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Help me interact with my boss

When Adam arrives at the studio to record the podcast he usually walks through the door, ear bud in ear and phone in hand and makes a beeline for either the table (where, if he’s not still on a call he puts his phone) or the coffeemaker. On the way he issues his standard greeting: “What’s goin’ on?” This is delivered while he’s on the move–at a ratio of about two What’s Goin’ Ons per every three people– and it’s a very low maintenance kind of greeting neither requiring nor prohibiting a response.

The problem comes when I am the only person in the general direction of said, “What’s goin’ on?” which for whatever reason I often am, probably because I’m usually loitering somewhere between the table and the coffeemaker. And though I want to respond, to indicate that I am a friendly human being and not some weird frigid mannequin, I just never quite eke out a reply in time. It’s as if this is conversational double dutch jump rope and the rope keeps going by and I just stand there watching and telling myself I’m about to jump in. Or as if I’m trying to mount a conversational escalator and I keep extending and then pulling my foot away at the last minute.

Anyway, here’s what happens: He says WGO at which point I find myself either 1)  pretending I didn’t hear while fixing my face into an awkward constipated looking half smile to indicate I’m fun-loving 2) looking askance and mumbling something which sounds like the beginning of an answer but which quickly morphs into something more like, “Humph! Mlerfff… [trails into indecipherable hissing sound]” or 3) jumping up and licking his face.

I’m tired of being cliche though! And so I ask you: What is the appropriate response to a semi-asked What’s Goin’ On? Mind you, this WGO is not the same as someone looking at you and saying, “Hey, how was your weekend?” which wouldn’t require any sort of assessment of whether they actually want a response. WGO is in between rhetorical and interrogative. It’s less than a, “How was your weekend?” and more than a “‘sup.” And yet to not answer at all makes me feel like I’m in a never-ending game of hide-and-seek and I’m the one hiding and the other person is just counting to infinity.

I mentioned this to a couple people at the studio last week, because that’s the kind of person I am, and Bald Bryan suggested the best answer is, “That is none of your business.” I do like its undeniable sassiness, however I worry it’s HIS answer and if I start using it Adam will know we sidekicks are organizing. (We’re forming Sidekicks Local 453. Don’t fuck with us.)

Matt who works on CarCast suggested the appropriate answer might be, “Stuff,” which is also good.

What’s goin’ on?

Stuff.

I do like it. But I think we can do better. Here are some options and then you tell me what you think I should go with (suggestions welcome)

Possible responses to, “What’s goin’ on?”

1) “What a week!” (downside: can only be used at end of week)

2) “What a weekend!” (downside: can only be used at beginning of week; could be met with a follow up question about the weekend, something probing like, “Really, what did you do?” and then where does that leave me?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!)

3) “What IS goin’ on?” (downside: I don’t see one)

4) “Exactly.” (downside: it really makes no sense)

5) “Hey, how are you?” (downside: extremely friendly and genuine. Blech!)

6) “Same shit, different day.” (downside: depressingly honest)

7) “Easy Pickles.”

  • Cbenioff

    I also run into this daily. It is important to note that most people don’t expect an answer and are just greeting you in the laziest possible way. I usually respond with a “hey” or ” what’s up”. It makes little sense but puts the ball back in their court. If you say anything more it’s going to get awkward. Based on what I know of Adam, this is your best bet although there is little chance of any quality conversation…. Save that for the podcast.

  • Of the listed options, I would agree that number three is best; either delivered with the emphasized “IS” or staight. Either could elicit a response, even if just a nod.

    Another choice could be the universal, “‘Depends on whose askin'”, which also might trigger the boss’ curiosity or, again, a nod toward your giving as good as you’re getting.

  • BBC

    only one thing i see you got wrong,, different day ,, same shit….other way was the norm responce “Never ever do that”

  • Why not pre-empt his “What’s goin’ on?” with your own “What’s goin’ on?” Turn the tables.

  • Valkyrie

    Gotta get it on

  • Al

    Instead of answering his “what’s going on”, parry it with your own question. “how’s it hanging? Would be a good response.

  • Hollardat

    Everyday repond…Fantastic, best day of my life!

  • Kjones

    WGO = Just chilling!

  • Jacob

    I tend to prefer the standard, “Oh, you know. How about yourself?” which quickly and easily helps me to avoid the question all together and thrust the originator of the question into the light.

  • MookieND

    When I’m asked that question at work, I usually just say “not much.” Gives them an answer, doesn’t lead to additional questions. It’s not funny, but it’s effective.

  • Matt

    If you don’t really wanna get into a conversation you can just say, “Hey.” It acknowledges the other person but is equally low maintenance, putting the ball back in their court, (if you were a dude you could just give The Nod, but I dunno if girls can/should do that.)

    David Feeney was fond of saying “What’s up bitches!”

  • Downpat20

    I would just say “shooting the shit” And just go from there.

  • Chris Filby

    Your best response is a positive happy response that will set the tone for both his day and yours. Make yourself a list of short inspirational quips to have at the ready.

    1) Getting ready for a great day!
    2) I found out it’s sunny and 70 everyday somewhere and it might as well be here today!
    3) I’ve made a list of everything that needs to be done and today I know I’ll get through it.
    4) Where’s the day gone, glad you’re here!

    Hopefully this will solve your problem. If not screw it, just make a cute smile and get on about your day!

  • @Lou_Magic

    How about just “not much” or “Chillin yo”. One of those. If those don’t work then just tell him you have to return some video tapes.

  • I really like response #4 (“Exactly”). It doesn’t make sense, but it’s funny, and I think Adam would see that. Most importantly, I would find it amusing if you said that to Adam, then called me on the phone and told me what he did. He probably isn’t interested in your answer anyway, so just go nuts with it. And try to work a “boss” in there.

  • ryanpatrick

    “not much, you?” inviting, yet doesn’t require a full stop and chat. it says you’re cool and unassuming.

  • AngusThermopyle

    Why wait for Adam to speak first? If you have an original question for him, ask it when you see him. Show initiative, not timidity. Otherwise, no response is a good response. As for the nature of his question, at the end of the day, he probably does not care how you respond. I would bet that he really does not want to know. It’s an ice-breaker, nothing more. After all, the show’s the thing, to paraphrase the Bard. To much real talk before the podcast is like sex before a boxing match: if you do it, you likely lose your edge for the real event, which is probably what he does not want to do. If brevity is the soul of wit, then spontaneity is the essence of entertainment. Respond when it counts: on the podcast.

  • i would go with 7. But Normally my response is just “Shit!”

  • mugby

    grab your crotch and say “balls itch”

  • My tried-and-true answer to What’s Goin’ On?/How’s it goin’?/etc. is “Livin’ the Dream.” It’s a jovial answer that be interpreted in two ways: (1) I’m being ironic and I don’t particularly enjoying doing what I’m doing (i.e., work); or (2) I’m being sincere and I do love what I’m doing (unicorn wrangling). Either way, it’s generally met with something between a smirk and a chuckle.

