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Responding to Common Courtesy with Honesty?

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Responding to Common Courtesy with Honesty?

Old 09-04-08, 05:36 PM
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Responding to Common Courtesy with Honesty?

I'm at the supermarket today picking up some odds and ends, and the checkout person asks me, "How are you doing today?" The honest answer would be, "This is either the worst fucking day of my entire life or the second worst, depending on the perspective," but I can't say that. Normally, when I'm having a generically bad day, I'd lie and say, "I'm fine. How are you?" But today, I couldn't muster the energy to fake it, so I just mumbled rudely to myself in avoidance of expressing the truth.

Do you ever answer a stranger's innocent social question with awkward honesty?

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Old 09-04-08, 05:40 PM
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No.

Now stop asking me inane questions, I've got work to do!
Old 09-04-08, 05:46 PM
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I've done the 'Groundhog Day' weather thing a few times.

I've said "I'm doing LSD" but in the tone and meter of of "I'm doing fine" to even see if they listened. The ones who catch it usually laugh, breaks the ice a little.
Old 09-04-08, 06:04 PM
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Last week at the supermarket, the checkout girl did the usual "Howareyou?Didyoufindeverythingokay?" routine, to which I always reply I'm fine, and I follow up with asking how she's doing. She went with the "honesty" angle and I got to listen to her tell me about her headache and the meds she can't take for it because of allergies and how crappy she feels. I responded with generic caring-sounding platitudes and we politely said our goodbyes.

My standard reply to strangers is "Fine, thanks" or something along those lines. I might try the LSD approach though
Old 09-04-08, 06:08 PM
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No - and I always say, fine, thank you and NEVER - fine how about you? I made that mistake and had a total stranger proceed to tell me their problems and I dont care to interact with unknown humanity in that way.
Old 09-04-08, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by X View Post

Now stop asking me inane questions,
You might as well shut the forum down then
Old 09-04-08, 06:36 PM
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I have had alot of days like those lately and just say fine. When I would like to go APE. I guess they are just doing what they are told to do. Like, at the Post Office. I just stare at them and wait for them to stop and say NO. Like, do they think if I'am mailing a bomb I would tell them.
Old 09-04-08, 06:37 PM
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I usually just say "fine" or "good" but i've said "been better" before and gotten sympathetic replies asking what's the matter.
Old 09-04-08, 06:45 PM
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My response to this question is often "eh."

I've been told that this is a very Ron response, and I'm trying to work on being more positive.
Old 09-04-08, 06:51 PM
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Always. I can't find a reason not to tell it like it is.

It's like if I'm feeling bad or having a rough time of it I'll say something like, 'I'm hangin' in there', 'It is what it is', or 'It's another day and here we are.'
Old 09-04-08, 07:13 PM
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I usually say "adequate" when somebody asks me how it's going.

Kudos to the person who can identify what TV show character inspired me to give that response (clue...I've been using it for about 20 years or more now!)
Old 09-05-08, 08:05 AM
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I usually don't answer at all.

Some people think I am rude and anti-social. I just prefer to keep to myself.
Old 09-05-08, 08:31 AM
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When a stranger asks, I usually respond with a greeting like "Howdy" or the like. I treat the "how are you" question as a greeting, unless it is someone I know well, then it's a judgment call if I feel like sharing.

I do find it amusing when I catch people who aren't paying attention. When the landlady of my office building calls (she's an outright phony) she opens with the "how are you" question, but I throw her a change-up answer and this happens every time:

Landlord: "Hi, how are you?"
Me: "What can I do for you?"
Landlord: "Fine."

She has never stopped once to consider my actual response. She just assumes I respond with a "Fine. How are you?"
Old 09-05-08, 08:50 AM
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Wouldn't the perfect answer be: "Ah...you don't want to know."

That's an honest reply and puts the awkwardness back on them!
Old 09-05-08, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
You might as well shut the forum down then
You might hesitate before making that suggestion to someone who can actually take you up on it..
Old 09-05-08, 09:25 AM
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I know people who ask that question are just making small talk so there is no need to be unpleasant with a response. If I am having a bad day then I will probably respond that I am okay and leave it at that.
Old 09-05-08, 10:08 AM
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I take off my glasses, rub my eyes, and sigh loudly. Maybe cry a little.
Old 09-05-08, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Bronkster View Post
Last week at the supermarket, the checkout girl did the usual "Howareyou?Didyoufindeverythingokay?"
Every once in a while, when the checkout people ask me if I found anything, I'll fire back with "You know, I couldn't find (insert random item here)" to which I get a blank stare.

Then I follow it up with "Nah, I'm just fucking with you. I found everything I needed!"
Old 09-05-08, 10:37 AM
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I once had a pretty hot redheaded cashier ask me that. I was having a horrible day, and told her as much. She said, and I'm not kidding "You look like you could use a hug." And came from around the register and hugged me.

Granted, she knew me (since I was a regular), and we always chatted while she rang up my groceries. But that really caught me off guard.

And, yes. The hug did help.
Old 09-05-08, 11:56 AM
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I asked a coworker this morning how she was doing and she said 'fine, how are you?' to which I answered 'I'd like to ram my fist in the wall'.

That will teach to ask how I'm doing. I was having a ridiculously shitty day and still am actually. I doubt it will get any better soon either so I hope no one else tries making small talk.
Old 09-05-08, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Feneant View Post
she was doing and she said 'fine, how are you?' to which I answered 'I'd like to ram...
There are so many worse ways this sentence could have ended other than
Originally Posted by Feneant View Post
...my fist in the wall'.
Old 09-05-08, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by sundog View Post
When a stranger asks, I usually respond with a greeting like "Howdy" or the like. I treat the "how are you" question as a greeting, unless it is someone I know well, then it's a judgment call if I feel like sharing.

I do find it amusing when I catch people who aren't paying attention. When the landlady of my office building calls (she's an outright phony) she opens with the "how are you" question, but I throw her a change-up answer and this happens every time:

Landlord: "Hi, how are you?"
Me: "What can I do for you?"
Landlord: "Fine."

She has never stopped once to consider my actual response. She just assumes I respond with a "Fine. How are you?"
If she's hot, instead of "What can I do for you?", ask, "Can I do you?" and if she says fine.
Old 09-05-08, 01:12 PM
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I used to feel sorry when telemarketers would call the house and my mom would answer. When they'd ask how she was doing this evening she would give them the "Oh, it's been a rough few days and my back is hurting...." type of honesty answer. No, she wasn't doing it to be amusing.
Old 09-05-08, 02:41 PM
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If I'm having a truly shitty day, which is pretty rare, I'll just state something along the lines of "I've been better". Normally though, I go with "pretty good" or "excellent".

I have told cashiers that I couldn't find everything I was looking for, but that was because their store didn't carry it.
Old 09-05-08, 03:21 PM
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"It's been a rough one. I'd complain but no one would listen" *shrug shoulders*

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