Listen, I Heard You

Many times when I’m out in public, I’ll give or receive either a few friendly words or a hello gesture, whether it be a nod or a smile, to a complete stranger. If I’m on the receiving end of such an occurrence, often times it’s because I’ve already made eye contact and offered a grin; I can’t help it. Not only am I an incredibly friendly (and extremely modest) person, but I’ve been trained to be friendly as well, thanks to the many customer-oriented jobs I’ve held throughout my life. “Thank you, pull around!”

drivethru

I can tell you with certainty that if you’ve ever asked a stock boy at a grocery store “Are you working hard, or hardly working?”, you’re not nearly as original and funny as you think you are. In fact, chances are good that he’s probably been asked that question over a hundred times and he’s probably sick of having to laugh and pretend that he finds it amusing, especially if he’s having a bad day and is working very hard. Same goes for the person who tells him “Don’t work too hard!” He knows that you don’t really care how hard he works, and actually, you secretly figure that if he was working harder, maybe the Preparation H you planned this particular shopping trip around would be in stock so you wouldn’t have to make another stop on the way home. Besides, people in general will continue to work at the same pace no matter what wannabe-witty saying you “come up” with.

The worst thing that happens is when you ask someone a generic question, out of a desire to simply be friendly and acknowledge his or her presence, and you get an answer that has nothing to do with the question you’ve just asked. People who do this are total dorks, and I encountered one such dork in a grocery story this afternoon. The gentleman worked there, I figured out that much by the name tag stuck to his shirt, a name tag that had become clearer with each step we took toward each other. I noticed him noticing me noticing his name tag, so I offered a mere “How’s it going?” as I nodded my head in his direction. As we passed each other, he responded with “Not much.”

Not much? What the hell does that mean? It’s not going much? There’s not much going? Or, did he size me up before I had neared him, ultimately deciding that I was a What-have-you-been-up-to type of asker? I’m sure that’s what happened – when I opened my mouth and began speaking, all he probably heard was Charlie Brown’s teacher. Of course, once I was five strides beyond this exchange, I muttered “what a dork” under my breath. Then I laughed.

Why was it funny? I’m not sure, but I snickered about it a couple more times as it replayed through my mind. Maybe I’m too easily amused. Whatever the case, I finished up what I was doing and continued on with my day. Later in the afternoon, I shared a pleasant conversation with a liquor store manager during one of my last stops. He explained that he couldn’t wait to go fishing this coming weekend, and I promptly retorted with information regarding my upcoming family vacation that is taking place next week, a week which I am impatiently looking forward to.

“OK Luke, have a good vacation,” he encouraged as I gathered my belongings and prepared to leave.

“Thanks, you too.”

Doh.

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12 Comments

Filed under Funny, humor, Jobs, Language, Life, People

12 responses to “Listen, I Heard You

  1. I do that last one alot too. It gets me when the drive thru person says, “have a nice day and come back”. I say, “you too” and feel like a dork. I’m replying to the “have a nice day”, although I fear they think I’m replying to the “come back” part.

    Here’s hoping nobody shows up at your doorstep saying “you told me to come back.”

  2. Maybe he thought you said, “What’s going on?” because that’s the kind of thing he’d have said.

    I pull the “you too” thing at least once or twice a year. Always a pleasure to out myself as an utter idjit.

    No, it was pretty obvious he wasn’t listening to me at all – I was pretty clear.

  3. Luke, I pulled the “you too” slippage this past Friday. A coworker peeked his head in my office and said, “Have a nice weekend.”

    Of course, without thinking, I responded in kind. And then wished I could slip thru the floor tiles when I remembered the man was taking time off for his Mom’s funeral.

    Awww… crap.

  4. Red

    Or you could just be a total bastid and ignore everyone and be an ass. That wouldn’t be cool.

    Nah, I couldn’t do that. It’s more fun to engage people and let them give me the opportunity to be an ass.

  5. Sarah

    I often reply to my servers at resturants with a “you too” when they tell me to enjoy my meal. I always feel like a schmuck when they walk away shaking their heads at me.

    I found out that the comedian Brian Reagan does a bit similar to this topic. I suggest checking it out, it’s very funny.

  6. “How about this weather we’re having?” Just stab me in the head instead of saying that to me.
    Remember Kevin. He once said, “It’s feels good out. I think I’ll leave it out.”

    Weather = lowest common denominator.

  7. jesseybean

    I “you too” alot at my job. Usually I catch myself and they get a “You… *mumble*”.
    With my kids, it never fails. I tell all of them, “Whats up?” and they reply, “Good.” What the hell? I’m raising a bunch of retards.

    I’m convinced that all humans have the “you too” gene.

  8. I smile at everyone too. I love it, because you can always see that strained look on their faces while they try to remember if they actually know you or not.

    I’m sure it’s more fun if you’re female; an innocent smile from a female to a male will always be misinterpreted.

  9. I tagged you to do some dumb meme, you sick son of…

    Well, it’s two months later… wonder if I should still do it?

  10. I’m the same way with auto responses… especially the “You too” , but what absolutely p****s me off is when I thank someone, for a door being held open or some such service and they reply. “uh huh” or “Mmm hmmm”

    I really want to turn sharply around and say: “Oh, pardon me, in future would you just prefer if we foregoed (forgoed, not forewent?) ..if we dispensed with courtesy -I’d surely hate to tax your already burdened social interactions further”

    Instead I just smile… and quietly picture them burning in hell.

    Uh huh.

  11. LDisney

    I’m a blog virgin but I had to leave a comment on this topic. Since I got married and changed my last name I have encountered a plethora of people that think they are being clever and interesting but in actuality are showing that they are astonishingly simple minded… Yes my last name is REALLY Disney, no I don’t have any idea if there is any relation and yes it is a neat/cool last name. I’m not sure if this regularly repeated conversation I am forced to have with complete strangers is more or less mind numbing then when I am asked to spell my last name (even after explaining it’s just like Walt, you know creator of Mickey Mouse, the world, the land and just about every animated movie you have ever seen… no? Still nothing?…). That is when I just start signing “It’s a small world after all…..”

    Hey cuz, I never thought about that. I imagine that getting old rather quickly (the convo, not the last name).

  12. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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