Author Topic: Is This Weird? - Pleasantries in Phone Calls at Work  (Read 2247 times)

JeanFromBNA

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Re: Is This Weird? - Pleasantries in Phone Calls at Work
« Reply #45 on: February 21, 2020, 02:22:52 pm »
Yes, thank you, TeamBhakta. I just hired a young woman for a field position in construction inspection, and will have to have a similar talk.  I've been thinking about what to say and how to say it. It's frustrating that such a lecture is necessary.
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chigger

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Re: Is This Weird? - Pleasantries in Phone Calls at Work
« Reply #46 on: February 21, 2020, 04:39:03 pm »
Management needs to shut down that sort of bullshit! If I had to tell an employee that so and so is a creep, it would be a damn shame! The creep should have been long, long gone. That is a lawsuit waiting to happen, and I would be damned if I'm a part of it! Thinking it about it further, if I had someone telling me about the creep, I would immediately rethink my employment at that business! So very gross.
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PVZFan

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Re: Is This Weird? - Pleasantries in Phone Calls at Work
« Reply #47 on: February 21, 2020, 04:42:32 pm »
Management needs to shut down that sort of bullshit! If I had to tell an employee that so and so is a creep, it would be a damn shame! The creep should have been long, long gone. That is a lawsuit waiting to happen, and I would be damned if I'm a part of it! Thinking it about it further, if I had someone telling me about the creep, I would immediately rethink my employment at that business! So very gross.

I agree! Particularly with the bolded. I'd have to be hard up for a job to stay there.

I worked at a grocery store as a teen and asked not to be on the express register on a Friday because I got hit on so much and the owner told me to wear less makeup. The hell? I started planning my exit right then.

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oogyda

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It's usually a long one. It goes something like this:

-"See Steve in produce ? He's a creep. He hits on every woman. Do not be alone with him. If he does anything creepy, you go straight to management."
Oh, hell no!  If Steve is that much of a creep, he should be reported each and every time to management.  YOU (or any employee) should not be talking to another employee about a third employee!  That puts your ass on the line and it should!
-"If a customer asks for your last name, you don't tell them. 99% of the time it's a man asking. There's a LOT of men who act like him here and over at our sister stores across town."  Most women know this.  But, it's sexist of you to believe it only applies to women
-"They'll ask what town you live in, where you grew up, etc. You don't have to tell them. Be vague. It's okay to say 'uh huh, out that way' or even lie that you live in another town." See above
-"Men will ask you if Mary or Katie work here. Mary doesn't work here anymore. She got a a new job years ago. These men aren't her friends; I asked her. They're just customers who have latched onto her. That will happen to you, too. Never tell a customer what day Katie or I or the other girls will be in. Don't tell them what hours you will be working, either." Leave Mary and Katie and the backstory out of it.  No employee should ever give out information on other employees.  Ever.
-"There's this one sample guy who used to sexually harass us. The company quietly dropped him instead of directly firing him. Let me tell you what he did and what he looks like...He comes in a lot and asks why he hasn't gotten any hours lately. Just tell him you don't know why." Gossipy.
 Since there was no action taken this could also set you up for a complaint.  Refer all inquiries to management.

-"There's this other sample guy we directly got fired for sexual harassment...."Gossipy unless it's information available to employees if they ask.
-"If a guy hits on you or makes you uncomfortable, point to Bob [really tall, hulking manager] and say 'Would you like to tell that to our manager Bob ? I'm sure he'd like hear that.' It scares them off. Or you can lie and mention that your [imaginary] husband the cop / marine wouldn't like to hear that. You shouldn't lie about being married to a cop or military guy any other time, of course. If one of the county cops is shopping in here, just happen to call them over for a sample. That works, too!" 
-"Men will say creepy things to you right in front of their wives or girlfriends. These women will just laugh and say 'oh, you have to understand Paul's sense of humor. Paul, you're so funny, tee hee!' Not much you can do about those kind of couples, besides not laugh and make the guy feel like an idiot for shooting his mouth off."
-"I had a customer tell me he had a dream about me. He really wanted to share about it. Gross. He has a crush on me and I don't wanna know. With that kind of man, just keep redirecting the conversation back to whatever you're selling, until they give up sharing crap like that."
-"Customers will recognize you around town, even on your day off. It happens to me a lot. It's not so bad when it's old ladies saying 'I know you from Store X.' With men, though, it usually leads to lots of questions about you, getting hit on, etc. You don't have to share anything they ask you."
-"Let me tell you about the customer who grabbed his crotch on purpose one day. Oh my god..."
[/quote]

Some of this are conversations one might have with a coworker as they get to know each other as part of general conversation.  But I don't think any of it is appropriate as part of their training.  It's all terribly sexist and really condescending.  Most women know how to deal with these situations and will do so in their own way.
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Jem

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POD to oogyda - I was debating saying the same things.
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Gellchom

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Fortunately society is finally moving on from seeing harassment as something to teach women (primarily) how to handle to seeing it as something men (primarily) have to stop doing.
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Jem

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Fortunately society is finally moving on from seeing harassment as something to teach women (primarily) how to handle to seeing it as something men (primarily) have to stop doing.

