If one is an underling and notice that the secretary only greets those with some responsibility and otherwise never replies to someone who says "Good morning" anyway every day, do you think that person should take issue? I'm trying to think from the secretary's point of view also and I wonder how tiring could it be to greet around 100 people every single day?

My own opinion is that they should reply once in a while and they are being extremely rude by never replying.

Additional info: when one enters the office, the secretary is less than two meters away, so it makes it kind of awkward to not say anything. It's not like she might be five meters away or more.

  • 3
    So you question is should that person "take issue"? Could you clarify that please, what is the problem you want us to help you with?
    – DarkCygnus
    Aug 24, 2017 at 22:30
  • 1
    Pretty much a duplicate of this? workplace.stackexchange.com/q/5658/2322
    – enderland
    Aug 24, 2017 at 22:41
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    It is probably location based. Where I work people usually don't greet when entering office to not interrupt anything etc. The custom is more to initiate small talk only if someone is going to/from watercooler/coffee machine or is next to them. Aug 25, 2017 at 0:24
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    Anyone not replying to a "Good morning" is being rude, regardless of their position. But as @a-concerned-programmer points out, you have absolutely nothing to gain from making an issue of it. The best course of action is to stop saying "Good morning" to this person and live with it.
    – Jason B.
    Aug 25, 2017 at 1:10
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    If you have to ask the internet whether you should "take issue", you most certainly shouldn't "take issue".
    – Masked Man
    Aug 25, 2017 at 5:02

2 Answers 2


I understand that you may find the secretary rude and arrogant, but I will share these recent traits I've acquired with you:

Never take things personally


Focus on the Objectives

As long as the secretary is not being an obstacle to your work, IE by completely ignoring you when you clearly have to work with her, then I say don't take issue. Just let it go.

Assume other reasons as to why the secretary acts like that.

  • Maybe that person is too absorbed with work.
  • Maybe greeting a hundred employees everyday does takes a toll on her, while it isn't really a part of her tasks everyday. You provided this reason, and to me it's a good step forward.

For plus points, keep greeting her/him anyway. Just because you're awesome like that.


Don't let others dictate your actions. I have smiled and said hello to people who have never once replied for years. It's a habit for me and costs me nothing. And it's a positive habit to have, of which I have all too few.

I actually don't care if they reply and wouldn't want to exchange empty platitudes with them anyway. It's just normal courtesy.

  • Interesting. I have a couple of cases of people that ignore me, but when I started to do the same back got annoyed or comment behind my back I ignore them. Mar 2, 2019 at 11:08

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