All I wanted to do was get some groceries. I finish going through the isles and head up to the checkout with my cart full of goodies and hope to be on my way fairly soon. Unfortunately the cashier apparently has other plans. She tells me about how she really regrets being an only child and how her friend got beaten up in university, but she had a big sister who came to her rescue (big sis played rugby). Then she tells me about how the population at large is part of a growing conspiracy to steal her pens and she shows me the one currently tethered to her belt. This girl is nuttier than trail mix. "They're not getting this one! Huhhuh!" she chortles. And I believe her. I wouldn't go near that pen with someone else's ten-foot-pole. Thankfully she only makes me sign the credit card slip with the pen that she's woven a cover for out of yarn bearing her name.
Next time, I'm going to pretend I'm mute.
Don't even get me started about taxi drivers. Most of the time, when I get in a taxi, I just want to be driven to where I want to go and get out when I get there. I'm not hiring them for conversation. If I want that, I'll go buy some groceries.
I realize these people are mostly just trying to be polite, and in some cases trying to garner a larger tip, but chances are, I'm happy sitting in my cone-of-silence and just want to be left alone. If I'm taking a cab, chances are I'm drunk anyway. I don't think I'd make very good conversation at that point.
I think people in these positions should leave it up to the customer whether they should engage in conversation, which is really just meaningless banter about the weather, sports, or current events anyway. It'll save them the headache of talking to someone who gives only marginal responses, and it'll save me the headache of giving marginal responses.