Making small talk with co-workers is one of the worse parts of going to work

Making small talk with co-workers is one of the worse parts of going to work


There’s no point in most of what’s being said too. “Hey look...it’s raining outside more.” What do I say to that!


> What do I say to that! “Sure is, Margaret. Why, would you look at that…”


"Yeah, before it was raining less!"


Is it going to rain tomorrow?


I hate answering what they already know.


That’s a lot of H2O mate!


This one got me haha.


Wow it's pouring!


I belive it was also raining about this time last year, so I'm not surprised.


Making small talk with anyone is one of the worst parts of going to any social event, work included.


Absolutely agree. Hate small talk.


Completely agree. This is one of the reasons I’ve hated most part time jobs, and why I’ll never be able to be a waitress/caddy/anything that brings in real tips.


Small talk can lead to a conversation but most of the time it doesn't. It just filler so no one feels awkward or appears "rude." I could never work at a job that required me to ask hundreds of people how they're doing or thanking them for shopping at my store. I'm not there to make friends, I just want my stuff and I want you to leave me the F alone.


I always hated small talk and never realized my silence was considered "rude" I just don't have anything to say to meaningless topics and rather just listen but then that makes it "awkward" if I'm not talking the whole time, sadly never knew this till my late 20's. it's just so taxing and I get tunnel vision after awhile


It’s one thing to on occasion make social interaction for your social health. But then society takes it to the extra mile. Like, if you’re not an extrovert, life will suck. Like, you’re forced into meaningless conversations, and when you try to get away from the tomfoolery, society all the sudden accuses you of being a serial killer.


I completely agree. I can feel the energy drain as soon as the conversation starts. It doesn’t help that I have a tendency to ramble or over share once I start talking, so when I realize it was just a polite question and they don’t actually care how my weekend was or that I actually prefer the rain over sunny days, I feel stupid.


Same here and i’ve only been in this job for 3 months after working in at the same place for 10 years. My team leader tries too hard to make me “fit in” and its killing me because i welcome it and dont want to be the grumpy new guy. :)


I know exactly the feeling. When I was working third shift, my boss always wanted to "include" me in his conversations with another co-worker. I wish I had had the courage to just tell him that I was perfectly fine being left to myself and preferred it best that way.


I know. Like i really love working here, its perfect for me at the moment, i dont need the extra bit to make me feel at home.


I hate it and it should be outlawed


I avoid it wherever possible. I've also specifically looked for jobs in my life which don't involve physically working with other people, or where there might be a lot of other people in the team but I'm expected to be 100% concentrating on something else for the entire length of the day to the point where I can't stop and say hi.


I've worked all customer service jobs only to realize I'm not fit for it, no idea how I got them. now without a degree or skill, I'm looking for a job in solo night security or janitor... people might think that's low but imo it's probably the closest job with low social contact.


But then on the opposite side, if you don’t have a conversation and only say hello, then you’re viewed as unfriendly. Especially on break, the time that’s supposed to be for destressing. I once worked with a really sweet older woman, but she never seemed to understand that breaks for me meant just to sit in quiet and recollect my thoughts. I did try to carry on a conversation but she definitely thought of me as a bit odd since I’d just sit and read or listen to some music rather than chatter about our respective days. Good coworker when on duty, but not exactly ideal when trying to re-energize. Best of luck to you, and may I recommend the retail comic book spin off? Definitely helped me through a few harder shifts. The author is Norm Feuti if you want to look into it.


I'm to the point where I go to my car during breaks. I refuse to stay in a breakroom full of other people even though I waste precious minutes walking to my car. Since the time clock is in the breakroom, I have to try to sneak in, clock out, and gtfo before anyone notices me to say anything.


Yeah I feel like this in my current situation. I was used to using my lunch break to find a nice table in the corner and watch vids or read something while eating at my old job, then at my current new job I got invited to eat lunch with a couple others at first, which felt awks at times loll. I still do eat with them sometimes but tbh I generally just try to take my lunch break a bit later than them so I can actually relax, but I do get worried they think I don't like them/am rude 😬


Yup, if you just wanna chill and take a break and not talk to anyone you are seen as a frigid person and people think you are mad at them for some reason. Extroverts have nooooo idea what it feels like to not want to talk so i feel like unless they are genuinely interested in understanding and take the time to get to know someone they wont drop these biases. They think that everyone has the desire to talk 24/7. They feed off of socializing and thats OK. Everyone has a different personality one is not more right than the other. But anywayssssss, story of my life.


I can’t do any small talk and socialising with coworkers is more painful than my actual job


This is the reason I am dreading a return to the office.


Set boundaries. Don't small talk. You'd be surprised how other people respect that decision.


