How I Know I’m Really an Introvert

I’m tired. I’m cranky. I’m working forced overtime, my kids are needy, and I talk with at least 65 callers a day in a customer service capacity. So when I go to the grocery store I do not want people hovering over me.

I decided to check out the new grocery store down the road. It was very nice however I was only in the store for 10ish minutes and I was greeted 10 fucking times.

After the 4th time I stopped looking in the direction where the workers might be, just so there’d be no mistake that I’m looking for help.

Nope, didn’t work. Still got a Hi! How are you doing today? And Can I help you find anything? After the 8th time I started giving curt answers. By my tone and body language I was clearly giving off “Leave me alone” signals.

When I was ready to check out I thought Oh no, I’m going to have to talk to some overly friendly person yet again but then I saw the self check out and thought Hallelujah!

Yeah… Still not safe. Because an older woman started hovering over me. Asking how I was doing, did I find everything ok, did I need help with the self-checkout machines. Again, I was curt, Fine. Nope. Then she saw I had eggs and asked me if I checked the eggs for cracks. This question really annoyed me because I’ve been buying eggs for 15 years, for Chrissake. I check for cracks only half the time because I’ve only twice in all my egg buying had cracked eggs by the time I got home. I didn’t check it today because I was so fucking ready to get out of the store.

I paused out of annoyance and to figure out how to respond without telling her to leave me the fuck alone. So I said, Yep. And went back to bagging my groceries. Are you sure? She asked. Yep and I turned away from her, paid and walked out of the store. Bye! She said Have a great day!

As a person who works in customer service I get really annoyed when people do it wrong. When I’m on the phone with callers I “read” the tone of the callers. At this point I’ve talked (or rather interacted with but mostly talked with) nearly 10,000 students (I checked the documentation yesterday out of curiosity) and I can tell most of the time by the tone of voice, figure of speech, pauses, etc the general emotion of what the caller is experiencing. In a way I manipulate the caller in that I can typically change an annoyed caller into a happy one, or at least one that is focused on what they need to do to solve their problem. I stay very focused on solving their issue, unless they give off signals they are in the mood to talk.

I do always try to keep it positive, or if they are negative at least neutral. I do not however when they tell me That’s all I needed say Are you suuure? You can’t, not should you, force people to try to be happy or interact with you more than they want to.

I have to go to the grocery store. I need food! It’s a life necessity. While in general it’s nice to be acknowledged and interact with people who are there to help, it’s just feels intrusive when someone is too attentive.

I want people to be available but just slightly hard to find. Like, if a waiter interrupts a conversation I’m having with someone I’m dining with every 2 minutes I get mad because I consider it rude. Or, if a waiter ask how you like the food and you say It’s ok, thanks. They then have to say Oh, just OK?

Yes, bitch, it’s ok. I’m willing to eat “just ok” food. I’m a not a fucking king or dictator. If there is something majorly wrong, yeah I’ll say something but I really don’t want to feel obliged to say Mmm, yeah it’s great! Though, I do occasionally say that when it’s truly out-of-this-world delicious.

I’m cranky. Time to go to work.

6 thoughts on “How I Know I’m Really an Introvert

  1. I’ve always felt the checkout line is too late for customer service niceties. Especially in today’s day and age, I don’t know too many people who concoct master plans to have store staff find a last minute item by pretending to leave. Shopping is fairly straightforward.

    Personally I don’t know if I would have been able to be nice to someone who asked me if I was sure I found everything okay. That’s kind of demeaning. What are you supposed to say? “Oh shit, you’ve seen through my ruse. I wasn’t able to find these fifteen items on my shopping list. Please locate them for me!”

    I would have been sorely tempted to ask for something embarrassing just so they’d leave me alone, like a DIY tattoo kit or fuzzy handcuffs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This made me laugh and gave me an idea: So, next time a cashier asks me I’m going to pull out my phone and provide this list of 15 things I supposedly couldn’t find: 1. Monistat yeast infection cream 2. Lice shampoo for severe lice infections 3. Heavy-duty wart remover 4. Feminine Hygiene pads for extra heavy days 5. Extra-large strawberry flavored ribbed condoms 6. Nose hair waxing kit 7. Suppositories for extreme constipation 8. Depends adult diapers 9. Toenail fungus remover 10. Medicated baby powder for rashes 11. Playgirl magazine 12. Vaseline 13. Blackhead removal strips 14. Bloodstain removal and…15. “The Atheist’s Guide to Eating Babies.” 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Much better for customer service would be a centrally located counter right in the middle of the store. It has a big sign over it that says “Can we help you find anything?”. And there’s a person at that counter who actually knows where stuff is, or can look it up for you. Much better than being greeted 10 times. Because if a store can hire that many people with time to greet me, the least they can do is have those people be giving out samples. I always like samples.

    Liked by 1 person

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About Quixie

Hi! I go by "Quixie." Quixie is a shortened version of "quixotic," which means: "exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical." It's how I described my evangelical Christian faith when I started blogging 5 years ago. Now I'm an agnostic atheist who is trying to find a balance between idealism and reality. I write primarily about my mental health journey (I have bipolar disorder), and I also discuss my deconversion, mindfulness, exercise, music, reading, and other cultural topics.