I go to the grocery store almost every day. Sometimes more than once. I know the full layout of the place: produce, frozen, dairy, cereal, dish soap, water, etc. I recognize some of the people who work there, and we know each other well enough to ask, how are you? or have a chat about the latest People headline, but that’s it.
I think recently the employees were given a pep talk about welcoming customers when they walk in the store and it always makes me uneasy and a little bit annoyed. I DON’T KNOW WHY.
Hello, welcome to Piggly Wiggly.
Hello, welcome to Piggly Wiggly, can I help you find something?
I JUST WALKED IN! LET ME ACCLIMATE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
Hello welcome to Piggly Wiggly, can I help you find something today?
Back. The Fuck. Off.
I’m sorry. I just don’t need you in my face right now.
I gotta walk around those freaks with the clip-boards and their blue pinnys, asking me if I care about the environment.
Seriously? Do I care about the environment? What kind of lame passive/aggressive question is that? Of course I care about the fucking environment. I just don’t want to stand in a parking lot talking about it.
And now you’re right up in my face.
No, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say that out loud, but seriously, give me a minute before you attack me.
I don’t even know what I want yet. How could you help me if I don’t even know—
I was just trying to be friendly.
But, see a friend doesn’t get all up in my face like that. A friend takes one look at me, assesses my situation, gives me a little space, and then decides what to say.
See you’re missing those crucial first steps. Don’t just spout out the same little words to everyone, you gotta read the person first. It only takes a few seconds.
Ok, ok let me try: Hi welcome to Piggly Wiggly, what the hell’s wrong with you?
See, that’s better, but you know, only a few of us can get away with that kind of aggression, if you can’t say it with love, then I think you’re just being mean.
That’s not what you want.
You can do it. I know you can.
Welcome to Piggly Wiggly. I love you. I’m here if you need me.
That’s IT. See? Now you’re on to something.
(my grocery store is not called Piggly Wiggly, but if I lived down south it would be)