In order for me to properly explain how this all works, I need you to know how my office building is laid out.  I made a map of how the hallway works.  Remember this because it will come up a lot as apprently I have a lot to say about how my building works.  Also, I’m not Magellan and I don’t know how to make maps.  My building is not in the shape of a T.  Just the hallway is.  So don’t make fun of my you a-holes.

OK now say that someone (me) is walking east down the hallway to crapper.  And someone else (doesn’t matter who) is walking towards me to the west exit.  There are a few things that friendly people can do in this situation.  After the jump, we will discuss the one that sucks.

See, what should happen is that the two people walking should do something that acquaintances do.  The head nod.  A smile.  Something.  But never ask how the other person is.  Never.  If you do, it automatically makes the other person a dick.  How?  Like this:

The Gray Haired Lady and Me:

Me: *There’s the gray haired lady.  I like her.  Ima say hi to her when we get close enough*

Gray Haired Lady (probably): *Hey, there’s that handsome magnate.  I hope my breath doesn’t smell since I smoke all day.  But he used to smoke so he probably doesn’t care.  I bet the guy from the other end of the hall wouldn’t care.  He seems nice but I never walk by him because that way is a dead end.  I wonder if the magnate is going to say hi to me…*

Me:  *Crap, we are almost right on top of each other now.  I need to be polite!*

“Hey there.”  Big smile.

Gray Haired Lady: “Hey how are ya?”

*record scratch – I’m a dick now*

Why?  Because she is already past me.  if I say “Good” then it seems like I don’t care how she is.  If I say: “Good, you?” I’m a dick because I didn’t stop walking to find out her answer.  So the whole “How are you?” doesn’t work unless you are friends enough to stop and hear the answer.  If she had stopped I would have stopped.  But if I had stopped on my own she would have thought I was hitting on her.  So I was and am screwed.  Next time I see Gray Haired Lady I’m going to look at my phone like I don’t know she’s there and then at the very last second slip in a “How’s it going?” right as she crosses my port bow.  See how she likes it.

Don’t mess with me, people in my building…

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