Friday, July 13, 2012

What do you say after you say “Hello”?


Suppose, as you show up at the office, someone asks you how you are.  What do you do?

A common-enough dilemma.  But consider this classic response (from “24”, Season VI):

Jack Bauer (calling in):  “This is Jack.”
Bill Buchanan (coolly, as usual):  “Jack.  We haven’t been able to reach you.  Are you all right?”
Jack: “Yeh, I’m fine.  But all the members of the back-up team have been killed.”

Think what a hit you’ll make at work, with a come-back like that!  A rueful grin, a “what can you say, it’s Monday” shrug, a nod that you’ll be soldiering on, even though every member of your back-up team has been killed.
("But enough about me.  How was your weekend?")

[Note to the uninitiated:  Being on Jack Bauer's back-up team  is a little like being the "#3 in al-Qaeda":  very high turnover.]

Postscript:  The title of this post  is that of an excellent book by psychologist Eric Berne, which I much enjoyed in Berkeley, lo these many years ago.  He also wrote the classic Games People Play.  Out of sentiment and idle curiosity, I looked him up in Wikipedia… only to learn that he had been thrice divorced.

Qui custodiet  ipsos custodes?  Miserere nobis, domine.



~

Office etiquette:  More from “24”

Chloe (Season VI), to her hospital-bedridden husband, minutes after he has been brutally tortured by a team of sadistic terrorists:  She slaps him, then says:
   “Why don’t you stop feeling sorry for yourself, and get back to work!!”


~

Synthesizing these two lessons, we must discounsel any member of the IC from attempting to bug out of husbandly duties  using that line:

Husband:  “Sorry, honey, I’ll be late to dinner.  All the members of my back-up team have been killed.”
Wife (slow burn;  slapping her palm with a rolling-pin):  “And just what sort of an excuse is that?”

2 comments:

  1. I've decided I need to start watching "24," but not binge-style. (http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2012/07/09/binge_watching_tv_why_you_need_to_stop_.html)

    It's so disappointing when those you admire fail to meet the standards for which you admire them.

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