    Of the choices you’ve presented, “What IS goin’ on?” seems the strongest response.

  • Vargass

    Say you just peed yourself. If hes like “WTF!”, be like “come ooooon!” And if he says nothing, then he never really cared to begin with…

  • TrappDog

    Like Matt, I also commonly respond with “Hey.” If I were in a particularly good mood, I might respond, “Aceman!” But at least once I would respond, “As if I’d tell you.”

  • ZDL

    Consider a non-verbal response, it can be much more personal. Perhaps a cocked eyebrow coupled with a sustained fart.

  • Mark

    I get this sometimes and I like to answer with whatever I had for breakfast (Cap’n Crunch, toast, martini, etc…) it’s automatic, changes every day (usually) and simultaneously can appear spontaneous or like you actually gave it some thought

  • This one is easy. He says WGO?

    You say, “A 24/7 party my friend”

    the right amount of corny,clever and short. Then you keep walking…

  • Tony DeCoste

    I like “exactly”, or I’d go with “great question, I’ll get back to you on that” (place index finger on lips, walk away slowly nodding, furrowed brows, look of deep contemplation)

  • VirginiaBeachRep

    Be proactive. Be on the look-out for him. Speak as soon as you see him, saying louder than normal: “Adam!” He’ll be forced to give you a response that is NOT “what’s going on?” OWN the conversation.

  • Ksofen

    “buzz off!” what Adam says to bums and people who are critical to him in public.

  • Kelsey

    I prefer the Chris Tucker “not a damn thing” response. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oQxDHvQQbw&feature=related

  • Just change your answer every time. Make a game of it.

  • Email2lee

    WGO?? You Adam your what’s going on!

  • ddb

    How about, “Gettin’ it on, Ace Man!”

  • nah mines still the best

  • Mike A

    Johnny and Ed never spoke before the show, saved all their banter for on air. Smile and look agreeable (as you always do)!

  • Duchessrebecca

    “picket signs and picket lines, don’t punish me with brutality”

  • make it a game, come up with a new snappy answer each time…Q: “what’s goin’ on?” A: Your butt on a Jenny Craig Poster… Q: “what’s goin’ on?” A: Your breath on the FBI’s banned toxins list. Q: “what’s goin’ on?” A: Your face on a Milk carton … downside: it’s a bit of work but a good warm up for the show

  • blogenfreude

    ALISON – makes no diff … you have a great job on the podcast that matters. Say what you want, and we, the listeners, will back you up. Carolla might be a TV star, but he should treat small Jewish women well. We have your back.

  • Rick

    Anything which elicits a reply from AC is definitely a no-no. The seemingly innocuous “Fine, and how are you?” better have 15 minutes of intense listening attached, for you’re in for a rant about how ridiculous it is for weddings to serve cake instead of the world-wide preferred pie.

    If you insist, you can merely test him to see if he’s listening. “WGO?” “Seriously dating a midget. Tournament Of Rosen is cancelled”, or “Thinking about wearing panties again”. But I think the best response is one which lets AC know you heard him, but also shows his current path isn’t on any map. “WGO?” “Holdin’ more water than an RV radiator, Chief” (bosses like to be called “Chief”). My personal favorite is hold your phone to your ear, and act like you’re listening to someone. Smile, and hold up the 1-finger “I’ll be with you in a minute” gesture. Your phone REALLY rings (I recommend Maneater as a ringtone), and you are now officially “one of the gang”, because you’ll have been busted trying to pull one over on the great and powerful Aceman. Or, you can just “zip it”.

  • Tim

    I agree with Lloyd

  • Tams

    I like number 7 and I like number 4. Do you want to create more mystique around you or do you want to make him laugh? I kind of like number 1 for a Sunday or Monday night, actually.
    How about “Another day, another blowjob”? That was from the book _Go Ask Alice_.

  • The response “Good! You?” is a sarcastic answer to a question not asked, but it might piss him off.
    You could respond with a question like “What’s cookin’?” or “What cooks?”. His hyper-vigilance might force him to respond. Good luck!

  • Amy

    How bout “what it is, what it was, what it will be”. I don’t remember where that quote was from, maybe Freddie “boom boom” Washington from Welcome Back Kotter. I bet Adam would know it

  • Mark

    “What’s going on” is just his way of saying Hi. In the interest of brevity and maintaining that non-committal “I really don’t care what’s going on…I’m just saying hi” thing Adam is doing, just throw back a ” ‘Sup!? ” You don’t really care what’s up….you’re just saying hi.

    There…crisis averted.

  • Alison you are so better than that.
    The appropriate response is “Snakes!” But on every third day, “Spiders! Everywhere!”

    An alternate tack would be to respond with something incredibly feminine and personal, because nothing makes Carolla more uncomfortable. Such as “setting a record for UTIs in one month” or “bra sweat.” You get the idea.

  • Not much you is the correct answer Ryan Patrick. Anyone who listens to NPR knows this.

  • Art

    *Slap*
    It doesn’t help, it would just be hilarious.
    or…
    Begin a long-winded discourse on anything chick related and wait for the exasperate grunted sigh that goes something like ‘AUghGHGhghgh’.

  • Amy

    I say keep it short and think about whether you can say this thing every single day without it being lame by the third day. Can’t go wrong with the Hank Kingsley, Hey now!

  • Nada, you?
    Not much, you?
    SOS!
    Smart phone, mp3 player, or just a headset. Have them on when you walk in. Then only a nod and a smile if he starts waving frantically.

  • Matt

    “Yeah it is!”

  • Andthem

    3 and then 6 when you’re feeling saucy.

  • Adam Carolla

    Are you serious about all those possibly answers? How about replying “not much, how ya doin?” as you continue doing whatever you were doing before he walked in? Are you worried about coming off as too aloof or rude or something? You wrote a fairly lengthy blog post on this topic when it’s not a difficult issue at all. What would Lynette think if she saw that you thought this much about giving your boss a pleasing answer to a question that you yourself said he’s only half-expecting an answer to? Maybe you should find out what everyone in that whole warehouse he records in is up to when you get there in the evening, how all their days have been so far, any technical difficulties anyone’s experiencing with any equipment, everything, and then, when Adam tosses that rhetorical greeting question your way, you can regurgitate all the information you’ve acquired to him?

