Drive-by HIGs

Monday, January 7, 2008

Too often we utter "hello" only to be victims of a drive-by HIG: The casual "How's it going?"

How often has this happened to you? You and a colleague are walking past each other in the warehouse, you smile and nod, they respond with "How's it going?" and keep walking, oblivious to your answer.

The HIG -- or any greeting that's phrased as a question -- if it must be used, should follow up with a short pause for the answer -- to ask a question and not wait for a response seems especially rude. Why return the greeting at all?