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    I've always had issues with talking about politics. It has been, in my experience, the biggest "hot button" topic, even when compared to religion, abortion, and spanking children. To avoid confrontation, I usually keep my opinions to myself, taking care to not invite political discourse. I realise that this is not a good way of sounding out your own beliefs, testing your own opinions for validity and so forth, but I also recognize that with all things, politics has its zealots and, quite frankly, I just don't have the energy to hold my own against that level of commitment.

    Does anyone have advice on how to deflect those who speak out while I'm "on duty" at work, obviously seeking my approval of their opinions and beliefs?

    I do not want to discuss politics while I'm being paid to represent a business, as my position may not reflect that of my company's leadership. Even if it did, it's not my place to say--that's not what they pay me to do. However, when a customer pipes up about [insert politician or pundit here], voicing their stand to one and all, what can I politely say to inform them that I am uninterested in but respectful of their opinion?

    All I've got now is "I'm sorry; I don't discuss politics at work." It seems rude, and the average reaction to that statement suggests that it is, in fact, rude--at least to older men.

    I could go the "girl" route: giggle a bit, and suggest that I have no idea because my husband tells me who to vote for. (Yes, this still happens, even in my generation.) I feel that I can't, because it would be an outright lie.

    I welcome suggestions from every political corner including the apathetic, as always. I'm "equal opportunity," if nothing else.

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