You got a greeting, it starts with an ‘H,’ how’s 20 bucks sound?

The title of this blog is taken from an episode of Seinfeld[1] wherein Kramer goes into Home Federal Savings Bank, who have a policy that if you aren’t greeted “Hello,” they’ll give you $100.

Kramer argues that “Hey” is not the same as “Hello.”

Anyway, he gets 20 bucks out of the deal.

I commonly greet people with a “How’s it going?” or “How are you doing?”

I shouldn’t do this.

Because, I can’t legitimately give answers these questions without sounding like an asshole.

Generally when people use these greetings, they don’t really care about the answer to the question. They aren’t really asking how I’m doing. They are just saying “Hello.” It’s a greeting, it starts with an “H.”

When I hear a question, I can’t help but try to answer it. I’m also honest to a fault.

The common response to “How’s it going?’ is something along the lines of “Fine, thanks. How are you?”  But, that’s not my automatic response. I can’t do it. It’s a lie. When I try, I come across as sounding phony.

So, I’ve started shrugging and saying “meh” or when I’m feeling particularly cheerful, “Oh, I’m all right.” But, I get the feeling that a lot of people see this as rude.  I’m pretty sure that some of my colleagues have just stopped greeting me with these questions for that reason. Which is fine by me, I can’t come across as an asshole if I just wave.

The underlying problem, I think, other than my inability to engage in normal, social, human interactions, is that people are uncomfortable around people who are unhappy.  I think it’s partly a reflex, being around people who are stressed or in duress tend to have a way of bringing you down too.  I obviously don’t mean to bring anyone down, but I can understand why my response can be off-putting.  On the other hand, it has become my goal in life to convince the world that there’s nothing wrong with not having a particularly happy disposition.  Although I’m finding out that apparently honesty doesn’t count for much.

Once, just once, I wish that someone could respond to my “meh” and say, “I appreciate your honesty. I’m not doing particularly great either.”

As they say, misery loves company.


[1] From Season 7, the episode entitled “The Invitations.”

5 thoughts on “You got a greeting, it starts with an ‘H,’ how’s 20 bucks sound?

    • I find myself using it as a greeting sometimes and I hate it when I do! It’s such a horrible question; it doesn’t even make sense! “Go” doesn’t even seem like the type of verb that can be explained with a “how.” Haha.

    • Ooh, thanks for the tip! I just watched it. This sounds like something I must read! I always like it when I hear intelligent, reasonable people saying the same thing I’ve thought for years. It makes me feel less crazy.

      “I never think delusion is okay.”

      I really wondered why everyone was so surprised when the economy went into a recession. Uh… because the way it’s set up it pretty much has to?

      I’m glad I have you to commiserate with, sesi! Maybe commiserating is my form of happiness. Whoa.

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