^I live on Camano, but I work in Stanwood.
I don't exactly hate it, but it really puzzles me when I'm in the US and at every shop the staff asks "How are you today?"/.../
Isn't the phrase just a variation of the old How do you do?
Indeed. I live in the U.S and I still find that puzzling. However, we're just a bunch of courteous people trying to be friendly. I admit, I ask that question everyday at work. It's kind of an ice-breaker for what I do.