Office politeness



  • Ok, I have one that's had me boggled for a while.  In my office there are a few people who, despite crossing paths with them in the  hallways frequently, never say hi or acknowledge my presence.  It's like I'm a chair or something.  I don't think it's personal since I've seen them do that to other people also.  They just don't want to say hello to someone they haven't been formally introduced to or don't work with.  Something like that.

    We recently moved into another building, into a cube-farm environment and another division was moved to the same floor as us.  Whenever I walk around their area they do the same thing.  They don't know me, so they pretend I'm not there.  Not even a nod or a polite smile.  What gives?  Am I a country bumpkin to think that polite people acknowledge each other's presence when their paths cross?  



  • It's not surprising that a bunch of nerds are anti-social.  Don't take it personally or anything, maybe go out of your way to be nice.  I was kinda the same way when I first entered the workforce.  Got a little more polite once I started making friends and warming up to the place.



  • Why do people always repeat the old tired "nerds are antisocial" bullshit like a broken tape?

    It's not that they are antisocial, it's just a difference of interests. I mean you can talk to me all you want about football and in the end I'm just not interested and am not going to be interested in football for the foreseeable future, it makes perfect sense that I don't want to discuss football.

     
    People who like cars group together, and people who like code group together. Don't believe me? check your local linux user group. 



  • I'm one of those people.  It's not that I'm trying to be rude or unfriendly or anything; I just am not a sociable person.  I'm a total introvert, and that's all there is to it.  If someone says something to me I'll respond in kind, but I generally don't initiate it.  The only downside is that when I burn the building down everyone will know it was me.



  • I'll admit that I'll often do the same, but with reason.

    If I greeted every person I saw, I could quite easily spend half my day doing so. On top of that, I have a really bad memory, so would probably end up saying hello to the same person three or four times in a day. That would most likely scare and confuse them. I do that to people enough as it is without making it worse!

    The other, and bigger, problem is those people (you know who you are!) that are intent on starting a mini conversation when you initiate any sort of contact with them! This drives me nuts! Two people walking in the opposite direction. One says hello, the other replies. By this time you're roughly next to each other, and what does the jerk do? (S)he only goes and asks something like "how are you today?" ARRGHH!!! You have no intention of stopping, I have no intention of stopping, but you've just forced me to either ignore you and look like a jerk, or else feel like a fool talking to the back of the head of someone walking away from me! To make it worse, even if I do reply, I feel semi-compelled to ask the same of you in order not to appear selfish and unconcerned with others when they show an interest in me.

    What am I supposed to do now? Shout down the hall "AND HOW ARE YOU TODAY???" at someone walking away from me? Come to my desk and we'll talk like old friends, but please for the love of bob, don't start throw those foul pseudo--mini-conversations at me in a hit and run fashion.

     

    No, I think I'll just pretend to ignore you all, so I can actually feel sane at the end of the day, thanks very much.



  • @RayS said:

    I'll admit that I'll often do the same, but with reason.

    If I greeted every person I saw, I could quite easily spend half my day doing so. On top of that, I have a really bad memory, so would probably end up saying hello to the same person three or four times in a day. That would most likely scare and confuse them. I do that to people enough as it is without making it worse!

    The other, and bigger, problem is those people (you know who you are!) that are intent on starting a mini conversation when you initiate any sort of contact with them! This drives me nuts! Two people walking in the opposite direction. One says hello, the other replies. By this time you're roughly next to each other, and what does the jerk do? (S)he only goes and asks something like "how are you today?" ARRGHH!!! You have no intention of stopping, I have no intention of stopping, but you've just forced me to either ignore you and look like a jerk, or else feel like a fool talking to the back of the head of someone walking away from me! To make it worse, even if I do reply, I feel semi-compelled to ask the same of you in order not to appear selfish and unconcerned with others when they show an interest in me.

    What am I supposed to do now? Shout down the hall "AND HOW ARE YOU TODAY???" at someone walking away from me? Come to my desk and we'll talk like old friends, but please for the love of bob, don't start throw those foul pseudo--mini-conversations at me in a hit and run fashion.

