Darren: 2, Rational Small Talk: 0

I’ve written before about my difficulty with small talk. In particular, the customer-clerk conversations tend to go south on a regular basis.

In today’s example, I’m waiting in line at the grocery store and hear over the store intercom “Charity to Customer Service, please”. When I get to the counter, the following conversation ensues with the unsuspecting young woman behind the till:

HER: So that’ll be $51.46 please.
ME: Do you really have somebody who works here named Charity?
HER: Yeah.
ME: That’s a very old, deep-south kind of name.
HER: She works in Healthcare.
ME: Heh. I would’ve thought she’d be in Returns.

Nothing. Not a single giggle. Just the usual out-of-the-store-freak smile.


  1. Keep it up, I laughed heartily. It’s not your difficulty, it’s her inability even to make a polite smile at what was obviously a joke. I’m glad SHE doesn’t work in Customer Service.

  2. I didn’t think it was funny.

    Now, if you had of said something about ‘giving’ to Charity – that would have been funny.

  3. I view inability to make banal small talk is a sign of intelligence.

    When I reflect back on some of the more interesting people I’ve known they generally share this trait.

  4. I was shopping at the local Save-On a while back, and the grocery guy injured his palm somehow, and it was bleeding a little. Being the first-aid concious kind of guy I am, I carry band-aids in my wallet, and I offered him one. “Thanks, no,” he replied, “it just the stigmata acting up again.”

    Well, I thought it funny, and it was in the same vein (ha!) as this post.

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