At my office we deal with customers all day. Some on the phone, and some in person. There are two women in my office who very frequently greet customers with "Hi, how are you?". Every single time I hear that, I think of my mother.
It was a pet peeve of my Mother to have a total stranger ask how she was doing. She hated it. If a telemarketer called the house and asked how she was doing, she would frequently tell them, "Honey I've suffered two brain aneurysms and a couple of heart attacks. A while back I had this hematoma on my back and spent six weeks in the hospital. I don't get around as well as I used to; I have these aches and pains. it comes with getting older". Usually they hang up by then, but if not she just went on and on. My mother had no shortage of ailments to discuss.
It didn't seem to bother her too much if someone she knew asked how she'd been, but really irritated her when the question came from a stranger. I'm not sure if it's rude or polite to ask someone how they are doing when you first meet them. I suppose there's some etiquette rule about it. I just know that there have been many times in my life when things were just all messed up, yet when a stranger asked "How are you?" I still responded with "fine, thanks?".
If you really think about it, it's a strange custom and I don't blame my mother for disliking it.
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