Not bad … for a Monday.
I’m sure we’ve all heard that phrase in our lives … though certainly not more than one or two million times.
It is often heard as the response to the probing question, “How’s it going?”
A more appropriate response would be, “How’s what going?”
Oh … you know. It.
Things. Life. Whatever.
The thing is, no one really wants to hear the answer. They just need to say something during those awkward chance encounters in the hallways and restrooms and elevators and front doors of the various places we work and play and shop.
How’s it going, indeed.
I have always been tempted to reply, “Why? What have you heard?”
I would them eye them warily as I backed slowly and cautiously towards the nearest exit. If I had had the foresight to replace one of the windows of the office building with Hollywood stunt glass, I would then jump through it and last be seen hoofing across the commons and away from the building like a jackrabbit that had just been shot at.
But that sort of thing will get you fired. Or signed up for psychological evaluation. Or your own HBO comedy special.
No, the correct response is always a variation of “fine“.
“Not bad for a Monday,” is just another way of saying, “I’d rather be pretty much anywhere other than here, but somehow we have evolved into a society that values the exchanging of hours of our lives for pieces of paper which we can then exchange for food and shelter.”
That is a lot to pack into a simple phrase like “Not bad for a Monday“.
It would be even more efficient if we could just answer “Fine” and exchange a brief, tortured look with each other as we passed in the hallway. In that look would be packed all of the angst and helplessness we modern citizens of the world feel as a result of our inability to change what we perceive as the absurdity of modern life.
Shouldn’t evolution have had a better outcome than this? Surely I’m not the only one who looks about me constantly and has to suppress the urge to laugh out loud. I often want to stand up in the middle of a meeting and say, “Does this seem absurd to anyone but me?”
Okay. Carry on then. Sorry to interrupt. I believe you were going for a new world record in the number of acronyms you could use in a single sentence. Though I use the word “sentence” loosely.
Me? No, I’m fine. Everything is fine.
I’m certainly not bad for Monday.