Arman's stuff
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Are You OK?

(Wed Jul 21 11:27:35 2010)

There is a reason I ask this question

If, as happened to Lindsay yesterday, you happen to trip over a bike and land on your face, I'm going to ask you a question: "Are you ok?"
There's a reason for this. Now, I'm not an idiot - I can see that you fell, and probably need help I'm just trying to determine if you need a band-aid, a cast, or immediate surgery. See, there are three responses to that question, as follows:

  • Yes
  • No
  • (No response)


The first response usually comes out like this: "Yeah, I'm ok," and means "I may be banged up, but I won't require assistance standing; little more than my pride was injured."
The second response can be either sarcastic ("Of course I'm not ok! Now help me up!") or serious ("No, I think I twisted my ankle"), but either way mean that help is needed. In the first case, it might just be that you've trapped your leg in a hole and need help extracting it, but you need help nonetheless.
The third option can either be silence, refusal to answer the question, or just moans and/or screams, but it always means, "something really bad happened."
If, as it happened, I ask, "Are you ok?" and you respond with "Just take the baby," I will interpret that in the same line as, "No, you go, save yourself." This is a non-response; it means that regardless of your health, you are more worried about the baby than yourself - admittedly a good thought, but not exactly reassuring. Even worse is if you refuse to answer a repeat of this question; sure, you might be checking yourself for injuries, but the proper response is, "I think so," not dead silence (keyword here being "dead").

So, next time you happened to fall, trip, bounce off something, or otherwise cause injury to yourself, remember to use one of the three answers. Feel free to jazz it up, of course: "Oh no, I'm fine, just missing a limb here," adds tension-breaking humor to an otherwise bad situation.

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