Monday, May 15, 2017

How are you?

This phrase/greeting has always bothered me. How so you ask? Well, I work in a retail/customer service job and I talk to about 150 to 200 people a day. That is a lot of 'how are yous' to listen to and say. I just don't like as a society that we have replaced the simple hello/hi to an unrealistic obligation. When people say this phrase to me they could care less about how I am actually doing. They are just following the social norms. What they really mean is hi but for some reason unbeknownst to me they would rather stick me with a question to answer.

If you ask me how I am, I am not going to give you the typical 'good, how are you' response. I am going to throw you off by saying something like; I'm tired or hungry or maybe a little horny. But you don't really care how I am and frankly nor do I care how you are doing. Can't we just say 'what's up instead. It is much more low key and does not elicit an actual response to the question. You can merely just say what's up right back.

If you really want to engage in conversation maybe change up your opening. How about: How is your day going so far? or How is the family doing? or What are your plans for the weekend? or Did you get rid of that rash yet?

Over the years my mother has perfected the How are you response into one word: goodnu. Long version: Good and how are you? I am thinking she doesn't give a shit either and that is where I probably get it from. Or maybe I am just a cynical asshole.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

One of our presidents - and I want to say it was Lincoln - tried an experiment. In the receiving line at some event, as people shook his hand and asked how he was, he told them his grandmother had just died. And not one person responded - because no one heard or cared.

Adam said...

I always hate when someone tells me how they really feel instead of good. Trust me, I don't care Mr. Stranger

Ruth said...

My husband will craft his answer depending on who asks. In stores, it is pretty good. With friends and family, he will let you know how bad he feels. If you are passing by and an employee says hi, they just need to leave it at hi and not add how are you if they don't intend to stop and wait for an answer. That is just stupid.

Birgit said...

Ahhh yes, guilty and it comes off my lips because I would say it to my former sis in law who always was negative. I knew better than to ask that but it just came off my lips. Now, once someone asked me that at the bank...they were a bank teller and I said, honestly, I'm tired, my feet hurt and I want to trip someone because I am in just that mood. She looked stunned for a second and then laughed and said she felt the same. I said isn't that better than always hearing good how are you. The next time I'm asked I will just say I a, waiting in anticipation to see trumps ass puckered so up from someone kicking him in the ass.

Mark said...

I work in retail but thankfully I can get away with just a "hello" or "good afternoon". I just reply "good thanks" whenever someone asks how I am. If you don't ask them, then you're further rubbing it in their face that you really do not care.

Al Penwasser said...

Sometimes people will ask me, "What are you up to?"
I reply, "Oh, about 5'6" and I gotta think that's pretty much where I'll stay."
Oh, how we laugh and laugh at my wittiness.
Then I never hear from them again.
How are you?

Pat Tillett said...

I almost always just answer with "I'm doing well, thanks, how about yourself?"
I almost never regret saying it like that. Sometimes though, I've really regretted it.

Arlee Bird said...

I hardly ever go places unless I'm traveling. One of the establishments that I do regularly frequent has very amicable female clerks who always chat about my day and upcoming weekend. Then they ask what kind of weed I want. Well, I am in California.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out