DEAR MISS MANNERS: In the past few weeks, I have noticed several cashiers and bank tellers asking if I have any plans for the day, or asking how my day is going so far (rather than saying, "How are you?"). When I mentioned this to a store manager, the response was that they were merely trying to be friendly.
I do not feel that the answer to either of those questions is any business of theirs, and I am at a loss how to answer the second question especially without being rude. I tend to just not answer.
GENTLE READER: As failing to answer is a bit harsh, even to phony "friends," you could say, "I do, thank you." Miss Manners would then steer the conversation back to the question at hand so as to cut off the inevitable follow-up question with, "And I'm afraid I'm running a bit late. Would you mind depositing my funds so I can be on my way?"