On a day-to-day basis at work I have to deal with a multitude of contacts from all sorts of businesses, such as printing companies, media companies, survey/research companies, phone/internet providers, magazines, tech support departments, marketing companies, and tons of other random operations either trying to get my business or required by me for a product/service. At the beginning of every phone call, every single person I deal with asks me how I’m doing. It’s become a challenge not to shout into the receiver, “YOU DON’T KNOW ME. DO YOU REALLY CARE? I’M A LITTLE WORRIED CAUSE IT BURNS WHEN I PEE! DID YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW THAT?!!”, every time I hear the cookie-cutter question. The worst is when I have to call someone several times in a day to follow up on something, and I’m greeted with the same question every time, as if my company might have been built on a fault line that somehow separated between 10:00 and 10:15.
I know that asking is a polite thing to do, and it’s polite of me to ask in return, but it’s extremely difficult for me to say things that I don’t really mean. I generally only ask my friends how they’re doing, and I certainly only tell my friends how I’m actually doing.
I suppose it’s all just a hazard of the job. One day, for one of the less friendly, more aggressive, rudely patronizing, dreadfully unimportant calls (such as one I got the other day from a company selling solutions for high search engine rankings), I’ll go on about some make-believe problem I’m having. It’ll be interesting to see how long they can stay on the line, how much the business worth to them.