Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Just say hello


I commute to work every day via train from a park & ride with an enormous parking lot and have done so for the past five plus years. At the end of the day, I often find myself and my bags on a shuttle bus since the train lets us off on the other side of the tracks. The same four drivers man these shuttles every day, and being creatures of habit, most of us get on the same shuttle. My chosen shuttle is the first.

Every time I get on the shuttle, I say hello to the driver. It's automatic. I fancy myself observant, but it's taken me five years to realize most people ignore the driver totally. Once I realized it, I started counting like the dutiful little creeper I am and  kept tabs in a note on my phone. I am always one of the first off the train and onto the shuttle, and always one of the hellos in these numbers:

Wednesday: four out of 28
Thursday: two out of 27
Friday: seven out of 29
Monday: four out of 15
Tuesday & Wednesday: you can't creep when you're deathly ill
Thursday: six out of 24
Friday: four out of 22

Yes yes, it's the way of the world, isn't it? We're all so busy with our faces in our phones and our heads up our asses.
Via
I started noticing the same thing on the train - very few people say hello to the conductors. Then I think well how many times are my hellos just automatic, with me barely glancing at the person? Which led me to think that we barely make eye contact with each other anymore and when we do, it's like we're looking through each other.
Via
All through school we're taught to greet the people in our daily neighborhoods while being aware of stranger danger. Why does that stop when we grow up? You're probably thinking who gives a fuck, saying hello to a lady you don't know but see every day is not going to take us back to a time where meatloaf was on most tables by 5:00 p.m. and families sat around radios as a cohesive unit at night. But we might regain a sense of community that is sorely lacking in a lot of areas if we just look up and say hello.

Think of how powerful a simple hi is...in one word you could put a big dent in someone's isolation.

That's all. We are the world and kumbayah and all that jazz too.

 photo sig_zps5088e59f.jpg

Linking up with
Because Shanna Said So - Random Wednesday


25 comments:

  1. I feel very strongly about this issue! When I lived down southe, I was a typical Philly girl, rushing down the street, not making eye contact, and certainly not speaking to strangers. After a while I realized that these people were so friendly it was hard to avoid speaking, and eventually I became able to engage in conversations with strangers as easily as with friends. I'm very happy with the experience and I say hello to everybody now. It makes me smile.

    And I LOVE that you have data to support your position!

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  2. Sometimes I'm so engrossed in NOT paying attention to other people that I'm really surprised when people say hi to me and I respond kind of awkwardly. I always respond with some lame hi or smile or something and I'm sure I look like a huge bitch.

    I agree, though, on saying hello to bus drivers, conductors etc. I always say thank you on my way out too. That is my big one.

    I hate people who don't say thank you when you hold the door for them. I find that incredibly rude.

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  3. Honey, this is brilliant!
    Rich is big on greeting everyone & it really is nice! #NICEISGOOD
    Working with only men for so many years, sometimes if you said Hi, the dodo would think you "liked" him! EW.
    So I curtailed my hi's! So much better when I started greeting people again. When we make others happy, we are happier, too.
    Carpe diem! Thanks for a beautiful blog!

    Love your MOMMA

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  4. I love this, I smile and say Hi every time i pass some in the halls at work. Some look down at the ground instead. It really is just common courtesy that seems to be not so common anymore. :(

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  5. You should come visit me in the south. I guess it's the way we were raised in my house, but we say hello, thanks, excuse me — no matter who you are. Doesn't matter if I'm getting on a plane, I'm in someone's way in Walmart... I'm always saying excuse me, sorry, good morning, etc.

    Kill em with kindness... I say make them say something back! Ha!

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  6. i love how observant you are. this is an excellent point. my parents are professors and now see that kids (i mean college kids) leave class and immediately head down looking at their phones with no interaction with the world. it's sad. hello and eye contact are so important.

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  7. This is one thing that is built into the culture in the south. we wave and say hello to nearly everyone we meet...unless they are super creepy!

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  8. Saying hi ( hey ) and good morning are two of my favorite things about living in the south.

