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Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Hello! Welcome to-" "Oh shut the Hell up!" - Original to Facebook 8/25/10

My Dad is a world class greeter. He really is. When my Dad sees you, you know it. It can be in his yard, or in town at the Food Lion ( irony to follow ), or where ever - but if he sights you, he's gonna make sure you know it.

He does it with flair, and with respect. You feel like you are at that very moment the very center of the world. As you should when someone greets you. He does not have a pat greeting, not a repetitve " Hey (insert name) How are ya?" or a " Well look who's here, ( insert name). " Rather, he just naturally has a way of thinking up the right words and cadence and phrase to tell you hello.

It is honestly something I fail miserably at. Being a natural greeter is just that - natural. You either can do it, or not, and to force it is worse than no greeting at all.

The best greeting's are from friends and family or folks that you do business with on a very regular basis. Who did not wish they were "Norm" on Cheer's and have the entire bar to great him when he entered? ( Besides, it was the place where everybody knows your name...yeah - that;s gonna be stuck in your head now - you're welcome)

Myself, if I am happy to see you, I try my very damnedest to make sure you know just how happy I am too be in your presence. However, I also am kinda sorta just a little anti-social - and at times would rather just "be there" and no really get all that involved with the pomp and ceremony of greeting every damn person in the room. It's not you - it's me. At a lot of family gatherings, I kinda have to "warm up" to the room - to drift about, doing my own thing, and then slowly, like melting ice, warm up and then circuit around and speak to folks. I usaully do this as if we have alrady goen through the ritual of a greeting - we've both been there for an hour - so why bother. I'd just as rather walk up and simply start conversing.

Get me in a crowd where I do not know anyone, and man I am miserable. Beer or wine helps. I freely admit I took medication to relieve social anxiety for a while - but folks think this is just me being "silly ol Hannable", making a joke - there is no way I could possible be so outspoken and at the same time be shy. Guess what? It happens.

So with that, I have come to almost detest going into any business nowadays - because every freaking employee now is a greeter. It used to be Wal-Mart. Remember back to those Halcyon days when the only Wal-Mart in our little area was the one in Dunn, and they had these Grampa looking tyes who welcomed you to Wal-Mart, and you felt like 1) They were really happy to work there, and 2) They really liked it and 3) They really honestly wanted to walcome you to such a great place. I remeber that - it was different, and it was kinda cool.

I am sure that this was a planned move, and without research and willing to bet it comes from some proven marketing plan, mst likely of Far Eastern extaction where "Welcoming" a customer into the "house" of retail proves to be a viable marketing tool.

Then the "Greeters" becaem defacto security and recipt Nazis. A particular Lady at a particular store I remember well- she was gonna check every damn recipt that went out that door - period. What a pain in the ass.

Nowadays I cannot get coffee without a 'Welcome to Kangaroo!" - and sorry - but it feels forced. If The little lady who yelled it did so with a smile, or a wave of the hand, or any indication that she was happy to see someone at 5 a.m., instead of doing it while mopping infront of the drink cas and in a half assed mumble, I would take it and respond. But it smacks of " The boss said I had to greet every swinging dick that comes in, so here's you fucking welcome".

CiCi's Pizza - Thank god they have toned it down a bit - but when you come in the WHOLE DAMN STAFF has to welcome you. Then they have those assinine chants and songs for each pizza, and when you leave they all wish you a goodbye. Criminey,

And Food LIon. They like to welcome you to you're neighborhood Food Lion. Guess what? There's no damn Food Lion in my neighborhood - I just stop at which ever one is on my way. Does that mean I am still Welcome, or that they wasted the neighborhood welcome on me? I asked a cashier one day what she did if someone that she did not like came in, and she admitted that she did not welcome them. She also admited that if a manager caught her not welcoming folks she would get in a small amount of trouble.

So really, I am tired of it. It's fake, it's a pain in the balls to have to deal with - because now, do you respond? Do you have to be just as fake? Or are you an asshole for just walking past them like they are streeet beggars and you have no change? I don't know - I just do not damn know.

But I do know the places that don't seem to do it. And I find myself stopping at them more and more.

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