Thursday, August 17, 2006

Shaking hands

Opened my own bank account today, in my OWN name.

The rep who helped me was a nice looking young man but every time he shook my hand - well, he didn't shake my hand. He placed his hand where it ought to go, and I shook it.

After I left I wanted to go back and teach him how to shake hands - he is, after all, in customer service. More importantly, didn't they cover "meeting and greeting" in training???

I was taught to shake hands by the salesman who sold my car to my Dad. Now, banish all archetypal images of "the car salesman" from your mind. Saturn is a rather indie brand, or at least it was then. Hundreds of Saturn owners drive out to the plant in Tennessee every year for a reunion, a bit like Woodstock with cars.

When the deal was done, we shook hands - he stopped short - he looked at me and said, "Now, young lady, when you shake a hand you take it firmly, look 'em in the eye, and shake vigorously. Don't take their arm off at the shoulder, just give a decent positive shake!"

I bet that man never knew how many years afterwards I would remember him.


lunaliar said...

So true Liv! Handshakes are most disconcerting when limp, half-out-of-the-palm or one sided.

tooners said...

Boy, this is soooo very true! I can't tell ya how many times I've wanted to do exactly the same as you. I can't stand it when ppl have that limp noodle shake... it sorta gives me the creeps - when it's a guy. You'd think men should know how to shake hands, but so many don't. I once had a similar experience w/ hand shaking and I've always remembered it. A good hand shake tells a lot about a person, don't ya think!?

Michelle said...

Sometimes a firm handshake is also a crunched handshake which is even worse than a limp-noodled handshake.

Nabeel said...

really???? .. so u are saying that this was the first time u ever did this? well .. congratulation and .. hope u manage it well :) .. remember.. no overspending

Memoria said...

Hahaha interesting! I once saw an episode on "King of the Hill" where the (Republican) father shook hands with the (future) President George Bush (Jr.) and almost did not vote at all because of his wimpy handshake. haha Your post reminded me of that...

Memoria said...

oh! and congrats on your new acct! "You're in the money!"

m said...

In response to your previous inquiry, I have never heard of Biba, and you know I do not venture out with food haha or much of anything else. I did finally try an Indian restaurant, however. I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty the Tandoori chicken was. Anyway, I will try out the Empire Café the next time I visit Houston.

AmitL said...

Hi,,that's a bit of info for me,too..the right way to shake hands.:)The 'look them in the eye'part is something which is so important-it tells oodles about the opposite person's attitude and mood...And,we usually ignore that.And,yes,customer service execs must know about the right handshakes..wonder if u went back and taught the bank guy,finally,during the next visit??P.S. every first,like one's first bank account,is a great feeling,I think...I remember when I opened my first account..didn't even sign properly,that time,due to nervousness.

tooners said...

oh, i forgot to tell you... how fun that you have your first bank acct.! tearing off that first check is a great feeling! just don't forget to write everything down. can't tell ya how many times i've gone out, bought something, wrote a check - only to get home and realize that i didn't write it down and for the life of me couldn't remember where i'd written that check! most frustrating. ;)

Olivia said...


Hm, all of you have got the wrong idea!
I have had my own accounts in the US. Since I closed them and came back to London, I've been using the shared account for all my expenses. We never got rid of it after leaving the UK.

I am an expert at writing checks for my rent! And recording it on the stub!

I am opening my own account now that I have some regular income for the rest of this year.

So there! :P

The Moody Minstrel said...

I think everyone got the wrong idea because the title "Shaking Hands" followed by the line, "Opened my own bank account today, in my OWN name," made everyone think that your hands were shaking either out of nervousness or excitement at opening a new bank account, i.e. your classic sweaty palm, white knuckle syndrome. Even after you explained what you truly meant by "shaking hands", by then, by some form of pseudo-Pavlovian subconscious conditioning, everyone's mind was still firmly locked on the idea that you were nervous, panicked, or excited about opening the new bank account. Hence, everyone wound up quite logically assuming you were not accustomed to having your own bank account, which would imply by default that you'd never had one before!

While we're at it, Saturn is like a religious cult or a metaorganism that grows by seducing and assimilating people into its communion (kind of like the Borg, only different). Not only do they shake your hand when you get suckered into their collective, but all the staff give you a round of applause as you drive the machine of your individual identity's destruction out of the lot. Come to think of it, I once saw a Saturn dealership in Tokyo that was definitely cube-shaped.

We are Saturn! Resistance is futile! You will be assimilated!

Wait a minute...what was I talking about?

(You'll have to forgive me. I stumbled on a store that sells Samuel Adams lager today, and I've gotten a bit too happy for my own good.)

Prerona said...

hey girl :)
sweet post ...
how can you be so sweet and unspoiled, can u tell me :) stay like this forever

ok pardon my getting all mushy. been totally down due to an illness not fully back yet. will update you once back on feet properly

till then u take care & be good. xxx

Olivia said...

Minstrel - blimey, you talk a lot when you have something to drink.
Next time you come round, have a beer first! :)

I was indeed aware of the double entendre when I wrote the title "shaking hands".

LOL that is funny about Saturn. Originally, I had written in a Ben & Jerry's analogy.

It's almost as if they should release an ad to the Fifth Dimension's song "It is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius....etc....let the sun shine...let the sun shine in..."

Olivia said...

Prerona - I don't know, but I get it from my mother. Although they respect our knowledge, our friends are continually protecting us, short of patting us on the head.

I mean, last night I was at a girls' party and we were making sweets. My friend said, "Oh bless" and I had it - I said, "Stop blessing me, I've been blessed about 25 times today!" And everyone protested they can't help it because I'm so lovely.

Grrrrr, sure it's nice but really it can be tiring. I sometimes believe it keeps me back in life.

Olivia said...

Prerona - take care and rest properly. It tends to happen when you're in recovery. Listen to some upbeat music and watch funny movies.

I say this because I know how you feel - one time while recovering from flu, I listened to Mozart's Laudate Dominum, which I've loved for years, but I was so susceptible that I was in tears by the time it got the Amen.

MattJ said...

I have always been a fan of the 'grip and look' method of hand shaking. The whole shaking up and down thing always feels very salesman to me! lol. Basically everything that you've described without the pumping.

Absolutely agree agout limp wristed shakers though!