How are you?

I want to obliterate that question from our normal conversation.

I work in retail so I have to ask every customer that question and in return they answer and then return the question right back to me. This is how it usually goes:

Me: Hello! Find everything alright?

Customer: Yep!

Me: Great! How are you doing today?

Customer: I’m doing pretty well, how about you?

Me: I’m doing alright thanks!

You know what that conversation is laced with?


But you can’t just tell a stranger the truth about how you’re really feeling. Can you imagine? It would probably go something like this:

Me: Hello! Find everything alright?

Customer: Yep!

Me: Great! How are you doing today?

Customer: I’m in a shopping mall and you’re not folding fast enough and my kid is wrecking your display but I’m not going to tell them not to because I’m exhausted from having to deal with my own kid everyday. I’m a tired, over-worked mother and please just give me my new clothes. How are you doing?

Me: Well I’m horrendously depressed and exhausted from acting happy everyday and I’m just trying to live and not think about killing myself all the time because that’s a thing now and life is just a real piece of shit right now and I’m working to keep myself busy so that I don’t constantly think about how awful I feel, thanks for asking!

No, we can’t do that because no one wants to hear it. No one wants to be a “downer”. So we lie. The only people who we can tell the truth to are friends and family who genuinely want to know how we’re doing. But people who I’m ringing up a shirt for? They could give less of a shit how I’m doing and it goes the same for me. Its not that we’re rude people, its just that we simply don’t have enough energy to carry the load of a stranger’s daily problems and true feelings.

So how can we fix this?

I’ve personally started complimenting customers instead of asking how their day is going. Whether its their hair or their glasses or their little earrings or just the fact that I like how they matched their clothing, I throw a compliment. This way, I don’t have to be asked how my day is and be thrown back into reality and they get a compliment and we both feel good.

How do you handle getting that question thrown at you? Leave it in the comment section or tweet at me! (@okayzoeyk)

Have a day filled with kittens, okay?

Zoey K.

Fun story about retail: One day a kid asked me if we had any wrist clocks. I nearly farted I laughed so hard.


  1. depressionistheenemy · August 13, 2016

    Great post! We’re all too familiar with these myriad of social conventions that plague us everywhere we go.. I honestly tire of them very quickly.But then I’ve never been one for small talk.

    Yet your way of dealing with this issue is an excellent one. It’s something that can raise their self esteem and yours at the same time. We don’t have to fully involve ourselves in these strangers lives, but a knowing smile or some other minor act of kindness can go a long way in making them feel a little brighter and help you knowing that you have made a difference.

    It’s something i should do more of. It might help me get out of the chaotic nature of my own internal thoughts!


  2. Amber de Pixie (@PixiesPocket) · August 15, 2016

    I like your idea of using a small compliment instead of asking about someone’s feelings – it’s more sincere. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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