To think if you could raise a smile while doing your boring job you'd have a better day?

(37 Posts)
Department Wed 09-Oct-13 11:12:15

We have two regular delivery drivers deliver to where I work. Now, I accept that it's not the most exciting job and it must be annoying when you have to wait for someone to tell you where to put things etc,

One of the men always has a cheerful good morning and something to say about last night's football, the weather, how busy he/we are.

The other barely speaks unless he has something to moan about - like us keeping him waiting! Please, you spend an awful lot of your life working, you'd enjoy it so much more if you smiled a bit. And we'd be happier to see you, which might make your life a bit better too.

livinginwonderland Wed 09-Oct-13 11:20:36

It's hard to put on a smile all the time if you really hate your job. I know I went through a phase of really being miserable at work and I know my customer service suffered.

I also agree with Stephen Fry when he said "why should we expect people to pretend to be happy about doing a minimum wage job that they hate?"

Feminine Wed 09-Oct-13 11:24:10

why should we expect people to pretend to be happy doing a minimum wage job that they hate?

Maybe as it is still a job perhaps? I don't think the wage has anything to do with it either!

Department Wed 09-Oct-13 11:25:20

It's not that "I" expect him to smile, it's that he'd have a better day if he did, IMO. I get that it's not always easy, everyone has days when there's something on your mind that makes it hard to smile, but never?

angelos02 Wed 09-Oct-13 11:27:08

He might have all manner of shit going on in his life. Jeez. Empathy...anyone.

Feminine Wed 09-Oct-13 11:27:30

Well I agree with you dep

smile smile smile

livinginwonderland Wed 09-Oct-13 11:29:29

It might be a job, doesn't mean you have to enjoy it. I have a job that I don't particularly like, but I need the money and so I go to work and I work bloody hard and I am a good worker, but that doesn't mean I like being there and that I find it easy to smile and be happy with everyone I come across.

I don't get this expectation that you have to be happy at work because you're lucky enough to have a job. Lots of people are in jobs they don't like but they go because they don't have a choice in the matter. I go and I do my job, but I think it's stupid that people are criticised for not pretending to be happy while they're there.

TheresaMcQueen Wed 09-Oct-13 11:29:58

How patronising. Its not like he could have other things going on in his life or anything is it? No, for he is but a lowly delivery man.

coldwinter Wed 09-Oct-13 11:31:44

He could have a dying child or all manner of things happening in his life.

LookingThroughTheFog Wed 09-Oct-13 11:31:59

In principle I agree. I worked on the checkouts way back when, and it was noticeable that the time passed more quickly with a bit of a smile and eye-contact.

20 years on, I'm in a professional job, and though I hold the principle that I'll feel better if I act happy (fake it 'till you make it school of psychology), I regularly feel so beaten down and stressed and bullied that a smile can't happen. If I get through the day without ending in a seething rage or tears, I count that as a win.

Personally I don't hold with the idea you should be hugely grateful for any job. It's like saying people should never complain about having a cold if they have both their legs.

Department Wed 09-Oct-13 11:32:24

My job is equally, if not more lowly than his McQueen, I know very well what it is to do a boring unrewarding job. I also know that it I spent all day acting like I was bored out of my mind I'd feel worse. He gets regular opportunities to pass the time of day with people in a pleasant fashion. How could that not make his life better?

Feminine Wed 09-Oct-13 11:36:25

Its good manners really. There is no need to have a Cheshire cat grin, but a small smile is better for all involved.

I don't think anyone should be particularly grateful, more like they are paid to do it...and they have been employed by someone.

I think this attitude is imperative in any customer facing position.

Sallykitten Wed 09-Oct-13 11:36:42

Why?

It's up to him how he feels and expresses himself. Just because he's in a minimum wage job doesn't mean you can dictate to him.

Delivery drivers are employed because they can drive and lift heavy stuff, they're not employed to sweet talk receptionists.

As far as you know he's clinically depressed or has a traumatic home life. I'm sure if he has a sick child or dying wife the only concern he has should be to smile at you.