    I have a poem for you, bracket round two poem from a contestant who didn’t even write in:

    when Adam walks in to record for the day, he sees you look hot but that you shy away/
    his “ear bud in ear” and his eye swings to you, but listen up dear, he expects no answer from the jew/
    not that that’s why, it’s just a word that fit in, but Alison, desperation’s something no one’s diggin/
    you fein some good sense and some wit on the show, but now we can see your insecurity aglow/
    you fancy yourself a writer with that word ‘askance’ and smooth style, but how about you pause, think objectively for a while/
    what ladder’s there to climb, giving him the best response? you’d be much better off with cool poise, nonchalance/
    “Well Donnie’s stoned out of his mind,” “Brian’s still beating his cancer”; you think you’re a star on the rise with those answers?
    Just be chill and stop writing, unless about pregnancy; and stop worrying about this perceived exigency.

  • Q: Whats going on? A: “Masturbation.” It’ll get the aceman’s attention the first day, be amusing for a few days, and will become a good routine that you’ll both get used to.

  • Misterplowman

    I like Bryan’s response, but make it you’re own, with a “What’s it to YOU, Snoopy?”

  • Short answer to your first question: No, I’m not serious about those possible answers!

  • Fonduzzi Fred

    Given that it’s Adam we’re talking about, the two appropriate responses would either be, “Yes, and… ” or “Zip it, cunt”

  • @ZODC

    “just got here, why?” or his mother’s response “how should I know” I like “now it is” best

  • “Zip it, cunt.”

  • “Bra sweat,” has a certain something I like.

  • Go Ask Alison was possibly going to be the title of my fake recovery memoir! But not enough people were familiar with Go Ask Alice!

  • Charlie

    Respond with “just thinking about the holocaust.”

  • Yeah, that’s pretty much how we do it. And how I liked to do things with ARIYNBF too. (I always had guests arrive when the show was already going on)

  • Ken

    I like the “maturbation” comment. Once a month you can change it to “menstration” to see if he is paying attention.

  • ha!!

  • You realize Adam likely does not notice/care, right?

  • Yes. This is really more a blog post about these silly little conversational
    cul-de-sacs/awkward moments than anything else.

  • Dugman435

    I would have something specific in the chamber but very out there. Chinchillas are having trouble breeding on months with even numbers of days. Another day go with a “my ovaries are clenching like an angry fist.” Soon he will be very wary and aware of your presence and very careful about what he asks. Just do your homework for about ten days. Your welcome. Doug in Toronto .

  • Fonduzzi Fred

    BTW, didn’t “Easy Pickles” used to be Adam’s gay porn name?

  • Jwr341

    Of course your answer has to be “zip it cunt”

  • Caseigh

    “just chillin” is what i would probably use

  • Sometimes when I’m soundchecking and counting to ten (which is what Dawson always asks me to do) I like to blurt out little insults about Larry Miller if he’s in the room, like “One, Two, Three, Larry Miller let me down, Fifteen, Seven, Forty.” (I also like to pretend I don’t know two plus two equals six.

  • Mynameismarshall

    paraphrase Spicoli.

  • Brian

    Potential answers based on your mood at the time:
    – uninterested in having an actual conversation: “Hello.”
    – mildly interested in an actual conversation: “Not much. You?”
    – need to have a conversation about a specific topic: “Glad you asked. I think Brian is pissing in the break room sink again.”
    – no specific topic in mind, but wanting some attention: “A better question might be, ‘What’s coming off?'” or better yet, “These panties, in just a couple of minutes.”

  • NappingTom

    “I’m doing well, thank you, and yourself?”. It sounds to me that what’s bothering you is not Adam’s use of meaningless greeting banter, but that it’s non-conventional, low-investment meaningless greeting banter. Answering as if it were the more normal/forward “How are you today, Alison?” brings the point home. Or if you really want to confuse him, do it like I learned from Señorita Collins in 7th grade: “Muy bien, gracias. ¿Y tú?”

  • Edbruby

    Alison: Here are a couple of other possibilities:

    1) Depressed janitor answer: “A whole lot of nothing.”
    2) Fast food worker answer: “Same old, same old.”
    3) Hipster answer: “Marvin Gaye is really cool, isn’t he?”
    4) School marm answer: “Don’t you mean, what is going on?”
    5) Longshot answer: “Oh, just catching up on fan e-mail I’ve been neglecting.”

  • Mower29

    You could say, “You’re going on, Bossman!”

  • Josh Irwin

    Well… My standard answer for What’s goin on? Not much, what’s goin on with you? The nice part of this is most people they really just want to talk about themselves. I mean you are then obligated to listen but at least then you don’t have to share your inner feelings or tell just how much of a crap day you’ve had… Or is that just MY sad existence?

  • Claytonstillar

    i think adam got a little taken aback by the sidekick union hint maybe thinking you were implying being underpaid. Or maybe hes getting heat at home because of the chemistry you to have got at least on the air. These are a couple theories im throwing out. I enjoy your pg 13 musings and you can still recipricate well on the down and dirty stuff which makes you the perfect mistress

  • Davidlgb

    “oh, ya know”

  • Lamont Cranston
  • Gnuyork

    The proper response to WGO? is “Hey.”

  • Nickborrego

    I vote on “Exactly.” The uspside is that it makes no sense.

  • Justin F

    “Wow that’s um… Kind of personal, isn’t it?” and get real serious. Wait a beat (for comedic value), and then turn to the nearest bystander, give them a grin and an exaggerated shrug and say, “It’s a period thang!!”

  • Andrew

    Possible responses: My thong is really riding high today. The main rotor of the CH-53E is 79 feet in diameter, I just found out that Boston cream pie is not a pie at all but a cake. My cousin Walter was on “To Catch A Predator” Again.

  • Ethan

    Here is what you do. The next time he asks you WGO, tell him. It will most likely be the last time he will ask WGO forever remembering how you took him literally.

    Or say something ridiculous like…”Just finished taking a huge dump.”

  • Newtz

    I find a simple ‘fuck knows’ while you don’t make eye contact works well. It might startle him or he may just continue on and atleast you will feel like u interacted.

  • Ellis Lowell Scott

    What you need, Alison, is a RETORT. Not an answer, not a rejoinder, but a solid, kick-in-the-fellas RETORT! I don’t have one for you…

  • Just give him a finger point and a “Yo.”

  • I hate this little small talk stuff. People say these things to pretend to care and and be polite. I have responded on more than one occasion, “Do you really want to know or are you just being nice?” Freaks them out usually because they really don’t know how to respond. And yes I do have a response if they say they really want to know. Quit think of all the crap that’s going on in your life, yep that’s what I do and use to complain about how I’m not doing okay, and by the way thanks for your insensitivity in making me think about it randomly!

    If they have been “challenged” by me to think about what they are doing before, they may react in a less predictable manor, but normally I just let them off with a laugh, they respond with a nervous laugh, and usually refrain from asking me questions in the future. Just a hello. :oD

  • Jdbxbbxhd

    I like not much, and admit I have used it in the past but I’m unsure about it. If your boss asks you what’s going on and you say not much, is that really what you want to admit to the person who pays your salary? Not doing much boss – great then why do we need you hanging around here doing nothing? I’m not sure of a better answer but it should be along the same lines but imply that you are busy and are a valuable asset and they’d be crazy to get rid of you. Maybe what’s going on – working hard aceman!? Or got a great news segment for ya aceman!

