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  #1  
Old 09-16-2004, 08:50 AM
twickster twickster is offline
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When a store clerk says "How are you today"...

...I say, "I'm good, thanks, how are you?" And I look at the person and smile.

My best friend mutters "okay" or "fine" and doesn't even look up.

What do you say?
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2004, 08:59 AM
Phlosphr Phlosphr is offline
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On a Happy Day: Good thanks, and yourself? Thats a nice blouse/shirt/dress etc..etc...

Sad Day: Ok and you?

Bad Day: Alive. You?

Disgustingly happy day: Great! Thanks for Ask'in!!
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  #3  
Old 09-16-2004, 09:36 AM
Bangiadore Bangiadore is offline
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Mostly I have variants of Phlosphr's replies. On days when I'm semi-comatose, I might respond "OhmyGodI'msosleepytoday!Ijustcan'twakeup!", but I almost always try to smile and make eye contact, except if I'm having a downright crappy day.

I'm with twickster on the smile thing, and I usually get one back. If I don't, no biggie, 'cause the cashier might be the one having a rough day. I've worked in retail once upon a time, and I know it isn't easy standing in one place for hours dealing with people who often treat you as if you're a robot. OTOH, when I run across a really beastly clerk like the one in the record store the other day...grrrrr.
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  #4  
Old 09-16-2004, 09:37 AM
misstee misstee is offline
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Hey Phlosphr - you stole my chipper happy day reply.


Great! Thanks for asking, and how are you today?
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  #5  
Old 09-16-2004, 09:40 AM
jlzania jlzania is offline
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Fair to middling most days.
And how are you?
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  #6  
Old 09-16-2004, 09:46 AM
Debaser Debaser is online now
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I get myself in the habit (usually) of answering such questions automatically with something like "I'm great." or "Never been better." Even if I'm in a foul mood, there's no sense in broadcasting it to the world if I can't help it.

I don't ask back, though. I'm not particularly interested in having a conversation with a store clerk.
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  #7  
Old 09-16-2004, 09:56 AM
cornflakes cornflakes is offline
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I walk right up, let my face beam with a light that outshines the sun, smile and take the initiative to say "Good Morning! It is a good morning, isn't it!" in an upbeat lilt that would make Zig Ziglar puke his toenails out.

Ok, I don't lay it on that thick, but I am usually the first one to say something like "Morning, how are you doing?" and then playing it by ear based on how the clerk responds. I really like hearing what people outside my life have to say. On a few really crummy days where the clerk asked, I've answered with "ehh... I'm doin' ", said as an honest acknowledgement, not as a dismissive or pitiful gesture.
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  #8  
Old 09-16-2004, 10:57 AM
Wonko The Sane Wonko The Sane is offline
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When asked by a salesdrone, I always ask them how they are doing, and they /always/ say they are doing well, and I tell them "good" in a very positive sincere, way. Then they move on, just as I wanted.

At the register, I'm often asked if "I found everything I was looking for today"; I usually tell them I was unable to find that "Big Bag of Cash" that I was looking for in the store. Nobody seems to know where it is.
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  #9  
Old 09-16-2004, 11:15 AM
Small Clanger Small Clanger is offline
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Quote:
When a store clerk says "How are you today"...
I'd go into (mute) shock. I'm English for heavensake I don't do personal conversations (no matter how bland) with strangers.

If I've wandered into another country where they do this sort of thing I might manage an 'OK thanks' but I certainly wouldn't ask back.
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  #10  
Old 09-16-2004, 12:09 PM
interface2x interface2x is offline
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No matter my mood, I usually hear myself say "Not bad, and yourself?" before I know I've said it.
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  #11  
Old 09-16-2004, 12:10 PM
foxymoron foxymoron is offline
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On a good/average day, I say, with moderate enthusiasm, "Good, thanks! How are you?"

On a so-so day, "I'm alright," but with a half-smile so I don't sound like Eeyore. Usually I'll add a "...thanks. How are you?"