     

    No, I think I'll just pretend to ignore you all, so I can actually feel sane at the end of the day, thanks very much.

    fine, thanks.

     

    Or if it's a real pet-peave of yours.

    "Oh not that good, i had a real shitty day, bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla and then bla bla bla bla 5 minutes bla bla bla and about a year ago i had a bla bla bla bla bla and then my knee started acking again bla bla bla 15 min"

    Believe me, if you do that a few times, nobody will ask you how your doing on a whim any more :) 

     

    Also i'm with someone whom was above me. Firstly i just don't see the point, we both know where alive and there. No need to acknoledge the obvious. Secondly it's probably because i don't know if the other person is wanting me to say hello. Same thing with starting a conversation with strangers i guess.




  • I think that, if you both belong to the same tribe, a small Hi or even a nod wouldn't hurt. Greeting is a human thing. Just a friendly "Friend Not Foe" reminder. :) Not greeting communicates a "Foe until proven otherwise"-philosophy, which is a bit stifling.

    When I'm in my small home town, I greet people. Living in a city atrophies my politeness muscle a bit, because it becomes impractical to greet all people on the streets. I greet the bus stop people, if there's just one or two.



  • Secondly it's probably because i don't know if the other person is
    wanting me to say hello. Same thing with starting a conversation with
    strangers i guess.

    A greet is hardly in the same ballpark as a conversation. So just greet 'em. If they mind, it's their problem, not your fault for being kind, polite and sociable.
     



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    What gives?

    You may be ugly, fat, or give off an offensive smell. 



  • Have you said "hello" to them? or nodded & smiled? Seems like you're concerned about them never saying "hi" or acknowledging your presence not responding to you.

    Perhaps this could be my southern naivety, but "jetcitywoman" sounds like you're a woman, so maybe...just maybe...you intimidate some men. Let's face it, most developers are men, I've only seen about 25-30% women developers (and only 1 or 2 bad ones!) and these men spend a lot of time with their PCs. Social skills with the opposite sex sometimes lag behind. If you are indeed a “country bumpkin,” you’ll have that southern charm that you can use. Just give a big smile and say “Hey y’all!”

    Yes, I know, I’m stereotyping, I’m a horrible individual. Developers are never introverts and they are the coolest dudes & dudettes in town!

    --How many people did I piss off with my first post, let's count below ;) LOL




  • @JeffRules said:

    so maybe...just maybe...you intimidate give the horrible spectre of a sexual harrasment HR action to some men.

    Believe it or not, a lot of men have learned that they can be repremanded or fired for saying the wrong thing or even looking at you funny, simply because you're a woman and they might do something to create a "hostile workplace"

    Given the tremendous social graces that a lot of us have, the safest bet for women in the workplace may be "avoid them like the plague unless you work with them or know that they're cool", especially depending on the size and disposition of your company.

    Smile at one of them when you pass, or nod, or say hi. Invite contact. You'll probably get some results that way. If not, then they're probably just dicks.



  • Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.  Depends on the
    subject.  Usually for people in my own company, I'll give at least
    a "Hi" or a nod.  For people on my floor in other companies,
    eventually if we cross paths enough times, we end up doing the
    same.  Or people you see often, like the front desk security, UPS
    guy, etc. I'm actually surprised by the number of "strangers" (random
    people in elevator, etc.) that initiate contact -- more so for the fact
    that I work in New York, whose population isn't typically known for its
    friendliness.

    If you want to get to know people better, or feel less weird about making first contact, there's always the company party.  Even developers seem to open up more in an out-of-the-office setting.
     



  • @CapitalT said:

    Why do people always repeat the old tired "nerds are antisocial" bullshit like a broken tape?

