No Problem!

Phyllis Lifestyle 121 Comments

Today is my soapbox day. I usually don’t like to rant but today is a good day for this. I don’t know where “no problem” came from in our world today, but when I was growing up, when someone said “thank you”, the reply was “you are welcome”.

It seems today the common response to “Thank you” is “No Problem.” That just makes my skin crawl, particularly when it is said by a person in a store, or a server at a restaurant. I really never thought of my purchasing from a store or spending money in a restaurant as a potential problem, or felt that I had to be reminded that I wasn’t a problem, or that their serving me was no problem. I wanted to reply, “It shouldn’t be a problem as your employer is paying you to serve customers,” but didn’t.

Several nights ago we stopped at a Chick-Fil-A. I hope you have one of these wonderful restaurants in your area. Not only is the food delicious, but the young people working there have been versed in proper responses. When we paid for our food and was handed the tray, I said “Thank you” and the response was “My pleasure.” “My pleasure!” Are you kidding me? Someone finally gets it. That made my day. My pleasure…what a lovely thought.

When we were kids my Dad was a stickler for greetings and responses when we were introduced to anyone. He taught us to extend our hand, shake firmly, and reply, “nice to meet you,” while making eye contact. He was always introducing us and observing our response. I get it now! I understand why this was important then and important today. Manners are so very important.

So today I salute the Chick-Fil-A restaurants and any other employers that teach their employees the importance of making a customer know they are valued. It’s my pleasure to salute the people that developed their training program, developed standards of service, and hired young people who get it.

Ok, I am down off the soapbox. Is it just me, or do you agree

Comments 121

  1. Yes, yes, yes! I definitely have a problem with “No problem” being the response to “Thank you.” I don’t know how or why that has slipped into our world as being a good reply to a thank you.
    If someone wants to vary the thank-you response, they could say, “You are so welcome.” Or they could say, “You are so very welcome.” They could even add, “I was happy to be of service.”
    But “no problem” implies that if it had been a problem, they just might not have performed as well.

    Hooray for Chic-filet!

  2. Yes! I agree! And, I am very aware that I happen to be one of the very few out here who still replies: “Thank you kindly”. Seems one of those popular movies took the phrase and turned it into something negative! Well, my stance is that I will take (that phrase) that others try to make into a negative and I will turn it back to good!

  3. I agree totally with you! I despise to hear that from a waiter especially. It should be “no problem” that you are serving me since that is your job!

  4. BTW
    I have “No Problem” with the floral arrangement pictured. Simple; but, elegant. It brightened my day!

    {You & your photo stylist always inspire me with the lovely arrangements, tablescapes, …}

  5. Funny you should mention!! The very last time I was in Chik Fil A, the one handing me my food replied “my pleasure” . Very refreshing in a fast food era with often less than cordial replies!

  6. I see ‘no problem’ as being humble. They were merely doing their job well. Perhaps to some ‘You are Welcome’ implies one thinks he went above and beyond…let us be humble servants. And be gracious enough to thank someone for their service with out regard for the term responded if it was with the proper intonation.

    1. Received a blog from a Christian woman, who said we need to say a very difficult prayer this week….I read it all, and she’s right. It’s all about praying for humility for ourselves. I joined in last night on this wonderful blog, agreeing with everyone, but while all were right in their thinking, I realize now it behooves us to take the high road and be more humble. I heartily agree the employees and management at Chick-filet deserve every compliment on how they treat their customers. You cannot take that away from them!

  7. Just this morning as we were having breakfast out enjoying the beautiful weather in Dana Point the young person refilling my coffee made the same statement after I thanked him. Gosh I hope it was “no problem” accommodating customers! I so commend Chik-Fil-A for training their employees on basic etiquette and their business philosophy. It would be a no-brainer for others to follow their philosophies for success.

  8. I agree totally!! I was so impressed with the president who spoke
    here to the Salvation Army Dinner. He was here also for the opening
    of their new store – free sandwiches for life!!! for the first 100. some
    had already camped to be up all night.

  9. I used to loathe ‘no problem,’ until I realised many of the young folks using it were earnestly trying to do a good job & be friendly. I still don’t like it but I can tolerate it better. I’d rather get that response, meant well, than a surly one.

