I had every intention of writing about a “good news” e-mail I received yesterday, but then I went to Dunkin Donuts for my favorite coffee to get the day started. Oh, how it got the day started! (I’ll save the “good news” e-mail for the weekend’s One Good Thing post.)
Anyway, back to Dunkin Donuts, where the young lady at the window was quite pleasant and smiling as she handed me my large hot black coffee with cream:
She: “Here ya go…” (handing me my change)
Me: “Thank you.”
She: “No problem.”
(I drive away, irritated…)
I was once again reminded of how annoying “No problem” is as a response to my “Thank you,” especially since I was the one initiating the “Thank you!” My blood pressure didn’t suffer any intense spikes sending me into convulsions or apoplexy, mind you, but the pleasant morning had quickly been nicked a bit as I drove off for home, once again wondering whatever happened to common etiquette.
Later that day, I did some quick “research” (Google) to see if the “No problem” phrase was as bothersome to others as it is to me, and I found out that it is. On the other hand, I also learned that there seem to be far more people who don’t see what all of the fuss is about.
Call me old-fashioned or whatever, but saying “You’re welcome” seems to be very clear-cut and respectful. (Blog post from February 9, 2013)
And I asked myself that very question: What is all the fuss about? My irritation stems from, perhaps, my sticking to the way I was taught and my values—perhaps considered by some to be outdated and too conservative. I’ll go with that, knowing that I do tend to be pretty rigid in certain “rules” of language, etiquette, and social graces—for better or worse, perhaps.
I wrote about this pebble-in-the-shoe type of annoyance here a few years ago, and it doesn’t seem to have ridden off into the sunset as I had hoped it would, sooner than later.
Perhaps I’m tilting at windmills or, like Sisyphus, rolling a massive boulder up an impossibly steep hill, and I, perhaps, should lighten up, move along, turn the page, go with the flow, change with the times, be hip, be cool, make language anything I want it to be.
Perhaps I should forget about much of what I was taught and what was always considered the “correct” way to speak and act, but I doubt if that’s ever going to happen, just as I doubt that people will stop using annoying words and phrases when there are perfectly better ones at their beck and call.
Perhaps I’ll wake up some morning and all will be right in the world and everyone will have realized that there’s still a place for those things which were once the norm. I fear that it’s only wishful thinking on my part, though. What will be, will be.
In the meantime, perhaps I need another cup of coffee and there’s that boulder to roll uphill!