Friday, April 17, 2009

How YOU Doin'?

Well, we've established that I am the kind of person that can wander around unattended, wearing broken sunglasses and muttering to herself.

I am also the kind of person who is small-talk impaired. I have a painfully limited repertoire of handy phrases to trot out and am basically programmed like a Furby doll to say the same lame things over and over whenever I am passing by coworkers.

For instance, here is what I say Monday -Thursday:
Coworker, traveling in opposite direction: "How you doin'?"
Me: Head tilt. Pretend to scroll through inner list of important and overwhelming daily activities. Sigh. "Hangin' in there!!" (Brave smile)

Here is what I'm implying:

Friday is a little different. On Friday, it goes like this:
Coworker: "How you doin'?"
Me: "Hey, it's Friday!!!"
I am pretending I have something different going on during the weekend than during the week, such as a social life. Also there is an unspoken finger-gun gesture here, in the tradition of guys with plaid sport jackets and gold chains.
Sometimes I stir things up a little, just to keep it fresh. Then I say, "Hey, you know. You do what you have to do."

I don't really know what this means.

Fortunately no one is ever actually listening to me as they travel by. I think some kind of a memo went out.

Anyway..............Hey, it's Friday!! (imaginary finger-gun)


Steam Me Up, Kid said...

Oh, Vic.

I never understood small talk. People would ask how I was and I would ramble on about exactly how I was doing. Years later I realized that they didn't really care. So now I just say Fine. But I think people want me to ask back, so I do that now too.

"Fine. How are you doin?"

Then they don't answer. Like it's rhetorical. Is it rhetorical, Vic? *sigh*

erin said...

I hate that crap. Like they really care how you're doing! I usually just start babbling on until they politely have to make some excuse to get away from me. Let them squirm instead of me! ;)
(word verification: adjug...i know it's not perverted but I totally think it is!)

Kurt said...

I love small talk. Because it gives me a chance to build a whole cache of hate towards the person engaging in it and I can later use that as a well to draw the poison waters of my writing.

Not really. I just do the finger pistol thing. and a cheek click.

Michelle said...

I always say I am doing sensational. That makes them pause and wonder what could possibly be so sensational in my life. I walk away giggling to myself.

Finger gun back at ya!!!

Michelle said...

Kurt and I posted a comment at exactly the same time!

Now i am frightened!!

Lulu said...

Some scintillating small talk from the office:

Hey, it is what is.
What Up?
Hey. Well, you know, just hanging.
Just doin the best I can.
Hey guy.

And lots of 'Just keeping it real.'

If it is what it is, and it's fake, then you're not doing such a great job keeping it real, are you....

Brian said...

hahahahahahahaahahahhahaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh I know exactly what you're saying. At least there are a few people in my office that 'get it.' Like they feel just as stupid as I do making small talk. With those people it's like, me: 'hi' them: 'good'...and we're done. But there's this one lady who keeps it going and it totally sucks. her: 'hi' me: 'hey' her: 'how ya doing?' me: 'good' her: 'that's good, me too!' me: 'can you do me a favor and swallow these scissors? YOU ASSHOLE, AAAAAGHHHHH, IT'S WORK!!! WE'RE AT WORK WHY ARE YOU SO GODDAM HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!'

Scrappy Doo said...

Never been great at the small talk either.
I have found that avoiding eye contact always works but when pressed you will get- The half tilt head bob with the slight crooked smile and a HUMM!

Double finger gun and a wink at ya with a click click noise
Happy Weekend

Dr Zibbs said...

As a fan of bird attacks - can I tell you that the picture there is totally frameable?

sour said...

i always say something super literal but also vague
for example:

what's up?
the ceiling

whatcha doin?
oh, just thinking about stuff or whatever

my conversations are always scintillating

i think i spelled that wrong

Prosy said...

Sometimes I go with the 'hangin in there,' othertimes I like to mix it up with a (sigh...pause) "As well as can be expected."

Fragrant Liar said...

Small talk in passing? We don't really go together. When I see people, I now just say hello. I don't ask how they are, cuz usually I don't care to know -- not while I'm walking by. If they ask how I'm doing, I just say, great, and move on. They don't want to know anything more anyway.

I'm sorry. Was that TMI? I know, I'm revealing like that.

Vic said...

I don't know!! I always guess wrong, so I'm either yammering on, or they think I'm rude because I didn't answer because I thought it was rhetorical....
Fine is good.

Oh - you can use the babbling as a power play - I never thought about it that way! Hm.

I was trying to figure out how to write that cheek click sound - I can do it but I can't write it. I bet Steamy could. She's good at sound effects. Steamy?

Sensational is a great answer! I bet they'd stop asking me after awhile too.
(Happy Friday!!)

It's clear you've bugged the staff work room here. Is it some kind of secret code?

She probably has a secret crush on you, and being near you makes her giddy. Have you been wearing that Axe stuff again?