    All that said, Chick-fil-a’s response is my favourite.

    1. I so agree…this is what I just posted. “No problem”, said with kindness and sincerity” should not be such an aggravation. I, myself, am praying more to be humble in every way. Many employees are doing their best and don’t know any better.

  10. Thank you for saying what I have felt for years. I hear this daily in my community, but I just thought it was a cultural issue and lack of training on the part of everyone! We do love Chick-fil-a and seek them out when traveling. Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

  11. Hopefully, everyone should know that the Founder of Chick Fi A came up with the reply of My pleasure!!! to all customers!!! Yes, that is very beautiful and especially when coming from a young person!!! And I really thought I was the only one feeling skin crawl when hearing “no problem” Just love this blog!!!!!

  12. I agree with you about “No problem.” To me it means that my service was a problem but the server or clerk is overlooking it blithely. I also hate being called ‘You guys.” The worst is when some stranger on the telephone calls me by my first name. I just say, “My friends call me by my first name. You may call me Mrs. Bancroft”. It also upsets me when I thank a company employee for their help and they answer with, “You’re welcome.” I have even told some of the younger ones that the correct response is, “Oh, thank you for calling Dunderhead and Sons.” Unless we call attention to these rude responses and ask for better ones nothing will change. I think your Ribbon today and the large response illustrate that we are in the majority. Thank you, Phyllis; you certainly are not alone.

  13. I have never thought about “No Problem” being a problem until these e-mails.
    You all have enlightened me with some new thoughts. I loooooove the service at Chick-fil-A. (Plus their chicken salad). The response that buuuuuuugs me is “cool”. Everything is cool. No it is not. The temp is 95 and climbing. I don’t want to hear about the heat index and the humidity. I have developed a perspiration just thinking the above thoughts. Definitely not COOL. Stay cool.

    1. I see that you love Chick Fila chicken salad. Are you aware that it is being discontinued August 14th? That is my oldest grandson’s 18th birthday. He has just been made a front end supervisor at his Chick Fila store. We are so proud of him. He started last October. They skipped him over team leader and straight to supervisor. He’s also almost a sophomore in college because of duel enrollment. Maybe I see the “No problem” reply a little differently. I feel that it is meant to be that they have no problem serving a customer that is kind enough to say “Thank you” as a courtesy toward the server or worker. There’s lots of customers out there that never thank anyone for service period. They feel they are being paid why should they thank them. Sorry, but I’ve seen it happen so many times that a young person opens doors, helps get extra napkins, help little kids, etc. and the customer never say a word. I’ve always thanked anyone if they are being paid or not.

  14. Oh my goodness!! It was almost as if I wrote that myself! Many times have I actually had to wait for some kind of reply at all and when not receiving one, I will simply say “You’re welcome” to them anyway. It always get a glare back from them. I simply am making a point to them that their mistake was noticed and they where negligent in their duties. For some reason, when discussing this “problem” with others, many seem not to let “No problem” response bother them. I myself, loath it! It’s another case of allowing people to continue to err in this world and not doing anything about it and so things just like that automatically becomes common place after that. This may seem trivial to some – but one thing always leads to the next……

  15. I totally agree with you but had not thought of how “no problem” sounded before I said it. I am trying to get over the bad habit of saying this. Thanks Arlene

  16. As a certified etiquette consultant from the Protocol School of Washington, THANK YOU for getting on your soapbox! Totally agree with you!

  17. Oh, Thank You, Phyllis! My 92 year old mother and I are incensed when we are addressed as: you guys, as are others here. My Mom replies, “I am NOT a man, I do NOT have a _ _ _ _ _! (male member) Do NOT call me a “guy” again!” She has done this for years. She says she can get away with it because “I’m older that anybody!”
    I also am not fond of people assuming I know who is calling when I answer the phone. We do not have caller ID. I have instructed the spa where I have a massage that” I am not their friend, I do not want to be treated as such. This is a deal breaker for me. Make note in my computer file. Call and identify yourself, in a businesslike manner and tone. I will appreciate it and continue here, if not I’ll go elsewhere!”
    That’s the end of my “soapbox” moment!
    I always enjoy my publications from Hoffmann Media and “the ribbon”.

