A Quick Question About Manners

After we’ve offered our thanks to someone who has provided us service, such as a waiter or sales clerk, when did that person’s response of choice become “No problem” instead of a simple “You’re welcome”?

Okay, a second question.

Can we make them stop it?

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  • Peaches Shimmerdeep  On February 15, 2016 at 12:05 am

    I’m happy for any pleasant response. I fill my car’s gas tank at a station with great prices in my town, and I’m considering going elsewhere. No matter how much I “please” and “thank you”, I get no response from the usual attendant, a man I estimate to be around my age who looks me in the face and does not smile, nod, say you’re welcome, or anything else. It annoys me. “No problem”would be a gift.

    • foureyedcurmudgeon  On February 15, 2016 at 8:02 am

      I hear you on the subject of the gas station attendant and your consideration of going elsewhere. Where I live there are a lot of convenience stores: several of the major chains and a few family-owned stores. What I found was that the family members who worked in the family-owned stores had no interest in saying thank you. At first, when they wordlessly handed me my change, I would look them in the eye and say “You’re welcome.” I tried that a few times, to no avail. Eventually, in the case of two stores, I figured out which of the family members was the boss and told him that I was no longer going to be patronizing his store because of how he and his staff conducted themselves and refused to say thank you. In each case I pointed out how many other stores there were within a ten-minute vicinity that sold the exact same things and informed him that I’d rather patronize those that show even a minimal appreciation for my business. In both cases, they looked at me as if I was from Mars. (Yes, I know, curmudgeonly behavior, but after all…)

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