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Old 04-20-2018, 10:17 AM
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The psychology of hallways...


I work at a place that has a very diverse group of people. Lots of managers, lots of Maintenance guys, housekeeping, and "non-degreed" or blue collar personnel.

I have noticed, the way each of these groups act when passing them in the hallway is very different.


Management: Chin stays up, and they engage damn near everyone they pass in the hallway.

Maintenance: Friendly in the mornings, then they ignore you in the afternoons.

Housekeeping: Ignores everyone

Other: Head stays down, looking at their phone or avoiding eye contact.


Not sure why I'm posting this. I just thought it was an interesting dynamic. To fight my own proclivities towards being an introvert, I've tried doing the "chin up" thing when walking down long hallways, but Jeez! It makes me want to crawl out of my skin.
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:49 AM
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Interesting. I traverse the halls here quite a bit so I'll pay close attention and see if it plays out the same way . I'm one of those who tries to make eye contact with / smiles at everyone and so far it seems like there are a bunch of grumble bunnies around here, regardless of their standing.
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Old 04-20-2018, 10:58 AM
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I've long noted it as a source of friction between people who were raised to acknowledge and engage everyone they pass at their workplace and people who were raised to not do so so they wouldn't "bother" others. The fact this seems to break down along racial lines does not help.

I hasten to add that this is not a 100% correlation between race and whether you greet/don't greet. But it results in a situation where both sides, in an effort to appear polite, come across as rude to the other.

Another one is when it is/isn't appropriate to make eye contact. In some cultures if you don't make frequent eye contact you're rude. In others, making eye contact is rude, especially sub-ordinates making eye contact with superiors, or women making eye contact with men. Again, another situation where both sides trying to be polite by their own standards can come across as rude.

And, as the OP notes, breaking out of one's role can feel very uncomfortable.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:02 AM
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I just wish people would obey the same traffic flow rules as if you were driving. Stay to the right, people!

I am one of those obnoxious people who tries to engage and speak to everyone, so they probably think I am rude.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
I've long noted it as a source of friction between people who were raised to acknowledge and engage everyone they pass at their workplace and people who were raised to not do so so they wouldn't "bother" others. The fact this seems to break down along racial lines does not help.

I hasten to add that this is not a 100% correlation between race and whether you greet/don't greet. But it results in a situation where both sides, in an effort to appear polite, come across as rude to the other.

Another one is when it is/isn't appropriate to make eye contact. In some cultures if you don't make frequent eye contact you're rude. In others, making eye contact is rude, especially sub-ordinates making eye contact with superiors, or women making eye contact with men. Again, another situation where both sides trying to be polite by their own standards can come across as rude.

And, as the OP notes, breaking out of one's role can feel very uncomfortable.
Thanks for posting. Just to be clear though, when I say "diverse", I mean a diverse working class as opposed to diverse race.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:13 AM
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Part of the reason that the managers got that job may be because of that personality trait.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumbacher Red View Post
I just wish people would obey the same traffic flow rules as if you were driving. Stay to the right, people!
Absolutely right. And if I'm coming up the right hand side of the corridor and your group is heading the opposite way in my direction, consider NOT continuing to walk three abreast in the apparent expectation that I will squeeze up against the wall to give you ample room to pass.
Quote:
I am one of those obnoxious people who tries to engage and speak to everyone, so they probably think I am rude.
As long as you don't chirp "Good mor-ning! ♩ ♫" to everyone you pass. Until I get my goddamn coffee, your cheerfulness is an affront to mankind.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:34 AM
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Thanks for posting. Just to be clear though, when I say "diverse", I mean a diverse working class as opposed to diverse race.
Sure, there's lots of ways to be diverse. There's social class, race, ethnicity, age, religion... all of which can and does affect how we interact with others.
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Old 04-20-2018, 11:48 AM
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Also, speaking as management, you'll see some people see you coming and weighing up engagement options (greeting? Just a raised eyebrow? Ignore? Polite nod?), and at some point you say screw it and engage everyone.
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Old 04-20-2018, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
Absolutely right. And if I'm coming up the right hand side of the corridor and your group is heading the opposite way in my direction, consider NOT continuing to walk three abreast in the apparent expectation that I will squeeze up against the wall to give you ample room to pass.
When I was in college I was always annoyed by people that don't walk straight. I'm trying to go around you and you're getting closer and closer to the wall.

Semi-relevant youtube clip
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Old 04-20-2018, 05:18 PM
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Part of the reason that the managers got that job may be because of that personality trait.
I was gonna add:

Want to become management? Start doing this. ISTM you'll be noticed and subconsciously thought of as "management material."
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Grrr! View Post
Management: Chin stays up, and they engage damn near everyone they pass in the hallway.
One of the nicknames of my college's Director was el tentetieso, because as he went down a hallway he kept nodding at everybody he passed; we didn't really expect him to know the name of the immense majority of students but he nodded equally to all (he only taught a specialization half-year subject in the 5th year, so only had us in his class real late and not even all of us). Tentetiesos are the kind of dolls which Unca Google tells me are called roly-poly dolls in English; the literal translation of the Spanish name would be "keep-standing-up".
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Last edited by Nava; 04-21-2018 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 04-21-2018, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Grrr! View Post
To fight my own proclivities towards being an introvert, I've tried doing the "chin up" thing when walking down long hallways...
Uh, oh, you're going to need a new suit and maybe a tie now that you're management material. They haven't told you yet, but they'll want you to take over that Akron branch that's been having trouble and scare 'em into compliance. So everyone there'll end up hating you, especially when Ernie The Enforcer (the "aide-de-camp" that you'll inherit) takes it upon himself to start strong-arming your subordinates and posting snotty notes in the company newsletter. And "Chucklin' Chuck", the former manager was well-loved (of course he was, he palled around with everyone instead of meeting those quarterly goals), so most of middle management will resent you, and they still play golf with Chuck on the weekend... at the local country club that you won't get into and you suspect that's because of your co-workers and you hate Akron anyways.

I'm thinking you should keep that chin down...
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