Tag Archives | social etiquette

And how are you today?

Mindless phrases like “And how are you today?…” are driving me nuts. Or the new horror “Yeah/ No…”

It’s one of the banes of my life – mindless social phrases. I’ve been on the phone for ages waiting for a call-centre stranger to pick up. I want to cut to the chase: to find out why my phone bill is $200 over my normal plan repayments. To simply say. “Hello, my name is Ruth Ostrow. I need to make an inquiry about my phone bill.”

But that’s not how interactions go nowadays. They go like this. Call-centre operator answers and says in a sing-song voice: “Hello, and how are you today?” Pause. I’m then required to say: “Fine thank you.” She replies “That’s good.” Pause. Then I must say in a sincere voice: “And how are you today?” “Fine thanks.” “That’s good.”

That’s 12 seconds of my life I’ll never get back again. If you multiply this increasingly popular, inane interaction by the amount of times every non-thinking stranger does the “blah blah” in every shop, phone conversation, restaurant it soon adds up to at least 10 times a day – or two minutes – which is an hour a month taken up with blind stupidity. By the end of a year that’s 12 hours of wasted life. Continue Reading →