While recommending a friend for a job once, I was asked how he is... "He is okay," I responded. It was more like an automated response, which was not intended to undermine the skill-set he was bringing to the team.
"He is okay?" the director asked. She was clearly annoyed. "I don't want someone who is okay," she said, emphatically. I was confuse.
She went on to explain why "okay" is never good enough. "Okay is 25%" It is like saying something is just there. It is never a good term to use when describing someone's ability. Especially if it is something or someone of distinct value. It is unacceptable. Okay is offensive. Unprofessional... It is a very weak term. Okay is not good enough.
I thought deeply about her words and consciously tried to explain how my friend was really more than an okay person. Till date I'm still thinking about the kind woman's views even though this event took place some six years ago.
The core lesson I took from that experience is to think deeply about every question before responding. No matter how casual the setting is or how simple the question is in itself. I mean, so often we use vague words like "okay" "nice" "awesome" "fine" etc. to describe people, experience and things without even noticing that these blanket terms have become meaningless... I know, I probably typed up or said one of those words in response earlier today. Automated responses and our minds... :-/ We'll get better sha...