Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#020 In which our hero doesn't like to chat.

At some point, I don't remember exactly when, I got fed up with people asking me "How you doing?" Or "What's going on?", same thing. One or the other of these seems to have become the nation's standard meaningless passing-in-the-hallway greeting. It seems to go something like this:
PERSON A: (8 feet away) "How y'doing?"
PERSON B: (4 feet away) "Good. How'you?"
PERSON A: (-1 foot away) "Good."
I'm not sure why it bugs me; I guess I'm not one for idle hallway chatter to start with; but it's so perfunctory and thoughtless... I guess I'd rather you say nothing than engage me superficially.

So at some point I started to answer "you know." This probably started while I was working in the phone room of the Columbus, OH newspaper; there were a lot of people, and being that I was nominally a supervisor, lots of folks knew my name.
PERSON A: (8 feet away) "How y'doing?"
ME: (4 feet away) "Eh, you know"
PERSON A: (stopping) " ..."
The best part is that since I'm not returning the expected greeting, people don't seem to know what to say next. Often, then just look confused, or just smile and keep going. A few times people have said "Um, no, I don't know," which is bullshit, since if I had just said "fine" they would have kept walking.

Now that I've been saying it for years, it's ingrained in me. I worry that I've become a bit of a hypocrite since now my response - even if it is unexpected - is delivered just as mindlessly as the initial question. But anytime I start to think ... eh, you know.


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