Scrappy Doo,
I think what you describe actually triggers a gang war in these parts....
Happy Weekend to you too!

Dr. Zibbs,
The picture IS a thing of beauty. Now I know what to get you for your birthday.

I think you spelled it right, actually. I like your technique. It has just the right level of smartass without their being able to accuse you of it. I could learn from you.

I've run "as well as could be expected" up the flag pole to see how it would fly, but it always sounds like a hospital TV drama, so I discontinued use.

Fragrant Liar,
Sounds like you've got it down. I think it's all in the attitude. You look confident walking by. I look shifty. Sigh.

Dominica said...

LOL I totally understand !
I have phrases/answers too ..depends on who is talking to you or passin' by...
But I have to say and don't like smalltalk either, in elevators for instance, hate that !
Always about the weather...I found a way to scare people that smalltalk to me...I surprise them with something like :
Your perfume is ab fab ! What is it ? Has it been custom made for you ?
The never expect that at 8 in the morning !
Wanna bet they leave you alone next time ?(especially men)

That Baldy Fella said...

Fortunately, I am a vibrant and dynamic person who always has a wealth of fascinating tidbits to throw into any given conversational scenario....

...yeah, OK, it's "hanging in there" and finger pistols for me, too (hey, who doesn't love a finger pistol, eh? Eh? Oh, everyone...)

Girl Interrupted said...

Holy Mother of Bob! That is the most evil looking bird I have ever seen!

Now I know how Tippi Hedron felt in "The Birds"

I can't look any more, it's making me anxious.

Hope you have a great weekend, Vic :)

Gaston Studio said...

I am SO glad I work from home and don't have to put up with crap like that anymore. But when I did have to do a 9-5er, I did it like Fragrant Liar and just kept on walking after saying 'good.'

Larew said...

Personally, I find that if I turn around, start walking with them and begin whining about every little ache and pain in the ass, either literally or figuratively, they eventually stop asking.

Of course, nobody asks me to their marshmallow roasts either, after listening to me whine so much.

Oh well... sacrifices must be made.

Cat Lady

Margo said...

It took me years to get that people don't really want to know how I'm doing other than "fine, thank you." And I always thought other people must really be, "fine, thank you." I didn't get that these exchanges are really some kind of animalistic noise ritual. It's why I think I might actually be from another planet. As adult I sometimes frighten self with inanity that comes out of my mouth. And why do people never say hello or bye on the phone on television shows?

diane said...

I usually respond with "living the dream", but right now, I actually am (hehe).

Anna Russell said...

That seagull scared the bejesus out of me.

I always like to ask "Who you doing?" then see what the response is.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...


I'm Nate's Mom said...

And just as bad as the pointless small talk is the compliment. As in, "Oh you look great!" And I'll say, "Hey, thanks!" But after, I always wonder if I was supposed to compliment them back . . . but maybe they didn't look great, and I am a really bad liar.

HumorSmith said...

I suppose it's due to being a pop culture geek, but all I could see when I read your title is Joey Tribbiani.

I often endeavor to respond in unusual ways to usual questions, such as "Fine and dandruff" in answer to the state of my well being, or "Having a rotten day. You?" I also like saying, "My girlfriend was devoured by enraged gerbils this weekend." Not only does this cut down on the time I must actually spend talking to people, it allows me much more time to complete my tasks with no fear of being interrupted by the busybody from the next department over.

"diciatee": something I would never drink, even if offered with cookies or crumpets.

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

Hey!! I say *exactly* the same things! And no, I don't know what they mean either.

Miss Yvonne said...

I do the finger pistol thing at people I see far down the hallway, so that I don't have to talk to them when I get closer. I also do the "pew pew pew!" noise if it's someone I hate, because that usually freaks them out a little.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

That photo is hilarious!

Fragrant Liar said...

Happy Sunday, Vic. I have presented you with a distinguished award on my site. Please stop by.

Nanodance said...

Take heart Vic- Better to be good at large talk than small talk, and that you are.


Vic said...

Hey everyone!
I love you guys! But I'm tired (it's Sunday night) and I need to write some kind of post, so I'm giving you the generic reply, even though I read and loved all your comments. Now I have great new alternatives too, like "living the dream", and "my husband was eaten by enraged gerbils", and "who you doin'?". All sheer genius. (Also,I was thinking Joey Tribbiani when I wrote the title, so good reading Humorsmith!)

Every one of you is my favorite.

Kate said...

I've come to find that they "how are you today" is a horrible question to ask in my line of work - I work at the front desk of a rheumatology clinic where 99% of our patients have been alive since World War I. Asking "how you doin'" usually results in a 45-minute rant about their various ailments, dead friends and rottens children. It's exhausing...

Nej said...

When asked "how's it going" (which is said allot here at work), during the week my normal response is "well, I'm here (eyeroll, uncomfortable giggle)"

I prefer just saying hi or hello. I look friendly, plus it's quick and to the point.

I mean, does the IT guy really want to know what is up with me? :-)