    It's not that they are antisocial, it's just a difference of interests. I mean you can talk to me all you want about football and in the end I'm just not interested and am not going to be interested in football for the foreseeable future, it makes perfect sense that I don't want to discuss football.

    it's a matter of just saying "hi" or giving a polite smile or nod.  Not discussing politics or how to pop that giant zit on your face.  sounds like this person works for a brainwashing company or something.  she should look closely at the patterns on their screens - perhaps the coding is triggering blank looks of ignorance



  • @CapitalT said:

    Why do people always repeat the old tired "nerds are antisocial" bullshit like a broken tape?

    It's not that they are antisocial, it's just a difference of interests. I mean you can talk to me all you want about football and in the end I'm just not interested and am not going to be interested in football for the foreseeable future, it makes perfect sense that I don't want to discuss football.


    People who like cars group together, and people who like code group together. Don't believe me? check your local linux user group. 

     Yeah, but real nerds can't even talk about nerd stuff together.

     Seriously, in my office at least, the difference is cultural. Some people are just form cultures where they aren't used to chit-chatting with random people.

    We did a name-game one time where the format was "Say your name, what project you're on, and one interesting thing about yourself." In a room of 20 people, only 5 could think of a single interesting thing to say about themselves, and that includes the two (non-technical) project managers and myself.

     The stereotype is deserved, but like any stereotype clearly doesn't apply to 100%.



  • @JeffRules said:


    Yes, I know, I’m stereotyping, I’m a horrible individual. Developers are never introverts and they are the coolest dudes & dudettes in town!

    --How many people did I piss off with my first post, let's count below ;) LOL


    After a year of reading this site on a nearly daily basis...a post like this doesn't even register on the "piss off scale".

     Welcome to registered TDWTF.



  • I had this happen with a couple of people (out of 50-some) in my office when I first started my job three years ago. Despite being introduced to her, there was one woman who never spoke to me when we saw each other in the kitchen or passed in the hallway.

    She came into my office about the second month I was there, to ask me about something in one of the apps I was supporting. I smiled and said "So, you only talk to me when you have a problem or need help. I see." She laughed, and ever since then she says hi the first time I see her every day. I guess it broke the ice.

    There's another person here who has probably only said 10 words to me in the same three years. I don't think it's just me, though... I don't think he talks to anyone he doesn't directly work with unless he has no choice. 



  • @asuffield said:

    @jetcitywoman said:

    What gives?

    You may be ugly, fat, or give off an offensive smell. 

     

    this post reminds me -- each sidebar WTF ought to have a vote for best response...a little gif that says "winner" next to the most popular response, since I or somebody else generally reponds with one word "winner" posts anyway



  • @savar said:

    We did a name-game one time where the format was "Say your name, what project you're on, and one interesting thing about yourself." In a room of 20 people, only 5 could think of a single interesting thing to say about themselves, and that includes the two (non-technical) project managers and myself.

    That could (partly) because they don't like talking about themselves (especially "interesting" things) for whatever reason, not necessarily that they don't like talking in general.



  • I never say "hi" to people unless they talk to me first, mainly because I'm shy.  I guess I don't actively try to avoid eye contact or anything, so maybe it's not the same as people in your office pretending you're not there, but I don't think you should expect everyone to be outgoing enough to say hi to everyone they see.



  • @CapitalT said:

    Why do people always repeat the old tired "nerds are antisocial" bullshit like a broken tape?

     Feh, at least within the scope of this discussion, the ones she's talking about could be considered antisocial.  Working for the same company generally gives you at least one thing in common.  But you hardly need anything in common to be polite to people as you walk by them in the hall.  You don't need to start a conversation, just nod politely and say "Hey name/'dude'".

     The "country bumpkin" theory might also be relevant based on where you work.  I remember even moving from West Virginia to Virginia, the Southern Hospitality was a big shock for me.  People in Blacksburg actually opened doors for each other, treated strangers like they were [i]real people[/i].  That just didn't happen back at home.  So if you're making the opposite move, people might seem less social just due to difference in customs.
     



  • @JeffRules said:

    Have you said "hello" to them? or nodded & smiled? Seems like you're concerned about them never saying "hi" or acknowledging your presence not responding to you.

