Rapport building
By Steve Portigal at 7:25 am, Tuesday October 09 2012

Friend-of-a-friend Elizabeth Rubenstein took this awesome picture at our local Safeway.

I’m always amazed to see the backstage on display where those of us who are frontstage can see it (see another Safeway example here). In this example we’ve got two separate Rapport Topics Of The Day:

  • How do you like todays (sic) weather?
  • How do you think the Giants baseball team is doing?

Safeway has a long history of awkwardly conceived inauthentic rapport-building techniques, such as the one I wrote about back in 2002 where staffers would hold onto my receipt for a painfully long time while they tried to puzzle out the pronunciation of my name, before handing it back after muttering “Thank you, Mr. Portugal.”

For what it’s worth, they seem to have got better with the name thing, and I haven’t been asked any false-note questions about the weather or the Local Sports Team.

Other Safeway goodies from the past:

(Thanks to Jen Lum)

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2 Responses to “Rapport building”

    I for one always enjoy conversing with my fellow citizens, and, for that matter, non-citizens, regarding the current status and zany exploits of the San Francisco Giants (National League) major league baseball team, which once was based in New York, NY, but now competes in the National League’s Western Division. I especially enjoy discussing the length (in inches) of the hair (head) of one of their players, a pitcher (starting, non-relieving), who is named Timothy Lincecum. I also appreciate conversing about the suspension, for illegal abuse of performance-enhancing medications, of another of their players, an outfielder who tends to play the center field, named Melky Cabrera, who is not a US citizen. After which I am ready to discuss todays (sic) weather, specifically for the geographic locale in which I am currently existing.

    Comment by Louis Rosenfeld 10.09.12 @ 8:26 am


      Lou, that’s hilarious. Perhaps given your mastery you are an exchequer? I’m a bit reminded of some classic Montgomery C. Burns from the Simpsons and his jovial rapport-building with the common employee: http://download.lardlad.com/sounds/season2/blood3.mp3

      Comment by Steve Portigal 10.09.12 @ 8:45 am