Incidentally why don't you run along and tell Alan Sugar to cheer the fuck up? Or is it only people on minimum wage who should be your own personal dancing monkeys?

livinginwonderland Wed 09-Oct-13 11:37:21

Because not everyone is chatty and not everyone likes making small-talk with everyone they come into contact with? I work retail, which is not ideal for an introvert but it's a job and I can't afford not to work, and I can't stand having to make small-talk with customers.

I find it excruciating, I get tongue-tied and I never know what to say, and everything always comes out wrong. I'm fine if it's related to work but I hate having to make mundane small-talk with people.

Feminine Wed 09-Oct-13 11:41:23

Why are we concentrating on his wage confused

Its not relevant.

I don't think op made that point.

My DH does a crappy job, he has done many crappy jobs...he still managed a smile.

think I spent too long living in America

Department Wed 09-Oct-13 11:41:45

I get that too living, but "good morning" with a smile rather than a grunt?

Sally, what? It doesn't matter to me - the grunter is gone more quickly so I can get on with my day, but yes, I do think he would enjoy life more if he smiled occasionally - which is the case for everyone whatever their "status" I'm only talking about delivery drivers because I see two extremes of behaviour on a regular basis.

He's not only employed to lift stuff, he's employed to provide customer service. Would it be Ok for a shop assistant to grunt at you when you say good morning?

Feminine Wed 09-Oct-13 11:43:44

Actually, reading OP s first post...

The driver does have something to say...he likes to complain!

livinginwonderland Wed 09-Oct-13 11:47:10

I just think some people aren't good with social niceties and it's not really worth fussing over. He's not a store manager - he's a bloke employed to drive a van and lift heavy stuff. I do agree that a smile isn't hard but I also don't understand expecting people to be happy in jobs they hate.

Department Wed 09-Oct-13 11:51:01

I'll say it one more time. I don't "expect" him to be happy, it doesn't matter to me, he's with me for a few seconds a day. I feel sorry for him being so miserable and I think he would enjoy life more if he smiled a bit, even if it took a bit of effort.

Dahlen Wed 09-Oct-13 11:51:15

He doesn't have to be cheerful and chatty, but a basic level of good manners should be considered essential in any customer-facing role.

ComtesseDeSpair Wed 09-Oct-13 12:04:04

I think he would enjoy life more if he smiled a bit

Doesn't that assume he's just a miserable sod for no good reason? Maybe raising a smile is a downright struggle for him because outside of work he doesn't have much to smile about. Being told you'd feel better if you smiled a bit more is a bit like being told to "just think positive" (when thinking positive really isn't going to cure your OH's cancer) or "cheer up, it might never happen" (when it already has).

I'm not convinced that a fake smile and social small-talk adds much to customer service anyway. I know that customer assistants generally aren't genuinely cheerful to see me and don't particularly care how my day's been when they ask. In the face of surly customer service, I just carry on acting how I would regardless and continue being peppy myself.

Feminine Wed 09-Oct-13 12:15:51

Miserable mute, old sod is one thing. op says he manages to complain.

he is summoning up energy for something then isn't he?

Turn that frown upside down!

TheresaMcQueen Wed 09-Oct-13 12:21:01

Oh, of course, dep! A few minutes of pleasant conversation with you will be enough to wipe out any misery he may be feeling about his life that you aren't privy to. hmm

witsalmader Wed 09-Oct-13 13:25:56

Do you walk around grinning inanely at all and sundry?

witsalmader Wed 09-Oct-13 13:28:29

I feel sorry for him being so miserable and I think he would enjoy life more if he smiled a bit, even if it took a bit of effort.

I think you're being disingenous, to be honest.

I also think that "Unhappy? Why not try not being unhappy?" is fascinatingly stupid advice.

MrsDavidBowie Wed 09-Oct-13 13:33:53

If you are in a job where you have to Make contact with people, you should have a modicum of pleasantness about you.
Good manners.

Wuxiapian Wed 09-Oct-13 14:02:54

YABU, OP.

You have no idea about his life or what could be happening in his life.

