To smile or not to smile?

United States
December 27, 2008 4:09pm CST
Do you care if the clerk/cashier at the store/hotel/airport smiles at you? Considering he/she is doing a good job anyway... I personally don't. Yes,it's nice to get a smile but that smile better be sincere! . Be polite and be good at what you and I could care less,better that than see somebody flash you a smile and turn away the very next moment. I come from a country where smiling for business is not that popular yet and I doubt it ever will be due to different mentality. So when I visited my parents after years of being away I(as one could expect) smiled at every person at the airport which gave me a few surprised looks and raised eyebrows lol What is your opinion? Someone who actually helps you or someone who's making you feel they do? There are people who can do both but we won't talk about those weirdos
8 people like this
31 responses
@smartie0317 (1612)
• United States
27 Dec 08
I don't mind if they don't smile. I am just happy as long as they are doing a good job and polite. Also, it's better if they don't. I hate my teeth and dislike smiling myself. So, when someone smiles at me, I smile back and think they thbink my teeth are ugly.
3 people like this
• United States
27 Dec 08
Oh,you poor thing! What honesty!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
28 Dec 08
in my own opinion it depends upon the mentality and the culture of the place.. like in my country here in the Philippines people are known to be friendly and smiles are appreciated a lot. we also have this city that we call city of smiles in Bacolod,Philippines. so smiling is a factor to be considered when you are visiting a place, it shows the warmth of it..:)
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 08
Good point!
• Philippines
29 Dec 08
i just had my experienced last night when im on my way to the art gallery an american man who passed by asked and smiled at me, and he said the artist is really good isnt he? then i just smiled and he asked me how are you doing?! then that was the time that i answered him im good then he smiled at me.. =)
• Philippines
29 Dec 08
hahaha. i think i know where this happenedü
@SueD823 (371)
• United States
28 Dec 08
Though I'm not a "worldly" person, I have traveled my fair share across the states and do see the difference in smiling people and "hellos" from state to state and also within states. I do think they are sincere, and it is a matter of culture. It is also proved that the more one smiles while at work or at whatever they do, they more likely they will begin to truly enjoy what they are doing. So, sure, it may be forced at first, and you may be the first person to experience it, but the second or third will reap the benefits the more they become relaxed. I'm a Southern Girl and we just say Hello, Howdy, wave, Good Afternoon, to everyone. I'm sure it sets some back, but it's just our nature. And it is sincere! Great topic on how different we are across the miles!
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 08
Yep,I've noticed how people seem to be a bit more open in the South and warmer states,I take it has a lot to do with weather besides tradition. If I got to walk around in a skirt and a tee year round,I'de be smiling,too!
1 person likes this
@SueD823 (371)
• United States
29 Dec 08
Yes, I suppose that helps! I absolutely hate cold weather! The less clothes the better! I'd much rather be hot than cold! I can always get rid of clothes, but can never have enough! Now, don't take that wrong...some of you about the less clothes comment....
• United States
29 Dec 08
Lol Tried not to...
• United States
28 Dec 08
I like to see a smile because it makes me feel as though i haven't been a bad costumer. And smiling at me gives me piece of mind that the person is not mad because for some reason i care how people are feeling
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 08
What does being a bad customer mean to you?
• United States
1 Jan 09
It means that i made the person feel like what did i(the other person) do to deserve this.
@balasri (26554)
• India
28 Dec 08
I sure like the persons you mentioned flashing a smile.Personally I am a very friendly person and easily smile at everyone and I expect the same from them.Well If I don't get it is not a problem but I always welcome the smiles.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 08
Here you go!
@balasri (26554)
• India
28 Dec 08
@thaMARKER (3094)
• Philippines
1 Jan 09
It would really be nice if every worker who deals with customer service put a smile on their faces when talking to someone. That would improve the quality of their service and no matter how worse the situation is, it would at least abate the tension of the irate person. I’m part of the customer service world but though we only serve people via phone, I still smile when talking to them to match it up with my tone. It really helps.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Jan 09
Yeah,I talk to people on the phone pretty often and even though that made me hate my own cell phone I can testify that smiling helps
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
31 Dec 08
As long as they ring up my purchase correctly, I don't care if they smile or not. I can only imagen that that job gets rather boring and standing on their feet for hours and having to be nice to rude people and all - no, as long as they ring my purchase right, I don't care if they don't even speak to me!
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Jan 09
That's exactly what I usually think!
@oyenkai (4398)
• Philippines
29 Dec 08
I do mind if they don't smile. I think it's good business if they do and that's what I'm mostly concerned of. I most often think, "if I owned this place, that girl wouldn't be behind the counter because she doesn't make people comfortable". It's all good business really. Thanks for the comment on my discussion!
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Dec 08
That's an interesting way of thinking! You're welcome
• Malta
28 Dec 08
Personally, I believe that smiling at strangers, or people you're having a functional relationship with is a nice thing to do. The smile might not mean much, but that doesn't mean its fake. I believe that smiling, while doing a good job, will make you even better at it (:
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 08
Good point!
