A Case of the Mondays

I admit it. I was tired this morning. In fact, I was tired until noon. Upon reaching work, it was evident my coworkers felt the same way, likely just because it was the start of a new week. But no matter how tired I felt, there was one thing I refused to do, and I still refuse to do. You see, working in an office there’s a sort of vocabulary that’s pretty much universally adopted, the kind of vocabulary that’s mocked by movies like “Office Space” and shows like “The Office.” One particular aspect of this vocabulary has stuck out to me, and frankly kind of bothered me, and I’m here to hopefully dispel that vocabulary as much as I can.

The thing about working in an office is that you’re surrounded by people for an entire day that, unless you are in charge of hiring, you did not choose to be surrounded by. They’re just people who applied for a job just like you, and now simply because you both like the idea of a paycheck, you have to spend a large portion of the day with them. Because it’s polite, most people will be cordial enough, make small talk, and sort of half-assedly converse their way through the day with each other, and that’s were my beef comes. See, people who have been doing this long enough have a cookie cutter answer to every single question that they could possibly be asked, and they give it, no matter how they feel or whether or not it actually applies to them at the moment.

Most folks, I’ve found, have taken to answering the question “How are you?” (or any other question of personal morale, for that matter) by simply identifying the day of the week, like so:

Andy: “Good day, coworker. How are you this morn?”

Coworker: (groans) “Well, it’s Monday.”


Andy: “Good morrow, friend. How goes it this day?”

Coworker: (gleefully, with large grin) “It’s FRIDAY!!!”

I’ve got a problem with this. First of all, because it really doesn’t answer my question. I’ve got a calendar on my desk, thanks, I don’t need you to tell me what day of the week it is. Maybe if each new day you came along with a different Dilbert comic strip, sudoku puzzle, or piece of sports trivia, I might consider you useful. But until then, you’re just boring. (You’ll have to excuse my harsh and frank tone. It is Monday, after all.)

Secondly, it’s kind of rude, in a sort of unintentional backwards way. I take the time to show concern about your wellbeing as a person, and you can’t even answer the simple question? Ridiculous. It’s a cop out. It tells me, “I don’t think highly enough of you to give you genuine conversation.”

Anyway, if you’re out there and you’ve experienced this conversational phenomenon and you don’t really understand it, here’s my day-by-day guide to what your coworkers really mean when you ask them how they’re doing, and they tell you the day of the week:

“Ugh. It’s Monday.” means:

“I won’t tell you outright, but I hate my job. I wish I wasn’t here more than anything else on this planet. The fact that I have to work at all disgusts me, and the fact that I have to work here is even worse. Also, it’s quite possible that I have a hangover, or feel like I have one. God First.”

“It’s Tuesday!” means:

“Here at APU, faculty and staff are provided free drinks and donuts on Tuesday! Hooray! I can use excessive sugar and glaze to distract me from the fact that I hate being here! Also, even though it will take me a half hour tops to go up to Heritage, get a donut, and eat it, I will likely make it take a full hour. Minimum.”

“It’s Wednesday.” means:

“By the end of today, I will be closer to this weekend than last. That means if I can suffer through the exact amount of hell I’ve already been through this week over again, I can likely make it to the weekend again. Also, I’m getting pretty good at Minesweeper.”

“At least it’s Thursday.” means:

“Is it Friday yet?!? Is it? Is it? Isitisitisitisitisitisitisitisitisitisitisitisitisitisitisitisit? I don’t know how much more of this I can take.”

“Iiiiiit’s FRIDAY!!!” means:

“I’m about to have a terribly unproductive day today while I count down the seconds until I can forget about this place for two days. Today is the closest thing to a weekly birthday that a person can experience. I will spend today doodling, surfing the internet, and fantasizing about not coming back next Monday.”

Sad, isn’t it? And let me clarify- these are not my personal thoughts. When people ask me how I’m doing, I tell them. I don’t give them an obvious, arbitrary fact like what day of the week it is or what color my shirt is (Q: “How are you, Andy?”  A: “My shirt is blue!!”). The worst thing is that I can see this sort of conversation creeping up on me. You run into someone in the hall who asks “What’s up?” and you reply, “fine, thanks.” It’s only a matter of time before you become the boring cookie cutter person just by being surrounded by cookie cutter personalities.

I feel like I could gripe about this for pages, but I’ll spare you. You don’t need to hear it, I don’t need to do it, and heck, I’ll be feeling better about it within the next hour or so.

It’ll be Tuesday by then.


1 Response to “A Case of the Mondays”

  1. 1 mattvaudrey
    March 7, 2008 at 2:43 am

    Come work in a school, where the staff is counting down the weeks until Christmas break… starting at Halloween.
    My personal favorite line is given on a Tuesday after a 3-day weekend.
    “We should have these every weekend!”

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