How’s It Going?

Man wearing blinders

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?

No one?

Just 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.




  1. You’re firing on all cylinders there Biff. (have you seen a doctor about that?) One must pack an awful lot of nuance and facial profundity in the word ‘Fine’ so that entire scope can be appreciated. So exhausting. This is why I employ ‘the brown paper bag over the head’ procedure.


  2. My husband, of German heritage but American, will tell you exactly how he’s doing when asked. He says he does this because he’s German and that’s what they do, but it’s also a litmus test for possible friend’s: if people listen they’re worth keeping around, if they don’t then they’re not. Plus those that are freaked out by his honest answer won’t talk to him again and yeay no more small talk!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That sounds like a good method of separating the wheat from the chaff! I wish I could be that way. I rarely tell people I work with how I’m truly doing. I figure they don’t really care or have the time. But perhaps I should give them that chance.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I once gave someone a completely BS tale of woe when they asked me that question as we were walking past one another in a hallway and they responded, “oh, that’s nice,” which proved a point I had long thought.. Many people just ask the question to be friendly and polite, but really don’t give a shit

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My usual reply is “Not bad for a Tuesday” – which I use every day of the week except Tuesday. Sometimes people are puzzled by my response.

    There was one day though, at a store checkout, that I got a great response. “Tuesday! S#%&! What am i doing here? I’m not supposed to work on Tuesdays!”

    I apologized to the poor woman for adding to her stress.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha ha! That’s funny! I have had days where I wasn’t quite sure what day it was. I would think Wednesday was Thursday or something like that. I don’t think I ever went to work by accident, though. THAT I kept up with scrupulously. 😀


  5. If you want to creep somebody’s mind out, answer their “How are you doing” question with, “How am I doing what?” If they ask, “How are you feeling,” you can always bum them out by answering, “I am feeling with my fingers … and you?” Life can be fun if you can master the art of the comeback.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One of the reasons that Mondays are “Cool” is because they have to come and get out of the way before the blessed relief of the weekend can materialize. (Unless one lives in an alternate universe, that is.) So Mondays can’t be all bad. They are kind of like the dark clouds of the storm that eventually fades away into the clear skies and sunlight of the weekends.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true! I suppose if we had nothing but weekends, there would be nothing special about them. It is mighty decent of Monday to step up and volunteer to be everyone’s scapegoat!


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