On a lousy day, the clerk gets an "Oh, y'know...could be better, could be worse. Thanks for asking, though. How are you?"
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  #12  
Old 09-16-2004, 12:18 PM
Ruby Ruby is offline
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"I'm well, thank you."

Rarely do I ask how they are doing. Never thought of it, I guess.
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  #13  
Old 09-16-2004, 08:33 PM
DocCathode DocCathode is online now
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My automatic response is

"Life is a cruel joke played on me by the universe."

I immediately follow this up, by saying in my most cheerful voice

"So! How's by you?"
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  #14  
Old 09-16-2004, 08:40 PM
Patty O'Furniture Patty O'Furniture is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interface2x
No matter my mood, I usually hear myself say "Not bad, and yourself?" before I know I've said it.
As in "how is yourself?"
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  #15  
Old 09-16-2004, 09:02 PM
VunderBob VunderBob is offline
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"Dressed and awake..."; but I may use the life is a cruel joke line next time.
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  #16  
Old 09-16-2004, 09:19 PM
Nightwatch Trailer Nightwatch Trailer is offline
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On a good day, usually something like "Pretty good. How are you?"

On a less good day, "Not too bad," and I might not ask back.

A lot of the time I don't look directly at the person, though. I'm not trying to be impolite, it's just a habit, I suppose. It makes me kind of nervous to talk with strangers sometimes, even when we're just exchanging salutations.
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  #17  
Old 09-16-2004, 09:29 PM
Ephemera Ephemera is offline
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Depends on my mood and how cute the clerk is but even in my worst mood, I generally mumble some sort of reply. I've been on their side of the desk and know how big a pain in the ass having to talk to customers can be.
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  #18  
Old 09-16-2004, 10:10 PM
Morelin Morelin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonko The Sane

At the register, I'm often asked if "I found everything I was looking for today"; I usually tell them I was unable to find that "Big Bag of Cash" that I was looking for in the store. Nobody seems to know where it is.
As a clerk, I always tell the customer I just gave it away 10 minutes ago.

And I try very hard to smile, even though that joke was only funny once. In 1972.
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  #19  
Old 09-16-2004, 10:16 PM
interface2x interface2x is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patty O'Furniture
As in "how is yourself?"
Myself thinks it works okay.
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  #20  
Old 09-18-2004, 02:11 AM
Vision of Love Vision of Love is offline
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I usually just say "I'm good, thanks" and smile. I usually don't ask them how they're doing because I'm sure half of the time they aren't even expecting it. Their reply would likely be "Oh, me? Uh... well....... I'm good, I guess. Thanks, yeah."
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  #21  
Old 09-18-2004, 06:19 AM
Shakes Shakes is offline
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Ugh! This is one of my worst social habbits. All to often if I go to a restraunt and the waiter/waitress ask me "How are you" I usaully respond with.. "I'll have an iced tea, beer, ect.. to start with"

I always feel so bad after doing that because I know it's incredibly rude...
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  #22  
Old 09-18-2004, 07:00 AM
six_personalities six_personalities is offline
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I tell them about my ingrowing toenail/boil/gum infection...
Well they asked
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  #23  
Old 09-18-2004, 07:05 AM
TeaElle TeaElle is offline
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I say "Better than I deserve, how about you?" It's a little different, and usually catches people by surprise. (What's most fun is when they identify the radio guy I stole that line from.)
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  #24  
Old 09-18-2004, 07:07 AM
six_personalities six_personalities is offline
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Or....'The voices tell me I'm fine'...
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  #25  
Old 09-18-2004, 07:55 AM
ColonelDax ColonelDax is offline
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I usually just say "hi" in return and get down to business. While I don't intend to be rude, I figure that the obligatory "how are you today?" stuff has been foisted on the store clerks of the world by the store operators of the world, and I don't actually think for a second that a store clerk particularly cares how I'm doing.
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  #26  
Old 09-18-2004, 08:34 AM
Oy! Oy! is offline
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"Oh, I think I'll survive the week."


