Yesterday I was walking along the bottom floor of my office and I passed our newest intern. Being a friendly type of person I said Hello. As I walked by. Not stopping.
He took this as an opening for a conversation and replied to my back, "Hi. How are you?"
OK, so now there's a question and you can't continue on. I slowed my pace, looked over my shoulder and gave the requisite, "I'm fine, how are you?" Not caring of course, but feeling obligated on my way to an important task.
I thought we were done now and kept moving. No. He pressed on saying in a louder voice so he could be sure I heard him as I was putting distance between us, "I'm not that well."
Great. You can't leave THAT alone! Doesn't he know the rules?? The answer is "Good."
"Really?" I shouted back continuing to walk (though more slowly) "What's wrong?"
"Oh, well I have all these canker sores all over my mouth and they really hurt."
At this point he's speaking over about 6 cubicles to where I'm standing some distance from him and sharing the information with just about the whole floor. I'm stumped because now I'm not sure whether to laugh, express sympathy, try to protect him from the scorn of all the eavesdroppers or keep moving.
I seriously have NO idea what you say to someone in this situation because no office acquaintance has ever told me about their mouth sores before, so I pause, look at him and say in my most sincere voice, "That must be quite terrible for you, but at least it you can still talk without too much pain so you can share this burden with others."
No. I didn't. But I thought it, and instead just gave a polite nod, told him I hoped they healed quickly and ran away.
To somewhere that I could laugh alone--the bathroom. Canker Sores!!!
3 years ago