As I wander through my day, whether it is walking down the hallways of our building or going to eat lunch at a restaurant, I am generally asked, “How are you doing today?” Frankly, I really don’t think that most people are really all that interested in knowing how I am doing today. I can unequivocally say that I am not interested in how their day is going.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I care for people. It’s not that I don’t care for them. I just don’t want to know how they are doing because I don’t know if I am going to be prepared to hear the truth of how they are doing. For instance, on November 22, 1963, how many people in the Dallas area were asking each other, “How are you doing today?” Many no doubt were excited about President and Mrs. Kennedy’s arrival in the parade through Dallas. But if someone asked Lee Harvey Oswald, “How are you doing today?” how do you think he would have answered?
“Well, I’m a little bit jittery. You see, I’m part of this conspiracy plan to assassinate the President of the United States. I’ve already placed my weapon on the sixth floor of the book depository in a makeshift perch and have my sights set and everything. I’m hoping that I will be able to escape rather quickly so I can go see a movie and act like I didn’t do anything wrong.”
So tell me, how would you have handled something like that? Or what about this: “How are you doing today?”
“Well, my wife left me because of my alcoholism and the way that I beat her when I’m home drunk. I love her so much and this is what I keep telling her and I promise not to beat her again, but this time she said she didn’t believe me. So now I’m headed to the bar to drink my sorrows away. You wanna go join me?”
Well, no, I don’t want to join you. In fact, I want to turn you over to the authorities because I think you’re schlepped right now! In fact, before I turn you over to the authorities, I may even ask that big guy over there playing pool to rough you up like you have your wife! See how that feels!
But I digress.
“How are you doing today?”
“Well, I am just so happy that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are on speaking terms again. And George Clooney’s wife is having another baby and they are going to name her Unicorn Rainbow Clooney. And then there’s Kanye who went off his rocker again about the deep state and the illuminati, but I’m so glad that Beyonce is still sticking it out with him. And Bruce…I mean…Caitlyn Jenner is about to marry another woman. And they are getting ready to start ‘All My Children’ again with a whole new cast of characters and Susan Lucci may have a cameo now and then!”
“I asked how you are doing.”
“I just told you how I’m doing!”
Do you yet see what I mean? Do you really want to hear all of that? Do you really want to know the concerns or the ridiculousness of others?
Most people don’t really want to know how you are really doing. This is why when you are asked “How are you doing today?” that they walk right past you, almost sprinting away, as if you have the dreaded Zika virus. It is as common a question that no one really cares to know the answer. Sometime, when you are on an elevator, you should somehow sneakily press the emergency stop button so it stops the elevator. Then turn around to everyone and say, “Well, I’ve called this meeting today to ask each of you one simple question, how are you doing today?” I bet there will be people who will want to tell you how their day is going then! After all, what else is there to do? You’re stuck in an elevator!
So as you are walking by others, don’t ask them “How are you doing today?” unless you plan on actually standing there to find out–unless you are genuinely interested in knowing the answer and are prepared for it. Just say “hi” or “hello” and leave it at that. Let’s be honest with each other. The majority of people really don’t care to know how we are doing today.