How is work?
Asking about work is the most common question I get, after ‘how was your day?’.
Being in a constant loop of existential thinking, I see no reason for these questions. The people who ask them are most likely not really interested in your response and would do nothing to help a negative response or remember any detail you spew.
So, why are you asking in the first place?
The same goes for other routine questions, and perhaps could be the reason people give routine answers.
How are you? Fine
How was your day? Fine
How was your night? Fine
When people ask routine questions do they really want to hear the tiny details if provided in a response?
I doubt that they are interested in a transparent response.
This is why I do not ask routine questions about work. I would rather keep mute than ask one.
I feel irked when they come my way.
I prefer to ask in a way that stirs interest for both parties. Most times, I think up a list of questions ahead of meeting a person or a set of persons. Other times, I pause to observe the person’s demeanour or appearance before asking questions or remember where we left off in our last conversation.
This also applies to ‘breaking the ice’ scenarios, meeting the person for the first time, and awkward moments of small talk.
What happened at work today?
You look upset, did anything go wrong at work today?
What project are you currently working on at work?
The last time we talked about X,… how/what/why…?
The above are examples of the kind of questions you will hear me ask.
So next time you are about to ask routine questions think about how repeated and empty it sounds.