Do grown people in stores really laugh at customers?

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Joe90
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22 Apr 2022, 5:52 pm

Today me and my boyfriend went to a seaside town, and we went into a small store that sold all sorts of arts and crafts and stuff. There was only about one other customer in there at the time, and we had a look around. As I walked past the till two middle-aged women were behind the till and were having a conversation, then suddenly their voices turned into whispers and then they started snickering. I wasn't sure if they were laughing at me but my social anxiety was telling me they were.

But, trying to look at it from their perspective, I don't think they could be laughing at me, because this was a seaside town where you get loads of tourists and different people come and go, and the women in this store must get many different customers in and out every day, of all different shapes, sizes, races, neurology, etc, and why would two grown adults stand there giggling at their customers?

I was going to make eye contact and smile as I walked past the till but I suddenly felt shy so I just made out I was distracted by the interesting stuff on the shelves. I know my hair didn't look its best today so I tied it up in a bun, but surely that wouldn't make people laugh. Would shop assistants really laugh at their customers? Well it's OK to laugh at or judge people as long as they're well out of earshot, not while they're in the store right in front of you. Surely it's bad for business, and these two women looked in their 50s, they weren't silly teenage students working in McDonald's.


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kitesandtrainsandcats
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22 Apr 2022, 6:02 pm

Joe90 wrote:
and these two women looked in their 50s, they weren't silly teenage students working in McDonald's.

I was in and out of retail from early 1980s to early 2000s.
Yes, exactly that has happened multiple times with adults behaving as though they were still adolescents.


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22 Apr 2022, 6:07 pm

Grown people really do laugh at customers. I've had store clerks laugh at me many times.


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IsabellaLinton
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22 Apr 2022, 6:16 pm

It was likely some type of gossip that they didn't want customers to overhear.
It's not professional for them to be talking about their friends / colleagues / boss, so they would whisper.



Joe90
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22 Apr 2022, 6:26 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
It was likely some type of gossip that they didn't want customers to overhear.
It's not professional for them to be talking about their friends / colleagues / boss, so they would whisper.


Hopefully that's the best explanation. I don't want to feel like I was being laughed at for being a customer in a store. Unless you're like a "village idiot" type with odd or creepy mannerisms (such as talking to yourself or having poor hygiene or something that might scare or gross people out), what would there be to laugh at at me? I'm not a snob or a chav or a goth or a creepy weirdo or a slut, I'm just...average. Actually suited for a seaside town as I didn't feel I stood out in any way.

I must have gelotophobia, as I can relate to this well:-

Quote:
Several studies have shown that gelotophobes were often victims of bullying. Also, a 2012 study suggested a partial overlap with social anxiety, finding that 36 percent of gelotophobes meet the criteria for the disorder.


I hate being laughed at and it's a feeling I cannot ignore. People laughing at you means they are ridiculing you, for a reason. I know they could have been laughing at anything but I feel the spotlight effect and I feel like everyone is focused on me and noticing any tiny little flaw about me and are pointing and laughing at me, basically telling me how stupid and ugly I look and that I don't deserve dignity or respect. I must look absolutely dreadful if people I've never seen before can laugh out loud at me. At least wait until I'm out of the store, then laugh at me. I would be none the wiser then. Now to spend the next week or so analyzing everything about myself and feeling reluctant to go out. I must look like Elephant Man.


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Mona Pereth
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22 Apr 2022, 8:42 pm

Joe90 wrote:
why would two grown adults stand there giggling at their customers?

Because their job is completely boring otherwise?


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HighLlama
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23 Apr 2022, 2:36 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
why would two grown adults stand there giggling at their customers?

Because their job is completely boring otherwise?


Lol, exactly.

Image

I think Isabella is probably right, in this case. Most adults behave like children. They often just know when to hide it.



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23 Apr 2022, 3:23 am

Joe90 wrote:
Today me and my boyfriend went to a seaside town, and we went into a small store that sold all sorts of arts and crafts and stuff. There was only about one other customer in there at the time, and we had a look around. As I walked past the till two middle-aged women were behind the till and were having a conversation, then suddenly their voices turned into whispers and then they started snickering. I wasn't sure if they were laughing at me but my social anxiety was telling me they were.

But, trying to look at it from their perspective, I don't think they could be laughing at me, because this was a seaside town where you get loads of tourists and different people come and go, and the women in this store must get many different customers in and out every day, of all different shapes, sizes, races, neurology, etc, and why would two grown adults stand there giggling at their customers?

I was going to make eye contact and smile as I walked past the till but I suddenly felt shy so I just made out I was distracted by the interesting stuff on the shelves. I know my hair didn't look its best today so I tied it up in a bun, but surely that wouldn't make people laugh. Would shop assistants really laugh at their customers? Well it's OK to laugh at or judge people as long as they're well out of earshot, not while they're in the store right in front of you. Surely it's bad for business, and these two women looked in their 50s, they weren't silly teenage students working in McDonald's.


I see a pattern emerging. 8)


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And one more thing,



Also, as George Carlin said, "I have no stake in the outcome." I'll stick around for the comedy.

"A stranger is a friend gang-stalker you haven't met yet."
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)
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Pepe
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23 Apr 2022, 3:26 am

Joe90 wrote:
Hopefully that's the best explanation. I don't want to feel like I was being laughed at for being a customer in a store. Unless you're like a "village idiot" type with odd or creepy mannerisms (such as talking to yourself or having poor hygiene or something that might scare or gross people out), what would there be to laugh at me?



