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Old 05-05-2014, 03:27 PM
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
4,031 posts, read 3,272,585 times
Reputation: 7171


Originally Posted by I'm Retired Now View Post
I just got back from the Dentist and while he seems perfectly professional, he had absolutely no personality. Cold as ice. No smile, small talk or greeting of any kind.

What are you small talk, smile or greeting expectations of your Dentist, Doctor, Vet, or Barber (Hair Stylist)?
The question is do "I" (some guy on the forums) expect Dr, Vet, Dentist, Barber to be friendly. Answer is no, no, no, and hell no.

In business school, we learned pretty conclusively that people "prefer" to work with friendly idiots vs. competent jerks. That was a total surprise to me: I'll take a competent jerk in a hot second over a bubbly professional service provider. Thus, I'm a minority view.

My dentist is as warm as June 21 at McMurdo Station in Antarctica, but solves dental problems like nobody's business. The vet had to help me terminate a long term companion, year and a half ago: enough said. The barber gives the best men's non-foofy haircuts of anyone in town, and is gruff and curmudgeonly at the best of times (unless discussing the Seahawks). I don't have a doctor, but don't need my hand held whenever that time comes.

And I'll take each of those (3 of 4 that I use) in a hot second over some chatty-patty.
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Old 05-05-2014, 03:40 PM
4,750 posts, read 3,504,557 times
Reputation: 4944
It could be you...
Depending on where you live, seasonal affective depression might be an issue.
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:46 PM
Location: 500 miles from home
30,180 posts, read 16,665,894 times
Reputation: 22690
IF they want my money - they should at least be pleasant.
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:48 PM
2,982 posts, read 2,711,871 times
Reputation: 5631
They don't have to be friendly or chatty, but I think you should be thankful they are not nasty. I had a dentist that was nasty so I never went back to him. I then had a great dentist, probably the best in the state, but the women employees in his office were rude and nasty so I never went back to him either. I really should have told that dentist for God only knows how many patients they probably chased away. I now have a friendly, chatty dentist, who also does fantastic dental work.

Bottom line, they should be friendly and chatty, but if they aren't don't sweat it as it could be a lot worse. What is important is the quality of the work that they do.
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:49 PM
Location: San Diego
564 posts, read 429,910 times
Reputation: 546
I want professionalism above all else. I don't want to be addressed as "buddy" or "sweety" or "boss". You can be the nicest person in the world, but but if I don't get what I pay for, we have problems.

My parents are the exact opposite. They really look for the friendliness---"kindness"--- in people in order to trust them.

I don't ever want to come across as an aggressive customer, except if I really...really...have to. But I will routinely go to management if I find something wrong with either product or services. I try to be calm about problems, because much more often than not, the employee is trying hard.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:03 PM
Location: Lacey, WA
129 posts, read 165,286 times
Reputation: 81
I'm not sure I understand why people are being such jerks to the OP here, maybe there is some baggage there between you all. It seems like this coldness is more common lately and many of us would like someone to at least greet us with a smile and a "how are you" as opposed to a "what do you want" when we are paying for a service. People are just so stressed out lately, especially those who have these double booked appointments like those you mentioned in your post. Just not enough time to actual have human relationships with your customers. They need to teach relating skills in business schools, seems like people are imbalanced with either heavy sales and overly irritating or cold and unfriendly. Being friendly and being chatty are different. I would expect a provider of service to be friendly, I don't need or want them to be chatty. You have a choice, you can always vote with your feet.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:17 PM
Location: Wisconsin
17,078 posts, read 17,411,874 times
Reputation: 41630
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
To the extent that barbers, dentists, and doctors can have their customers go elsewhere if dissatisfied, then they will be more successful if they possess some feelings of human warmth that are perceived somehow by their clients/patients.

Of course the MOST important thing is the competence of the barber/dentist/doctor. But the human connection factor is not unimportant. And depending on how insecure the patient/customer is, that human connection factor may really be the most important thing after all. A bit of genuine warmth does make the interaction more pleasant.
The professionals that I deal with do not have to treat me like life-long friends but I don't like to be treated like a robot either.

I tend to stick with well qualified professionals who treat me like a person not like "money in their pockets". Hmmm, I've had the same doctor for the last 32 years, the same dentist for about 20 years (I left my previous dentist when he retired and I had been with him for about a dozen years) and the same hairdresser for 25 years.

Yes, a friendly "Hello" and a sentence or two of chit-chat do make a difference to me.

PS. My mother was one of the very first patients seen by her doctor when he was just starting in practice and she was, literally, the very last patient that he saw on his very last day of work when he retired at age 72. So, I guess sticking with a professional that you like runs in my family.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:40 PM
1,500 posts, read 2,362,391 times
Reputation: 3571
I need to feel comfortable with those people, so yes, of course I expect them to be friendly.

If my doctor is a real jerk, I'm not going to confide in him my deepest health issues or confessions. Thus, my medical care will suffer.

If my stylist is a catty witch, I'm not going to ask for an extra 1/4" off my bangs because she didn't go short enough. Thus, my self-confidence will suffer.

Personality fit is very important to me when dealing with all of those professionals.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:55 PM
Location: Sinkholeville
1,496 posts, read 1,434,846 times
Reputation: 2323
Lousy tipper detected.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:23 PM
Location: A tropical island
4,580 posts, read 4,451,950 times
Reputation: 11266
Originally Posted by Emigrations View Post
Aren't you in northern VA? I'd think larger, faster paced metros will be less friendly. That said, I'm surprised at how much less friendly Indianapolis is than Boston and New England.

I expect the doctor, dentist, and vet to know me and my needs if I've been there awhile, and to be polite, but we're not personal friends. If they come across as unwilling to talk about my business need or are simply inattentive, then I can find services elsewhere.

The barber is a bit different. I've always known most male barbers in traditional barbershop to be chatty.
I think this bolded statement shows how subjective the whole notion of friendly versus non-friendly is. I lived in Indianapolis for over 40 years, and found it to be extremely friendly. When I moved to Boston i couldn't believe how cold and rude people were.

OP, I want some level of friendliness, along with professionalism and respectfulness, from anyone with whom I do business.
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