Then, if it's early in the week, I'll hedge a little: "but, I hate to go out on a limb like that." or if it's late in the week: "I think it's probably safe to say at this point."

Then we'll both laugh, and I'll ask the clerk how s/he is.
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  #27  
Old 09-18-2004, 09:14 AM
BoringDad BoringDad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColonelDax
I usually just say "hi" in return and get down to business. While I don't intend to be rude, I figure that the obligatory "how are you today?" stuff has been foisted on the store clerks of the world by the store operators of the world, and I don't actually think for a second that a store clerk particularly cares how I'm doing.
I disagree. Running items over a scanner for 8 hours would get mighty boring with no human contact. While the clerk may not really care how you are doing, he may very well want to inject a little conversation into his shift rather than just stare at a person who is nervously shifting back and forth waiting for everything to scan through.
Since clerks are real people and not store robots, I often chat with them to pass the time for both of us.
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  #28  
Old 09-18-2004, 12:18 PM
chappachula chappachula is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHAKES
All too often if I go to a restraunt and the waiter/waitress ask me "How are you" I usaully respond with.. "I'll have an iced tea, beer, ect.. to start with"

When the waitress says "Hi, I'm Debbie, and I'll be your waitress today", I've always wanted to respond "Hi, I'm David, and I'll be your customer today"

... but I've never actually dunnit.
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  #29  
Old 09-18-2004, 01:38 PM
Mockingbird Mockingbird is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chappachula
When the waitress says "Hi, I'm Debbie, and I'll be your waitress today", I've always wanted to respond "Hi, I'm David, and I'll be your customer today"

... but I've never actually dunnit.
The Simpsons already did it.
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  #30  
Old 09-18-2004, 01:44 PM
Green Bean Green Bean is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chappachula
When the waitress says "Hi, I'm Debbie, and I'll be your waitress today", I've always wanted to respond "Hi, I'm David, and I'll be your customer today"

... but I've never actually dunnit.
Please keep not doing it. Thanks.
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  #31  
Old 09-18-2004, 01:45 PM
chappachula chappachula is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mockingbird
The Simpsons already did it.
What, you expect me, to watch the Simpsons?.This is the straightdope-- the finest collection of intellect ever gathered (since 1973, I suppose), and I am a fully paid-up member (and I got it for half price , 1 day before the deadline last April )
And yet you think I should be aware of Homer Simpson, and apologize for stealing his line?


Well, okay---I'll admit it. I missed a couple of episodes. Duh!!!
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  #32  
Old 09-18-2004, 01:48 PM
Mockingbird Mockingbird is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chappachula
What, you expect me, to watch the Simpsons?.This is the straightdope-- the finest collection of intellect ever gathered (since 1973, I suppose), and I am a fully paid-up member (and I got it for half price , 1 day before the deadline last April )
And yet you think I should be aware of Homer Simpson, and apologize for stealing his line?


Well, okay---I'll admit it. I missed a couple of episodes. Duh!!!
It was Bart, not Homer.

Heathen.
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  #33  
Old 09-18-2004, 03:03 PM
DocCathode DocCathode is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoringDad
I disagree. Running items over a scanner for 8 hours would get mighty boring with no human contact. While the clerk may not really care how you are doing, he may very well want to inject a little conversation into his shift rather than just stare at a person who is nervously shifting back and forth waiting for everything to scan through.
Since clerks are real people and not store robots, I often chat with them to pass the time for both of us.
I agree with this. The folks at the local Kwik e Mart, know that asking me any of the usual questions will result in an interesting story. I first told the I'll Stop The World And Melt With You story to one of them. As they know of my interest in science, they were left wondering how much, if any, of the story was true.

The manager, who was a candy gourmet himself, knew to alert me when a new brand or variation was released.

They could judge how well my life was going by how often I came in, at what time, and by what I bought.
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  #34  
Old 09-18-2004, 03:56 PM
Phelan Phelan is offline
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My responce is always, "Not bad, yourself?"
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  #35  
Old 09-18-2004, 04:17 PM
quilter quilter is offline
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"Fine, thanks. Yourself?" with a smile, to both store clerks and waitrons.

