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Small talk. Why? What's the point?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by grumpydogwoman, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    I am perfectly capable of talking small but I don't see the point.

    Yet it is said that NOT getting down to brass tacks and NOT wasting time by enquiring about the weekend or whether someone had a good Christmas is less likely to result in success at interview than a bit of introductory waffle!

    It makes no sense whatsoever to me.

    Why would you suppose that someone who goes in for this will make a good worker? Surely the reverse is true!
  2. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    And the idea that shy job applicants could be primed with standardised opening lines that everyone will have read about and laughed out of court...:confused:
  3. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Mild for the time of year don't you think gdw?
  4. artboyusa

    artboyusa Star commenter

    Do anything nice at the weekend?
  5. FritzGrade

    FritzGrade Senior commenter

    Because employers generally choose people they like. People with some relationship skills. The public sector job selection process is not universal.
  6. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    Its like on the telly when the coppers pull over some miscreant and say "Hello, how are you?" to them, bloody pointless. What happened to "you're nicked!"?
  7. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    Are the 'less good' examples meant to be a joke? Would anyone really say those at an interview?

    I like this one

    “No, I haven’t been waiting long, and I’ve been well looked after.”

    It show politeness and awareness of the trouble someone has taken to look after you (if they have of course!).
  8. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    It's just breaking the ice, really. We do it instinctively, don't we?
    Avoid the weather, though.
  9. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Not the weather???

    But that's one topic I can actually DO! :(
    coffeekid likes this.
  10. ah3069

    ah3069 Occasional commenter

    Oh god, I hate small talk, when i go to the barbers, I chose the barber who can only talk Italian instead of english, solves the problem nicely!
    FigmentOYI likes this.
  11. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I once interviewed a bloke who then asked me out for a drink. I might have been flattered but he also tried to chat up the person who'd showed him around when he first arrived. I think he thought it would get him the job.
    coffeekid likes this.
  12. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    The office ladies at my school reckoned they could identify the successful interview candidate on the basis of first impressions when they signed in. I don't know why the SLT bothered with the interviews, sample lessons, professional discussions, lunch, and all the rest of it - they should have just asked the office what they thought by 9:15.
  13. FritzGrade

    FritzGrade Senior commenter

    It is the first 5 minutes where the decision if often made.
  14. cuteinpuce

    cuteinpuce Star commenter

    Three people in different supermarkets and petrol stations this past week have asked me "How's your day been?", which is a new one on me.

    It's actually quite an effective way of getting small talk going (and I do like having a chat with the check-out folk rather than standing in silence) but I'm puzzled at its sudden development in my life. I wonder if it's the latest advice from business consultants on developing the business / customer interface.
  15. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter

    I once got a job based on the fact I was wearing the colours of the key interviewer's favourite football team.
    That and my magnetic charm.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
  16. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter

    When this happens to me, the checkout workers always look a bit put out and panicky when I return the question. "Enough about me - how was YOUR day?"
  17. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    Have you booked/been on holiday yet?
    It greases the wheels of social intercourse with acquaintances. It is necessary.
    Says one who was only recently told to stop addressing colleagues (some of whom I have never contacted in any way) as "Dear So-and-so" because it isn't email etiquette. One of the offered alternatives was "Hey!"
    Over my cold dead body.
    knitone, racroesus, colpee and 3 others like this.
  18. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    They get very confused if you answer with anything other than "fine, thanks" or a happy tale of lunching with Lady Mayoress.
  19. xena-warrior

    xena-warrior Star commenter

    Depressing. And the reason my highly intelligent, highly-skilled son so often gets overlooked. You're paying someone to do the job, ***, not to be your new best friend!
    (Another thing we were told not to do in an email was use an exclamation mark. So sack me.)
    racroesus and grumpydogwoman like this.
  20. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Hey! How ya doin' @xena-warrior ?

    Have a good weekend?

    I'm a bit of an Aspie, I think. I go to work to...... (radical view) work.

    So small talk is horribly discriminatory. Against Aspies.
    racroesus likes this.

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