"Friendly" retailers make me stabby

I recall reading or being told that having a greeter at a store reduces shoplifting. Whether it’s true or not, I have no problem with someone at the door to a retail establishment saying “Welcome to <insert store name here>” - it’s easy enough for me to smile and nod and be on my way.

However, lately, I’m assaulted by “friendly” greetings constantly in certain stores. It started at the Food Lion near my work. All the checkers would look up from their registers to call greetings to me when I entered. Then everyone from the lady at the deli (whether I stopped there or not) to the guy stocking produce to random employees doing their jobs would offer a “Hi” or “How ya doin’?” as I roamed the aisles. The only one I appreciated was the guy in produce who informed me that he had to greet me, and he was obviously not thrilled with the policy - I joked with him. As for the rest of them, they were just interrupting my shopping.

Today, I was in Lowe’s for the first time in some weeks. From the second my husband and I crossed the threshold, we were verbally assaulted by every person in a red vest within 20 feet. He and I were trying to talk about what we were there to buy, but we were constantly being interrupted by “friendly” employees asking us how we were. The capper was when I was about to enter the ladies’ restroom and an employee was coming out of the men’s room and mumbled a “How ya doin’?” Oh, I dunno - I gotta pee - how are you?? :rolleyes:

I did write to Food Lion via their website to comment on the practice, and I assume others complained also, because they don’t do it any longer - YAY! Just this morning, I sent a similar comment to Lowe’s. If they want to keep me happy, the employees will be knowledgeable, available, and out of my way unless I specifically look for one. The constant familiarity doesn’t make me feel loved, it just annoys me.

I’m a pretty congenial person, but when I’m headed for the caulk aisle, I really don’t want to deal with a dozen perky folks in vests. I resent being made to feel like a grouch if I don’t respond to every inquiry, especially when I know none of them cares how I’m doing. Maybe I *should * tell them how I’m doing - yanno - my achy knees, the annoying cough that woke me at 3AM, the weird stuff I found on my dental floss… :eek:

Please - just let me shop in peace!!

Well, don’t eat at Jimmie John’s then. They take this policy to the extreme.

Be thankful they don’t sing a song and dance, then.

Because it’s coming.

Assaulted? Are we a delicate thing?

I started a thread a couple of years ago about how some restaurants require hostesses and servers to deliver prepared speeches. I find it insulting and degrading to both myself and the employee, but it was pointed out that in corporate-land there is apparently some evidence that it works.

Unfortunately, I’m guessing it’s the same for aggressive greeters and I suspect we’ll be seeing more of this sort of thing. I’m curious though about what sort of customer this kind of nonsense works on. It just makes me avoid places - I haven’t been back to Red Lobster.

“Welcome to Costco. I love you.”

There’s a clerk at the hotel I stay when I’m in Lafayette, LA that shouts “How are you?” all the way across the lobby at the top of his lungs every time I walk through it. Same deal at the local FedExKinkos place: shouting “Welcome to Fred Ecks!!” all the way across a large room as soon as I walk in the door, and a shouted exit greeting as I leave. Hey, maybe I’m trying to go incognito, eh?

On a side note, I get unreasonably annoyed at the universal practice of the help at food-court Chinese joints to shove a toothpick-mounted sample of something (always bourbon chicken, for some reason) at you whenever you walk up, Dude, I’m already going to get something, you really don’t need to do that.

Yes, I’m cranky.

I totally agree with the OP. I Hate when I can’t just go in, get what I’m looking for, and get the hell out. If I need help, I’ll ask.

It was even worse for me when I used to work retail at a book store and we had to do this. I’d say 70% of the time the person I greeted made it obvious that they didn’t want to be greeted. The constant rejection was hard to take. And I didn’t even want to do it in the first place.

Stupid corporate suits.