And yes, sometimes they look surprised -- but I generally get answers and smiles back, and sometimes even amusing anecdotes about how the day is really going.
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  #36  
Old 09-18-2004, 04:39 PM
Miller Miller is online now
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The other day I was in a store, looking at merchandise, and I didn't notice the clerk approach me. He was in his late teens/early twenties, with a ponytail, a scraggly goatee, and baggy eyelids. He asked me, "How are you doing today?"

I was caught off guard, so instead of answering the question, I responded, "Uh... Hi."

He got a big grin on his face, nodded knowingly, and said, "Excellent!"
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  #37  
Old 09-18-2004, 04:58 PM
broys broys is offline
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I get asked this about eight or nine times a day at least. I usually answer with "I'm fine, yourself?" or "I'm doin' great, and yourself?"

I wonder if people expect a truthful answer when they ask how someone is doing. Sometimes in the past when something bad would happen to me (death of a loved one, car wreck, etc) and I would be asked how my day was I would think to myself, "Should I tell them my day sucks and I'd rather be sleeping or should I just shove a "fine, yourself?" at them and keep walking.

The only time I have ever answered this question with something funny was when I stole a line from a shirt I had seen and it went like this:

Coworker: Good morning, how are you today?
Me: Meh! I'd rather be playing with myself!
Coworker: (Grins)
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  #38  
Old 09-18-2004, 09:25 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mockingbird
It was Bart, not Homer.

Heathen.
And it's "Doh!!!", not "Duh!!!"

amateur

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  #39  
Old 09-18-2004, 09:53 PM
Eliahna Eliahna is online now
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I usually say "I'm good, thank you!" with a smile, but sometimes I go with a roll of the eyes and a rueful grin and say "I'm having one of those days', which usually gets a sympathetic chuckle and some commiseration. The last time I did that, it turned out that I had stupidly gone to the wrong bank, and so we all got to have a good laugh at my idiocy before I slunk away.
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  #40  
Old 09-19-2004, 08:12 AM
dbygawdcapn dbygawdcapn is offline
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A lot of clerks that I come into contact with like to end their transactions with a friendly " You have a good one!".
I like to reply " Who told you?".
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  #41  
Old 09-19-2004, 09:04 AM
Agrippina Agrippina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mockingbird
It was Bart, not Homer.

Heathen.
It was Homer, at least in one of the episodes, "Lisa the GreeK".

Waiter: Hello, I'm Marco, I'll be your waiter.
Homer: Hello, I'm Homer, I'll be your customer.
Waiter: Never heard that one before...


As for me, when a salesperson asks, I just say, "I'm fine. Thanks."
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  #42  
Old 09-19-2004, 09:28 AM
kidchameleon kidchameleon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morelin
As a clerk, I always tell the customer I just gave it away 10 minutes ago.

And I try very hard to smile, even though that joke was only funny once. In 1972.
It's not as bad as when something doesn't scan and they say, "It must be free!". Of course, even scarier are the people that actually believe that.
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  #43  
Old 09-19-2004, 10:00 AM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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I'll say, "Fine, thank you." Then I smile, leer at her chest and say, "Nice tits."




Unless it's a guy clerk. Then I say, "You'd better back off if you know what's good for you." Then I smile, turn to the woman behind me in line, leer at her chest and say, "Nice tits."






Okay, I usually just say, "Fine thanks, You?" regardless of my mood.
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  #44  
Old 09-19-2004, 11:13 AM
Krisfer the Cat Krisfer the Cat is offline
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Usually I say something like doing good or I'm fine.

Now and then I get creative... but usually not, by the time I get to the counter usually I just want OUT of there!
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  #45  
Old 09-19-2004, 02:50 PM
Rue DeDay Rue DeDay is offline
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"A little gassy... and you?"

Or more often: "Good enough."
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  #46  
Old 09-19-2004, 06:37 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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I reply: "Alive! Beats the Hell out of the alternative!"
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