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Old 10-26-2007, 06:34 AM
 
238 posts, read 1,043,663 times
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Nearly every morning I stop at a local Safeway and pick up a USA Today and a few groceries. While there are some friendly people at the store, the check out folks are cold as ice. Every morning I try to be friendly by passing on some brief small talk just to see if I get any response. Rarely will I get even a grunt. On the other hand they are efficent and do say "how are you" when I approach and Thankyou when I leave. (Both overly scripted)

Do you feel like it is the responsibility of a customer service/retail sales person to reply in kind when I attempt some type of small talk?
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:03 AM
 
558 posts, read 2,064,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodtype View Post
Nearly every morning I stop at a local Safeway and pick up a USA Today and a few groceries. While there are some friendly people at the store, the check out folks are cold as ice. Every morning I try to be friendly by passing on some brief small talk just to see if I get any response. Rarely will I get even a grunt. On the other hand they are efficent and do say "how are you" when I approach and Thankyou when I leave. (Both overly scripted)

Do you feel like it is the responsibility of a customer service/retail sales person to reply in kind when I attempt some type of small talk?
Personally, my least favorite thing (or one of them at least!) is mindless chit chat. I think if you're getting a "how are you" and "thank you" first thing in the morning, you're doin good. Give me efficiency over small talk anyday!!!
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:03 AM
 
Location: I'm not lost, I'm exploring!
3,402 posts, read 12,275,426 times
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I don't think they think they're getting paid enough to warrant having to "politely converse" with every Tom, Dick, or Harry that walks through their line.

When I worked customer service I was always the nicer friendlier bubblier happy cheerful blah blah blah one... but some people are in a hurry, some think it's beneath their stature to talk to you, some aren't feeling good, aren't having a good day, hate their job, or hate you for making it harder. So you never know, hah!
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:11 AM
 
558 posts, read 2,064,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlekitten View Post
I don't think they think they're getting paid enough to warrant having to "politely converse" with every Tom, Dick, or Harry that walks through their line.

When I worked customer service I was always the nicer friendlier bubblier happy cheerful blah blah blah one... but some people are in a hurry, some think it's beneath their stature to talk to you, some aren't feeling good, aren't having a good day, hate their job, or hate you for making it harder. So you never know, hah!
Yup! or maybe, if its early enough in the morning, they haven't had any coffee yet.
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Maryland Eastern Shore
969 posts, read 2,528,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodtype View Post
Nearly every morning I stop at a local Safeway and pick up a USA Today and a few groceries.
I think it depends on where "local" is and what the local customs are.

At the Kent Island Safeway (Maryland Eastern Shore) you will always get lots of "how ya doin?" - "hows the traffic" - "is it still raining?" type talk.

At the SIlver Spring (Maryland) Giant Grocery store you are lucky to get eye contact.
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:37 AM
 
Location: I'm not lost, I'm exploring!
3,402 posts, read 12,275,426 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasonville View Post
At the SIlver Spring (Maryland) Giant Grocery store you are lucky to get eye contact.
Oooo, don't get me started on the dangers of living in Maryland.. haha. If you make eye contact with them, they're more than likely to come back and aim for you when they go on their drive by shooting-sprees.

Another thing I thought of, I used to work at a Ross (clothing outlet). I didn't last long, I walked off the job after a week. Instead of taking it from the consumer's point of view... try taking it from the cashiers. I for one, felt belittled and demoralized as a cashier for Ross. The people that came in didn't want to small talk, they didn't want a friendly smile, they didn't want to hear any small talk or opinion on the weather, clothing, christmas shopping, or what not.. anything! Any time I opened my mouth I was given more or less a dirty look or a blank stare. I walked off the job having had enough of it. I shop there too often to be treated like the scum stuck to the bottom of "other shopper's" shoes.

Just my 7 cents.
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:49 AM
 
4,070 posts, read 7,716,975 times
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If the customer initiates small talk then the clerk should reciprocate but of course not go overboard.
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:56 PM
 
238 posts, read 1,043,663 times
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I think LOOSE CANNON had the best reply. I am the customer and without me they would not get a paycheck. They owe me the courtesy of at least a few words in response to my small talk comments. Now if I were harassing them and making the clerk not get some of her work done- that would be another issue. But I was always told that if someone said something to you, or asked a question, a reply is required and good manners.
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:27 PM
 
5,007 posts, read 7,901,341 times
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I shop at a Target store frequently nearby where I work. Some of the cashiers don't even bag my purchases, let alone chat up a greeting. I'm not expecting them to know me close up and personal, but friendly small talk goes a long way. We're all in this life together.

I never thought I would say this, but those do-it-yourself checkout systems are looking better all the time with all the sour-dispositioned clerks I encounter.

Also, I spent five years working in the traffic division of a courthouse, taking fines from surly ill-mannered, brain-damaged people and ringing up a register under some of the most adverse extreme conditions. So I've been there and done that, and know what I'm talking about.
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Branson, Missouri
7,285 posts, read 17,306,479 times
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My opinion is that when one is dealing with the public, smile and be nice. It doesn't matter how bad of a day you're having, if one cannot handle being nice, they need to stay home.
Chitchat is fine but a smile and hello are common courtesy. I'd rather see that than some twit give me a sour look when I approach.
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