Wednesday, February 28, 2007

SF Magazine publisher to beat you with his cain

Scot Bondlow's Pubisher's Note in the March SF magazine is worth the price of the whole book.

The angry press baron is furious at baristas and waiters and various servant types for being insufficiently obsequious when they thank you back when you thank them. Or they actually don't thank you at all for saying "thank you," but instead say something vaguely neutral. In Scot's words:
A popular phrase ... has worked its way into the current vernacular of people of various ages and backgrounds. It shows up wherever I go. It's the reply "No problem."

Doesn't seem like much?

Here's my problem with "No problem": it has replaced a foundation of basic etiquette and common courtesy, the phrase "You're welcome."

Example: you're in a restaurant, and you've just paid the check and left a tip, and you say "Thank you."

To which the waiter replies, "No problem."

Really? That wasn't a problem?! For him to do his job?!

At the coffee shop. From your stockbroker. Your doctor even ... Please point this out to your family, employees and co-workers, and maybe even muster up the courage, as I have on a few occasions, to actually challenge the reply.
In the April Publisher's note, Bondlow is expected to issue an 8,000-word denunciation of people who think "gesundheit" is a suitable substitute for "God bless you."

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Anonymous said...

The problem with "no problem" vs. "your welcome" is straight out of Danny Meyers book Setting the Table.

March 02, 2007 4:32 PM  

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