I used to work at Starbucks. The same people came in every single day, they ordered the same thing, and they talked almost exclusively about the weather. If the topic was not about what the weather was doing, then it was what the weather was going to do tomorrow. Every once in a while, there was a glimmer of hope for conversation when a new face arrived, but then they would walk through the door and go, “wow it is cold out there!” Often customers compliment my energy level, crazy attitude, curly hair, and positive outlook wherever I am employed. Sure I’m energetic, I am certifiably crazy and my curly hair makes curly fries look French, but that whole, “you are such a positive thinker,” remark tweaks me. Is it ok to be negative ever? Instead of the peppy, “Good morning Bob! How’s the sunshine? Here is your usual Frapalapadapa drink! Did you read the weather section in the newspaper today? It’s going to be a rainy one but anyways, have a good day and see you tomorrow,” it could be, “Hi, what do you want? Tall non-fat latte? Your total is $3. Bye.” The weather topic is pretty neutral. Moving right on the spectrum, positive conversation with strangers usually involves a lot of plastic happy dapper cheery fakey shallow gab that is somewhat forced. Moving left, negative conversation seems to flow much easier but often is discouraged by employers.
This thought provoked me to make a list of negative, unpleasant, and disgusting topics to bring up instead of the weather…
Bad breath and people who don’t floss, slow walkers, mutterers, liberals, college professors brainwashing students, baby formula, the Clinton family, porn and the men that look at it, smelly people, people who are obsessed with their cell phones, atheism, fat people wearing very tight clothes, people who wear sunglasses inside, ghetto people, disrespect for the elderly, slightly wet alpacas, drugs, Nancy Pelosi, promiscuity, Barack Obama, fake designer stuff, nursing homes, liberals, shriveled grapes, the tolerance movement, Michelle Obama and her supposedly toned arms, laziness, butt chins, ignorance, Toyota, the Toyota Prius, people who drive Toyota, wet towels, old eggs, bad posture, huge side burns, tacky highlights, peace signs, country music, tie-dye, saggy things, gas prices, the name Bridgette, the name Gary, elevator music, illegal immigrants, Obamacare, liberals, goosebumps, herpes, time wasters, snoopers, whiners, strippers, nose pickers, snifflers, mouth breathers and mumblers.
I’ll keep you posted on how these conversations go.