Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You’re welcome, thank you, no problem

Several years ago Amalie and I drove to southern California on our way to San Diego to board a cruise ship to Hawaii. But that’s not what this story is about. More about that another time.

On our way, we stopped to visit friends along the way, including Polly, whom we had met on another cruise, and more about that another time. Polly, who I believe had been an English instructor before retiring, told us this story:

She had gone to a local supermarket, done her shopping, paid for her groceries, and then a young man helped to carry her goods out to her car. When the young man had loaded her goods into her car, Polly said, “Thank you”.

The young man said, “No problem” and Polly blew her top. “Young man,” she said, “the proper response to ‘Thank you’ is ‘You’re welcome’. It better not be a problem; it’s your job!” Not satisfied with that, Polly stormed back into the store, collared the manager, and gave him the same message, saying she never ever again wanted to hear any of his employees say “No problem”. And apparently she never did.

Now Am and I were staying at a motel that served breakfast in a separate building. The morning after Polly’s tale, I was dressed and ready a bit before Amalie. I suggested I would go on down and see about a table, and did so. Now we were each on our electric scooters, which makes getting through doorways a bit tricky at times. I was seated when Am came in laughing. “What’s so funny?” I asked. She answered, “I scootered up to the breakfast building door just as a young couple was coming out. They held the door for me, and I said ‘Thank you’. The young man said ‘ No problem’, and the young woman said ‘ You’re welcome’!

But that’s not the end of this tale. Some time after we returned home, I had occasion to go into a local bakery on my scooter. The door to that establishment is quite heavy, and I was wondering how I was going to get in. Just then a woman came by and opened the door for me. I said “Thank you”, and she said ...”My pleasure”.

I suspect that this video is from a commercial. Nonetheless, I thought it was funny:


  1. "Pas de quoi." You might be interested in this:

  2. That "my pleasure" put a smile on my face.