Small Talk

I have been working in customer service jobs for years and one of the required skills is ability to engage in small talk. A question I get asked, sometimes multiple times a day is, "How is your day going so far"? Usually when I have just started work, and have only been awake for a couple of hours by that point; or when I'm really busy, being run off my feet and am clearly stressed out. The only real option is to cheerfully answer "it's fine thank you". Nobody wants to hear that I'm stressed out or tired. It infuriates me when I get asked this question, I guess because it is so inane and thoughtless.

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Thoughtless?

Nov 26, 2021 at 12:43pm

I think it's actually meant to be thoughtful, you know connecting? We use "inane" phrases like "How is your day going so far" like a bridge to start communicating. If you are stressed out and I asked that, I'd expect an honest answer - "not bad, but could be better" e.g. or maybe "OK, but I've had better days!"

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Thanks for this feedback

Nov 26, 2021 at 2:02pm

I often ask this question as a way to spark conversation or as an attempt to be friendly, but will stop doing so if it is causing more harm than good.

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Bo

Nov 26, 2021 at 3:02pm

You're getting upset because someone is asking you how your day is going?? Really????? There are alot of people out there that probably wish anyone would ask how their day is going.As George Costanza once proclaimed "We live in a society y'know!"

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Get over it?

Nov 26, 2021 at 3:49pm

Sometimes we just do things because it's the polite thing to do...

Seriously in this city opening doors is considered flirting.

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Get Over Yourself

Nov 26, 2021 at 4:04pm

You poor thing.

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@OP

Nov 26, 2021 at 4:32pm

You need an attitude adjustment.

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Key word here is "compassion."

Nov 26, 2021 at 4:38pm

Sometimes saying those overused sayings is just a way of reaching out. Some people don't know how to open the door to communication, to connection. That doesn't mean you have to communicate or connect if you don't want to. But it does mean that every human being who tries to reach out to you is worthy of respect and kindness.

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@get over it?

Nov 26, 2021 at 8:43pm

So true ........" politeness is so rare,some people mistake it for flirtation ".In the "before time" whenever I went to a bar alone and struck up a conversation with a man,they would tell me within a few minutes if they had a partner, were married etc. I found it amusing how many times this would happen.Sometimes,a friendly chat is just a friendly chat.And yes,women are allowed to drink in a bar(and at the bar) without any intent other than to have a drink.And no,I never gave any indication that I was interested in the least.In a world where people seem to be feeling more and more lonelier, sometimes the kindness of strangers can lift the spirits.

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OK Then

Nov 26, 2021 at 9:21pm

For the longest time, I didn't use the self checkouts as I wanted the cashiers to continue to have work. But after too many occasions with surly attitudes, I started using self checkout and will never go back to cashiers.

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Anonymous

Nov 26, 2021 at 10:26pm

It's not thoughtful. It's people feeding off the negative energy they know it creates and relying on plausible deniability. They're shopping you're working. They're just making you aware.

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