  18. I see the lack of manners in so many places. I call it the dumbing down of America not to care about; please, thank you and you’re welcome. My parents like yours taught me that manners are just as important as church. And yes, Chick-Fil-A is the only restaurant where you can still get that awesome Southern charm, and I love it. Sad that so many workers just don’t know how to respond. In a effort to quickly get new employees trained they are forgetting manners 101. And they need to learn to drop the word yep; now that’s a deal breaker for me!! Thanks for bringing the manners issue to light.

  19. I really don’t care about being called “you guys ” when I go in a restaurant, office, etc since I am a 78 year old southern girl……really “ya’ll” would suit me better. Haha

    1. Hi. Was about to respond to “my pleasure.” Saw this “you guys” and couldn’t wait.
      Don’t these people know “you” is plural when you’re speaking to more than one person?! Our world is going mediocre, and when I mentioned it to a manager (not Chick-Filet”), he didn’t see what the problem was. Wasn’t my service good? I was dumbfounded.

      As for Chick-Filet, I, too had a recent experience at the window, “My pleasure.” I went home and called the corporate number and gave them the store number and the young lady’s first name. The lady in customer service said it was nice of me to call, but, as you said, they train the workers to be polite. Dumbfounded again!

      Being a Southerner, I, too, could handle “Ya’ll” a lot better. When my brother is talking to a larger group, he says, “All ya’ll.” Not so sure about that one. : )

      Thank you for this site. Blessings.

  20. Oh I agree! If anyone is old enough to remember….where is Mr. Belvidere when we need him? I can hear Clifton Webb’s haughty voice snapping back at a sales clerk or waiter “Frankly, my dear I do not care a whit if it IS a problem for you. You are getting paid by your employer to serve me and that is that”. I might try that some time myself!

    Language is a beautiful thing and it is a shame that it is becoming less important to the younger generation in general.

    What I hate the most is “my bad”. Huh? Your bad WHAT? Do they say that down South?

  21. Thank you so much for this blog! “No problem” as a response to a thank-you has been irking me for some time now. Such a poor response.
    I have also noticed the wonderful responses at Chick-Fil-A. Makes one feel good and appreciated. First class establishment.

  22. I agree with you that I did not consider myself a problem. The local Chik-Fil-A in Decatur, AL, are always courteous with the reply “my pleasure.” What a treat to be around such nice employees. More businesses could learn from Chik-Fil-A how to respond to customers.

  23. I worked with a woman whose response was always ” no problem “. It drove me nuts. I also cannot stand when someone starts a sentence with ” look “. Thanks for this chance to rant. Look, we all need time to rant and then get on with our lives, no problem.

  24. “Do what?” That’s the response that makes me shake my head! I hear this at work…someone is on the phone…doesn’t hear something that was said and instead of “Please?” (a Cincinnati German thing) or “Excuse me?” or “Pardon me?” I hear them say “Do what?” Pa-lease!!!!

  25. Love Chick-fil-a. When we had catastrophic flooding in the area, the local Chick-fil-a workers were out bringing hot sandwiches to the first responders. Over and over, they step up for the community providing assistance. Also their scholarship program is terrific. As a result, the young people working there realize they are lucky to be working there. It shows.

  26. I agree 100%with you!! That really makes me think “nails on chalkboard” Also the word “HEY”. I wasn’t raised in the South, but I sure was taught manners and so we’re my children. I ALSO detest Hon, Honey and Sweetie. The U.S. in general has become too familiar and lost good manners.

  27. While I agree that some responses are more pleasing than others, it’s the attitude behind the response that is most important. I, too, love good manners, but I have never found a cheery “no problem” or “no worries” irritating. It’s all about the heart and the intent, right?

      1. Thank you Phyllis. I always look forward to your beautiful posts and have saved and treasure every Victoria magazine ever made!

    1. Hate to admit this, but, yes, a cheery, meaningful “not a problem” doesn’t sound all that bad. However, it IS the delivery and not a rote “not a problem.”

  28. I think this expression came from advertising where the response to a problem was ‘no problem! It sort of migrated into the daily vocabulary as a sort of slang for thanks. I don’t care for it either. But it’s better than not having your thanks or appreciation returned. I find many people don’t say thank you at all. To the point where if I get a thank you email or text, I’m grateful. I still send thank you notes, though. Even if I’m a lone voice In The wilderness. The world is a rough place. Thank goodness for Victoria mag.

