I make a lot of people jump when I enter the room or try to get their attention. I am not sure what exactly I am doing wrong, but I would like to stop it so I am looking for suggestions. I have had a long running joke with my wife and other friends about it, but it is really quite silly and I'd prefer to figure out how to prevent it.
This is something I have noticed over the last few years, in my home, previous job, and current job. I would walk into a room, say 'hello', or 'alright' or some other conventional, friendly British way of announcing my presence, then somebody would shout, jump or scream.
This has happened to a broad range of people; my wife and live-in tenant regularly jump, even when I make an effort to stamp on the carpeted floors to announce my presence if they are not facing me. I work at big nuclear power plants, and have managed to make policemen, firemen, Japanese men, female apprentices, and my boss jump, so I think my behaviour is transcending gender and cultural boundaries.
Just today I went to a new office building, approached a man on the computer from the side, and said "Excuse me, can you tell me where [x] sits?" only for him to jump out of his chair and shout the word "Jesus", which left me feeling pretty awkward since it was an open plan office. He promptly apologised and said I gave him a fright.
I am not hideously ugly, so I do not think that is the problem. I can be softly spoken at times and have a "posh" accent so I have wondered if that has something to do with it.