Greetings & Salutations

Greetings & Salutations

When I go to the gym I’m always greeted by the young, friendly staff.

They always greet me with a friendly, “Have a good workout.”

They greet everyone the same way. I notice that on my way in and out of the gym. I notice on the way out they tell everyone, “Have a great day.”

I’m sure it’s something they’re instructed to do. It might even be something in a survey a customer is asked about. It’s probably part of the way the gym is evaluated by corporate. There’s probably a question somewhere like, “How welcome do you feel at the gym?” or “How friendly is the gym staff?” I imagine there’s something in their training about how exactly they’re expected to recognize a customer on entering and leaving the gym. Everybody gets the same treatment, so it’s got to be part of the protocol.

But I’m not like everybody else. So whenever I come into the gym or when I leave, I pretend not to hear what they say. I pretend to be distracted. That way, they repeat the greeting. That way I get 2 greetings or salutations compared to everybody else’s 1. That way I can believe they’re doubly glad to see me. That way I can believe they wish doubly for me, compared to everybody else, for me to have a good day.

One day I was in the locker room taking a shit.

One of the employees was wiping down the sinks when I came in. He didn’t notice me. He didn’t greet me.

As I was shitting, somebody else took to relieving himself at the urinal next to my stall.

I heard the guy taking a leak ask, “You seen the asshole today?”

“Oh, you mean the one that pretends not to hear?”

“Yeah,” I heard.

“Not yet.”

I pretended not to hear what they said. I had practice.

They left the locker room before I finished my shit.

On the way out of the gym, they were at the counter.

As I passed, I saw the one glance at the other and smirk.

“Have a good day,” the one kid said.

I looked at him puzzled.

“Have a good day,” he repeated.

I smiled back.

“Thank you,” I said.

I walked to my car, pleased at knowing I, unlike the rest, got my 2 salutations instead of only 1.

What I’ve learned is you gotta earn what comes extra. Everybody else gets 1 greeting or salutation. But I get the extra attention cause I’ve earned it. Earned it by pretending? Sure. But it’s more effort to pretend than not. It’s easier to just go with the flow, but I’m not that kind of guy.

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