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SMBC Comics Forum • View topic - Etiquette

Etiquette

Everything else.

Moderator: GreenCrayon

Etiquette

Postby Oldrac the Chitinous » Sat Apr 11, 2009 1:48 am

All right, so here is something that has been bothering me for years now.

Say you're walking down the sidewalk and there's a total stranger coming towards you; it's clear that you both have places to be. There's maybe five feet between the two of you, you're still walking, and he says, "How's it going?" What is the correct response here?
If you keep walking, you've got about enough time for one syllable before you pass each other. Do you both stop in your tracks so you can answer and return the question? Do you keep walking and throw a "fine, how are you" over your shoulder? Is the question rhetorical enough that you can just say "Hi" and keep going?
Police said they spent some time working out if they could charge the man with being armed with a weapon, as technically he was armed with part of a fish.
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Re: Etiquette

Postby LordRetard » Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:03 am

I've tried the "stop-and-reply" tactic before, and normally the other person will just keep walking; which is why I just say "hey" and keep walking, because I don't expect anything past the initial exchange.

I'll note this is usually what happens for someone you sort-of-know, i.e. are barely familiar with; at least in Toronto, very few strangers want to talk to you, unless they are crazy or homeless.
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Re: Etiquette

Postby Edminster » Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:09 am

I preemptively start the conversation at about fifteen feet, which is plenty of time for the complete exchange.
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Re: Etiquette

Postby BigRed009 » Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:19 am

Just reply with "Hi." It's what they are initially are saying to you anyway. I mean, do you really think they give a rat's ass about how another stranger is doing?
I don't know. I just work here.
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Re: Etiquette

Postby SilverSeraph » Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:59 am

The problem with your question is that we don't know the general location of this theoretical meeting. Local customs have much to do with etiquette. For example, in Austraila you would say something like "G'day mate" then take them to a local pub for a beer, who needs to go to work anyway. In England, you say something like "cheerio good sir" and discuss what you saw on the telly last night and your love for the queen for a bit before hastily making your way to the underground with you oyster card in hand. Of course if your are in Detroit then the proper response to anyone foolish enough to make themselves known, especially if they happen to be a lighter shade than you, is to push them over, rough them up a bit before stealing their wallet and popping a cap in their ass with you glock or sub-machine gun, which ever is more handy.

Personally if someone I don't know tries to talk to me while I am busy they usually get the fake smile and an odd disjointed response to what every they said like "How are you doing today" Response: "yep yep, of course." I usually only realize my response did not work 5 or so steps later and at that point it is awkward to turn back and say something... it has been established in the theoretical situation and my response that I am busy and need to be somewhere, so turning around to correct a mistake to someone I don't know and will likely NEVER meet again isn't that pressing an issue and I soon forget my misstep.
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Re: Etiquette

Postby LordRetard » Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:05 am

Part of my reluctance to talk to strangers is because I work at a library. Just earlier this week a guy that smelt like shit and that had teeth the colour of a school bus went up to me and told me that he wasn't a bad guy. He stayed for a while, so I just told him that I was working and, God bless, he left, to go tell the security guard that he wasn't a bad guy.
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Re: Etiquette

Postby SilverSeraph » Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:13 am

Did he offer you candy? Was it in his van? I might KNOW that guy!!! How is Bob doing?
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Re: Etiquette

Postby LordRetard » Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:20 am

Bob needs a change of pants, apparently, because he was stinking up the fucking building. Not like he's the only crazy man there that smells like a strange mix of tobacco, urine, shit and nonspecific stink.
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Re: Etiquette

Postby smiley_cow » Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:21 am

This reminds me of something that happened to me last weekend. I was walking downtown one afternoon and a total stranger walked up to me and said "Hello."

"Hello." I answered.

"Nice weather we're having today." He said.

"Yes," I answered, "I hope it continues."

"Do you drink?" Asked the stranger.

"Um... no." I say, slightly confused.

"Good." Says the stranger and walks off. It was a little odd.

To answer your question, usually I'll answer with a quick 'well' or 'good' but not much more than that, and I might ask them back if there's time. Sometimes if the stranger keeps up the conversation there might be some over the shoulder yelling though I try to keep it quick. This probably isn't necessary etiquette, I just like to be friendly. I'm sure a quick 'Good, thank you.' or something to that effect would suffice for the sake of politeness. Of course I'm also from the land of manners, so I don't know if you want to copy my technique or not.
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Re: Etiquette

Postby mountainmage » Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:03 am

When a younger person does that they're just leading you on, if it's an older person I just say "Fine. You?" and keep walking.
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Re: Etiquette

Postby Lethal Interjection » Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:21 pm

I think the appropriate response would be "Do you care?"
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Re: Etiquette

Postby astasia » Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:19 pm

It all depends upon how well I know the person.

But, I usually am anxious to not appear rude, and will at least slow down and have an over-the-shoulder conversation. More typically, an awkward stop is needed for most people. But, I grew up in a small town.
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Re: Etiquette

Postby Sahan » Sun Apr 12, 2009 3:56 am

The only time I really bump into strangers is when I walk to the bus stop on the way to University in the morning, and when I'm on those bumper cars in the fair. I usually just smile and say "Morning" as I do so in the bumper cars, in the mornings though all etiquette flies out the window.
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Re: Etiquette

Postby AHMETxRock » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:43 am

QUOTE SHAKESPEARE.
Just like an std, will never fully go away.
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Re: Etiquette

Postby Oldrac the Chitinous » Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:04 am

"How's it going?"
"F ALL MEN ELSE HAVE AVOIDED THEE:
UT GET THEE BACK; Y SOUL IS TOO MUCH CHARGED
ITH BLOOD OF THINE ALREADY."
Police said they spent some time working out if they could charge the man with being armed with a weapon, as technically he was armed with part of a fish.
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