For a Web Developer work conversations should be in the context of the company's bottom Line. (In the context of how one's work adds to the company's profitability)
When the boss asks "how are things", really the boss means "How are things in terms of your current project adding to the company's bottom line?"!
Is it really my job to listen and talk in this context?
Is it also my job as Web Developer *to realize* (to figure out) that is that is the context that's being used -- to realize what is really being asked?
Yes. That, too -- the figuring out-- is also the job of the Web Developer -- is my job.
In conclusion, as a Web Developer it's my job to converse about my daily work in terms of how it adds to the company's bottom line, also my job to have figured this out..
Having thought this through, I feel good, and feel able to do my job and grow my career!
[2019 edit: Moved to: https://investorworker.com/2016/... .html.]