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  9. It's those small gestures that make a difference. When hanging up the phone, I will say, "have a nice day!" and I can't tell you how often the person on the other end sounds so surprised with this gesture. It's common courtesy, and it's amazing how something as simple as a hello can brighten someone's day.

    Being a numbers girl, I love that you have proof to go along with your observations <3 Well done you!

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  10. My husband is someone who says "hi" to everybody he walks past, and that's always struck me as kind of strange, because when I'm biking or walking down unfamiliar sidewalks, I feel slightly intimidated when random strangers greet me. To me, it makes more sense in the context of, say, a bus driver you see repeatedly.

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  11. it's true - we are so into our phones/lives that we forget others around us! it's like we're robotic drones doing what we're programmed to do.

    i'm guilty of this at work but the majority of people in the office are idiots who aren't worth my breath however, i'm so nice to those who provide a service ie. the nice breakfast lady whom i greet every morning, the coffee lady at tim hortons and depending on the security staff at work (some are assholes), i also greet them good morning. sometimes a small word such as "hello" can make someone's day.

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  12. Ugh, yea. I could be SO much better about this myself. I do try but not as much as I could. Good reminder!

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  13. I agree...to a certain extent. Maybe it's my luck, maybe its the Post Office. EVERYTIME we go there are always old people there. I always try to say hello, as long as the Bird is not acting awry, then ensues a long conversation about their great grandchildren. Not cool. Just say hello, and continue. I am walking - I am not stopped.

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  14. I say hello to most everyone (provided I've already had my coffee for the day of course) but really only direct interaction (train conductors for instance) but not every person I pass on the streets of Chicago, cause that makes you creepy and they assume you're on drugs.

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  15. I always say good morning and thank you to my bus driver. I used to say hello to the people waiting at the bus stop with me but they gave me funny looks so I stopped. Hate that it is awkward to be friendly now.

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  16. We have that problem in my office. People just walk on by without a word. So freaking bizarre! I speak to everyone unless I've got something on my mind and I'm distracted. So glad you are feeling better!

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  17. Those are some sad numbers....I always speak...sometimes it's hard to shut me up. Come visit me in Texas and you will want to tell everyone to STOP saying "Hi" or "Howdy" or whatever we say! :)

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  18. Our bus/shuttle/tram drivers are in a separate compartment with a shut door but everyone over here says hello and goodbye when the get onto/off of an elevator or come into a pub. As for eye contact, the rules for making eye contact over here are similar to those of a new inmate in prison. The one exception is when you are drinking shots or saying cheers, then you MUST make eye contact.

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  19. You know in some ways cell phones are great because they keep us connected to those far away. However I think it has really destroyed face-to-face relationships!

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  20. I'm not the best hi sayer all the time, but I do at least try to give the half smile plus head nod... better than nothing? Usually when I try to say hi it comes out in a tiny shy voice that I hate more than anything. I need to speak up!

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  21. I watched my Dad and Mom always say hello to people or Good Morning. This helped me when I entered the job world in the customer service capacity. Saying hello and in some cases how are you? is automatic for me and has brought smiles to many people's faces and my own at their responses. Some are surprised, pleasantly so, some not so much. I will tell you this I have never said hello to a person where I regretted doing so. Saying how are you to the clerk at the convenience store has lead to snippets of conversation that had me laughing or when I left saying a silent prayer and sending positive thoughts to them as they were in need. Take a moment to well live in the moment and not in electronics. It might surprise you to fined how nice it is be among the living again.

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  22. 1 - There are definitely times when I don't want to be social and stare at my phone or the floor to avoid hellos. But get annoyed at others for doing the same. HYPOCRITE!!!

    2 - Did you see the story about the college student killed in a train car and of the dozen other riders NO ONE saw the gunman because they were too engrossed in their phones? Craziness.

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  23. I'm a hello sayER - to random people on the street and to the bus driver.

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  24. I love this. I say hello and thank you constantly. Sure, it might be a habit, but at least it's a pleasant one. My kids are a lot more courteous than other kids because of it, which I love. I also love engaging with (sane) people out and about, shopping, concerts, festivals, wherever. We're all just humans, living life!

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