March 2, 2013

how are YOU today…..?

I had a weak moment this afternoon and when the phone rang I answered it without checking the little window thing to see if it was friend, foe, or some organism of an undetermined nature.

“Hello, is this Jeff…?”


“How are you today?”

I could almost see the anatomically impossible toothy grin wearing a headset greeting me with the enthusiasm of a puppy at five o’clock that has been left alone all day. I wondered if the sonofabitch sitting in that cubical somewhere was peeing in his chair as he spoke.

I can’t imagine having to make a living that way. I like people, but not enough to pretend I give a toot about their well being if I don’t. If I ask someone how they are faring, usually a family member or a good friend, it is because I care. There are limits, of course. For example, it doesn’t matter who you are or how fond I am of you, I really don’t give a healthy hairball about such things as butt zits, menstrual issues, head lice, or what you and your opposite sex amusement park (wink-wink) did last night.

…all of which must have been running through my mind as I answered the phone this afternoon.

After a moment of silence, my new, albeit anonymous, BFF repeated the question….

“How are you today, Jeff….?”

I couldn’t help myself. I have no idea where it came from, but it was immediate, and I actually was able to feign a rather impressive presentation of sincerity if I do say so myself. I began to unroll a seemingly endless recitation of the most undesirable and offensive emergent medical and psychiatric misfortunes I could conjure up. I touched on leaking colostomy bags, talking spiders, and sexual aberrations first, just to go easy on him before transitioning to the Big Guns, which would be unmentionable here, of course. Trust me.

The Aesopian point of the whole story is, if you don’t want to hear my answer, don’t ask the question. I’m not required to consider your needs if you auto-dial me while I’m making a sandwich, enjoying my rocking chair on the porch, or sitting on the can, and you then open by asking me a phony personal question as if we are bosom buddies or lab partners in a sleep study.

I enjoyed the whole shtick, to tell you the truth. I have no idea what he was selling or collecting for, as we really didn’t share a typical interaction. He managed to utter “Uh…” a couple of times, along with a nervous chuckle.

He hung up on me.

Now, there’s a switch.


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