DEAR MISS MANNERS: Since relocating two years ago, I walk two blocks to the same local coffee shop to order a morning coffee and latte for my wife and me. As I’m a recognized regular patron, I’ve come to know nearly every member of the staff. I always greet them with a warm hello, and they respond in kind -- that is, except for one curmudgeon of a cashier.
I know he knows I’m a regular, because he knows our drink order by heart, as well as my name. But for whatever reason, he has never once even attempted to be cordial. When I greet him with a friendly, “Good morning!” he responds with a gruff “The usual?” No smile, no greeting, no mention of my name ... nothing. He just fills my order, takes my payment and that’s it.
Should I bring up his curt behavior with the store manager, who is always friendly to me? Or should I simply accept that this is his normal demeanor? I know it’s a small thing, but it’s really starting to rub me the wrong way.
GENTLE READER: And your cheeriness may be rubbing him the wrong way. Yet Miss Manners does not want you to change.
You don’t even have to accept the idea that he will never change. People have different temperaments, and sometimes the steady administration of cheer can make an eventual difference.
But the worst thing you could do is to get him in trouble by reporting him. He is doing his job, and it is presumptuous of you to believe that you should be able to control his mood. Besides, it would only show him that your show of goodwill was a mask.