What Are You Doing?


I have a couple of friends who greet me the same every time they call me on the phone. “What are you doing?” And they don’t just say it without paying attention to what they just asked, like most greetings like “what’s up,” “how’s it going,” and others like that. They will sit there and wait for me to answer. I can’t stand it!

I started going with the “nothing much” answer, then sometimes they will ask a follow up question. Now I appreciate awkwardness, but when that happens every time I talk to a certain person, that’s just too much. So then I started making stuff up like “running a marathon” or “taking a shower” or something like that. Then they just get kind of confused and it throws the whole pending conversation off too much.

I don’t know the best way to handle it. I’m considering going with Ace Ventura’s classic answer to Dan Marino’s inquiry as to find out if Ace had any more gum: “That’s none of your damned business and I’ll thank you to stay out of my personal affairs!”

Comments (1)

Yeah. That is weird. I’m not quite sure how to handle it either. Maybe you could throw the question right back at them.

I know my wife when ever she used to call every single time she’d ask “where are you?” It began to to drive me nuts. So I asked her to just say “hi” and begin talking. It wasn’t because I was trying to hide where I was or anything like that, but then the conversation would turn to where I was why I was there and all that stuff, things I really didn’t want to expend energy explaining. So I can see why this would be troublesome to you.

perhaps some of my suggestions might help (or not)
1) ignore the question and just start talking about something
2) Ask why they want to know
3) say “talking to you”
4) make sounds akin to a donkey
5) ignore their calls
6) answer with a random number (25! 37! .458!)
7) pretend to be yelling at someone else (“no, I said put the corndog in the bookshelf!”)
8) be over specific (I brushed my teeth earlier,but could get out the popcorn thing in the back, so I got some floss out but the string was too short so i didn’t work well. So now I’m using a tooth pick but…..)
9) just start laughing really hard, he’ll want to know what you are laughing at
10) drop the phone, and make strange sounds and get back on and continue in normal conversation
11) use any of the above in random order to keep things interesting