TORONTO – As Canadians begin socializing in-person again, The Canadian Board of Acceptable Social Norms (CBASN) has added spouting off a detailed account of your entire resume, including references and special skills, to its list of acceptable responses to “How’ve you been?”
When asked for comment, CBASN representative Jeff Donaldson said. “Undergrad at Dalhousie, Sociology Masters at U of T, then a few years at Gallup before getting headhunted by CBASN. Find out more at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeff-donaldson-70b964a6/”
After a long pause, he then said “We first noticed a growing trend in resume spouting among people in the arts sector. For decades, musicians and filmmakers have answered the question ‘How’s she going, there bud?’ by breathlessly reciting the name and location of every venue they’ve played, grants they are waiting to hear back from, and more successful artists they have met before.”
“In recent times however, resume spouting has become so prevalent across the board that we were forced to recognize it.” he continued. “So now if someone asks how you’ve been, feel free to go off about locking down the Johnson account, old man Henderson bumping you up to partner or getting your Smart Serve license.”
“Besides, what else are we supposed to talk about?” he added. “Asking how someone’s parents are doing is just going to lead to a long depressing speech about surgeries. Asking how someone’s kids are is a guaranteed snooze. And if you want to wade into the minefield of talking about pop culture or current events, be my guest. But I think you’ll find that resume spouting is something everyone can agree on.”
Since its founding in 2005, CBASN’s “How’ve you been?” response list has remained static, with “Just pluggin away” and “Oh you know, just chillin” consistently being the top ranked. However, in the past several years, the number of rambling responses deemed acceptable has been rapidly increasing.
In 2016, the response “Not bad, except for all this craziness in the news” followed by a long-winded diatribe about things you’ve read online or heard on a podcast was deemed acceptable. In 2020, saying “Things are bad” and then listing friends and relatives with COVID was also added to the list. But now, resume-spouting has overtaken these as the most common response Canadians give to the simple question.
CBASN’s ruling was not without controversy.
“If someone asks how you’ve been, rifling off a list of your accomplishments is a totally narcissistic and unacceptable way to respond.” says sociologist Brenda Barnes. “That is clearly a response to ‘Whatcha been up to?’”
“Which, since you’re asking, I have a book coming out in the fall and I was a finalist in the 2021 Sociology Bowl” she added.
Despite these objections, the CBASN says technological and economic forces will drive the resume spouting trend even further.
“What we’re seeing is a perfect storm,” says Donaldson. “As social media networks falter, people will start looking for new sources of validation from acquaintances. As the job market tightens, desperation will drive people to network even harder. I’m looking forward to a future where every social interaction from wakes to baby showers are nothing but people standing around a table, taking turns listing every freelance gig they’ve ever done and then checking LinkedIn on the drive home to make sure no one was lying.”
The co-writers of this article have performed at festivals across Canada including Toronto Fringe and Just For Laughs. They have two feature screenplay option deals and are WHMIS certified.