[I have a Youtube series about how to make small talk](https://youtu.be/9VH_alh4ZQw) with people precisely because 99% of the time it's terrible. I try to make my stuff super short and funny, and I feel like I have a bit of a different take being much more introverted than many of the people I've come across in the corporate world.


Cool! I'll take a look at that.


I hate it.


OP, may I ask how long you have been doing retail? I used to feel the same way but after a few years I hit this wall where I really began to appreciate the mental outlet of turning banal conversations into something personal, and sometimes even rewarding. I used to work in a place that recieved alot of international customers (i’m US) and it became a healthy outlet for me to try to learn something personal and unique about the customer before the left. I remember one instance where I made a comment about a customer wearing a national flag pin and after a moment of chatting we talked about how he had been a headmaster of a school in this country and was forced to flee due to what he described as anti-intellectual persecutions. We ended up talking for almost 45 minutes and I still cherish that interaction years after-the-fact for the man’s openness and kindness. All this to say, as tiresome as these guided interactions can feel, forcing myself to view these interactions as an opportunity to learn did alot for my well-being and ultimately, I think, made me a better person. Just my unwanted two cents.


I've been in retail for nearly 11 years now. I had worked third shift for about 8 of those years though, so there was minimal interaction with others during those times.


I hear you. I hate small talk of all kinds personally. I'm not a morning person and people trying to be super happy/cheerful before noon annoy the hell out of me. I'm not even fully awake until then, leave me alone. I'd love to just go one day without a single solitary person bothering me at all. Total silence all day. Sigh.


>I'd love to just go one day without a single solitary person bothering me at all. Total silence all day. Is that really too much to ask of others? You know that people have to know that it's not enjoyable for us.


I’m fine chatting with the customers and seeing if they need help because it’s not a personal interaction, anyone else who has to stick with me more than 15 minutes and tries to make small talk is really anxiety inducing or stressful. I literally wish people would treat me like a butler or like I don’t exist.


I agree with that. What's worse is that every time they see me throughout the day, they feel the need to say my name for some reason.


I feel this, especially with older coworkers whose kids are my age. Now there’s an even wider gap to bridge and more awkwardness...


It’s funny, I get what you mean, but I somehow connect better with older coworkers for some reason. Because we aren’t the same age/generation, there isn’t the awkward forced obligation that we should “get along.”


I'm not even sure I'm an introvert anymore, I used to hate small talk but don't mind it anymore. At my other job earlier, it was always: "Any plans for tonight/ this weekend" and I never really had any. I guess I was a bit insecure about it. No shame in just hanging out at home. Now I have very likeable colleagues and I'm way less insecure and introverted. I'm even moving towards something that seems like a relationship, which is awesome because I literally assumed that I'd be alone forever. Edit: reading this again and in no way I want to associate introversion with insecurity although they can look similar from the outside.


I feel the same way. I’m definitely introverted and feel quite drained from all the social interaction at work but I genuinely like my coworkers and I actually enjoy talking with them.


I feel that small talk is usually associated with people working long term for a company it's usually such dull mind numbing work that people have nothing more and are usually in the same boat as everyone else. the people who stick to themselves are usually making priorities pursuing another career or it's just their temp job.


Yeah I'm not in a situation like that, I'm a 19 year old student and I work 12 hours a week. Around 90% of my co-workers also work part-time or work full-time until their study starts.


I work with people that have idd. I could talk with them all day, but shift change really sucks it out of me.


Just having to talk to them is worst already. However, I do like home office where it's just written chats and most of the time it's just work related.


I don't mind it for the most part. I've worked retail for years now and while it was difficult at first it's now pretty easy and normal for me and I find talking to people breaks up the day for me. It can annoy me though when I'm having a break at work and someone forces a conversation onto me while I'm socially exhausted. There are times where I really need that break away from everyone. Extroverts don't get it. Also I hate it when people talk at you and don't let you get a word in and there's a few people like that at my work.


Yep. The first few “how was your weekend”s aren’t too bad. But by the 10th time or “Pretty good!” it starts to annoy me. And nobody ever says anything substantive. Whenever I’m honest and say what I actually did people’s eyes glaze over lol. “Well first so played fallout 4 and then me and some friend played Valheim and then I watched Star Trek and went to bed. Oh there was a sports game? Nope didn’t watch it” ... awkward silence ...


thats why im a total extrovert when i am at work. off work i am introverted.


