Q. Hi we are having a problem at work with one coworker – she is always the last to arrive and the first to leave and she insists that when she walks into the store we should all say hello to her – and when she leaves in the afternoon we should all say good-bye to her. Needless to say we are all tense when she comes and goes – she complains if we don’t stop what we are doing and acknowledge her. I was telling this story to a friend, who told me that the person entering should say hello to those already there. She was not sure about the person leaving. We would all appreciate your opinion on this.
A. This really shouldn’t be an issue – the first person to make eye contact should simply say hello. However, technically, if you are a guest in someone’s home, he should greet you as you arrive. When you enter your work place those already there generally greet the newcomer – if they don’t, it is fine for the person entering to greet those already there. When at a party, it is fine to say hello and introduce yourself, just as it is fine for those already in conversation to greet a newcomer and invite him or her to join them. No one should stand silently, however, if the other person doesn’t immediately say hello – just go ahead and greet that person.
However, the person leaving is the only one who knows she is leaving, so it is up to her to say goodnight to those she passes on her way out.