wanna know what really makes me mad? what really gets my goat. it's such a simple thing, really. but the manners of today's american really get my dander up.
most often, it's when you thank someone for doing something. "thank you." "you're welcome." what's so hard about that. but i can't count the times i've told someone "thank you" and had them respond with "no problem". it's like fingernails on a chalkboard.
i know it's no %^$&ing problem, you idiot. you're a waiter/waitress/cashier/receptionist/whatever, and it's your job to take my order and bring me my food. you get PAID to do that job. so when i say "thank you", well, i don't really need to. you see, your boss says "thank you" every week when he hands you your paycheck. i'm going beyond what's really necessary when i say "thank you". if you're a clerk at walmart, if you're a cashier at a convenience store, if you're the receptionist who answered my phone call, you're %^$&ing getting paid simply to do what i'm asking you to do. i don't have to say thank you.
when i say "thank you", i'm going above and beyond the call of duty. i say "thank you" to you because i'm a nice fellow and i appreciate those who's job it is to serve me when they do so effectively. so when i say "thank you" it's almost always because you've done a satisfactory job, or better. i don't have to say "thank you." i just want to.
so when i say "thank you", have you any idea how rude and irreverent it sounds when you say "no problem"? i know it's no %^$&ing problem! it's what you get paid to do! for chrissakes! of course it's no %^$&ing problem. it's your %^$&ing job! so don't say "no problem". me, and all those other people you serve throughout your trying day, we all know it's not a problem, or shouldn't be a problem, for you to have served us. you're just doing your %^$&ing job. so don't tell us it's "no problem".
the proper way to respond when someone thanks you for something is by simply saying "you're welcome". plain and simple. concise. the message that conveys is that you feel ok about doing your job. and you welcome the opportunity to serve us in whatever way you're getting paid to serve the general public. "you're welcome". simple.
"you're welcome" can be embellished. i've done it myself. "you're very welcome". that sounds even better. but if you say it that way all the time it's gonna sound rehearsed. insincere.
"you're most welcome". i've heard that one. and that's nice, too. and if you really wanna make someone feel good once you've served them, when they say "thank you", try "it was my pleasure". that's really gonna make your customer feel special. but be careful you don't shorten that to "my pleasure". somehow it just doesn't sound as real.
but whatever you do, learn to avoid "no problem", or "not a problem". not only is the wording curt, there's no way it can be said in a convincing fashion.
tomorrow's lesson: how to screen phone calls without offending the caller. (there's another lost art.)