Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Impersonal greetings.

Geis: Help Desk, this is Geis. Can I have your login ID, please?
User: *******
Geis. Is this ********.
User: Yes, How are you doing today?
Geis. I've been sick.
User. Good. Here's my problem . . . .

This user wasn't being uncaring on purpose. She was responding to the Pavlovian conditioned call/response of empty greetings. People have become so used to hearing someone respond "OK" or "Fine" to the question of how they are doing that they don't even pay attention to what the answer actually is. In some cases, I've heard people greet each other in the hall or on the elevator, each asking how the other is doing and neither actually giving a answer. "How're you doing" has replaced "Hi" and "Hello" and carries so little meaning that it's no longer actually a question. But, that's OK because the person doesn't care about your answer anyway.

Of course, I'm still running behind the impersonal curve by actually answering people when they ask how I'm doing. And, on top of that, actually answering honestly.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

And in the most approprite way, I'll use this not to get in touch---my old cell died, I don't have your number--my cell number hasn't changed. Call me? Marla wants to get everyone together.

-Kel