In life, we have always encountered questions and always will. Some are absurd and some make us feel absurd. Some we can’t find an answer to and some we don’t want to find an answer to. Some we like to ask and some we like to answer. Some we learn how to answer and some we learn how not to answer. Some question our doubts and some question our beliefs. Whether we like them or not, we can’t deny their importance in our lives. Our educational credentials are based on how we handle them.
There would always be a set of questions that bothers you. Over a period of time, that set gets replaced with another set. Some carry over (like ‘What I am doing with my life?’) but most of them don’t.
About three years ago, one of the questions which bothered me was ‘Why do you want to do an MBA?’. I was asked this question a few times in interviews and I asked this to myself almost every day while I prepared for management entrance exams. Although, a web search returns back many hits on how to answer it or rather how others have answered it and in the interviews, that’s how I answered it then. It convinced the person who asked it but not me. So, I chose not to do an MBA.
Now-a-days, I get stumped by a question which I am asked about ten times in a day and I never know what would be the appropriate response to it. The question I am referring to is ‘Hey, what’s up?’. Sometimes, I think whether I should choose a ‘response of the day’ for it and use it through the entire day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t works out well as I am supposed to answer this question differently based on my surrounding environment, my level of acquaintance with the other person and my activities in recent past or my current activity.
In office-like surroundings, when I am asked this question, I consider for a moment replying like ‘Ceiling’ or ‘A Pixar animation movie‘ but then I don’t as this joke has become so stale that even I don’t find it funny now. Then, I wonder if I can consider this as a rhetorical question and ignore with a smile. At this moment, most of the time, the other person understands that I mean serious business only and they proceed towards asking more ‘business-related’ questions. But sometimes, I get back a smile. Then, I consider two options. First, asking back the same question ‘What’s up?’ to throw back the ball in other’s court. Second, give the small-talk-ending ‘nothing much’ response. Either of these options work well most of the times to cut down the small talk. If I take first option, the other person takes second option often. However, when the other person replies back more elaborately with details of something exciting he has done recently and when he ends up with ‘what have you been up to?’, I feel a peer-pressure to reply back with almost similar level of detail of something exciting I did recently (or let my imagination run to make something sound exciting).
At this moment, I feel that this post is incomplete as I am supposed to elaborate what thoughts I go through when I meet people in not office-like surroundings but I will skip that as this is not an essay where I have to cover all points to maximize my marks.