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Server Sparks Debate By Calling Out People Who 'Refuse To Endure' Small Talk With Her — 'If You Don't Want To Talk, Stay Home'

Photo: El Nariz / Shutterstock
waitress talking to customers

In our ever-connected digital world, it's easy to assume that people would be more socially adept than ever. However, a debate was recently sparked on X, formerly known as Twitter, over a seemingly simple, everyday gesture: small talk.

Bailey, a server, recently took to the platform to vent her frustration about a common experience she faces at work: the lack of small talk. The tweet went viral, sparking a broad debate about the value of small talk in daily interactions and if it is even necessary.

The server sparked a debate by calling out people who 'refuse to endure' small talk with her.

Bailey voiced her frustrations about the chilly reception she often encounters at work. Her complaint? Diners who don't even acknowledge her basic greetings. 

server sparks debate about customers who refuse to engage in small talk with herPhoto: @been_herde / X

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She tweeted, "Sorry if this is rude or whatever but I really hate people who refuse to endure even the tiniest bits of small talk. Can't tell you how many times I've walked up to a table at work and said 'how are you doing today' only to be met with complete silence and a blank stare."

Some people rallied behind Bailey, sharing similar experiences and lamenting the decline in basic courtesy

"[I] started my first serving job and I've already experienced so many 'hi how are you-' 'dr pepper and water'. People are just rude!" one person wrote.

Another person emphasized that engaging in small talk is much faster than concocting excuses not to.

“‘How are you doing today’ ‘I’m good and you’ ‘I’m good. What can I get for you today?’ as an exchange is much faster than all of the fake scenarios/excuses people are coming up with to combat this,” they wrote.

But not everyone was on Bailey's side. Some argued that while small talk can be a pleasurable part of social interaction for many, it can be a source of genuine discomfort or even pain for others. 

"As someone who hates small talk this is very fair," one person wrote. "There's a difference between being kind and addressing someone's existence and making talk about the weather for 5 min. The latter is annoying, the former is just being a decent person."

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The debate quickly evolved, with some pointing out the broader implications of the expectations around small talk.  

"Invisible disabilities exist. Some people struggle with communication. They shouldn't have to 'stay at home' because they don't want or can't do small talk," one person wrote. 

This comment alludes to a broader issue: the societal pressures and judgments that come with not meeting expected norms, regardless of one's reasons or capabilities.

Adding to this sentiment, another person appealed for understanding and empathy for those who struggle to engage in small talk.

"You seem lovely. I know I would talk to you, but maybe try not to judge and definitely don't take it personal," they wrote. "I work in mental health, and even people who appear to be very clean, cut, and straight shooters really struggle with all kinds of things."

While small talk may seem trivial, it's woven into the fabric of our daily lives, from ordering food at a restaurant to a job interview. For some, it's a pleasant ritual; for others, it's a challenging ordeal.

But perhaps the most important takeaway is that we never truly know the battles someone else is facing. Whether it's an invisible disability, a personal struggle, or simply a bad day, we could all benefit from a little more patience and understanding. 

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Ethan Cotler is a writer and frequent contributor to YourTango living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news, and human interest stories.