    1. You are not “a lone voice in the wilderness. ” The first time a grandchild sent me a “thank you” via e-mail from college, I wrote him an e-mail a couple of weeks later (he is the universe to me) that I was glad he liked his gift, but that this would be a good time to tell him he should get into the habit of sending a handwritten “thank you.”, that one day in the business world, he’ll be glad he did. All six grands used to send handwritten notes or drawings. I suppose because we have a good relationship, he was not offended. I would not have said anything in front of his friends. He thanked me. I know someone is thinking, “Well, Woman, be glad he acknowledged the gift at all.” You would be correct. I told him that, too, that I appreciated his thank you.

  29. Oh my, you hit me right in my little ol’ Charleston-bred heart! Amen, Sisters, preach on!

    Having moved to FL almost 38 years ago right after our marriage, I have seen the degradation of manners, vocabulary, common sense and decency ever since. It is such a sad statement!

    I have had the honor and privilege of training children, teens, and even adults in protocol at church and for classical homeschooling groups for over 20 years through wonderful ministries of Apples of Gold, Appleseeds, Classical Conversations, etc. It has been my joy to equip people, especially teenagers, who are hungry for wanting to know how to do things correctly. Young men, especially, like to know how to do things “right.”

    Not in a million years did I ever think I would end up teaching such skills, but God has made it a part of my journey for those who desire such things. I have had the joy of teaching teens about how to have and show good manners around their peers and adults and since then, never have I had to open a door for myself, unload or reload my car again at our weekly homeschool classes, gatherings, balls, and other celebrations, or worry about the conversation during our classical literature, history, philosophy, etc., discussions. Too often, we expect and assume. Having also taught parenting classes for almost 30 years, my admonishment has always been, “Teach to the task or expectation you have.” If we haven’t taught it, with repetition, we have no right to expect it.

    Mr. Cathy was truly a Godly man and leader and built a culture we all appreciate. He said, “Repetition yields constants. Constants create cultures.” How true! That’s what we’ve all been thriving for in our own families: to create a Godly culture through repetition of good manners, celebrating God’s faithfulness and joy, living Godly lives with passion for the lost, equipping, equipping, equipping, in other words, fostering faithful family cultures in what we say, what we do, and what we think.

    I am so grateful to CFA for equipping and training these young ones and I am even beginning to see other teens in other local grocery stores and fast food places answering, “It’s my pleasure,” when I thank them. Let’s pray more of our young ones, from all walks of life, receive this kind of training.

    1. Teresa, we’re all applauding what you had to say. Sometimes, I get so upset over such subjects, I have difficulty in articulating exactly what I want to say. You did it for all of us. Ditto to everything you wrote.

  30. Bless you for this! The other day someone said to me, after my saying, “thank you,” “Aint’t no thang!” Have you ever?! I steamed the rest of the day and wondered where the grammar police were.

  31. Thank you all for loving good manners! Other expressions that bother me immensely are “You’re fine” or “You’re good” spoken by a young person to an older adult who is perhaps apologizing for some little occurrence. How uppity that sounds! Calling older adults, for instance, teachers, by first names is generally unacceptable to me. Teaching our young ones to be respectful of their elders and kind to everyone is so good for their young hearts and for all of us! Thank you, “Miss” Phyllis!

  32. I agree with you. Thanks to my parents for their diligence in teaching good manners, and I can also thank my elementary school teacher who gave us etiquette lessons in second grade!!

    1. Oh my goodness–I’m so happy to hear you voice your thoughts on “no problem”. Several years ago I was working at a school and the young receptionist responded to my “thank you” with a “no problem”. I said to her, when I was growing up, we were always taught to respond with ” your welcome” after a thank you–where did this no problem come form? She looked at me and said, “Oh you’re right, I’m sorry and you’re welcome.

      It drives me nuts, thanks for bringing it up!

  33. Also, in the East Bay cities of Oakland and San Francisco, we hear, “No Worries” which to me equals the “no problem” phrase that we hear, too. Was it a worry to you that I made a purchase, etc. Let’s cheer people who know how to reply!

