe that's not a deviation from the script at all.

    Anyway, even the most obviously scripted chit-chat doesn't annoy me as much now as it did when I was ~20. I tend to see it as an opening through which I can attempt to alleviate the boredom of the server. Or I just answer politely yet monosyllabically if I don't feel much like talking.

  7. #7

    Default try comedy next time to catch them off guard

    Howdy, being stand up comedian that doesn't like to feel the pressure of standing up on stage, I do my best comedy routines in the grocery store lines. Try this one next time when the cashier starts into their stupid forced monologue: Have you heard any good jokes lately? Do you like to watch movies? Have you seen that new movie---Constipated?
    If they say, No. You can say, Well, I guess it still hasn't come out yet.
    If they look at you like they don't get it, you can say, Wow, I wish I was regular. It goes on from there and the theme gets thicker but I wont give away all my jokes unless you really want them. Anywho, catch them off guard with some humor and they just may forget to ask those stupid Buy this with a company card? question to the next customer in line 'cause they are laughing too much or else they are irritated because they do get it. If they do, tell them to try flax seeds, oatmeal, and lots of fiber.
    Nothing, nothing, nothing is impossible with GOD.

  8. #8
    Senior Member penelope's Avatar
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    Haha. I actually don't mind it that much, as long as I'm not in a bad mood.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    I wonder why salespeople are forced to say all that stuff. I do realize they have to. That doesn't keep it from annoying me. :-D

    The ones who just insist on chit-chatting whether they get monosyllables or no eye contact are the worst.

    I should just do all my shopping on the internet.

    Waiters drive me nuts with this stuff, too.

    So it's just me, huh. *embarrassed*

  10. #10
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    Waiters drive me nuts with this stuff, too.
    I'd feel differently about American waiters in this regard, suspecting intrusive tip-hunting. Which would infuriate me.

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