  • Goze211

    Similar to the “stuff” response but more conversational: “oh you know; things and stuff”.

  • tedder42

    Alison- dunno if you’ve heard it, there’s a brilliant old Loveline bit with Tom Arnold and a really dumb caller that Charlie is referencing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsnaNu7sJiQ

  • Martianman68

    “What’s goin’ on?”
    “Gettin’ it on, boss. Got to get it on.”

  • Gordon

    Well, if you’re stressed out about dealing with that sort of constant harassment, I’d go with an angry “how the fuck would I know!”, and then just storm out. Probably never get that question again.

  • Minesh95814

    Easy peasy, slightly sleazy

  • rougesmurf

    Hey you could go with “aaah you know, everyday is a struggle” just because no one expects a downer answer to the WGO, “sup?” and would be mildly amusing for the first 118 times….just never change it, same monotone each time…my $02

  • boinkity

    I have 3 possible responses to “What’s goin’ on?”:

    1. I think my hymen grew back! I’m suddenly like a fuckin’ starfish!!
    2. My right nipple is sore, but my left is feelin’ reeeeallly niiiicee!
    3. I’m upset that I’ve never met a man that can splooge as much as Peter North!!

  • king ding-a-ling

    Resp 1) “you tell me”
    Resp 2) “crazinesses”
    Resp 3) “not condoms”

  • Yurgi

    Pretty obvious it’s a courteous thing. Like when you say “thanks chief” to the guy handing out the towel in gentlemens club’s bathroom. You’re way to up in your head about it. Just think, Aceman address everyone in the office like this, why should I be any different. Actually since you’re in his one year probationary period you’re lucky you don’t get a sideways glance and a grunt. So I guess I’m going with Easy, pickles!

  • Justin T

    taking one from the pages of SNL. when asked “hows it going?” respond ala Mark Wahlberg, “Going good, say hi to your mother for me”.
    PS Alison i love you

  • someguy

    How about a black pimp style “It do, it do!”

  • Cbenioff

    I also run into this daily. It is important to note that most people don't expect an answer and are just greeting you in the laziest possible way. I usually respond with a “hey” or ” what's up”. It makes little sense but puts the ball back in their court. If you say anything more it's going to get awkward. Based on what I know of Adam, this is your best bet although there is little chance of any quality conversation…. Save that for the podcast.

  • Of the listed options, I would agree that number three is best; either delivered with the emphasized “IS” or staight. Either could elicit a response, even if just a nod.

    Another choice could be the universal, “'Depends on whose askin'”, which also might trigger the boss' curiosity or, again, a nod toward your giving as good as you're getting.

  • BBC

    only one thing i see you got wrong,, different day ,, same shit….other way was the norm responce “Never ever do that”

  • Why not pre-empt his “What's goin' on?” with your own “What's goin' on?” Turn the tables.

  • Valkyrie

    Gotta get it on

  • Jameson

    In case anyone (or Alison) has not heard this bit of magic Charlie is referencing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsnaNu7sJiQ

  • Al

    Instead of answering his “what's going on”, parry it with your own question. “how's it hanging? Would be a good response.

  • Hollardat

    Everyday repond…Fantastic, best day of my life!

  • Kjones

    WGO = Just chilling!

  • Jacob

    I tend to prefer the standard, “Oh, you know. How about yourself?” which quickly and easily helps me to avoid the question all together and thrust the originator of the question into the light.

  • MookieND

    When I'm asked that question at work, I usually just say “not much.” Gives them an answer, doesn't lead to additional questions. It's not funny, but it's effective.

  • Matt

    If you don't really wanna get into a conversation you can just say, “Hey.” It acknowledges the other person but is equally low maintenance, putting the ball back in their court, (if you were a dude you could just give The Nod, but I dunno if girls can/should do that.)

    David Feeney was fond of saying “What's up bitches!”

  • Downpat20

    I would just say “shooting the shit” And just go from there.

  • Chris Filby

    Your best response is a positive happy response that will set the tone for both his day and yours. Make yourself a list of short inspirational quips to have at the ready.

    1) Getting ready for a great day!
    2) I found out it's sunny and 70 everyday somewhere and it might as well be here today!
    3) I've made a list of everything that needs to be done and today I know I'll get through it.
    4) Where's the day gone, glad you're here!

    Hopefully this will solve your problem. If not screw it, just make a cute smile and get on about your day!

  • @Lou_Magic

    How about just “not much” or “Chillin yo”. One of those. If those don't work then just tell him you have to return some video tapes.

  • TS

    1. Holy shit, 100 comments?

    2. The correct answer is “hey.” He is acknowledging your existence with a greeting, it would be appropriate to do the same.

    3. Weird that you called yourself a weird frigid mannequin. Not in a judgmental way, but it certainly caught my attention. Frigid? Are there some things you would like to blog about?

  • I really like response #4 (“Exactly”). It doesn't make sense, but it's funny, and I think Adam would see that. Most importantly, I would find it amusing if you said that to Adam, then called me on the phone and told me what he did. He probably isn't interested in your answer anyway, so just go nuts with it. And try to work a “boss” in there.

  • ryanpatrick

    “not much, you?” inviting, yet doesn't require a full stop and chat. it says you're cool and unassuming.

  • AngusThermopyle

    Why wait for Adam to speak first? If you have an original question for him, ask it when you see him. Show initiative, not timidity. Otherwise, no response is a good response. As for the nature of his question, at the end of the day, he probably does not care how you respond. I would bet that he really does not want to know. It's an ice-breaker, nothing more. After all, the show's the thing, to paraphrase the Bard. To much real talk before the podcast is like sex before a boxing match: if you do it, you likely lose your edge for the real event, which is probably what he does not want to do. If brevity is the soul of wit, then spontaneity is the essence of entertainment. Respond when it counts: on the podcast.

  • i would go with 7. But Normally my response is just “Shit!”

  • mugby

    grab your crotch and say “balls itch”

  • TrappDog

    Like Matt, I also commonly respond with “Hey.” If I were in a particularly good mood, I might respond, “Aceman!” But at least once I would respond, “As if I'd tell you.”

  • Mark

    I get this sometimes and I like to answer with whatever I had for breakfast (Cap'n Crunch, toast, martini, etc…) it's automatic, changes every day (usually) and simultaneously can appear spontaneous or like you actually gave it some thought

  • This one is easy. He says WGO?

