It's not rude to pick your color in public.
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The Inappropriate Greeting
Latin Name: Greetus discomfortus soickyae
A greeting that’s questionable in appropriateness for office settings. Often followed by an observing coworker’s chuckle, which adds to the inappropriateness and thickens the awkwardness.
One approach to understanding this situation is through Banduras Social Learning Theory (1977). He writes, “In the social learning theory view, man is neither driven by inner forces or buffeted helplessly by environmental interaction. Rather, psychological functioning is best understood in terms of a continuous reciprocal interaction between behavior and its controlling conditions” (p. 2).
In our case above, said greeter is likely to learn quickly that such inappropriate questions are not the stuff of a workplace if the coworker and colleagues reinforce the inappropriateness of the comment by (a) not dignifying a response; (b) expressing surprised and/or shocked nonverbal cues and (c) not inviting the greeter to lunch, coffee or for trust-falls any time soon.
Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Retrieved from here