I do not, as a rule, engage in idle conversation with players. This is particularly true when I am working and while I have tried to engage in some "docktarting" time now and again, I find it difficult to keep any sort of schedule given how much I work.
This does not mean that I dislike players. To the contrary, I enjoy players considerably and the interaction I do have with them. Often, however, at the end of a shift, when I have been working steadily and have other duties to finish up with, in those moments when I am not working, I often desire to leave the computer behind entirely. Chatting on the docks becomes difficult in such a situation.
The most notable lack of interaction is with tells. I do not respond to them unless I have initiated the conversation. Players will send me tells for various reasons, and I will take note on occasion, particularly if a vessel has been left without any means of motivation due to an officer disconnection. Often, however, these tells will not receive response and I may not notice them for quite some time if I am working in another window or ocean.
Some players understand this, and do not expect a response. They will drop a cheerful greeting wishing me a good morning and then proceed to other more piratey endeavors. Others do not quite understand and I have been berated, at length, for my non-responsive nature. There was one odd case where a player wanted to speak to me. After a few tells insisting on a response, this player decided to go ahead and have half of the conversation anyway. I confess that it was a rather fascinating look into another person's life, but had very little to do with Puzzle Pirates. I hope that, if nothing else, the diatribe was cathartic.
My favourite tell (and occasional petition) must be on those occasions when I am covering for another Ocean Master. This will usually happen during the "prime time" shifts during the American time-zone evenings. Every month or two someone will ask "Are you the new OM?"
I confess I am never quite certain how I should respond. If I were inclined to respond. But an examination of my logs shows that the tell came a good half hour ago and the player is now happily pillaging aboard the Sweet Grunion and has no wish to hear an explanation from an Ocean Master.
I suppose it is for the best.
While I am no longer a new Ocean Master, I am apparently a new one for these players. I hope that they will eventually take my lack of interaction in cheerful stride as the more veteran players do.