    You say, “A 24/7 party my friend”

    the right amount of corny,clever and short. Then you keep walking…

  • Tony DeCoste

    I like “exactly”, or I'd go with “great question, I'll get back to you on that” (place index finger on lips, walk away slowly nodding, furrowed brows, look of deep contemplation)

  • VirginiaBeachRep

    Be proactive. Be on the look-out for him. Speak as soon as you see him, saying louder than normal: “Adam!” He'll be forced to give you a response that is NOT “what's going on?” OWN the conversation.

  • Egollmyer

    “Same shit, different day” is both honest and respectable. Adam cares about this. The insecure, over-analyzing new girl can definitely use these to shore up some confidence.

  • Ksofen

    “buzz off!” what Adam says to bums and people who are critical to him in public.

  • Kelsey

    I prefer the Chris Tucker “not a damn thing” response. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

  • Just change your answer every time. Make a game of it.

  • It’s really not insecurity in this instance. It’s observation of life’s absurd little patterns. I’m capable of being insecure, don’t get me wrong, but this isn’t that.

  • Nada, you?
    Not much, you?
    SOS!
    Smart phone, mp3 player, or just a headset. Have them on when you walk in. Then only a nod and a smile if he starts waving frantically.

  • Adam Carolla

    Are you serious about all those possibly answers? How about replying “not much, how ya doin?” as you continue doing whatever you were doing before he walked in? Are you worried about coming off as too aloof or rude or something? You wrote a fairly lengthy blog post on this topic when it's not a difficult issue at all. What would Lynette think if she saw that you thought this much about giving your boss a pleasing answer to a question that you yourself said he's only half-expecting an answer to? Maybe you should find out what everyone in that whole warehouse he records in is up to when you get there in the evening, how all their days have been so far, any technical difficulties anyone's experiencing with any equipment, everything, and then, when Adam tosses that rhetorical greeting question your way, you can regurgitate all the information you've acquired to him?

    I have a poem for you, bracket round two poem from a contestant who didn't even write in:

    when Adam walks in to record for the day, he sees you look hot but that you shy away/
    his “ear bud in ear” and his eye swings to you, but listen up dear, he expects no answer from the jew/
    not that that's why, it's just a word that fit in, but Alison, desperation's something no one's diggin/
    you fein some good sense and some wit on the show, but now we can see your insecurity aglow/
    you fancy yourself a writer with that word 'askance' and smooth style, but how about you pause, think objectively for a while/
    what ladder's there to climb, giving him the best response? you'd be much better off with cool poise, nonchalance/
    “Well Donnie's stoned out of his mind,” “Brian's still beating his cancer”; you think you're a star on the rise with those answers?
    Just be chill and stop writing, unless about pregnancy; and stop worrying about this perceived exigency.

  • Short answer to your first question: No, I'm not serious about those possible answers!

  • Fonduzzi Fred

    Given that it's Adam we're talking about, the two appropriate responses would either be, “Yes, and… ” or “Zip it, cunt”

  • @ZODC

    “just got here, why?” or his mother's response “how should I know” I like “now it is” best

  • “Bra sweat,” has a certain something I like.

  • Go Ask Alison was possibly going to be the title of my fake recovery memoir! But not enough people were familiar with Go Ask Alice!

  • Gomijacogeo

    I’d just go with the short, simple “Oh. Hey, Adam!”.
    For clever, perhaps “Makin’ the boss look good.”
    I also liked “Exactly” and “Stuff”.

  • Yeah, that's pretty much how we do it. And how I liked to do things with ARIYNBF too. (I always had guests arrive when the show was already going on)

  • Ken

    I like the “maturbation” comment. Once a month you can change it to “menstration” to see if he is paying attention.

  • ha!!

  • You realize Adam likely does not notice/care, right?

  • TS

    More likely the guy who posted that was being a stupid dickface. I’m pretty sure, like 85 – 90%

  • Yes. This is really more a blog post about these silly little conversational

    cul-de-sacs/awkward moments than anything else.

  • Your YouTube Friend

    To engage Adam you need to touch one of his rant switches. Adam isn’t human he’s mechanical so when he lays out the “What’s goin’ on?” you need to respond with something like:

    Just sittin hear thinking about how Mayor Villarigosa is straightening out this crazy city. Love that guy.

    Just planning to get a nice piece of cake. Still haven’t recovered from that awful piece of pumpkin pie from last night.

    Going great Ace, just got done watching a special about the careers of Sid and Marty Kroft. Genius.

    ….or

    “What’s goin’ on?”

    – Like you even fuckin care you Aspergy, Jewfro wearing motormouth.

    “What’s goin’ on?”

    – You, ya fuckin semi autistic gearhead. Ever heard of the concept of conversation as in let the guest talk once in a while.

    “What’s goin’ on?”

    I’m a lesbian. OK. Are you happy now? That’s right I’m single because I’m a dyke.

    “What’s goin’ on?”

    – My nose, it just keeps going and going and…..

  • Doug Crosse

    I would have something specific in the chamber but very out there. Chinchillas are having trouble breeding on months with even numbers of days. Another day go with a “my ovaries are clenching like an angry fist.” Soon he will be very wary and aware of your presence and very careful about what he asks. Just do your homework for about ten days. Your welcome. Doug in Toronto .

  • Fonduzzi Fred

    BTW, didn't “Easy Pickles” used to be Adam's gay porn name?

  • Jwr341

    Of course your answer has to be “zip it cunt”

  • Caseigh

    “just chillin” is what i would probably use

  • Sometimes when I'm soundchecking and counting to ten (which is what Dawson always asks me to do) I like to blurt out little insults about Larry Miller if he's in the room, like “One, Two, Three, Larry Miller let me down, Fifteen, Seven, Forty.” (I also like to pretend I don't know two plus two equals six.”

  • Mynameismarshall

    paraphrase Spicoli.

  • Brian

    Potential answers based on your mood at the time:
    – uninterested in having an actual conversation: “Hello.”
    – mildly interested in an actual conversation: “Not much. You?”
    – need to have a conversation about a specific topic: “Glad you asked. I think Brian is pissing in the break room sink again.”
    – no specific topic in mind, but wanting some attention: “A better question might be, 'What's coming off?'” or better yet, “These panties, in just a couple of minutes.”

  • NappingTom

    “I'm doing well, thank you, and yourself?”. It sounds to me that what's bothering you is not Adam's use of meaningless greeting banter, but that it's non-conventional, low-investment meaningless greeting banter. Answering as if it were the more normal/forward “How are you today, Alison?” brings the point home. Or if you really want to confuse him, do it like I learned from Señorita Collins in 7th grade: “Muy bien, gracias. ¿Y tú?”

  • Edbruby

    Alison: Here are a couple of other possibilities:

    1) Depressed janitor answer: “A whole lot of nothing.”
    2) Fast food worker answer: “Same old, same old.”
    3) Hipster answer: “Marvin Gaye is really cool, isn't he?”
    4) School marm answer: “Don't you mean, what is going on?”
    5) Longshot answer: “Oh, just catching up on fan e-mail I've been neglecting.”

