These seem like such obvious observations, yet little is being done by the parties involved to improve the situations.
Why do telemarketing organizations persist in having their callers ask as part of their opening salvo, “How are you doing today?”
Why do young retail workers persist in describing a purchase decision as, “Perfect!”
Concerning the first tiresome query, it has been since perhaps telemarketing time immemorial a glaringly superficial question. We know it’s asked with sugary insincerity, or at most cosmetically scripted indifference. It’s hard to be the receiver and not be tempted to respond in a snarky way, even if feeling a little sympathy for the likely low paid (and not much better skilled) caller. It probably is the most charitable reaction to simply not pick up the line. But if the temptation to send a message, so to speak, is too great, there is a range of response levels available. I usually just cut through the syrup with, “What are you calling about?” A venerable local radio talk show host often responds, “I’m not worth a damn.” I haven’t tried it yet, but there’s also responding in kind, and seeing how long you can prolong the niceness. A nice non-verbal option is placing the phone receiver down a little while and returning to other activities.
Concerning the one-word ‘perfect’ affirmation, it seems almost universally used. One hears it in restaurants, retail stores, wherever anyone twixt 18 and 30 works. They clutch to this all purpose, verbal happy face. It’s also international. Recently I heard it in a restaurant in seaside Connecticut. C’mon, younger adults, show a little imagination and word skills! While the word does succinctly depict a positively intended message, you can go beyond the pedestal word of the times. Using it ad nauseum is far from… perfect.
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