    Perhaps this could be my southern naivety, but "jetcitywoman" sounds like you're a woman, so maybe...just maybe...you intimidate some men. Let's face it, most developers are men, I've only seen about 25-30% women developers (and only 1 or 2 bad ones!) and these men spend a lot of time with their PCs. Social skills with the opposite sex sometimes lag behind. If you are indeed a “country bumpkin,” you’ll have that southern charm that you can use. Just give a big smile and say “Hey y’all!”

    Yes, I know, I’m stereotyping, I’m a horrible individual. Developers are never introverts and they are the coolest dudes & dudettes in town!

    --How many people did I piss off with my first post, let's count below ;) LOL


    Ha! I'm hard to offend, so don't count me.  Actually even the guy who said maybe I smell bad didn't offend me.  :-)  I'm USED to working with guys.

    Anyway, yep I don't hesitate to smile or say hi as I pass people in the hallway.  Until about the 3rd or 4th time I do and they avert their eyes, then I stop doing it for that particular person.  It's not that I'm offended by it so much as maybe just - well iced out?  And I do realize that in many cases it's just shyness on their part.  I used to be VERY shy, so I do understand.  

    In fact the reason it took me this long to finally ask about it here, is because we moved in with the other group and now I'm seeing it happen on a much larger scale.  They can't ALL be shy, can they?  Men and women?  Yes, I get iced out by some women also!



  • Does their group have a grudge against your group?  Maybe you stole all the good cubes...
     



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    In fact the reason it took me this long to finally ask about it here, is because we moved in with the other group and now I'm seeing it happen on a much larger scale.  They can't ALL be shy, can they?  Men and women?  Yes, I get iced out by some women also!

    Well there's no other option, the guy above must be right - you obviously put Shrek to shame with your frightful odour and appearance! Or maybe when you smile and say hello to people you're doing it in, oh I don't know, a Hannibal Lecter kind of way? Try it in a mirror and see.


    But that aside, is anyone else in your group noticing the same stuff? Otherwise you might have to corner one of the less terrified offenders (you may need to work on your hunting skills here) and asking what you've done wrong.



  • An option we have not considered here: engineering society is a meritocracy (I assume you're in engineering).  If you suck, if you do a lot of stupid things at work, if you are a management kissass, if you cause a lot of work for your coworkers, you will be shunned.  We've had some of these where I've worked.  They don't get acknowledged when you pass them in the hall.  They don't get invited to lunch.  They don't get to know about the secret web proxy that bypasses the content filter.

    Remember, most people don't know that they're lame.  They need other people's help to find this out (like seeing their code on this site).  Perhaps this is just your coworkers' way of letting you know.



  • @joe_bruin said:

    An option we have not considered here: engineering society is a meritocracy (I assume you're in engineering).  If you suck, if you do a lot of stupid things at work, if you are a management kissass, if you cause a lot of work for your coworkers, you will be shunned.  We've had some of these where I've worked.  They don't get acknowledged when you pass them in the hall.  They don't get invited to lunch.  They don't get to know about the secret web proxy that bypasses the content filter.

    Remember, most people don't know that they're lame.  They need other people's help to find this out (like seeing their code on this site).  Perhaps this is just your coworkers' way of letting you know.

    Well, since it's almost universally people who DON'T know me who refuse to acknowledge my presence, I doubt it.  After I need to talk to them for some business reason, then they talk to me for non-business reasons also.  The other group used to be in a different building than us, now we're together (supposedly because we work together, ah corporate management think).  So far we haven't really had a reason to work with them, so they still act like we're total strangers.

    Besides I would think that if I was a lamer, the guys I work with on a near-daily basis wouldn't practically worship me like they do...

     



  • Here's another thought.  Yes, we are nearly all engineers.  We're all socially-handicapped to varying degrees.  Including me.  I have huge difficulty figuring out how to approach people in a non-business situation - aka mingle at parties.  After being painfully shy in elementary school, by high school I totally didn't know how to talk to people.  I realized that and made an effort to teach myself.  Generally when you want to learn something, you can find other people and learn by observation.  What I've found is that other people are bad at it also.

