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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Greetings, Grumpy!

I’m having a problem with an ‘aggressive greeter’. That’s one of those people that makes a point of saying ‘hello’, regardless of your obvious attempts to ignore them completely. This forces you to grudgingly return the greeting, or else continue failing to acknowledge the person’s existence, and feel like an asshole about it later. And I don’t like being forced into difficult decisions like that, dammit. How rude.

Here’s what’s been happening:

There’s a store I go to a couple of times a week. What type of store isn’t important — maybe it’s a convenience store, or a boobie bar, or liquor barn of some kind. Possibly, it’s a pet store where I swallow my pride and take the mutt for ‘doggy daycare’ twice a week. You’d never get me to admit that, but it’s theoretically possible that’s the store in question.

“It’s not a social call; I haven’t stopped by for a heart-to-heart over a cup of joe and a quilting bee.”

Now, my routine in this particular establishment is simple. Get in, do my thing, and get out. It’s not a social call; I haven’t stopped by for a heart-to-heart over a cup of joe and a quilting bee. I’ve got shit to do, and ninety percent of that shit is outside the store, dig?

Besides, I’m only in this store at two times of day — in the morning, when I’m grumpily on my way to the office to nap, and after work, when all I really want is to get home and start shooting tequila. Either way, extra minutes spent in the store is time stolen away from what I’d rather be doing. So I tend to focus on getting in and out without a lot of fuss.

I should also mention that these trips don’t require a trip to the cash register. The actual monetary transactions are taken care of outside the scope of these visits, so there’s no need to interact with the staff behind the counter. At all.

And yet.

Every morning I walk into the store, scurrying head down and blinker-eyed to my destination. Past the displays up front, past the first few rows of shelves, and past… the checkout counter.

HELLO, THERE!

Every day. Like clockwork. There are at least a dozen people that work shifts in this store, but one woman in particular is there every single morning, afternoon, or evening I walk in. I can switch days I show up — doesn’t matter. I can go early, later, just before closing, whenever. She’ll be there. Perky and smiling and forcing her chirpy salutations down my throat.

GOOD MORNING!

HEY, I THOUGHT YOU WEREN’T GOING TO MAKE IT TODAY!

HOT ENOUGH FOR YOU, IS IT? HIYA!

Some days I want to stuff her full of kibble and feed her to a pack of dingoes.

Now, I know she means well. She’s just one of those cheerful, outgoing, perpetually perky sorts of people. The kind that remind the rest of us why we live far, far away from Katie Couric and Mary Lou Retton, and why it wouldn’t be safe to own heavy blunt instruments if we did.

I just don’t like being manipulated into interpersonal interactions, is all. I mean, just look at me. I have the social skills of a lobotomized poo-flinging rhesus monkey. Why force me into uncomfortable situations that can only end in tears, hurt feelings, and smashed Snausages? I don’t get it.

I do my duty, though. When the lady greets me — from thirty or more feet away, and far out of eye contact — I sigh, choke back a ‘Curses! Foiled again!‘ expression, and say hello. It’s the only reasonable, neighborly thing to do. Could I walk by, pretending the greeting were never delivered and ignoring her completely?

Maybe.

But could I ignore her words, and sleep at night without the nightmares of an angry unrequited ‘hello’ haunting my dreams? I think not.

Still, it’s maddening. It’s a little game I play — Is she out today? Could she be on break? Will she miss me altogether? But I never win. And I’m never going to win — this woman’s there for the long haul. I can see that.

So, I’ll have to change my strategy. Trying to walk by her isn’t working; I need a way to distract her from her mission. Maybe I could dump Cat Chow in the floor, and slip by while she’s cleaning it up. Or add catnip to the ventilation system, to angry up the felines. Start a fire in the gerbil Gymboree, maybe? Seems iffy.

I suppose I’ll just do what I’ve done every time so far. I’ll walk in, take my ‘HOW ARE YA?!‘ like a man, and get the hell out of there. After all, how else could you deal with one of these ‘aggressive greeters’? They’re diabolical!

Permalink  |  2 Comments



2 Responses to “Greetings, Grumpy!”

  1. RRaccoon says:

    How about earphones? They kept me out of many a conversation on airplanes. If they’re hard to see you’ll have to sing along the first couple times you try this so she looks for the earphones. From what you’ve said about your singing she may not even look for earphones and just turn and run which is also acceptable.

  2. Trish says:

    I am finally back on line and wanted to stop by and say

    How Are Ya?!! ~giggle~

    I have many days when I can’t tolerate people like that too.

    I am so glad to see that you are still here. WHile I was gone it seems like most people stopped blogging. I am off to find new blogs-o-interest! See you soon

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