I used to have a job dealing directly with the public.
People in this line of work like to say that they're working on the 'Front Line'.
I believe this is a term that management came up with, to make less important people feel more important.
Strictly speaking, it's correct. You're at the front of a service, or company.
Essentially though, you're probably one of the least important people at your place of work.
You're the 'front line' of defence. The infantry, if you like.
Sure, you'd be told how important you are to the service and how much you're appreciated but you're not.
You're purpose is to keep the public away from the important people.
You sieve through all the shit and only let the gold through. The more important people don't want to touch the shit. So, when you come across somebody who is too important to deal with you, you pass that gold to the next person up. And so it goes in business. It's the circle of business life lol.
One of my favourite things when working on the front line was enjoying the way that people preface whatever it was they wanted to say.
I'd often get, "I wonder if you could help me?", which is perfectly acceptable.
I'd say, "morning/afternoon". Never good morning, or good afternoon, cause I didn't want to leave myself open to the question, "What's good about it!".
I'd often get that reply anyway, despite not using the word, 'good'.
Of course, I'd take great joy in pointing out that I didn't say good!
People tend to hear what they like anyway. They assume that I've asked, "Can I help you?", which I never did.
So I'd say, "Morning"
And they would reply, "I hope you can!"
I generally didn't pull people up on that one.
My all time favourite, that still makes me laugh, when I hear it to this day, is the opening line, "What it is, is..."
I could never keep a straight face. What the fuck is that?!
What it is, is!?
It was always a throw-away line to help them launch into whatever it was that was troubling them.
Usually they'd jump into the issue, so I never got the chance to ask, "What is it, it?"