I’m cranky, too. Last weekend, my daughter and I were at the mall and we stopped off at the food court. We were leaving—as in done with any eating we were going to do—and the woman at the Chinese food place practically vaulted over the counter, waving a toothpick at us and yelling, “Sample? Sample!!” as we walked by.

I…did not want a sample.

Lowes is bad about this. It starts to feel kind of stalkerish sometimes.

My wife and I went to a newish “hot” restaurant with another couple last week. They have a large menu and our very friendly waitress started telling us about the nightly specials and then proceeded to basically recite the menu, item by item. After about five minutes I (nicely) told her we were fine to read the menu ourselves. She seemed relieved to stop. Who told these companies we want to be coddled?

“Hi, welcome to store-name! Is this your first time in town? I’m so-and-so. What’s your name?”

I admit I gave her my name from between clenched teeth, but I never went back in that clothing store again. I hate being put into a position where I have to play along or else look rude. How can you refuse to give your first name without feeling ridiculous?

I’ve heard it said the hovering clerk policies aren’t meant to be helpful, rather they’re put in place to make it clear to the customer that he’s being monitored and shouldn’t even think about shoplifting.

By making a joke of it. Say your name is Dumbledore, or Michelangelo.

That way you can release some of your hostility by being harmlessly snarky, and they may even laugh. Everyone wins.

I feel sorry for my local friendly Trader Joe’s checkers. As much as I hate boring them with what I’ve got planned for the rest of the afternoon, I know they have to ask and if their manager is hovering and they don’t, they’ll get 60 yards of shit. I’d even like to invent something mildly entertaining to tell them, like, I dunno, I’m off to a hog calling contest, or I’m having my knees replaced, or something, but I figure it would just be lame, so I don’t.

I do sympathize with the OP, but after a few years of having to repeat ‘will you be saving 10% with your Barnes and Noble card today?’ a zillion times an hour, I feel for the employees who have to say that stupid scripted dreck even more.

When you get done with the letter to Lowes, would ya mind dropping a line to Exxon for me? It’s a convenience store. I want to pay for my gas, buy a Pepsi Max (very tasty and 0 calories), and get on aboutmy business. All I require from their staff is correct change. A polite “thank you” after the transaction is acceptable. More than that is annoying, and would make me shop elsewhere…but every fucking place seems to do this shit now.

Maybe once the corporate suits start having to pay for years of therapy for every peon in their employ, they’ll get the idea that this wasn’t such a great idea after all.

Gee, sorry my hyperbole did not meet with your approval.

El_Kabong - There was a fast food place somewhere in Jacksonville, Fl, where they WELCOMEd you when you walked in the door and yelled GOODBYETHANKYOU as you left. If it wasn’t for the drive-thru window, I’d have never gone there.

I expect this policy will not change unless enough customers make a noise about it or simply stop patronizing such establishments. I don’t know if saying something to the store manager makes a difference - something tells me their word doesn’t carry a lot of weight in this matter.

At Kmart, it was called the “5-Foot Rule” (or something like that, I can’t remember). It was required and yes, management gave you hell if you didn’t offer help to customers.

If they ask you if you need help, there’s this little phrase that’s been invented, “Um, no thanks. I’m fine, thank you.”
Try it out. It just might work!
(Seriously, don’t take it out on the employees, and don’t start snarking at them. No one’s “assaulting” you. They’re trying to avoid being reprimanded if their boss catches them)

How much flair were they wearing?

I don’t have the same issue that the OP does with people greeting me. What does piss me off, though, is when checkers at the grocery store bid me farewell by reading my name off of the receipt. First of all, I really hate places that print my name on credit card receipts to begin with. I hate it even more when someone I don’t know presumes to use my name as if they know me. Particularly since my credit card has my full first name on it, but I don’t use my full name with anyone I know.

Saying, “Have a nice day, Asimovian!” does not add anything over just saying, “Have a nice day!” It doesn’t change how well we know each other, and you pretending otherwise is really fucking annoying.