I would argue PEOPLE need to stop harassing other PEOPLE. It bugs me to have it phrased as a "men harass women" thing. That's not always the case.
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Gellchom

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Quote
In African culture it is considered rude not to properly greet first and ask the other person how they are.

Collakat, don't you mean "South African culture"? "Africa" is a pretty big place, with many different cultures.

And every culture has its own norms, which often they don't even fully articulate to themselves until people from somewhere else come along and violate them. For example, in France nobody expects or wants waitstaff or retail staff to ask complete strangers how they are, or wish them a nice day, still less ask them what plans they have for the weekend, heaven forbid! But if you walk into a smallish shop (i.e. not a supermarket) and don't greet everyone there, both staff and other customers, with 'Bonjour, m'sieurs-dames' ('Good day, ladies and gentlemen'), you are ill-mannered.

I do pick it up from our neighboring countries and friends from other (more north) African countries also.  So that is why I said African as opposed to South African. However, we are seen as a friendly nation  ;D

I think this is common in other cultures, too.  We were an "anchor family" for an immigrant family from what was then the Soviet Union many years ago.  When the wife would call with a question, she would first ask several questions about the family, work, etc.  I would usually wish she would stop beating around the bush and just ask whatever it was she called about!  But I learned from that that where they came from (Moldova), it would be considered rude and abrupt to get down to business without some social chat first.  I also realized that if someone just started right in with, "I need to ask you about XYZ" without at least a "Hi, how are you?" then *I* would consider *that* abrupt.  We each were used to different customs.

So it's all a question of degree and social convention.  That's a big reason, beyond personal feelings, that our experiences and preferences differ.  Where I live, it's very common for strangers to chitchat a bit, and pleasantries are the rule, not the exception.  Where Toots lives (and I once did), not so much.  What is standard in one place is either too chatty or too abrupt in the other.

But in any case, it's never really a question about health or really wondering about your Valentine's Day.  It's just pleasantries.
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Aleko

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My father spent his teens in East Africa, and told me that among the Kikuyu people, if you're in your hut and see a stranger or a not-friend approaching you come out to greet them, get introduced, enquire after their health, blah blah. Which all seems very polite, but is actually keeping them out of your home until you have sized them up and decided if you want to invite them over your threshold. But if you see a relation or a real friend coming you carry on doing exactly what you were doing, and let them walk right into your hut and sit down before you put down your task and say hello. That shows your complete trust and acceptance of them.
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Hmmm

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My father spent his teens in East Africa, and told me that among the Kikuyu people, if you're in your hut and see a stranger or a not-friend approaching you come out to greet them, get introduced, enquire after their health, blah blah. Which all seems very polite, but is actually keeping them out of your home until you have sized them up and decided if you want to invite them over your threshold. But if you see a relation or a real friend coming you carry on doing exactly what you were doing, and let them walk right into your hut and sit down before you put down your task and say hello. That shows your complete trust and acceptance of them.

Sort of like neighbors of old coming in through your back door with a quick knock versus a stranger or mere acquaintance coming to your homes front door and ringing the doorbell.
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Gellchom

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My father spent his teens in East Africa, and told me that among the Kikuyu people, if you're in your hut and see a stranger or a not-friend approaching you come out to greet them, get introduced, enquire after their health, blah blah. Which all seems very polite, but is actually keeping them out of your home until you have sized them up and decided if you want to invite them over your threshold. But if you see a relation or a real friend coming you carry on doing exactly what you were doing, and let them walk right into your hut and sit down before you put down your task and say hello. That shows your complete trust and acceptance of them.

Sort of like neighbors of old coming in through your back door with a quick knock versus a stranger or mere acquaintance coming to your homes front door and ringing the doorbell.
Not just sort of like -- exactly like! 

We wouldn't invite a stranger in, either, certainly not immediately.

peony

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My father spent his teens in East Africa, and told me that among the Kikuyu people, if you're in your hut and see a stranger or a not-friend approaching you come out to greet them, get introduced, enquire after their health, blah blah. Which all seems very polite, but is actually keeping them out of your home until you have sized them up and decided if you want to invite them over your threshold. But if you see a relation or a real friend coming you carry on doing exactly what you were doing, and let them walk right into your hut and sit down before you put down your task and say hello. That shows your complete trust and acceptance of them.

This makes a lot of sense!

Shores

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So itís better to not acknowledge callers as fellow human beings deserving of minimal courtesy and kindness?  Got it.
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peony

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So itís better to not acknowledge callers as fellow human beings deserving of minimal courtesy and kindness?  Got it.

Gellchom has summed it up, and I'm going to keep this in mind for myself when I start to judge others by the quality of their greeting, or lack of same: "What is standard in one place is either too chatty or too abrupt in the other."