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March 19, 2019 12:04 pm  #1


this topic hasn't come up for a while, but for the past hour it seemed like just about every caller asked Jerry Agar "how are you?".   When Bill Carroll was still @ 1010 CFRB he often responded "go ahead, talk to me".   That came across rather harsh and probably didn't advance his show time-wise because you could hear callers hesitate to catch their breath before getting into the topic.   

"How are you?" is a time-waster because it begs a predictable answer.     How about "hello" or "good morning".    Anyone?   


March 19, 2019 12:25 pm  #2


geo wrote:

How about "hello" or "good morning".    Anyone?   

How about they just begin their contribution. No need for the pleasantries. No one cares. LOL.


March 19, 2019 12:27 pm  #3


The late, great John Michael of CKTB used to respond to "How Are You?" with a simple "Thank You" and then let the caller talk. Short and without seeming rude. Maybe others should adopt that idea.   


March 19, 2019 12:32 pm  #4


Hiya dooin'

Unfortunately, people say it as a conversation starter out of habit and without even thinking about.  In my customer facing life, I'm often tempted to respond by telling them of my current litany of aches and pains.  Odds are, they would be totally oblivious as to why you are telling them this.  They didn't even realize they asked you "the question".  I once worked with someone who started every conversation asking "How are you?"  You could talk to him several times a day and each time, he'd ask the question.  You'd think he was expecting you to keel over any minute.

Personally, I just ignore the question and get to the point.

Like "umm" and "you know", it's often said unconsciously.  

How are you today?
Today?  I'm ok.  Yesterday? I was heaving and coughing to beat the band.

Yes, it's annoying but there's little you can do.  "As I was telling your screener" still drives me up the wall.  THAT is totally unnecessary. 

Last edited by Peter the K (March 19, 2019 12:33 pm)


March 19, 2019 12:59 pm  #5


Every talk show host has his or her own way of dealing with it. 

Rush Limbaugh famously allows his first caller to ask "how are you?" and everyone who follows simply says "ditto."  

Mark Levin, another syndicated right wing talk show host in the U.S., has a different take. He introduces many callers something like this. "Let's go to Stan listening on the great WABC. GO!" There's something about that emphasized "GO!" that makes people get to the point. Doesn't always work but from the few times I've monitored his show, it's surprisingly effective. 

And then there's the former host of Jays Talk on the Fan, Mike Wilner, who, after yet another caller asked him "How are you," used to make a joke of it by saying, "I continue to be fine."

None of them are especially good at ending the problem, but at least they cut down a little bit on the 'how are you' clutter.


March 19, 2019 1:10 pm  #6


Speaking of "how are you" and "as I told your screener," I'd almost forgotten a post I put up here way back in 2016.

It was called "The Top 10 List Of Things You Hope Never To Hear On Talk Radio." And yep, both of those were in there - and one of them made it to #1! 


March 19, 2019 2:49 pm  #7


Long ago, I stopped trying to prevent usually nervous callers from asking “how are you”. My response is pretty well always either “good” or “great”, just a single positive word with no further encouragement like “and you?” Callers get it.

I’d love it if the “as I was telling your screener” phrase would just disappear though. Haven’t figured that one out yet. What callers don’t get is that they’d not have gotten into queue if they hadn’t convinced the screener they should be and, that aside, hosts already have an on-screen message encapsulating what they plan to say.


March 29, 2019 4:12 pm  #8


I like John Moore's stock answer: "I'm OK." Short and sweet and it hands the ball back to the caller.

Tom Bauerle has a cute stock answer as well: "best day of my life".


March 29, 2019 7:47 pm  #9


milton wrote:

Tom Bauerle has a cute stock answer as well.

By all credible accounts Mr. Bauerle is mentally ill. For his safety and the safety of the listening public he should be moved to choose a new career.

As for his sidekick David...