I have lost count of the innumerable times I have encountered this question in my daily activities of buying coffee, ordering dinner, or just meeting people in the work place. It is a standard kind of greeting. In the South, it can often be abbreviated to “Howdy,” or “How ya doin’?”, but it means the same thing.
It isn’t the question that made me think about this today. It was the way I answered it. Twice. Within 3 minutes of each other. In totally different ways.
The wonderful lady behind the counter asked me that question as I bought a small dark roast and a bowl of oatmeal. For some reason, I decided to be succinctly honest.
I’m tired. I just got back from over a week in Vermont at a fantastic learning opportunity. Spent a day in New York City. Got home really late. Haven’t had enough sleep. And my ear hurts so badly I can barely chew my food. Overall, its been a great week!
As I grabbed my coffee off the counter and turned to head to a booth for a few minutes on my laptop, the owner of the coffee shop asked me the same question. My response couldn’t have been more different.
I’m good. You?
I can’t explain the difference. I can’t tell you why I chose to answer one way one minute and turn around, close down completely, and answer differently the next.
But I can tell you this. Every once in a while (and it may be few and far between), the students in our class will decide to open up and be succinctly (or not) honest about how they are doing that day.
And we better be ready to listen, because that student may never be open to us again if we’re not.
Hi there! How are you today?