I can't stand forced smiles, either.

amicissimma Wed 09-Oct-13 14:20:23

It works. It really does.

Try smiling next time you have your arm down the toilet or something equally mundane: it doesn't exactly bring joy and rapture, but it does lift the spirits a bit.

Another trick is smiling when talking on the phone, specially if you are trying to persuade someone to help you.

StillSeekingSpike Wed 09-Oct-13 14:28:06

But perhaps he IS happy?- perhaps he is happy having a damn good moan and complain. A lot of people find this immensely satisfying ( I work with a lot of them), and cheering them up is not only exhausting but takes away their opportunity to vent.

NoelHeadbandz Wed 09-Oct-13 14:41:27

Oh god. Do you walk around telling people to 'cheer up it might never happen' as well

Nagoo Wed 09-Oct-13 14:46:42

My life is in a fairly deep trough ATM. I know that on the days that I can stop crying and perk myself up and just try to reach out a bit, then I do feel a shitload better and I do have a better day.

Other people are not generally arseholes so if you communicate with them and look at them and try to get on a bit, then I find it does come back to you and make you feel better.

I agree with the OP. It doesn't matter what job he's doing or how much he earns. If he tried to engage a little bit with the human race then he might find that he did have a better day.

People are quite nice really.

serendipity16 Wed 09-Oct-13 15:06:47

I love my job and i meet lots of different people everyday.... i work at a London Underground tube station.
I am always happy and smiling..... in fact loads of people say to me, you're always happy, how come you're so chirpy so early in the morning, you have a lovely smile, its nice to see someone smiling etc etc.

Firstly i do love my job so i guess that kinda helps BUT i always believe that once i enter that station, i'm at work & i try my best to leave problems outside.
No one wants to see my miserable face or me looking sad now do they.

I think you should try as much as you can where possible to be friendly, happy and engaging when you're in a customer based job no matter whats going on in your life.
I say this as someone who has been through a fair amount in the last 10 months......... my brother was murdered in Dec 2012, i've had to deal with the police, the coroners, arrange my brothers funeral, find 5k for the funeral, seek and deal with legal stuff with his ex trying to get his belongings, his body, his money, dealing with the trial that happened a month ago, dealing with my mum would wouldn't do a thing and who has now cut me out of her life for no reason, i've had problems with management at work, my panic attacks have returned and to top it all off my marriage of 12 years has broken down & we've separated ........ but i continue to smile because smiling is better than explaining why i'm sad.
Plus a smile is contagious.... you smile and people smile back.... it cheers others up too.... its a win, win situation smile

Feminine Wed 09-Oct-13 18:37:51

serendipity thanks

Thank you for telling us.

I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope your smile brings happiness back to your life soon.

LimitedEditionLady Thu 10-Oct-13 00:53:34

I smile all the time at work.while people are shouting at me for things out of my control,while ive got personal issues on my mind,while im thinking " i bloody hate this job at times" Its not hard to smile,i can forgive people having a few bad days,we are only human but Id expect some days that people will smile back at me.I just find it rude and disrespectful is someone never makes the effort to just be friendly once in a while.

jammiedonut Thu 10-Oct-13 08:25:08

I have to smile at work, it's a customer facing role and they expect a smile. I'm also expected to leave my 'emotional baggage' at the door and get on with things when I start my shift. Regardless of how difficult my life is, I am expected to be happy as it enhances the experience of my guests. It is far more draining for me to act happy and wear a fake smile than it is for me to relax into myself and be depressed. A smile doesn't always automatically make you feel better. Yanbu to mind that he doesn't engage with you, yabu to expect to understand someone you barely know and think that a smile is all it takes to make them have a better day

MidniteScribbler Thu 10-Oct-13 10:28:48

unless he has something to moan about - like us keeping him waiting!

With the fact that delivery drivers are usually on very strict deadlines and many get paid per delivery, then I imagine he doesn't have too much reason to smile at you if you keep him waiting all the time.

LimitedEditionLady Thu 10-Oct-13 11:46:12

Well im going to just put it down to him being a miserable fecker.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now