Don't Believe This Trader Joe's Employee Training Myth

The friendliness of Trader Joe's cashiers has led to the rumor that the company specifically trains their new employees in the art of flirting. The rumor spread so far, in fact, that Glamour felt compelled to ask the chain's workers whether there was any substance to it. The answer they received was a resounding, "Oh, God. No, Trader Joe's employees do not get trained to flirt." Those who did admit to flirting said it was purely their initiative. However, there are two main reasons that people may develop the impression that there is something a tad intimate in cashing out at Trader Joe's. 

The first, is that the grocer is comparatively good at hiring genuinely nice people that mutually reinforce a friendly atmosphere. This, naturally, would lend itself to displaying the bare level of kindness that customers mistake for flirting in their own fantasies. The other, probably more relevant reason as to why the rumor has gained traction more recently, is that many of us have been locked away for a year due to the pandemic. Starved of interactions, intimate or otherwise, people are currently more likely to read a deeper meaning into the perhaps only human interaction they've had for the last couple of days. 

A different kind of pleasure

The fact that such fantasies exist for Trader Joe's and not Chick-fil-A, illustrates the difference between the perception of informal and formalized kindness. After all, despite the amazing reputation Chick-fil-A's customer service has, it has not inspired rumors of instilled flirtation that have required any level of investigation. Taste of Home reports that Chick-fil-A, like Trader Joe's, does not train employees to follow a script, even the response "my pleasure." 

However, there is a cultural pressure to say "my pleasure" or to use a different, elevated version of "you're welcome." The reasoning they relay is that "you're welcome" sounds too robotic, presumably unlike "my pleasure." But as the brand has become synonymous with "my pleasure," the elevated language sounds more rote and robotic than the every day version, which would explain why no one worries that an employe expressing how serving chicken is a pleasure for them, is in fact hiding codes of flirtation.