5 Types Of People Every Receptionist Encounters At The Front Desk


I’ve worked as a receptionist at a small office for nearly a year. Every day, people come in to the office to pay their bills. Following are five types of people you will inevitably encounter working at a front desk.

The Over-Sharer

In my experience, most people fall under this category. This person has no problem disclosing details of their private lives to strangers. The Over-Sharer often opens up about medical history, current ailments, family secrets, etc. Maybe the Over-Sharer thinks they’re at the doctor’s or a shrink’s office. I’ve been informed of toenail fungus that was filed off without painkillers, teeth falling out, saggy boobs, the list goes on. One particular over-sharer decided it was absolutely necessary for me to know how “damn constipated” he was. So constipated, he continued, that he needed “someone to use a jackhammer to get things movin’ up there.” Thank you, kind sir for burning that mental image into my brain for eternity. Carry on you poor constipated little soldier, carry on.

The Debbie Downer

Debbie downer is the human incarnate of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. Unfortunately, Debbie Downer doesn’t come with a rain cloud floating overhead to warn you. Conversations with Debbie Downer often start out on a positive note but quickly turn sour. One day, a Debbie Downer informed me that he’d be interviewing for a new job. I responded with excitement and congratulated him. Debbie Downer responded with, “Well yeah, I don’t have the job yet and probably won’t even get it. It’s not a great job anyway.” You’re right Debbie Downer; you probably won’t get hired with that attitude. Go spread your joy somewhere else.

Stinky McStinkerson

WOW! Stinky McStinkerson carries a stench you’ve never smelt before. Be careful, Stinky McStinkersons can come in disguise. They look like a normal person with good hygiene. However, when they get within sniffing range, you’ll know Stinky McStinkerson has arrived. So many questions come to mind about these smelly folks. How do Stinky McStinkersons get through life assaulting people’s senses? Has no one told them they reek of a ghastly combination of B.O, sweat, fish, fried food, and garbage? Do they have no one to inform them of proper hygiene procedures? Can they not smell the stink radiating off their body at all? I’ve learned to keep a bottle of air freshener handy in my desk drawer in case a Stinky McStinkerson pops in. Unfortunatley, the Stinky McStinkerson’s aroma lingers long after they’ve left. Beware.

The Boundary-Breaker

This person has no sense of boundaries. Boundary-Breaker will often ask intensely personal questions without flinching. Any topic is fair game for discussion, be it your marital status, your address, your family, what you’re wearing, anything. Male Boundary-Breakers over the age of 65 will inevitably ask whether or not you have a significant other. Always, always, ALWAYS say you’re taken. Why? Boundary-Breakers feel it’s completely normal to ask someone out on a date (or to take a ride on their motorcycle some time- yes that happened). One Boundary Breaker decided it was completely normal to ask if I was breast fed. His exact words were, “You seem pretty smart, were you breast fed? I was but my brother was bottle fed and that’s why I’m so much smarter than him.” Good to know, man. Bye bye.

The Non-Talker

This person does not want to talk under any circumstance. No one knows why people who don’t enjoy human interaction or small talk insist on coming to the office each month to pay their bill. But alas, they do and I am the lucky person that gets to make small talk with them until they saunter out the door. There are two different breeds of non-talkers. Some just give the minimum response needed with no reciprocation such as “Can’t complain”. The more interesting breed of non-talker responds to every attempt at conversation with a one syllable answer like “Yes, no, good, okay, bye.” Non- Talkers have become a bit of a game for me. I like to ask really crazy, outlandish things to see whether or not they’ll engage in a conversation with me. No, this tactic never works, but it’s still fun. I once asked a Non-Talker if he’d invite me to his birthday party because I’d never been to one, he said no and didn’t even flinch. Poor little Non-Talkers, why must you be so brash?