Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Things I Hate: Forced Smiles


Even though I worked in retail for a number of years, I could never quite manage to pull off the fake smile. I've tried, but it's always obvious. I don't know how people do it.

This morning at Starbucks, I saw it in full force. Everyone behind the counter was smiling like a goon. In fact, they were so sickeningly sweet, you'd think they'd just won the lottery and one of the terms of the lottery were that they need to finish out their workweek before claiming their money.

The cashier was by far the absolute worst. Since I'd never seen him before, I can assume that he's new, and has just completed Starbucks' mandatory Greeting Course.

CASHIER: How are you today?
CUSTOMER AHEAD OF ME: Fine. (I hate when a complete stranger asks me this)
CASHIER: What can I get for you today?
CUSTOMER AHEAD OF ME: Triple soy venti mocha frappa-fucko chai. No whip.

Of course, when it came time to pay, the greetings continued.
CASHIER: Here you go...How are you today?
CUSTOMER: (thinking, "Didn't we just go over this?") Um...fine?

As he counted out my change, I couldn't help but stare at him. It was easy, because I kept my sunglasses on. He had a fake, open mouth smile on the whole time. Nauseating.

His face must really hurt at the end of the day. Needless to say, I didn't tip him.

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