Sometimes our politeness is on autopilot. Sometimes we say all the nice buzz words without even thinking about what it is we’re actually saying. How many times has a passerby said, “hi, how are you?” and you’ve answered, “fine, how are you?” knowing not only will you not get a response because they’re already gone, but that you really don’t care to hear the answer anyway?
Let me tell you what happened that got me thinking along these lines. Last night we were at a restaurant and the hostess brought over a small group to sit beside ours. She laid down the menus and said, “enjoy your meal”. The father in the family replied, “thanks, you too”.
Then realized his mistake.
It was comical watching his painful attempt at recovery…”eeerrrr…I mean….you know….later, when you get to eat…” The hostess just laughed and said thanks.
Not only have I done this before, I’ve done it with other professions.
Airline counter agent hands me my paperwork and says, “thank you, have a great flight”.
Me: “thank you, you too”
Me: “um…I mean, ya know, on your next trip”.
Nurse wheeling me out to my car after surgery says, “take care and get better”
Me: “thanks, you too”
Me: “um, because you don’t look like you’re having a good day?”
(For the record, that’s the worst recovery attempt ever!)
Nurse: “I’m actually having a good day”.
Now I’ve hurt her feelings.
Me: “sorry, it’s the drugs talking”.
Whew. Always blame the drugs! She laughed and helped me into my car.
I know we’ve all done this….so let me know how you said the wrong thing while on autopilot!!