Let’s call this Photo Friday

On January 6, 2012 by Eden M. Kennedy

It’s Friday! And I spent all day at work getting conflicted every time someone asked How are you? I still don’t have the hang of it. I tried taking Scott’s advice and just saying Hello in response, but that kept feeling like I was walking off a dock. Like there was supposed to be a boat underneath me but suddenly I was up to my neck cold, fishy water. Then I went so far as to ignore one man who asked me how I was while I was shelving, and then it seem like he recovered by pretending he’d been talking to the New Nonfiction shelf. It was uncomfortable, and I had to make up for it by being extra nice to him at check-out. Finally, at the end of the day, a patron I knew to be consistently super nice came up to the desk and without even thinking about it I blurted out How are you! and she said, I’m fine! How are you!, and she said that even though she had $100,000,000 in library fines, but she made me remember that How are you? makes sense when you really want to know how someone is, or just to hear them talk about themselves for a minute. Some people are just exciting to be around, though I guess if the library has you on the brink of bankruptcy, you might be a little excitable.

The view from the snack bar at Golf ‘n’ Stuff
Ventura, California, December 31, 2011

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13 Responses to “Let’s call this Photo Friday”

  • Try this one:

    “How are you?”
    “Good thanks!”

  • Laughing, because I never knew what to say to Jack when we would meet in the stairs and he’d say “word”. Now I know the correct response should have been “your mom”.

  • Try this one…
    “How are you?”
    “Go Fuck Yourself”
    Now how hard was that?

  • Usually when someone asks me how I am, and it either isn’t a situation that warrants a truly honest or in-depth answer, or I just don’t feel like responding to the question for whatever reason, I just say something completely random in response. Like:

    Them: How are you?

    Me: I was just thinking about how you almost never see men wearing sock garters anymore, which I understand because socks have elasticity now and so they will stay up by themselves, which wasn’t the case until relatively recently in our clothing history, but still, it’s kind of a shame, because sock garters are really neat looking, and how much more effort would that be for a man when he was getting dressed in the morning? You know?

    Generally a bizarrely random response like that will either lead you into an interesting surprise of a conversation, or else you will definitely ensure that person will never again ask you how you are. Either way, you win. And it’s a good way to clean out the clutter of nonsense thoughts taking up brain-space at any given time.

  • In my first year in the full-time workforce, the first time I was asked “How are you,” I was so out-of-touch that I stood there with a furrowed brow thinking until the guy just burst out laughing. The following year I once responded with “I feel fresh as a daisy,” which, coming from someone of my sex and deadpan expression, was fun. Now it’s just a social convention, and after years of repetition there’s no agony involved. Hi Mrs. Kennedy! How ARE you?

  • I always say “AWESOME” in a really enthusiastic voice when I’m at work. It throws people off but seems to make them happy.

  • How are you has lost any meaning. It’s a filler. A way of saying “hello” or “nice weather”. It’s rhetorical.

    I know this because I work customer service at whole foods. My job is to know how each customer feels at the end of their trip and make sure they feel great (ie, feel like coming back).

    What I genuinely want to know from each customer (and my delivery and attitude is fucking sincere) is this:
    How was your time here? Did we fail you in anyway? Is there anything I can possible do for you?

    Regardless of what I say to them – completely unaffected by anything that comes out of my mouth – more than 80% of the time they respond with “fine, thanks” or “good, you?”

    Find what you needed today? “good thanks”
    I love this hand lotion “fine, you?”
    Are you taking this to go? “good, you?”
    Fresh arugula is back in season! How exciting! “fine thanks”

    Aaaarreggghhhhh

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