@Galena (9123)
28 Dec 08
I work in retail and think that it is important to come across as friendly and approachable. it's polite. the thing is, smiling when you say hello to someone, even someone you don't know anything about, is just natural. I often end up in a really bad mood when I shop and the cashier doesn't even say hello, doesn't look at you, rings up your stuff without a word, then says the total and holds their hand out. it's just rude. and not doing your job properly. a hello and a smile is all part of working in retail, and should be expected of the staff. because it's their job to do so.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 08
You're right,that's what service industry is about.
• United Kingdom
28 Dec 08
Whenever I pop into my local supermarket, after having grabbed my goods I suddenly arrive at the checkout counter and where is the smile? It seems like the common smile has disappeared forever. I normally notice an inkling of a smile but it is so tiny that unless you look close you won't notice it! It's hard to give a smile when you don't receive one, this should be taken into consideration as well. I guess those days are gone when the checkout staff used to offer you a smile! Andrew
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 08
It reminds me of that one commercial-"Ah,the golden days of customer service!.."
@dropofrain (1168)
• India
28 Dec 08
I try and always smile back at them. I dont know but I feel that it takes a lot of efforrt to look and smile at someone whom you dont know. I know it is a part of their job but still I think its very human to smile back at them.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 08
I have to do this at my job and it does take some effort because,as I said,I'm for politeness and efficiency but not necessarily all smiles. Especially when you know this type of person won't even acknowledge you!
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
28 Dec 08
I am a cashier and I love my job and the people I encounter daily....well, most of them anyway. I do smile a lot and am friendly. I'm not real sure that the smile matters so much to a customer but I do know that a grumpy cashier does really bother them a great deal. We have had some cashier's that just have a miserable look on their face all the time and an attitude that gives the impression that they hate their job. I've heard the complaints from customers about them. On the other hand, we have had some that are polite and good cashiers but just more business-like. I don't hear complaints about them so I think as long as the cashier is not rude or negative, it probably doesn't matter much to people. When I'm on the other side of the counter, it really doesn't matter to me as long as she/he is not rude and does the job.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 08
Nice to hear from someone who deals with it on everyday basis As to people having miserable look on their faces... Well,that's the mildest term to describe the look on my cashier's face yesterday! And that is not too bad-maybe she has a stomach ache? But not responding when a customer clearly says "Hi,how are you"?
@sarojInc (570)
• India
28 Dec 08
Here in our country very few people give a smiling gesture which is spontaneous and comes directly from their heart.Many are also good at faking . Initially it was very tough to differentiate between the fake and genuine. Now I don't face much trouble dealing with a smile happy mylotting
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 08
Thanks,same to you!
@lazeebee (5468)
• Malaysia
28 Dec 08
It's of course not necessary, but then if these people are promoting so much about 'service with a smile' - then where is that smile? I don't smile at everyone (I've seen some raised eyebrows too), but I would appreciate the service people show a pleasant face, especially if I'm flashing a smile at them. It's terrible if the clerk at the airport/bank scowls or frowns, when I smile at them, actually throwing a damper to my good mood! I mean, they should at least be pleasant!
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 08
Service with a smile,i forgot about that... Yeah,that pretty discouraging but I happened to do something similar to a banker the other day. He was such a nice young guy but he seemed awfully shy so when I was done listening to him I thanked him and got up and he got up,too. There was an akward pause and I've realized he wanted to shake my hand! lol No as shy as I thought;) I didn't want to make him feel bad so I tried to make it up but I bet you the impression on our faces that very first moment was priceless!
@manoj1502 (854)
• India
28 Dec 08
See smile is a sign of love affection their is nothing wrong in smiling.They are greeting with you smile rather than a rough look.They are happy to see you so they smile.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 08
Um,I doubt that people at Wal-Mart or any other store have affection for me but they try...
@xboxboy (5578)
27 Dec 08
i think a smile when being served encourages you to come back to the store as rudeness would put me off. I can survive without getting a smile from a shop assistant....what really fluffs my tail is being polite to someone ..ie holding a door open and they walk through with no thank you. i might have to do a discussion on that now!
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 08
Lol I've seen a discussion like that a few days back and I can proudly say that I ranted about having to hold the door for some MEN and they walk by without acknowledging your existense!
• United States
27 Dec 08
I do and don't care. I do care when they seem like they are bothered to do their job. I don't care when they are pleasant and just say hello & do what they do KWIM? I think people were surprised at your smile as alot of people are too busy to smile, say hello ect or even hold the door open for strangers KWIM? Kinda sad society is that way & so impersonal now days. I love chating with my customers that come in my line.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 08
I'm pleased to say not everyone is so moody in our society but I had actually had to bribe someone to get my luggage on board! And I was not carrying pipe bombs and wasn't planning to waste my money on anyone but I was clearly informed that's the way things are done. So much for a smile...
@UK_Shree (3604)
27 Dec 08
Lol. I think that this sort of behaviour definitely varies in different parts of the world, but at the same time I don't think it should. Sharing a smile with somebody, with anybody actually is a lovely thing to do, and is a natural heart-warming exercise. I don't personally expect a smile every time I am served in a shop for example, but I do have to say that it is always nicer to be served with a smile than to be served without!
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 08
As you have hinted,that smile should come from the heart!
@best07 (22)
• Singapore
28 Dec 08
I prefer some1 who helps me cos they are willing rather than some1 who are forced to. The outcome will be very different and you can feel it either in the body language or in the tone of voice they use.
1 person likes this