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Why do we do these things?


Kata Ha Jime

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Why? I ask you.

 

What I'm talking about are the little things we do, as people. Maybe some are truly British, maybe some are global but we still use them, possibly every day.

 

Still not sure?

 

An example then - Someone is talking to someone else and you need to get past, you're not one for saying "Excuse Me" to strangers neither do you want to scream "Move It!" so, you cough, or clear your throat, as many times as possible, then once you are noticed you move on with your day.

 

I bring this up because whilst in town last Saturday, I was waiting for the bus and these two blokes were having a chat and an older gentlemen wanted to get by. These guys ddin't see him fair enough and he didn't use the "Excuse Me". He instead did a little cough, they didn't budge, bit louder cough, nothing. So he pretty much coughed at the nearest one until he moved and the old man walked by as if nothing happened as the two blokes continued their chat, as if a man had not just coughed on them.

 

Another example. Just because I stand somewhere, does not mean I am a queue. Though saying that I am known to join queues for no reason at all.

 

So over to you, can you think of anything we do like that, or any experiences, or even something you do...

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The office "nod". You're walking along through the office at work, and pass by a co-worker going in the opposite direction. You can't ignore them as that would be rude, but you can't stop and talk as you pass people 30 times a day, so you just nod.

 

Or in my case, do a nod and some sort of vague hand gesture, which bizarrely varies between a lazy salute, guns, and a general "you" point.

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People insisting on saying "It's a bit cold today". No shit sherlock.

 

When you walk back in the office soaked to the skin and people say "Is it raining out?" falls in to the same no shit sherlock file.

 

Also why do people say before they leave the house "Do you think I'll need a coat?". What is the correct procedure for advising if the other party needs a coat? What if you get it wrong? Are you to blame? It's far too much stress to put on somebodies shoulders.

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Another office based one. When people loudly announce that they've completed something at work or they've been tasked with something, or their plans for this evening.

 

Examples...

 

"Oh this is really hard, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do!" Why not just ask someone for a hand?

 

"Shall I go out tonight? Oh I don't know, shall I?" No one cares....

 

Attention seekers need to die IMO. Just baffles me.

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You walk past an acquaintance, not a friend, in a situation where you can't/don't want to stop so you say 'Alright mate...?' (or some variance) and they reply 'Alright mate...' and no bugger answers the question.

 

Argh, yes! I hate this one! I've never been able to get my head round what the right thing to do is. You walk past, but they don't just say hello, they say "how ya doing?" or "alreet?" Now I'm sure if you've been asked a question you're meant to answer it, but they're not actually asking you a question, they're only saying hello but phrasing it in the form of a question, so what the fuck do I say before they walk past and think I've ignored them? I've so far settled for just passing the buck back to them and very quickly saying "Not too bad, how are you" ... answered the question, returned the question, it's their problem now, maybe next time they'll just say hello.

 

I've overthought this.

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You walk past an acquaintance, not a friend, in a situation where you can't/don't want to stop so you say 'Alright mate...?' (or some variance) and they reply 'Alright mate...' and no bugger answers the question.

 

Argh, yes! I hate this one! I've never been able to get my head round what the right thing to do is. You walk past, but they don't just say hello, they say "how ya doing?" or "alreet?" Now I'm sure if you've been asked a question you're meant to answer it, but they're not actually asking you a question, they're only saying hello but phrasing it in the form of a question, so what the fuck do I say before they walk past and think I've ignored them? I've so far settled for just passing the buck back to them and very quickly saying "Not too bad, how are you" ... answered the question, returned the question, it's their problem now, maybe next time they'll just say hello.

 

I've overthought this.

 

I've taken to answering "No" when people passing by say "Alright?". It's mindboggling how many of them reply "Goooood." and carry on walking.

 

Even more annoying are those who realise what you've said and awkwardly say something like "Oh well, nearly the weekend" or something else banal. If you dont want the small talk, dont start any in the first place - i'm not putting on a shit eating grin and pretending i'm fine just so you feel like your conforming with social convention. If you care, ask. If you dont, then a hello or silence is perfectly acceptible.

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To follow on from the walking past someone in the street you hardly know. At work you are surrounded by a variety of people - some you love to chat to, some you don't know too well and others you just want to fuck off and leave you alone. But there always seems to be that situation where you are stuck with someone and to break the silence you say "so what you been upto lately?' and the reply is always "well you know this and that" - I always find this creates even worse unbearable silence and arkward conversations. It would be so much better if people actually told you what they had been doing and then this creates follow on conversations from that etc. For example - actually I was just looking at some porn while i was supposed to be filing the weekly reports.

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