Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hello, Again

“Alright?”, said Greg, one of my new colleagues, as I walked into the office.

“Yup.” I replied.

He shot me a confused look. “I... it’s not really a question.”

“It’s not?”

“Not really. It just means ‘Hello’.” he told me.

“So, you just said ‘Hello’, and I replied by saying ‘Yes.’?”

“Yeah, I guess you did.”

The following morning I walked into the office, and past my new boss, Maria.

“Hi,” I said.

“Alright?” she answered.

I learnt about this yesterday. I said ‘Hello’, then she said ‘Hello’ . All debts are paid, and I’m just going to look silly if I say anything.

I looked at her, and her expression said in your own time...

“Um, good?”

“Well that’s good to hear.” She said. “You know where to find me if you have any questions.”

“So, when you said ‘alright?’, you were asking a question?”

“Well, yes. It’s a bit like ‘how’s it going?’.”

“Oh. K.”
Yesterday, I met my flatmate’s parents.

“Alright?” said her father.

“Does that just mean ‘Hello’?” I fired back. “Or was it a question? Should I just say ‘Hi, nice to meet you’, or would you like to know if I’m alright?”

The expression that flashed over his face told me that, one way or the other, I hadn’t said what I was expected to.

“Oh, either,” he laughed. “Whatever you feel like.”

I don’t know if I’m going to bother trying to learn Slovak after all; it doesn’t look like I have a firm grasp of the full range of English yet.  


Shmead no1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shmead no1 said...

I just stumbled across your blog using the "next blog" button. I hate expressions like "Alright?" or "How's it going?" because it's never clear what they're expecting as an answer. So I always reply to them in as much detail as possible in as affable a tone as possible, and in my poshest British accent.

Richard said...

Hilarious! I laughed out loud (LOL'd if you will) awkwardly in a cafe to myself. And you are to blame.