  • Mower29

    You could say, “You're going on, Bossman!”

  • Josh Irwin

    Well… My standard answer for What's goin on? Not much, what's goin on with you? The nice part of this is most people they really just want to talk about themselves. I mean you are then obligated to listen but at least then you don't have to share your inner feelings or tell just how much of a crap day you've had… Or is that just MY sad existence?

  • Claytonstillar

    i think adam got a little taken aback by the sidekick union hint maybe thinking you were implying being underpaid. Or maybe hes getting heat at home because of the chemistry you to have got at least on the air. These are a couple theories im throwing out. I enjoy your pg 13 musings and you can still recipricate well on the down and dirty stuff which makes you the perfect mistress

  • Davidlgb

    “oh, ya know”

  • Gnuyork

    The proper response to WGO? is “Hey.”

  • Nickborrego

    I vote on “Exactly.” The uspside is that it makes no sense.

  • Justin F

    “Wow that's um… Kind of personal, isn't it?” and get real serious. Wait a beat (for comedic value), and then turn to the nearest bystander, give them a grin and an exaggerated shrug and say, “It's a period thang!!”

  • Possible responses: My thong is really riding high today. The main rotor of the CH-53E is 79 feet in diameter, I just found out that Boston cream pie is not a pie at all but a cake. My cousin Walter was on “To Catch A Predator” Again.

  • Ethan

    Here is what you do. The next time he asks you WGO, tell him. It will most likely be the last time he will ask WGO forever remembering how you took him literally.

    Or say something ridiculous like…”Just finished taking a huge dump.”

  • Newtz

    I find a simple 'fuck knows' while you don't make eye contact works well. It might startle him or he may just continue on and atleast you will feel like u interacted.

  • Ellis Lowell Scott

    What you need, Alison, is a RETORT. Not an answer, not a rejoinder, but a solid, kick-in-the-fellas RETORT! I don't have one for you…

  • I hate this little small talk stuff. People say these things to pretend to care and and be polite. I have responded on more than one occasion, “Do you really want to know or are you just being nice?” Freaks them out usually because they really don't know how to respond. And yes I do have a response if they say they really want to know. Quit think of all the crap that's going on in your life, yep that's what I do and use to complain about how I'm not doing okay, and by the way thanks for your insensitivity in making me think about it randomly!

    If they have been “challenged” by me to think about what they are doing before, they may react in a less predictable manor, but normally I just let them off with a laugh, they respond with a nervous laugh, and usually refrain from asking me questions in the future. Just a hello. :oD

  • Mstsacto

    To quote the man himself; “Here’s the deal…”
    Adam is NOT greeting anyone on his arrival. Adam is merely ANNOUNCING his arrival. Mainly for two reasons;

    1. It is sporting for the boss to let the help know that he is now in their vicinity. Sort of a “general quarters” alarm.
    2. It would seem creepy for him to arrive and skulk around the workplace without uttering a sound.

    He isn’t seeking conversation. He is fulfilling the basic demands of social convention.

    Your response to it shouldn’t be flippant, snarky or crude.

    The next time you find yourself fragged by one his “What’s goin’ on?” blasts, just look at him and give him a fine big grin. That’s it. Even make with the teeth if you feel like it. Though he may not measurably react to it (it IS Adam, after all) you will convey two important, and I presume truthful sentiments;

    A. “I’m glad your here!”
    B. “I’m glad I”M here!”

    Sometimes writers need to be reminded that the best communication is often wordless.

  • boinkity

    I have 3 possible responses to “What's goin' on?”:

    1. I think my hymen grew back! I'm suddenly like a fuckin' starfish!!
    2. My right nipple is sore, but my left is feelin' reeeeallly niiiicee!
    3. I'm upset that I've never met a man that can splooge as much as Peter North!!

  • Bob Carleton

    They have a word for this. I’ts called “sociopath.”

  • king ding-a-ling

    Resp 1) “you tell me”
    Resp 2) “crazinesses”
    Resp 3) “not condoms”

  • Yurgi

    Pretty obvious it's a courteous thing. Like when you say “thanks chief” to the guy handing out the towel in gentlemens club's bathroom. You're way to up in your head about it. Just think, Aceman address everyone in the office like this, why should I be any different. Actually since you're in his one year probationary period you're lucky you don't get a sideways glance and a grunt. So I guess I'm going with Easy, pickles!

  • Joey1

    Adam – WGO?
    Alison – Your fly is undone.

  • Justin T

    taking one from the pages of SNL. when asked “hows it going?” respond ala Mark Wahlberg, “Going good, say hi to your mother for me”.
    PS Alison i love you

  • someguy

    How about a black pimp style “It do, it do!”

  • Michael Park

    Just respond, “you” because your boss IS what’s goin on.

  • Jameson

    In case anyone (or Alison) has not heard this bit of magic Charlie is referencing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

  • TS

    1. Holy shit, 100 comments?

    2. The correct answer is “hey.” He is acknowledging your existence with a greeting, it would be appropriate to do the same.

    3. Weird that you called yourself a weird frigid mannequin. Not in a judgmental way, but it certainly caught my attention. Frigid? Are there some things you would like to blog about?

  • Egollmyer

    “Same shit, different day” is both honest and respectable. Adam cares about this. The insecure, over-analyzing new girl can definitely use these to shore up some confidence.

  • It's really not insecurity in this instance. It's observation of life's absurd little patterns. I'm capable of being insecure, don't get me wrong, but this isn't that.

  • charleshbryan

    Just say something in Spanish. He’ll love it.

    “Evadir a la policía!” – Evading the police!
    “Fantasía lesbiana!” – Lesbian fantasy!
    “Tengo el mundo por el culo, hombre!” – Got the world by the ass, hombre
    “Empacar chapuza!” – Packing fudge!

    Hell, you can use Google translate as easily as I can.

  • Alison, i myself am a true hater of the mundane, everyday “good morning” or “hey”, “how was your weekend”, or in your case, substitue “WGO”.
    what i like to do is fire back an equally vague “what’s going down?” or some other short but equally non emotional question to the questioner.
    this allows the questioner to decide if an answer is needed, and lets them go first. if they respond, you can smile politely while not listening and forumlate your response when they are done talking, or if they don’t respond, no response is needed from you.
    You both aknowledge each other’s presece and get on with getting it on.

  • BHM325xi

    AC: WGO?
    AR: Just trying to determine whether to get it on.

  • P Dubs

    Perfect opportunity to try out the rape whistle.