You rang. :mrgreen:


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Laughter is the best medicine. Age-appropriate behaviour is an arbitrary NT social construct.
Don't tell me white lies. Gaslight me at your peril. Don't give me your bad attitude. Hypnosis, psychosis. Tomarto, tomayto. There are *4* lights. Honey badger.
If I'm so bad, pass me by. ;)


And one more thing,



Also, as George Carlin said, "I have no stake in the outcome." I'll stick around for the comedy.

"A stranger is a friend gang-stalker you haven't met yet."
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)
Read my lips:-I am not a fan of the orange man.-I would never vote for the Republican party given the chance.-I am interested in being objective and rational.


Joe90
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23 Apr 2022, 3:55 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
why would two grown adults stand there giggling at their customers?

Because their job is completely boring otherwise?


So that makes it acceptable to laugh at their customers and make them feel insecure does it?


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CrazyEspy
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23 Apr 2022, 6:15 am

As someone working in retail they do but it's only if someone really stands out, it's possible they weren't talking about you especially in a place with lots of tourist traffic and you just happened to be there when that happened. It goes both ways though, customers will sometimes act the same way. I mostly just ignore it all and get on with things.



naturalplastic
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23 Apr 2022, 6:46 am

Always keep in mind that - youre not always the center of the Universe. Maybe sometimes youre God, but not always.

So though they were obviously laughing about SOME thing it may not have been about you. It might have been gossip about a fellow employee, or about something or someone else. And even if it was about you it doesnt matter.

I have worked in retail for longer than most folks on WP have been alive, and every retail establishment has its population of weird regular customers- I mean truly odd- like mentally ill odd. But I dont recall us actually laughing at them. Hiding from them maybe. But not laughing.

One time a young lady employee came into get her paycheck in her day off street clothes. And a bunch of us employees young guys and gals, on and off duty, began chit chatting around her in a corner of the store. The girl was sorta gripping about the job. Then a nice middle aged lady walked up to her and asked her "where is the prescription counter?". The young lady responded with "right where you see those four foot tall red neon lighted letters that say "PRESCRIPTION". And the lady just went where she pointed.

And then we all looked at each other. And then we all broke out laughing. No one said anything but I am sure they were laughing for the same reason I was- partially because the lady asked a dumb question, but mainly because we were aghast that the girl 'actually SAID that to a customer'(ie came off as a wise-ass). So it was more the situation than at the customer.



Joe90
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23 Apr 2022, 7:48 am

Well, I did ignore them. I pretended I hadn't heard. I wish I had looked at them as they were laughing though, just to check their body language (I can tell if people are laughing at me or at something else by their body language). When people are laughing at you because you look simple or something, it is best to acknowledge it by turning around and making eye contact. That way you look like you're aware. Usually "simple" people are oblivious to people laughing at them and it makes them laugh at you even more. No, people don't always laugh to get a reaction. They laugh because they're only thinking of themselves. This is where NTs can lack empathy for others (I'm assuming they were not Aspies, in actual fact I think Aspies would know better as we seem to have more respect).

I just hate the way women collapse into giggles all of a sudden when I'm nearby. But I don't stand out enough to make people laugh out loud. I was just ambling around the shop, my purse over my shoulder, browsing at the stuff in the store, nothing much to laugh about.

It's not a case of "so what?" for me though. People don't like being laughed at. I've always been taught that laughing at (not with) people is socially unacceptable and most NT adults have the social skills to only laugh when the victim is out of earshot. I do understand retail assistants do gossip about colleagues and customers, I do too, but not where they can hear you.


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Pepe
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23 Apr 2022, 7:58 am

naturalplastic wrote:
Always keep in mind that - youre not always the center of the Universe. Maybe sometimes youre God, but not always.



Bingo! 8)


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Laughter is the best medicine. Age-appropriate behaviour is an arbitrary NT social construct.
Don't tell me white lies. Gaslight me at your peril. Don't give me your bad attitude. Hypnosis, psychosis. Tomarto, tomayto. There are *4* lights. Honey badger.
If I'm so bad, pass me by. ;)


And one more thing,



Also, as George Carlin said, "I have no stake in the outcome." I'll stick around for the comedy.

"A stranger is a friend gang-stalker you haven't met yet."
Truth may be inconvenient but it is never politically incorrect...The Oracle of Truth has spoken...8)
Read my lips:-I am not a fan of the orange man.-I would never vote for the Republican party given the chance.-I am interested in being objective and rational.


Joe90
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23 Apr 2022, 8:03 am

naturalplastic wrote:
Always keep in mind that - youre not always the center of the Universe. Maybe sometimes youre God, but not always.



Good, because I don't want to be. But it's social anxiety, I feel like people (mostly women) are noticing every flaw and are out to get me. I feel like people are pointing at me and going ''look at that girl, doesn't she look weird? Let's stare at her and see what she does next. Oh, she's going to buy that scarf, whoops, she dropped it on the floor, clumsy cow - let's laugh at her again, make sure she hears. Oh, what's she doing now? I wonder why people get agoraphobic, have you ever wondered that?''

I think this forum is partly to blame for my self-consciousness because I've had people in the past here say things like ''you give off a vibe that makes everyone stare and laugh'', ''you're an Aspie so you'll typically be flapping your hands in public even if you think you don't'', ''you're probably wearing bizarre clothes that look ridiculous'', ''they probably WERE laughing at you'', etc etc. These are the things never to say to a sensitive person with social anxiety, because you may scar us for life.


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23 Apr 2022, 11:06 am

If i worked in a shop I would just spend my day howling with laughter at people but that's because I'm out of control, extremely immature and a f*****g nutcase.

Seriously though I really don't think they would have been laughing at you Joe. I'd be surprised if they even noticed you were there.