Infringing on my freedom of association

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    I am temporarily going to a different place during the day than I usually go. (Do you like how vague that is?) I have been going to the Starbucks near this new place every morning.

    When I walk in, I’m still cranky, so I just order my coffee in a soft voice, and agree to whatever they say. (ex. Do you want room for cream? Ok. Do you need room for cream? No.)

    One day I walked in and the barista says, “Good morning, how are you?”.

    I was mad. Don’t ask me how I am. I’m not your friend. I don’t know you; I don’t want to know you. I have to talk to you because you’re the barista, but that doesn’t mean I have to be your friend. I want to be a stranger.

    She was forcing me to know her. I didn’t want to know her. I want to choose who I know and am friends with and ask how they are in the morning.


    Popa, your’e funny.


    How are you is an open ended question, you can be polite and say “fine, thanks” and thats the end of the “conversation” or you can become freindly and say “FINE, AND HOW ARE YOU?!


    Open ended question. I closed it. I said edited


    But you can close it politly. NOT EDITED

    yossi z.

    You said edited? That’s a funny way to answer the question (sorry I am a bit hyper right now)

    😀 Zuberman! 😀


    i think how are you is used as an expression of hello. she really didn’t care at all how you are doing.


    I think PBA just wants attention from a particular source. My brother does this sort of thing in the same way.

    Here, you got some.

    Now, get over your bad mood in peace. You are smart enough to know that she didn’t care and was just being polite to a regular customer.


    Now, get over your bad mood in peace.

    Wrong. This happened a week ago, and I just remembered and thought it would be an interesting point to post. What I’m saying is very good.

    You are smart enough to know that she didn’t care and was just being polite to a regular customer.

    Disagree again. As you say, it is only because I am a regular customer. Meaning, that she felt now that she wanted to recognize me.


    I honestly thought Popa was joking around about this. But once we’re on the subject, I usually say “Hi, how are you?” to the employee behind the counter before he/she says it to me. It usually makes them smile.

    minyan gal

    I have always maintained that when service personnel say “how are you?”, they really don’t care – it has just become part of today’s colloquial conversation. I could say this is also true of being asked this by acquaintances, as well. They really don’t want to know. One day I would love to have the nerve to REALLY answer the question, for example “Well, my back is really sore today and they have changed my medication. Also my bank phoned to say they are foreclosing on my mortgage, so we will all be out on the street.” I wonder what the stunned reponse would be or, in fact, if the person had even heard what I said because the expected reply of “just fine thanks”, was not forthcoming. Popa, why don’t you try that one day and see what happens? “Have a nice day.” (another phrase that drives me batty). In fact, there are a few expressions that irritate me. When a waitress calls me “sugar” or “honey” I want to toss the coffee in their faces. Recently I was at a hospital for an IV infusion and they were having a lot of trouble establishing the IV (in fact they never did get it going because after the fifth jab, I called the whole thing off). A very young nurse kept calling me “sweetie” till I finally barked at her “you may call me Jane or you may call me Mrs. Doe, but stop calling me sweetie. I am not your sweetie – you don’t even know me and I am old enough to be your grandmother.” That was the last that I saw of her.


    I find it interesting that in a Starbucks of all places someone would greet a customer in a way that needs a response. People who start their day with coffee are not known to be the most cheerful before they have it.


    basket of radishes

    To Popa:

    Realize that you are an American Citizen (I am thinking) and you will come across many other citizens. Though you probably are not running for office, it is really not a bad idea to be polite and to smile when someone asks you how you are doing especially when they are about to perform a menial task to make your day get better. So if you want to be either shallow or peevish about how you smile at the rest of the world, that is your decision. I would think that being a light to the world as you are being a Jewish soul, you might want to consider whether your light is full and brilliant or if it is just flickering.


    I actually remember feeling that way once. I was in such an awfull mood it was dangerous. However it was in an ice cream store so obviously when I left the salesperson got a very bright smile from me 🙂


    I answer with “Baruch Hashem good,” or something similar. (If you asked me right now I would say, “Baruch Hashem I have a headache.”)

    I never ask “how are you,” unless I want to know. So when said friend answers “Baruch Hashem,” I get really upset. THAT’S NOT AN ANSWER. I then have to follow with “Baruch Hashem good or baruch Hashem bad?”

    As an aside, I used to have a doctor who was best friends with my boss. One day he called my boss at work, I answered the phone, and of course, he asked, “How are you?” I answered, “Are you asking to be friendly, in which case I’ll say, ‘Fine, thank you,’ or are you asking as my doctor, in which case I’ll tell you the truth?”


    Employees who deal with the public are trained to greet customers b’saver panim yafos. It’s a good idea for us to greet them that way also. Saying good morning, how are you is a formality that they have been trained into, and it’s possible a supervisor could be in the store watching that they comply with training. If they don’t, it’s possible the employee could be penalized. So you could just grunt in reply or ignore them or force a fake smile or stare at them blankly, or say something like, “I feel so good, I could be twins!” Then they will stare at YOU blankly.


    You have an opportunity to fulfill the mandate of the Mishna “greet each person with a ” sever panim yafos’ with a nice countenance and you intentionally don’t want to?? Stay at home till you can!!!


    Popa -why dont you just ask her if she really cares or if this is part of her job requirements ; )

    That should send her for a loop


    Popa -why dont you just ask her if she really cares or if this is part of her job requirements ; )

    I did. She said she’d never date me and threatened to call the police.

    I told her they only drink Dunkin Donuts.

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