    Soon after I was hired, the company hosted an "ice cream social" in the conference room.  While I saw a few people I'd met previously, everybody seemed to be talking shop about their projects that I wasn't involved in.  It was awkward.  Finally I found the project manager who I knew best.  He was also talking shop, but he was talking to another person I knew.  I approached them and smiled.  The PM looked up and said "Can I help you?".  I was rather taken aback, I thought since it was a SOCIAL, that party manners would be in effect and they'd pull me into the conversation.  No, they were still in work mode and I'd effectively intruded in their mini-meeting.   I went to sit in a chair, literally along the wall with a few other people who found nobody to talk to.  While I was there, I observed the room.  It was all arranged in pairs and trios talking about the projects they were working on.

    I know it's just what people have in common, therefore it's easier.  But I don't go to any workplace "social" events anymore.   



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    Here's another thought.  Yes, we are nearly all engineers.  We're all socially-handicapped to varying degrees.  Including me.  I have huge difficulty figuring out how to approach people in a non-business situation - aka mingle at parties.  After being painfully shy in elementary school, by high school I totally didn't know how to talk to people.  I realized that and made an effort to teach myself.  Generally when you want to learn something, you can find other people and learn by observation.  What I've found is that other people are bad at it also.

    Soon after I was hired, the company hosted an "ice cream social" in the conference room.  While I saw a few people I'd met previously, everybody seemed to be talking shop about their projects that I wasn't involved in.  It was awkward.  Finally I found the project manager who I knew best.  He was also talking shop, but he was talking to another person I knew.  I approached them and smiled.  The PM looked up and said "Can I help you?".  I was rather taken aback, I thought since it was a SOCIAL, that party manners would be in effect and they'd pull me into the conversation.  No, they were still in work mode and I'd effectively intruded in their mini-meeting.   I went to sit in a chair, literally along the wall with a few other people who found nobody to talk to.  While I was there, I observed the room.  It was all arranged in pairs and trios talking about the projects they were working on.

    I know it's just what people have in common, therefore it's easier.  But I don't go to any workplace "social" events anymore.   

     

    OMGosh, are you in my office?  that sounds like our ice cream socials sometimes. =) It varies, and since the QA people are mixed in with us dev folx, sometimes it gets kinda silly when a little light-hearted jousting commences.  But what is it with the people who think their convo in the middle of a party environment is private? Go back to your damn office (we mostly have offices, it rocks) and do that.

    It is a bit different then what you describe though, because most people at least greet each other with a hi, or nod or whatever when passing in the halls.

    Interesting stories... 



  • @RayS said:

    What am I supposed to do now? Shout down the hall "AND HOW ARE YOU TODAY???" at someone walking away from me? Come to my desk and we'll talk like old friends, but please for the love of bob, don't start throw those foul pseudo--mini-conversations at me in a hit and run fashion.

     

    No, I think I'll just pretend to ignore you all, so I can actually feel sane at the end of the day, thanks very much.

    I normally make it a point to give some kind of facial gesture/verbal confirmation of the other person's existence and this is mainly on a floor of engineering graduate students so social and cultural handicaps abound.

    One thing that is interesting is no one seems to notice the janitor's existence, but I say hi when I see him, and for some reason his response is normally "hi,,, fine." as if he's anticipating a question I don't plan to ask. Not sure if he's annoyed that someone actually greets him or what, but it kind of irks me a bit.
     



  • @dryfire said:

    @RayS said:
    What am I supposed to do now? Shout down the hall "AND HOW ARE YOU TODAY???" at someone walking away from me? Come to my desk and we'll talk like old friends, but please for the love of bob, don't start throw those foul pseudo--mini-conversations at me in a hit and run fashion.

     

    No, I think I'll just pretend to ignore you all, so I can actually feel sane at the end of the day, thanks very much.