  • Jeff Chandler

    After years of studying the Aceman, I believe you are reading way too much interest into his side of the greeting. He throws out a WGO jus in case there IS something he should know about, but the appropriate comeback (in my book) would just be a “hey.” (if you follow it with how are you, it puts him on the hot-seat for a response, not worth it!) Now, I know you will probably not going to go for this because it is too easy and thoughtless, but as I remind my wife daily, guys are dogs and we grunt and bark at each other. It IS communication. It works. I would suggest watching a few episodes of the Adam Carolla Project and see how Ray handled this when he came on the job-site. Then just go with that.

  • Adam – WGO?
    Alison – Your fly is undone.

  • Michael Park

    Just respond, “you” because your boss IS what's goin on.

  • FiveSix

    May I suggest busting this song out?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f39Zs0gB87c

  • Ericfoster3

    “I was told not to say.”

    Don’t worry. He won’t ask, but I’ll bet he takes a beat to think about it.

  • SB in Detroit

    Just flash him baby

  • charleshbryan

    Just say something in Spanish. He'll love it.

    “Evadir a la policía!” – Evading the police!
    “Fantasía lesbiana!” – Lesbian fantasy!
    “Tengo el mundo por el culo, hombre!” – Got the world by the ass, hombre
    “Empacar chapuza!” – Packing fudge!

    Hell, you can use Google translate as easily as I can.

  • Alison, i myself am a true hater of the mundane, everyday “good morning” or “hey”, “how was your weekend”, or in your case, substitue “WGO”.
    what i like to do is fire back an equally vague “what's going down?” or some other short but equally non emotional question to the questioner.
    this allows the questioner to decide if an answer is needed, and lets them go first. if they respond, you can smile politely while not listening and forumlate your response when they are done talking, or if they don't respond, no response is needed from you.
    You both aknowledge each other's presece and get on with getting it on.

  • BHM325xi

    AC: WGO?
    AR: Just trying to determine whether to get it on.

  • ReRun

    “Hey HEY Hey” like Dwayne on Whats Happenin!!

  • Fuzzy Dan

    I’ve used a variant of #6 (“Oh, you know, same old shit”) pretty much every day at my job for years now. Actually, the only shit that stays the same is me saying “Same old shit”. I’m pretty sure people are starting to make fun of me for it…this is a subject that is worth overthinking.

    How about something refined and collegiate, like “A pleasure as always, Mr. Carolla”? It makes you sound like a consummate professional, with an easy willingness to preserve distance.

  • Michael_E

    Hey, Ali- Ro this is Michael formerly of La. I forgot I had a Disqus account. As you can see by my profile pic thingie, I like the weak silent type.

    This post made me lol. Reminds me of the good old days. And trust me when I write lol I really lol because I’m not a habitual liar. First off, Easy Pickles would be my choice of the options. If I had to come up with one on my own, I would go with:

    Boss: What’s goin’ on?

    Alison/Me: I know what you did last summer.

    Nothing like a good ole mind bomb to start the day. Tick tock. Tick tock.

  • JR

    Simple Answer to WGO? that will work every time: “Hey boss, glad you could make it!” Thus, you’ve acknowledged Adam, shown him respect, and left him alone for the time being, which is what he really wants until you guys get rolling with the podcast.

  • SLS

    Your response should rhyme. A brief couplet with a simple end-rhyme is preferable. Channel Snoop Dogg, in other words (“meditating, elevating”; “Thinking news, drinking booze”; I’m sure you can do better).

    Why? Adam did a Man Show bit with Snoop years ago and discussed how the rapper always had a slick response to mundane inquiries (imagine what Snoop would say if you asked him What’s Up). Adam was impressed by Snoop’s wordsmithery and said that he himself always uses simple salutations.

    Adam is likewise impressed by your skills with language — he listens intently when you read your excerpts. He may be able to rant, improv, and come up with brilliant analogies instantly, but he cannot craft a sentence or a paragraph like you. So come up with some slick rhymes, and when those sound repetitive play with assonance and alliteration. Be Snoop!

  • Dickdouchebag

    How about “hello adam you look nice today.”

  • Susannla

    “life’s rich pageant”

  • P Dubs

    Perfect opportunity to try out the rape whistle.

  • Jigity

    Same shit, different toilet

  • After years of studying the Aceman, I believe you are reading way too much interest into his side of the greeting. He throws out a WGO jus in case there IS something he should know about, but the appropriate comeback (in my book) would just be a “hey.” (if you follow it with how are you, it puts him on the hot-seat for a response, not worth it!) Now, I know you will probably not going to go for this because it is too easy and thoughtless, but as I remind my wife daily, guys are dogs and we grunt and bark at each other. It IS communication. It works. I would suggest watching a few episodes of the Adam Carolla Project and see how Ray handled this when he came on the job-site. Then just go with that.

  • FiveSix

    May I suggest busting this song out?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

  • Ericfoster3

    “I was told not to say.”

    Don't worry. He won't ask, but I'll bet he takes a beat to think about it.

  • SB in Detroit

    Just flash him baby

  • ReRun

    “Hey HEY Hey” like Dwayne on Whats Happenin!!

  • Fuzzy Dan

    I've used a variant of #6 (“Oh, you know, same old shit”) pretty much every day at my job for years now. Actually, the only shit that stays the same is me saying “Same old shit”. I'm pretty sure people are starting to make fun of me for it…this is a subject that is worth overthinking.

    How about something refined and collegiate, like “A pleasure as always, Mr. Carolla”? It makes you sound like a consummate professional, with an easy willingness to preserve distance.

  • Michael_E

    Hey, Ali- Ro this is Michael formerly of La. I forgot I had a Disqus account. As you can see by my profile pic thingie, I like the weak silent type.

    This post made me lol. Reminds me of the good old days. And trust me when I write lol I really lol because I'm not a habitual liar. First off, Easy Pickles would be my choice of the options. If I had to come up with one on my own, I would go with:

    Boss: What's goin' on?

    Alison/Me: I know what you did last summer.

    Nothing like a good ole mind bomb to start the day. Tick tock. Tick tock.

  • JR

    Simple Answer to WGO? that will work every time: “Hey boss, glad you could make it!” Thus, you've acknowledged Adam, shown him respect, and left him alone for the time being, which is what he really wants until you guys get rolling with the podcast.

  • SLS

    Your response should rhyme. A brief couplet with a simple end-rhyme is preferable. Channel Snoop Dogg, in other words (“meditating, elevating”; “Thinking news, drinking booze”; I'm sure you can do better).

    Why? Adam did a Man Show bit with Snoop years ago and discussed how the rapper always had a slick response to mundane inquiries (imagine what Snoop would say if you asked him What's Up). Adam was impressed by Snoop's wordsmithery and said that he himself always uses simple salutations.

    Adam is likewise impressed by your skills with language — he listens intently when you read your excerpts. He may be able to rant, improv, and come up with brilliant analogies instantly, but he cannot craft a sentence or a paragraph like you. So come up with some slick rhymes, and when those sound repetitive play with assonance and alliteration. Be Snoop!

