Obviously, some of you out there are confused. The phrase, “Hi, how are you?” is RHETORICAL!! “Fine, and you?” is an appropriate and polite response. It is not an invitation to launch into a detailed description of how you actually are to a relative stranger.
Let’s establish some guidelines. As a rule of thumb, if you’ve never had lunch with the person, they don’t really care how you are. Regardless of how many times you’ve noshed with your buddy, if you are currently in the men’s room, he doesn’t really care how you are. And if you are having the conversation through a stall door, well, then you really should think about getting a fish to talk to at home.