DEAR NATALIE: I've noticed that when I buy something at any store, the cashier rarely says "thank you" after handing me my change and my bag. I find myself saying "thank you" to them. But, shouldn't they be thanking me? I have stopped saying it, and I wait for them to and they rarely do. What do you think? It seems as if no one is friendly anymore. Is it worth mentioning to the manager? -- Thanks for Nothing
DEAR THANKS FOR NOTHING: A world without "please" and "thank you" does not sound like a nice world to live in. And yet, I notice that people say those words less and less. It's a shame. You know what else is a shame? When you let someone cut in during the rush hour traffic or let them make a turn at the light ahead of you and they don't so much as nod in your direction. Socially, we are distracted and isolated from each other. We are too busy looking at our phones for people who aren't in front of us and fail to put any time and energy into those we encounter face to face every day. If it makes you feel better, mention it to the manager and continue to be friendly. Don't let others stop you from being the polite person you are.
Natalie's Networking Tip of the Week: You can network anywhere. From the grocery store to a place of worship and everywhere in between, there is always a way to find a common connection and begin an open dialogue.
Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to email@example.com or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)