I hate it. I never initiate conversation unless its someone I'm very comfortable with. Right now I'm applying to every retail job I can find though because I need the money and its entry level. I just need it to build confidence even if the socialising will be draining


Ughh I'm struggling so much with that too! My previous student job that I held for 3 yrs in a lab was filled with quiet independent people which I guess felt slightly isolating at times but was also amazing since I didn't feel pressured to converse much! My other student job was draining cuz it was shift work and I almost never worked with the same people so it was either stand in silence for 3+ hrs until the shift got busy or small talk... Now my current FT job in another lab is full of some of the most talkative people I've ever met and I'm also new and trying to get used to the company culture and humor still! I come home just exhausted due to having to constantly figure out an appropriate response when my coworkers talk to me about their lives or the weather or some random TV show I've never seen loll...


I hate starting a new job, because it takes me like a literal year to kind of be friends with any of my co-workers/managers. I'm always the quiet and awkward one who no one likes to be put on the same shift as because I can't make small talk to save my life. I'm not working right now and I'm starting to get too anxious to go and find a new job, because I'm afraid to do the whole process over again!


I agree and you worded it perfectly. I especially dislike it when I’m at lunch break with my headphones on watching a show or something but then have to take it off because a coworker is talking to me. Now I feel like an asshole if I don’t continue the convo so instead of watching my show I’m forced to make small talk with people I don’t have genuine connections with.


Yes!! And being on the receiving end of their verbal vomit “bitch of the day”.


I hate small talk. No matter with who and even if I like the person I'm talking to. It just doesn't have much value to me? Like ofc if we're friends/family, I love to know how you're ACTUALLY doing. But talking about the weather, school/work, politics, annual events... Nope... Let's instead have a deep convo about interesting topics (philosophy, psychology, sociology) or our hobby's. I love when ppl talk about hobbies they love and they get really passionate and you see their eyes light up. I wanna have those convos... Small talk only drains my battery very quickly. Esp with strangers


It’s annoying because they don’t care how your day is really going and you’re not expected to answer honestly anyway


Honestly, I just say cliché responses and they usually don’t keep talking. I do with this on a daily and my job, and it’s really annoying so I had to talk about things that I really could careless about.


For the most part I agree. But I have two coworkers that I enjoy talking to. One whose three years older than me and her and I get along pretty great because we have similar interests. And another whose nine years older than me who also has pretty similar interests. They’re who I rely on to help pass the time while we’re at work. I look forward to interacting with them actually. Other than them though, I avoid contact with most other coworkers and customers


I work retail too and I honestly don't talk to coworkers unless they talk to me. The turnover is so high and I can't remember everyone's names especially the new hires. So the ones that talk to me are like super extroverts that talk about themselves to everyone so they always have something to say. So I don't have to say anything because those extroverts will talk nonstop about whatever without asking me to talk anyways. The good thing with me is that I like listening to people anyways so I don't mind interacting with those extroverts who help me kill time.


If I hear my coworks talk about how Doge is down, up, then down again I'm gonna go remote.


Honestly the whole quarantine has been pretty damn great for me. I've got a senior dog that I get to spend every day with. I don't have to sit at my desk when my work is finished. I can take lunch whenever I damn well feel like it. I don't have to suffer the presence of my boss who loves to posture. And I don't have to make small talk and be "nice" to coworkers—99% of our interaction these days is all business. When it was announced that the company I work for was selling the building and getting a much smaller new space that will only be used for meetings and presentations I could barely hide my joy and I played along with the modest disappointment expressed by the larger group.


Now that I work remotely, it's such a relief to no longer have to do this...


Same, but we live in a extrovert dominated country. The ideal personality is be talkative and sociable. Currently reading the book quiet by susan cain. I highly recommend. It really gives you an idea of how we got this these personality ideals and why introverts are seen as people that just lack a desirable "natural" traits that make a person successful or wanted.


As someone who works in retail. I FEEL YOU. Adter a few hours of work I go back to sleep because I'm just so tired. In my lunchbreaks I go for a walk with headphones on so nobody disturbs me. I hate how people ask me "how was your weekend" because they're just asking for you to ask them back. It's exhausting. It's annoying. It's draining and makes me uncomfortable. Customers are a whole other thing. They're either the highlight of my day or the highlight of my day. There's no in between. A friendly customer, asking me to help them? Heck yes.


I'm an introvert and I can totally relate to everything you said but what maybe you don't realise is that the purpose of small talk is normally to transition to actually more meaningful subject that introverted peeps are usually more into. It's just most people out there actually have no idea how to do so. So if like my old me you feel fucked between the not talking option that will make you feel like an outcast and the I take on myself and get my energy suck by all those BS convos consider the 3rd option which is to use your creativity and your very propably good sense of observation as an introvert to lead the convo to something meaningful. It will make it more fun for you and you will build social skills few people have