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Japanese customer/staff interaction 2009/3/6 09:23

I think a girl who works at a Japanese bookstore that I go to pretty regularly is really nice. Since I am a regular at the store, the staff has come to recognize me. Would it be strange to try to strike up a friendship with a member of the staff at the store? I'm not sure if they are being nice only because I'm a customer, but I'd like to find out. Would it inappropriate to try to talk to them about non-shopping related topics?
by customer (guest)  

... 2009/3/6 09:59
How about following whatever the customs are of the country you are in (I'm assuming your not in Japan since you call it a Japanese Bookstore).

Either way (regardless of where you are located), if you are a male and you do try to strike up a friendship/off topic conversation, I suspect it will come across as flirting (which it really is isn't it).
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

maybe 2009/3/6 20:45
I guess many people would view it that way. I'm in America. People here are split 50/50 about this. The service staff is in a difficult spot because they are supposed to nice to you as a part of their job.

However, it's hard to otherwise actually meet Japanese people in person as opposed to from the internet (which is not the best source of new friends). And Japanese people who seem outgoing and appealing enough to warrant a conversation are pretty few.

But, I would agree. If the interaction is between a man and woman, there will always be an undercurrent of, is this a pick-up? That wasn't he intention, but I guess there's no getting around it.
by customer (guest) rate this post as useful

Meeting people 2009/3/7 09:35
And Japanese people who seem outgoing and appealing enough to warrant a conversation are pretty few.

Oh are they? Well then, I suggest you to go look for friends of a different ethnic background who are outgoing and appealing!

Also, why are they in a difficult situation? The employees just want to work, make some money, and not get canned (especially in this economic climate). If they wanted to be nice and appeal to other people, they'd probably do it somewhere else or go out of their way to make it more obvious to the customer.

Anyhow, go try to flirt with the girl and see where it takes you...
by Jackson (guest) rate this post as useful

what you flirt! 2009/3/7 18:03
it is possible to be friendly with a staff person of the opposite sex without flirting (a no-no at first). Obviously this must be done at a time when there are no other customers in line and the first few times the conversation must be limited to a (safe) subject that has nothing to do with the staff person, like talking about a current event. After that you should wait for the staffperson to initiate the small talk. and the conversation can turn to questions about a hobby or ..It depends also on the business. In a clothing store, bookstore, electronics store etc. the staff has time to talk to you for a while as this is part of the job and may end up in a sale. Even in a coffee shop the staff cleaning up tables has more opportunities to make small talk with customers than the ones serving coffee and manning the cash register. A cashier in a busy convenience store has much less opportunities. by the way when I was growing up in Europe mild flirting was common between customers and store staff and didn't mean much really. It was a way of making everyone smile.
by Monkey see (guest) rate this post as useful

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