Meeting and Greeting
If you work in a large company or office, you interact with many people throughout the workday. Whether it be a quick passing in the hallway or sharing an elevator, you may choose to make small talk or just go with a brief hello. Usually it depends on the situation or the person you are interacting with.
Everyone has his or her own way of greeting another depending on the relationship to the other person. For instance, you would greet a new hire in customer service differently than you would a suit from corporate. Not to say this is wrong, just true.
Usually, my way of greeting people is affected by the person I am greeting. Here are some examples of different situations and different greetings of people used when paths cross in the office:
Hey…….Maaaaan - Obviously you don’t know this person’s name. You give them the generic Hey Man after they've used your name saying hello to you. This leaves you racking your brain for the next 10 minutes trying to remember their name. You never do and the cycle continues...
The Polite half smile with the head nod– You don’t want to smile, because they never quite smile. So you're left doing this half smile, head nod thing. This way you are being friendly, but not overly so. Balls in your court, half smiler!
Strict Professional greeting – Pulling no strings here and taking no chances, passing your boss or your boss’s boss requires a full Hello or Good Morning with an unwavering voice. Kind of a Mitt Romney type greeting, tight and firm.
The High-Five – Fast and loose, this guy is a hoot. Easy going, sometimes to a fault, this guy knows your name and loves to have fun. He's loud and boisterous, his loud laugh can be heard many cubicles away. Think George W Bush.
Both look in opposite directions - You both quickly concentrate on something away from the other person. This avoids any chance of awkward eye contact and ultimately....speech. Don’t look!
Oh my gosh!! How have you been? – This is usually performed by two ladies who haven’t seen each other in a few days. Drastic measures are taken and a 15 minute discussion will be needed to properly see this greeting through to the end.
Sup– College interns and younger twentysomethings usually greet each other with this one word. It's sort of their own language. I think this is the extent of spoken conversation with people in this age group, anything longer can be texted or tweeted.
Other Types You May Encounter:
The Catchphrase - We all know this guy, he's got one standard answer and you know it's coming. It may be There he is!, the standard, Working hard? Or hardly working?, or the dreaded Not bad for a Monday! You've heard these day in and day out every...single...time...you pass. Can we just go back to Hello?
Down and Out - This is that person that is never happy, something has to be wrong and they will tell you all about it. Walk by with a quick How are you? could lead to anything from hearing about painful bowel movement to a pet cat's bout with cancer. May want to find a different route to the breakroom.
I'm watching you- It may be a security guard, or perhaps an older coworker you see from time to time. They have an accusatory look in their eyes whenever you walk by and you're not sure why. You may not remember keeping that pen you took off of their desk, but they remember, oh yeah ,they remember.
That is so funny! - There's nothing wrong with being happy, I'm happy that you're happy. This is the person that no matter what is said or the situation, they find it hysterical. You say good morning and they burst into a laughing fit. This leaves you shaking your head and checking to see if you have spinach in your teeth.
We all have our different styles and comfort zones. While some are outgoing and want to chat, others are more reserved and quiet. Working together, we can all try to get along because we really don't have a choice. So whether you're the laugher or the cryer, the loner or the social butterfly, we all have a job to do and have to interact with one another to do it. So the next time you go to high-five your boss, just make sure you don't have spinach in your teeth!