Tuesday, June 9, 2009

you're welcome - again

had a few comments after my, well, i'll call it a "rant", about people replying to my "thank you" with "no problem".

my friend, xxxxx, said i'm just being a grumpy ol' fuddy-duddy. i say that it takes a grumpy ol' fuddy-duddy to even understand what she meant with that term. but i guess she really had a point.

her point was simply that it's good to mix up a bit. that way a person's response doesn't sound "canned" or robotic. i'll concede that. and it wasn't my intent to claim that a simple "you're welcome" is the only acceptable response to a sincere "thank you". fact is, i try to vary that type of thing myself. thinking back, i realize that at times i've replied to a thanks with a hearty "you betcha!". probably others. and i think that's fine. no problem has two problems. first of all, yes, it sounds very insincere. secondly, well, back to my last post, i know that you're doing the job you're paid to do it isn't a problem. enough said about that.

but there are other stupid things people get into the habit of saying (or doing) that can be equally as bad as "no problem".

yesterday hon and i went to walmart. she'd just been to physical therapy for treatment of her ever on-going neck problem, and the physical therapist recommend she spend some of her time wearing a cervical collar. those foam neck-brace things that keep your head propped up on your shoulders. and since there were a couple of other items we needed, we figured wally world would be the best option for "one stop shopping".

we found the body brace area. finger splints, wrist supports, elbow wraps, waist/back supporters, athletic supporters, knee stabilizers, ankle braces, arch supports, toe wraps, the whole gamut. except for cervical collars. neck supporters.

so there was a lady close by who was stocking shelves. and you know how walmart is - they don't really spend a lot of time training their folks in the area of customer service. she was doing a great job of ignoring us as shoppers who obviously were in need of assistance. so i asked "do you know if you carry cervical collars?" she responded by shaking her head "no". then i had to ask "no, you don't stock them? or no, you don't know if you stock them?" finally she claimed that they didn't stock them. don't know why she couldn't have verbalized that in the first place. again, walmart doesn't place a good deal of import on excellent customer service.

when we finally find the neck brace, cvs drug store, we actually had two pharmacy employees come around the counter to locate them. and when i thanked them, the little fella simply said "uh huh". but he sounded good about it. it wasn't mechanical. it wasn't robotic. it wasn't "you're welcome", but it wasn't bad.

so there are other forms of recognizing "thank you" than you're welcome. as clearly pointed out to me by my friend xxxxx. but in doing so, she brought up another habitual response that bugs her. namely, "have a good one". talk about sounding mechanical and insincere. that's one of the worst.

i have a very good friend who ends every phone conversation with "have a good one". and every time i see him, as either he is leaving or i am leaving, it's "have a good one". i know he doesn't even realize he says that. and he certainly doesn't realize how utterly canned it sounds. but he says it at the end of each and every conversation he has. and he's not alone.

so xxxxx points out that "have a good one" is more irritating to her than "no problem". and we both feel that, in response to "have a good one", we should ask "have a good what?" a good bowel movement? a good lunch? a good sneeze? come on. give some bit of thought to what you're saying.

then after friend xxxxx explains how "have a good one" is grating, she tells me of an ordeal she had with one of her customers. the customer, who was unknown to her, asked her a question that she felt was a little bit out of line. and she responded with a bit of blatant sarcasm. i didn't think it was bad. apparently mister customer did. based on what he asked xxxxx, i wouldn't have cared if he liked the sarcasm or not. anyhow, he walked away telling xxxxx to "go to hell". (that wouldn't be a good response to "thank you" either.)

xxxxx was stunned. and i think she actually felt bad. for at least half a minute or so. she asked me if i felt she was wrong in using such sarcasm. and i told her i thought she'd done great. thinking about it now, i wish she'd had the presence of mind to tell the jerk who told her to "go to hell" to "have a good one".

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