I feel more and more Aspberger-y every day. I went to the bank and told the teller that I needed to buy euros and deposit a check. The teller (they’ve recently started doing this) asked me how I was. I just ignored it like I do most small talk and pointedly stared in a different direction. So she asked again. And I said dickishly, “Fine. Whatever. Who cares? I need to buy euros and deposit this check.”
Customer service people are trained to make small talk when a customer obviously isn’t into it because it’s the teller’s way of trying to control the tempo of the interaction- that’s sales training. Which pisses me off even more than the fact that neither of us care how the other is “doing.” I’m not going to help someone trying to sell me an image of my bank.
And it’s just wrong to use someone’s first name in a bank. If we’re going to pretend about something, let’s have a bank pretend to be customer oriented, formal, and trustworthy. Along with that goes using customers’ last names. One more step in that slouchy direction and you may as well call your customers “Honey.”
Maybe next time I go to the bank, I’ll feel better if I express my true feelings. I can suggest a separate line for people who don’t want to deal with stupid small talk but need more than just the ATM. I’m sure this wonderful customer feedback would be welcomed in to the starchy corporate embrace, and they would want to know more about how they could best serve their hateful customers that would really rather not interact the end of a long day. Because they always ask how I am. Because they care.