    I normally make it a point to give some kind of facial gesture/verbal confirmation of the other person's existence and this is mainly on a floor of engineering graduate students so social and cultural handicaps abound.

    One thing that is interesting is no one seems to notice the janitor's existence, but I say hi when I see him, and for some reason his response is normally "hi,,, fine." as if he's anticipating a question I don't plan to ask. Not sure if he's annoyed that someone actually greets him or what, but it kind of irks me a bit.
     

    Ohh, yeah.  I say hi to everybody, EXPECIALLY the janiitorial staff wherever I've worked.  I know that alot of people either pretend they're not there or treat them like "hired help" (you know, "I'm better than you attitude").  So I make a point of treating them like fellow humans and be nice to them.  Several years ago, one Asian gentleman seemed to be so floored by that, that he started to open doors for me when he saw that I was coming or going.  I also always say thank you when people do that.  Which amazed him even further.  Poor thing, but he was very nice and appreciative.

    BTW, I feel a little vindicated.  In this morning's Washington Post, in the Page Three section they ran some more generic peeves from the readers.  One of them was a guy who peeved about people who look the other way when he says hi to them.  So maybe it's a regional thing - the D.C./No Virginia area. 



  • Does anybody else think it's funny that we (as in participants to a computer programming/IT web site) are giving pointers to each other about how to be sociable?  Isn't that kind of like a wife asking her blind husband if this shirt goes with these pants?  Maybe we should just stick to answering questions about pointer arithmetic and traversing hash tables.  :D



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    I have huge difficulty figuring out how to approach people in a non-business situation - aka mingle at parties.  After being painfully shy in elementary school, by high school I totally didn't know how to talk to people.  I realized that and made an effort to teach myself.  Generally when you want to learn something, you can find other people and learn by observation.  What I've found is that other people are bad at it also.

    Yes we all have that little Fear Of Acceptance thing in us.  It's normal and to a degree, it's healthy.  If you want to learn how to socialize with strangers a little easier, watch and visit with the sales people...the good ones.  These are the people that talk to people all the time and it seems that it comes natural to them.  It dosen't.  It just seems that way because they have done small talk in simular settings for years and I promise you, they have made fools of themselves on plenty of occasions. 

    @jetcitywoman said:

    Soon after I was hired, the company hosted an "ice cream social" in the conference room. 

    [SNIP]

    Finally I found the project manager who I knew best.  He was also talking shop, but he was talking to another person I knew.  I approached them and smiled.  The PM looked up and said "Can I help you?".  I was rather taken aback, I thought since it was a SOCIAL, that party manners would be in effect and they'd pull me into the conversation.  No, they were still in work mode and I'd effectively intruded in their mini-meeting.  

    That's really unfortunate that the managers did that.  They were wrong and should have included you in the conversation or perhaps changed the subject so that you could have participated. 



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    Ok, I have one that's had me boggled for a while.  In my office there are a few people who, despite crossing paths with them in the  hallways frequently, never say hi or acknowledge my presence.  It's like I'm a chair or something.  I don't think it's personal since I've seen them do that to other people also.  They just don't want to say hello to someone they haven't been formally introduced to or don't work with.  Something like that.

    We recently moved into another building, into a cube-farm environment and another division was moved to the same floor as us.  Whenever I walk around their area they do the same thing.  They don't know me, so they pretend I'm not there.  Not even a nod or a polite smile.  What gives?  Am I a country bumpkin to think that polite people acknowledge each other's presence when their paths cross?  

    Just to be sure: Don't they respond when you say "Hello" or do you expect them to say it first?

    Non-responders are IMO socially disabled. On the other hand, those who don't say it first are just playing tit-for-tat. 



  • @ssprencel said:

    Does anybody else think it's funny that we (as in participants to a computer programming/IT web site) are giving pointers to each other about how to be sociable?  Isn't that kind of like a wife asking her blind husband if this shirt goes with these pants?  Maybe we should just stick to answering questions about pointer arithmetic and traversing hash tables.  :D

    Assuming we all have large social handicaps (not a great assumption?), it's helpful in that everyone has experienced pretty much the same feelings and frustrations. 



