I recently had a worker put a new electrical outlet in the house. He was one of those guys who just loved to hear himself talk. I finally had to tell him in no uncertain terms that I did not want to hear about the problems in his private life and I did not want his friendly banter about the day or the job. I tried to sum it up to him with: I am not your friend – I am your employer. […]
I was running errands today. First stop was the grocery store. After picking up my milk and cookies, I got in the checkout line. The checker was this incredibly beautiful, young blond girl.
She was totaling up groceries for a customer ahead of me who was wearing (in my mind) a ridiculous cowboy hat and obviously flirting with her. Well, she was having nothing of it. She went about her business barely even looking the man in eye.
When my order came up, she again barely looked up from her register and made no small talk. In keeping with the mood I said barely more than answering whether I wanted paper or plastic.
I then realized she probably lives in constant exasperation regarding the men that try to flirt or even just get a smile out of her. It must be a strange kind of curse being attractive because it brings constant attention that a person doesn’t want. As a defense mechanism they learn to ignore people even who are just trying to be friendly. I wonder if this makes it even more difficult to develop your own friendly personality.
Now, contrast this with the barista I encountered during my later stop at the coffee shop. She was an attractive brunette, only slightly above average. While I waited for my order, we not only discussed the hot weather but how it affected the shop’s sales. And I gave her a good tip.
Maybe grocery checkout folks should work for tips too. It’s a thought.