During my experience working at the front desk in Carr Haus, I’ve been interested in the way those who enter the building interact with me, if at all. The way I’m situated, sitting and still in the space, versus those who are in movement and with a destination in mind, creates a different sort of interaction that other places on campus. I’m also working as “the person at the front desk” rather than just a student, which also leads to different greetings than in other situations at RISD. Therefore, I experimented with greetings during two shifts. In the first, I smiled at each person who came through the room. In the second shift, I smiled and said hi to everyone who came in. I recorded their responses.
With this information, I thought more about how greetings are scripted. We resort to basic expressions and words to greet others (primarily strangers) because this is much easier than coming up with a more original and potentially risky way of initiating contact with another human. I translated the recorded dialogue into a script format, bound in a small book. I am the character “FRONT DESK” and the people who come through are “PERSON”. Actions are recorded in parentheses and the direction they are going (to the Carr Haus cafe, the student lounge, or the offices upstairs) are recorded through stage directions (Stage Right, Stage Left, and Down Stage respectively). I separated the three sorts of reactions I got from people into three Acts. The first, No Contact is for those who ignored my greeting. Act II, Recognition, is for those who made eye contact and some sort of facial expression. Act III, Greeting, are the interactions that included a conversation between FRONT DESK and PERSON. The amount of each reaction is mapped by the length of each map.