“Good morning. How are you?” is a pretty standard greeting.
Usual etiquette is to provide a pretty neutral response, with platitude returning that you too care about the feelings of the individual posing the question”
“Yeah, not too bad, how about you?…”
Once I worked under a guy who always used to respond with a pretty animated
“Everything is awesome!”
Other times, you’d say hello he might just say “awesome!”
Despite less words he applied the same infectious energy which made you’d feel good.
And when you did a good piece of work for him he’d say “This is awesome” not “okay” or “good”, but “awesome.”
Then when he’d put you over at the wider team meetings (as he often did), he’d say “Thanks to James for providing this, he’s done an awesome job!” with no embarrassment of someone who was giving these updates to a few stuffy corporate types.
Because everything was awesome, some how he managed to simplify the English language, by responding to situations with different types of “awesome”.
All you had to do was examine his body language and listen to the tone of his voice, then you instantly could tell the level of awesomeness.
If you asked him how his meeting went, he’d add extra words like “Oh…”, and put extra emphasis on the awesome, so he’d say “Oh…. Everything is ‘just’ AWESOME…”, you’d know that everything wasn’t awesome at all, and the meeting went badly.
A repeat of awesome such as “Awesome, awesome, awesome…” in a playful way was his way of saying “Yes, I understand. I can do that for you…”
And if you heard a lone single “Awesome” delivered to you in a flat tone, with a look of concern on his face, you’d probably just delivered some bad news, and his brain was already too busy processing how to deal with the problem to give you any more of a response.
Awesome was used so much, that it became common dialect inthe team, becoming normal to respond to greetings with “Everything is awesome.” It’s impact has trenched in so deep that even four years after leaving the team when I bump into old colleagues, I can guarantee we start responding in our own unique language of awesomeness.
Keep Calm and Stay Awesome
When I left the team I was gifted with a mug that said “Keep Calm and Stay Awesome”. Despite not being the biggest tea/coffee drinker, it’s the best and most sentimental gift I’ve ever received from a workplace.
Recently it’s spent it’s time at the back of a cabinet in my kitchen, only to be unearthed when getting a new kitchen fitted. Those words on the red mug can do nothing but make me smile, thinking of an age in my career with less responsibility, and good people, but also a reminder how far I’ve come since.
Tomorrow I have to make the most difficult call of my career – the type you’d rather not make, but when given such level of duty, it’s one you can’t avoid. I feel awful for what I’m about to do, and in many ways feel like a piece of shit.
Perhaps it’s apt timing I came across the mug again – it now sits on my desk, and I read those words over and over “Keep Calm and Stay Awesome.”
It reminds me, maybe I’m not actually that much of a bastard as I think, maybe even, I’m awesome. I give one final look at the mug, take a deep breath, and make the call.
Today is the first day of the next chapter.
Until next time, look after yourself and stay awesome.
James @Perfect Manifesto