Christopher tm Herdt (cherdt) wrote,
Christopher tm Herdt

why we need greeters

There are people in this world who are professional greeters. The position title is Greeter. Meijer, for example, hires people to stand by the entrance. They smile politely and say hello as you enter, in order to make you feel welcome.

There are other people that are greeters as part of their profession. A maître d' would definitely have to be trained in the art of greeting. Office receptionists are often skilled greeters. Travel bureau representatives are exquisite greeters; I often find myself going to travel bureaus in familiar areas just to receive such a pleasantry.

You might want to hire an in-home greeter. When you return home from work, your greeter would be there to welcome you. Your greeter could usher in your friends and visitors, especially helpful in case you are not in a particularly welcoming and sociable mood.

You might not be able to afford an experienced greeter. A professional greeter may ask for a salary as high as $15,000 a year. While you may be able to knock that price down considerably by offering room and board (and thus benefit from having a live-in greeter), it is still outside affordability to most middle-class incomes.

What about an amateur greeter? This might be the right option. An amateur live-in greeter might cost you $10,000 a year (or less, if you hire an immigrant greeter, although some basic language training may be required). What you should look for in a greeter is a good smile, and a casual terseness. I recommend seeking candidates with jogging experience. Joggers have a lot of practice with brief and friendly greetings, such as "Hello!" and "' Morning!"

You do not want a greeter who talks too much. Too much talking invariable leads to non-rhetorical questions, such as "How was your day?" You do not want to ask guests how their days were. What if they had bad days? You have just brought the weight of a bad day forward. You only wish to welcome your guests.

While interviewing your candidates for greeter, arrange to have a friend step into the room. How does your candidate react? If he or she says, "Hello" or "Welcome" or "Good afternoon," then you may have found the right candidate. A candidate that simply nods is not welcoming enough. A response such as "How's it goin'" says that your candidate does not really care that your guest has arrived, but is merely vocally acknowledging the presence of another human being. "It's good to see you" is toadyish and annoying when applied to a stranger, and a handshake is presumptuously familiar.

Do not forget to consider the other important task assigned to a greeter: friendly parting words and a wave. Again, look for phrases such as "Thanks for stopping by," or "Have a good day," or "See you soon." These phrases should reinforce the idea that the guest's company was appreciated, and therefore a simple "Goodbye" or "Drive safely" is insufficient. Parting words can take on more familiarity than a greeting, but should not descend to any sort of pretentious wistfulness that might be seen as a certain desperate loneliness.

A greeter in your home, while certainly a significant expense, is an affordable luxury you should not deny yourself. Your family and friends will feel more at ease, and probably visit frequently once you hire a greeter. You might even find that you yourself feel more welcome, even in your own home. A competent greeting is an indispensable service.

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