  • Dickdouchebag

    How about “hello adam you look nice today.”

  • Susannla

    “life's rich pageant”

  • pauldpearl

    Alison, I’d just pick a word of th day and repeat it. You’re the news girl, right? So last week was probably “winning” but this week the answer might be “bombing” – and so on.

    May the Force be with you.

  • Jigity

    Same shit, different toilet

  • roundrock

    similarly … I like to say, “thanks for coming in”

    Alternatively, you can never go wrong with a simple, low key “hey”

  • David_antocci

    My standard answer, “just livin’ the dream”

  • robx46

    Alison, thanks for the behind the scenes look at the ACEMAN.

    In my neck of the woods, we’d probably answer ACE with an “alright”. Don’t know why, we just do, even though it doesn’t make sense with greetings like “what’s goin’ on”.

    In your case, you should respond “I’m pregnant”, just to see if he is really listening for your response anyhow, which I doubt he is. ACE is an odd man. For a guy that talks as much as he does, he seems pretty antisocial. Anyhow if that doesn’t get a rise out of him, you should have fun with it. I personally like the mumble. I do that sometimes if I don’t get out my “alright” or am taken by surprise. “Sup, Rob”. I’ll just say “hey rrr, syeah”.

  • Tams

    See, I think that’s genius:)

  • pauldpearl

    Alison, I'd just pick a word of th day and repeat it. You're the news girl, right? So last week was probably “winning” but this week the answer might be “bombing” – and so on.

    May the Force be with you.

  • roundrock

    similarly … I like to say, “thanks for coming in”

    Alternatively, you can never go wrong with a simple, low key “hey”

  • David_antocci

    My standard answer, “just livin' the dream”

  • robx46

    Alison, thanks for the behind the scenes look at the ACEMAN.

    In my neck of the woods, we'd probably answer ACE with an “alright”. Don't know why, we just do, even though it doesn't make sense with greetings like “what's goin' on”.

    In your case, you should respond “I'm pregnant”, just to see if he is really listening for your response anyhow, which I doubt he is. ACE is an odd man. For a guy that talks as much as he does, he seems pretty antisocial. Anyhow if that doesn't get a rise out of him, you should have fun with it. I personally like the mumble. I do that sometimes if I don't get out my “alright” or am taken by surprise. “Sup, Rob”. I'll just say “hey rrr, syeah”.

  • Tams

    See, I think that's genius:)

  • Bunny

    8) “That’s what I’d like to know! (shows you’re on the same side)

  • Dchamp

    Form a gun shape with your right hand, tilt it on it’s side, point at him and reply “yo”. Equally as trite and dismissive.

  • Bunny

    8) “That's what I'd like to know! (shows you're on the same side)

  • Dchamp

    Form a gun shape with your right hand, tilt it on it's side, point at him and reply “yo”. Equally as trite and dismissive.

  • Moviefann9

    Ace: WGO?
    AR: Hiss at him and run to the corner.

  • Moviefann9

    Ace: WGO?
    AR: Hiss at him and run to the corner.

  • Leetarrows

    My period.

  • Leetarrows

    My period.

  • Mikes

    I’m a few days late on this, but as a native New Yorker and frequent user of WGO, it’s cousin HIG (how’s it goin’) and the New Jersey version HYD (how you doin’). You have to understand that these are not questions, but a mild greeting.

    The proper response is to (in the same tone) either repeat WGO, or drop an HIG or HYD. Other acceptable responses are WU (what’s up / whassup / ‘sup), WH (what’s happening / whas happenin’) A (hey / ‘ay)… again, in the same muted tone as the original greeting.

    At minimum, a quick, curt reverse nod (chin towards the ceiling) will do. Optional raised eyebrows during the reverse nod indicate that you either haven’t seen this person in a while and/or are happy to see them (but not too happy).

    Hope that helps.

  • Sam

    I’m hopping on this late, but I have your answer.

    Guys do this all the time ( myself included). It is an informal ‘hello’. When I go into work everyday I don’t personally greet everyone because we all see each other so much, I would just say ‘whats up guys’ as I walk past.

    He is not actually asking you what is going on with you, you are not supposed to answer the question, even as a joke. It would show you are aware of his intent. If you are busy doing something you don’t have to reply, if you are standing around and clearly see him, you need to reply.

    Acceptable responses (said in the same apathetic manner as Adam):

    ‘whats up’
    ‘hows it goin’
    ‘Hey”
    ‘Hey Adam’

    Another approach would be to passingly greet him first, when you see him just say ‘hey adam’ or something casual.

    The fact that you are asking this shows you are self conscious around him, Adam operates under the same social rules as a guy walking around his apt in his underwear would treat his roommates. You are more outgoing/confident then him and can take control of the situation by casually speaking first. Be yourself, if you are overly friendly, it might brighten his day.

    He might be operating under the mind frame that ‘ these people aren’t happy to see me, so I’ll just fly under the radar’.

    I’ve talked myself out of my point, be yourself.

  • Mikes

    I'm a few days late on this, but as a native New Yorker and frequent user of WGO, it's cousin HIG (how's it goin') and the New Jersey version HYD (how you doin'). You have to understand that these are not questions, but a mild greeting.

    The proper response is to (in the same tone) either repeat WGO, or drop an HIG or HYD. Other acceptable responses are WU (what's up / whassup / 'sup), WH (what's happening / whas happenin') A (hey / 'ay)… again, in the same muted tone as the original greeting.

    At minimum, a quick, curt reverse nod (chin towards the ceiling) will do. Optional raised eyebrows during the reverse nod indicate that you either haven't seen this person in a while and/or are happy to see them (but not too happy).

    Hope that helps.

  • Sam

    I'm hopping on this late, but I have your answer.

    Guys do this all the time ( myself included). It is an informal 'hello'. When I go into work everyday I don't personally greet everyone because we all see each other so much, I would just say 'whats up guys' as I walk past.

    He is not actually asking you what is going on with you, you are not supposed to answer the question, even as a joke. It would show you are aware of his intent. If you are busy doing something you don't have to reply, if you are standing around and clearly see him, you need to reply.

    Acceptable responses (said in the same apathetic manner as Adam):

    'whats up'
    'hows it goin'
    'Hey”
    'Hey Adam'

    Another approach would be to passingly greet him first, when you see him just say 'hey adam' or something casual.

    The fact that you are asking this shows you are self conscious around him, Adam operates under the same social rules as a guy walking around his apt in his underwear would treat his roommates. You are more outgoing/confident then him and can take control of the situation by casually speaking first. Be yourself, if you are overly friendly, it might brighten his day.

    He might be operating under the mind frame that ' these people aren't happy to see me, so I'll just fly under the radar'.

    I've talked myself out of my point, be yourself.

  • plow

    I find the best response is “you are!”

  • plow

    I find the best response is “you are!”

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