  • @ammoQ said:

    Just to be sure: Don't they respond when you say "Hello" or do you expect them to say it first?

    Non-responders are IMO socially disabled. On the other hand, those who don't say it first are just playing tit-for-tat. 

    They don't respond when I say hi or smile at them.  They usually avert their eyes in such a way as to pretend I'm not there, after giving brief eye contact.  I HATE that.
     



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    @ammoQ said:

    Just to be sure: Don't they respond when you say "Hello" or do you expect them to say it first?

    Non-responders are IMO socially disabled. On the other hand, those who don't say it first are just playing tit-for-tat. 

    They don't respond when I say hi or smile at them.  They usually avert their eyes in such a way as to pretend I'm not there, after giving brief eye contact.  I HATE that.

    Either they are autistic or they hate you. Figuring out why is left as an exercise. 



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    They don't respond when I say hi or smile at them.  They usually avert their eyes in such a way as to pretend I'm not there, after giving brief eye contact.  I HATE that.

    Maybe you are too handsome and they are too shy? Watch if they blush when you smile at them. 



  • @vt_mruhlin said:

    It's not surprising that a bunch of nerds are anti-social.

    i always thought this was the definition 

    geek == nerd + social skillz
     



  • Have you tried showing them your boobs?

     

     



  • @jetcitywoman said:

    I know it's just what people have in common, therefore it's easier.  But I don't go to any workplace "social" events anymore.   

    It's a regional thing, I think. Us nova-ites are so career/mission oriented around here. Government jobs, internet slave grinds, contractors and all.

    I don't go to work social functions unless they're outside business hours where they'll have beer or something. Then people actually can let go a bit.



  • Hmmm. People pretending you don't exist... it's not just a regional thing, it's a national thing: sounds to me like it pretty much sums up England (I'm a native, so I'm allowed to say that). I'm reading a book called "Watching the English" and apparently lack of social skills is one of the defining characteristics of being English. I don't know what it's like in other countries, but if you've ever been on a train in England (particularly the London Underground), it's an unwritten rule that everyone has to pretend none of the other occupants of the train exist. Violators are frowned upon (although never confronted directly).

    Saying this, if someone smiled and said "Hi" (or something like that) I would probably respond. If someone else makes the first contact particularly it seems rude to ignore it.

     



  • @PhillS said:

    Hmmm. People pretending you don't exist... it's not just a regional thing, it's a national thing: sounds to me like it pretty much sums up England (I'm a native, so I'm allowed to say that). I'm reading a book called "Watching the English" and apparently lack of social skills is one of the defining characteristics of being English. I don't know what it's like in other countries, but if you've ever been on a train in England (particularly the London Underground), it's an unwritten rule that everyone has to pretend none of the other occupants of the train exist. Violators are frowned upon (although never confronted directly).

    Saying this, if someone smiled and said "Hi" (or something like that) I would probably respond. If someone else makes the first contact particularly it seems rude to ignore it.

    Hmm there's something to that. When I think about it though, I figure the odds of randomly encountering someone with anything of value are so vanishingly small, it's a poor time investment. Then again, I have fast interweb access and ebooks/music/videos on my phone, so no need to interact with the peasants on the train anyway!

    As an aside, the last time that I was on a train journey, I used my Derren Brown-like mental powers to get more back in change than I paid for the ticket! (£15 change from £10)
     



  • @PhillS said:

    I don't know what it's like in other countries, but if you've ever been on a train in England (particularly the London Underground), it's an unwritten rule that everyone has to pretend none of the other occupants of the train exist. Violators are frowned upon (although never confronted directly).

    That's the unwritten rule on every mass-transit system everywhere in the world, except for the hallowed tradition of sneering or lecturing some brat's mother. And has been since the original era of cross-country trains, if my 19th century novels are anything to go by. It's not just a British or American thing.



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