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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Conversational English

I was telling my friend Bec that "I'm well" in response to her question asking me how I was doing the other day. I told her that's my new default instead of "good thanks", and told her this story.

My boss's boss's boss is named John. That's not super relevant to the story but I figured John would be easier to type than "my boss's boss's boss". Anyway, John has the corner office on our floor and he's super nice and outgoing and every time he sees me he says, "Hey, Jim, how are you doing?"

And I say, "I'm good thanks, how are you?"

And without fail he says, "I'm doing really well, thanks." And I immediately think...you sonofabitch...did you just fucking subtly correct my grammar??

So I'm like...god dammit...this is my boss's boss's boss. I will be damned if I'm going to allow this shit.

I'm doing well...I'm doing well...I'm doing well...I practice it in my head. It's so informal and "Montana" to say "I'm good, thanks". It's ingrained.

I'm doing well...I'm doing well...I'm doing well...

So the next time I see that son of a bitch I'm all prepped and ready.

And he says, "Hi Jim, how are you doing today?"

And I reply..."Good, thanks, how are you?" ( GOD DAMMIT )

More practice...

The NEXT next time I see him I'm fucking ready. He says, "Hi Jim, everything going alright?"

What. The. Fuck. He flipped the script. Well...i have no response to THIS. we didn't prep for THIS. Who can answer something like that off the cuff?

"Doing good thanks" (FUCK!)

The NEXT next next time I landed it, but stammered a bit, (.5 deduct)...

I used his own words back at him. "I'm doing really well, thanks," but it tripped over my tongue. Wasn't "natural".

And I realized that for some reason I OFTEN say, "I'm well" to people. But...for some OTHER reason...never in response to John. So...now when people ask me how I'm doing...it's "I'm well". And I'll keep fucking saying it until it's so ingrained in my head that when that friendly sonofabitch asks me it'll flow as smooth as McDonald's soft-serve ice cream..."I'm well, John, how are you?" I'll say. See how he likes THAT!

Meanwhile...he has no idea that I'm hostile about what is probably not a subtle grammar correction, but just the same thing he says to everyone.

UPDATE:

So today, he sees me in the hall, and basically now I have a brain block around John. I start breaking out in a cold sweat whenever I see him. I've got the conversational yips. So I see him walking toward me and he says, "What's the word?"

And I froze like a deer in the headlights...because­ who the fuck EVER knows how to answer that question, and also...because I was still all "I'm well, thank you, how are you?" like I'm just learning to speak English and think everything anyone says is "how are you". Couldn't get my high powered brain to just go on autopilot the way it's supposed to with conversational niceties.

So instead, I just totally ignored his comment and gave him mine "I'm well, thank you, how are you" and then he said, "Doing okay, how about you?"

"Good thanks"

DAMMIT!
 

9 comments:

  1. I think you might be over thinking. Next time, just grunt unintelligibly.

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  2. Feign laryngitis and carry a sign? (thanks for the laugh though!)

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    Replies
    1. Bec said I should just beat him to the punch and yell "I AM WELL" when I walk past his office.

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  3. I could NOT read this without laughing. I get it. But it's hilarious at the same time :-D

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