Monday, July 16, 2007

Greetings

If I may be allowed a Grumpy Old Man moment, there are too many damn greeting options these days. I work in a building with about 500 people, and every time I walk down the hallway I have a panic attack because I know I'm going to pass five to 10 people and I'm going to have to greet each of them. That would be fine if there was one standard greeting:

"Hello."

That would be super simple. Even something a little more involved, but consistent, would be cool by me:

"Good day to you, sir or ma'am."

Spanish speakers have it super easy: "Hola." Sure, they may get more formal with the Buenos días/Buenas tardes/Buenas noches triple threat, but those are easy because they depend on the time of day.

But not here. No, we English speakers are drowning in greeting options, from the verbal to the physical gesture.

Hey. How's it going? What's up? S'up? How you doin'? Yo. Dude. Mornin'. Cool shirt. Wave. Point. Smile. Head-up nod. Head-down nod. Wink. Look away. Handshake. High five. Knuckle tap. Say their name. Say their nickname. Make up a nickname. Say an obscure reference to something silly they said or did in a meeting once.

Don't get me wrong, I like variety as much as the next guy, but things have gotten out of hand. Just today I strained the muscles in my neck when I got caught between a head-up nod and a head-down nod. I've had it.

From now on, I'm just gonna say, "Didn't do it," and keep walking.

Let them figure it out.

17 comments:

PJ said...

Mom to the rescue -- you have options you may not have thought of. For example, make yourself a sign that says "Laryngitis!" and just hold it and smile up as you pass people. Or, you could rollerblade down the hall and all you'd have to say to people is, "See my cool new skates???" Nothing else would be needed; no one would ask for more. A third option would be bandaging your whole head in white gauze. You wouldn't have to say anything because everyone would ask, "My GOD Jeff, what happened?" and your answer time after time would simply be, "Hockey game."

Aren't you glad you have me for problem-solving?

Nikki said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

TO TRUE!!! You could always go the extreme option and use a gun. They wouldn't want to say hello to you ever again.

I fixed it.

Lucyp said...

I always go for the option of a big smile and a loud 'HIYA' to everyone so to avoid having different greetings for diferent people. Mainly because i am hopeless with names and have messed up too many times so i keep it simple.

Webmiztris said...

I have a bad habit of giving the wrong response. For example, I'll say, "I'm fine" when really they asked how my weekend was. Doi. LOL

Jeff said...

Dawn, have you ever heard the stand-up comic Brian Regan? He does a whole routine on saying "You too," when it's not appropriate, much like you're "I'm fine." Hilarious stuff.

Miz UV said...

Whatever you do, don't say, "Hey, Paula, any news?" like the one guy here because that drives me freaking INSANE!!! Or, maybe you should say that. ~evil laff~

krissy said...

Today a gal in my department said 'greetings and salivations' to my 'howdy'. I liked it...

The Wench said...

I just respond with, "Hey." Short, sweet and requires no response.

jennyjinx said...

Have you tried "Did you hear the news? Can you believe it?" as you hurry past? Just remember to keep going when they ask "What news?"

Joe the Troll said...

I still like old, reliable "DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!"

Ole Blue The Heretic said...

I just growl. It keeps people on their toes.

Beware: Social Worker on the edge said...

Ah the people I work with are obsessed with making sure they say good moring and good night to everyone... It is most irritating.
Over and over "Good morning, Good morning, oh good morning"...all in different pitches. Mondays suck the most...good morning how was your weekend? I like to reply with great in the drunk tank again!

I like the approach from Lampoons Christmas Vacation...Merry Christmas..bye bye... Bye...See Ya...Kiss my ass...kiss his ass....lol

Kate

venessa said...

I love it when people say to me "What's new?"

Um, I stay home with 3 kids. One is newly pooping on the toilet. Want to talk about it? Yeah, didn't think so.

Cheezy said...

The knowingly raised eyebrows is the standard method at my workplace; this is usually done while mouthing (rather than actually saying) something beginning like 'Hi' or 'Hey' and breaking into a short, tremulous smile.

Jodie K said...

The guy at the Safeway deli always greets me with, "Hello, m'lady" which amuses me to no end and is a bit creepy at the same time.

O' Tim said...

Now THIS is where them new-fangly cyborg tooth phones comes in handy. Jes look all series at the ground and talk like ya's got an impotent conversationalism going:

"Well jes tell mama them pickled eggs is fer the preacher. She'll lay off 'em then. Huh? Oh, the Renuzit's under the bathroom sink. Yeah."

Y'all git muh driff.

Babs Bitchin said...

I think I like Joe The Troll's response, it will get a response, "Incoming," works too. I've worked in sales and management and damn if I didn't get tired of the salutations and bullshoot, crap fest, you know when you must smile till your face hurts? Then again, I think we've lost the etiquette, we used to have. back in the day, you always smiled and so on, even to a stranger. Now days, people are so stuck up their own butts, they don't even say thanks, if you hold the door, right? Where did we go wrong?