View Full Version : "What have you done to your hand?"

06-28-2015, 10:22 PM
I don't post here much but now I do have something to contribute though sadly it's the other side of the desk that I thought was sucky.

Last Friday while walking across a zebra crossing in the UK I was hit by a car. I'm mostly okay but I did spend 4 hours in A&E getting the cuts to my head seen to and the large deep laceration to my hand sewn up but other than that it's mostly bruising. But my right hand is not a pretty sight and was covered in a bandage.

My husband and I called into a service station to buy some food (Markus & Sparkus for anyone that remembers Up Pompeii) and I joined him at the checkout at which point the cashier exclaimed the title of this thread. It being absolutely none of her business I was rather upset that she thought she could ask me that so just mumbled "I'm fine, thank you" and walked off. I have reported the incident to the store's HQ and they've said that they will remind and retrain the staff member on appropriate behaviour.

Outside of a medical context, is it ever appropriate for someone to ask what you've done to yourself if you're visibly ill or injured?

Food Lady
06-28-2015, 10:45 PM
It's extremely rude. I would think you live in the midwest U.S. because they are nosey here. A cohort on another message board walks with braces and has a service dog, and a stranger actually asked her, "What's wrong with you?" And this was an adult, not a child. I might ask a friend, but not a stranger. It's none of my business!

06-29-2015, 12:07 AM
In a casual encounter with a stranger it's not appropriate. Other situations are different, e.g. a first responder trying to find out what pills you tried to overdose on.

06-29-2015, 01:38 AM
Outside of a medical context, is it ever appropriate for someone to ask what you've done to yourself if you're visibly ill or injured?

Outside a medical context, in a retail situation? I don't think it's ever appropriate to ask "what did you do to yourself." However, I would say there are certain times you can ask if someone needs help. For example, coughing so hard they were turning red like maybe they couldn't breathe. And then I said "are you okay?" I didn't ask "what's wrong with you?" which would have been inappropriate.

A while ago I was buying Epson salt to help my infected toe, and the cashier asked me what I was doing with it. He started with "Epson salt," and paused, kinda confused. And ended with "so what are you doing with it?" very curious, like he had never sold any before. I told him, because I didn't really care. But it was just so weird. Normally the cashiers ask if I found everything, and that's it.

PS, also the assumption that *you* somehow caused your injury (like you were doing something stupid and cut yourself) is really annoying. You didn't "do" anything, someone hit you and you just spent time in the hospital!

06-29-2015, 02:19 AM
"Thank you for your concern, but I'm fine" is a great response to that kind of comment. Often, responding to what the person SHOULD have said ("are you OK?") rather than what they DID say reminds them how rude they are being, without you having to be rude yourself.

Ironclad Alibi
06-29-2015, 02:24 AM
"What's wrong with you?"

All I could think fo was, "I have a mole?" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCMgoDu3WkU)

06-29-2015, 02:24 AM
I recall a story I heard about a woman who had had foot surgery and had to use a wheelchair. Every day, on the way to lunch with a colleague, people would ask HER CO-WORKER things like, "What's wrong with her?" Yes, they ignored the adult in the chair and spoke to the other person.

Finally one day the CW answered the question this way: "She had brain surgery." And off they went, leaving the nosy busybody standing their with their mouth hanging open. :D

06-30-2015, 02:32 AM
wore a knee brace for a while and at least once a shift people would ask about it, I started ignoring the question altogether or giving very vague answer here's my old thread about it. http://www.customerssuck.com/board/showthread.php?t=108148&page=2

06-30-2015, 03:07 AM
I never mind if it's a child, because children don't yet have the filters adults are expected to have, and because I think it's good for children to learn about human difference - including both disability and injury.

With adults - it's all in the presentation. An 'are you okay?' presentation is fine, especially if it's entirely possible I'm not. (I do get coughing fits that can look like I'm choking, for example.)

But a nosy sort ... no. No thanks.

06-30-2015, 03:11 AM
"What have you done to your hand?"

"Pulled some yapper's dentures out through their rear end."

07-01-2015, 02:13 PM
Okay, I admit, at the C-Store we do engage in these conversations, but mind you, we see the same customers every single day. We're in a tiny town. These customers are almost like friends to us, because of that. I do, however, use a little more tact than the clerk in the OP, if I ask at all. Yes, Food Lady, before you ask, I am in the Midwest. Were I in a bigger town, in a bigger store, no, I wouldn't ask those sorts of questions at all.

Food Lady
07-01-2015, 09:09 PM
That I understand; you know these customers. It's not like you've never seen them before.

07-02-2015, 01:19 AM
Exactly. They expect it from us. Your assessment of midwesterners was spot on, though, I have to say!

Food Lady
07-02-2015, 02:17 AM
I don't fit in here. Not really sad about that.

07-02-2015, 11:22 PM
Outside of a medical context, is it ever appropriate for someone to ask what you've done to yourself if you're visibly ill or injured?

I dealt with a female librarian who asked if I was sleeping well begging me to ask the same question. What was she - my doctor?

07-03-2015, 02:21 PM
Thank you all for showing restraint and not asking what happened either :p For those of you that are curious, I've just written an essay in Roadkill since it involved an altercation with a car.

Although some of my colleagues know what happened and I'm sure word has gone around the office, I will have to practice saying "I'm fine, thank you" to those colleagues that I don't like and don't wish to give any details to, when I return to the office on Monday.