Saturday, July 21, 2012

No Problem

It’s official.  I have become a curmudgeon.

I’ve never been a real stickler for etiquette.  Let’s be real – I grew up in the heart of the Midwest where we were nice to each other in a practical kind of way.  If a person put multiple forks out for a meal, people would think they were snooty.  Or nuts.  Or both.  We didn’t reach across the table at supper (we didn’t eat “dinner”).  More often than not, my favorite aunt  said “much obliged” instead of thank you.

Here’s the thing that bugs me, and it’s mostly younger people that do it (thus the curmudgeon factor) – instead of saying "thank you", "thanks" or even "much obliged", they say “no problem.”

For my job, I sometimes have to call a certain place to get information.  At the end of our brief conversation, I say, "thank you" and the person on the other end of the line always said either, "you're welcome" or "thank YOU."  Now they have hired a new guy.  He's young.  I can tell by his voice.  And now after my "thank you" I get a "no problem". 

One of these days when I'm in a not-so-great-mood (which is a lot lately at work), I'm liable to go off.  Something to the tune of this:  "You're darn straight it's no problem.  I just thanked you for doing your job.  Or, did I put you out in some way?  Did I inconvenience you?  Do I amuse you?"  (OK, now I'm getting all Joe Pesci in Goodfellas...)  

I'm not the only one who thinks this way.  John's cousins visited us recently and we went to our favorite BBQ place for lunch.  

Our waitress brought our food.
"Thank you."
"No problem."

She gave us containers for our leftovers.
"Thank you."
"No problem."

She delivered our bill.
"Thank you."
"No problem."

Even though John had never even thought about it, our cousins had a big issue with it too.  It's like "no problem" people want to be courteous but they just can't seem to muster the energy for a full on "you're welcome."

I've even gotten "np" instead of "yw" in instant messages and texts.  

Curmudgeons of the world, unite!  We must band together to wipe out this etiquette curve ball!  Let people know that is response is not appropriate!  They will thank us for it someday.

And to that, we'll say, "you're welcome".


  1. "He's young. I can tell by his voice."

    You're such an ageist. I don't know if that's a thig, but reading this gave me a serious flashback of Marcia Clark and Johnny Cochran in the OJ trial. I forget who they were questioning but whoever was said they could tell the person they were speaking to over the phone was a black male. Judge Whats-His-Nuts threw it out saying it was basically racist and there was no distinction between races based soley on voice. Yeah right. The idiot.

    And for that mini-flashback and tangent which was completely off subject, "you're welcome, Madame Crumudgeon".

  2. and also, by 'thig' I meant 'thing'. i know your crumudgeony about grammer as well. which is why i avoided it completely in this comment.