  34. I agree with Mary and Carol…what bothers me even more than”no problem”, (I may be guilty of using that from time to time) is the phrase”you guys” and “have a good one”. I wonder if employers go over these simple but very important phrases with their employees as part of their training. It also bothers me when I hand over money at the check out for example, and when I get change back I end up saying thank you to them…it should be the other way around!! I am the customer. Thank you for bringing attention to this Phyllis, but also highlighting the good behaviour out there as well.

  35. My husband, at 81, is offended by this comment every time. He can hardly stand it. I thought he was the only one that felt so strongly about it. We both are from the south too…wish we were still there.

  36. Your mental response was more gracious than mine! (“I don’t care if it IS a problem! You’re being paid to serve me / ring up my purchase / whatever I’m paying you to do!”) I, too, love the response from the servers at Chick-fil-A. I also miss the days when the employees yielded to the customer. Now, I have to get out of the way of the employee restocking the shelves.

  37. Well Phyllis, you opened a can of worms!!! Where ever that phrase came from, I among 60 others of you, wish it would go back. I do my best to mind my manners and act like a grateful customer whenever I am in a place of business. I certainly do not perceive myself as a potential problem. The entire future of the English language seems to be in jeopardy these days. As we old timers ask, “Were you raised in a barn?”

  38. Oh Phyllis….your little rant warmed my heart !!!
    Let me say this….I lived & worked in Fayetteville, Georgia for almost 30 years and ate at Chick Fil A resturants frequently !!
    “My Pleasure” is an anthem there and it always makes me smile…..always & forever !!
    Truet Cathy (owner & founder of Chick Fil A) lived there also…I met him many times and he was just as gracious as you can imagine….I was honored to know him.

    Thank you for always reminding us of the BEST things in life !!
    xoxo Joan

  39. Amen! And my annoyance hasn’t decreased with time. It’s comforting to learn that there are other people who feel the same way that I do.

    Another aggravation is the dehumanization of people, who are no longer “who” but are now that/they/them – as if people have become objects or, perhaps, animals. (Although some seem to give animals a bad name as in, “She’s a pig” or “He’s an ass”.) This “demotion of humanity” is seen and heard everywhere lately: in newspapers and magazines, on television. Dr. Seuss, the creator of “Whoville” must be spinning in his grave. Has the Grinch stolen “Whos”, as well?

  40. Along with no problem how do you feel about “whatever”. I assume with this response you have no opinion on the topic or you simply don’t care A way to not count for anything.

    1. Hopefully, “whatever” is dying down; so much so, I didn’t think about mentioning it. I had a beautiful teenage daughter (now a mother and a teacher) whose favorite comeback was, “Whatever.” We told her constantly that was rude, but the problem was solved the day she added the rolling of her eyes! That cost her a weekend of being grounded. Uh-oh.
      Love plus discipline.

  41. I know nothing about the manners at a Chik-Fil-A as I have never been to one of their restaurants but I do agree with irritation at hearing the reply “no problem”. I have thought about this response for quite a while and it never occurred to me that I was ever a problem. But I believe that when it is used it lessens the value of the work that service providers perform. If they don’t think highly of their job or that it is beneath them then they obviously feel that it was not a problem for them to provide the service. However, I value my cup of coffee or lunch made for me and when I thank them I want them to know that I do appreciate their service. Saying ‘you’re welcome’ evens the playing field here–the service provider knows that his job is valuable and appreciated. And perhaps if they know that they will put the donuts in the bag more carefully! I believe that this is not just a case of manners but about society and how not every member’s job is valued.

  42. Finally, someone who feels the same as I do. I dislike the ‘no problem’ response, but I also do not like having a server refer to my husband and I as ‘you guys’. We are both in our 60’s and I can assure you that nothing about me would indicate that I am a guy. I think you are correct in stating that the issue is with improper training. Perhaps other businesses will see this post and change their training methods. Thanks for sharing your soapbox with me!

  43. I agree whole heartedly !! Manners are sorely lacking in the younger generation. Its a very sad thing. Every time I hear ‘no problem’ it irk’s me to no end.

  44. I agree. I am so glad that you found some goodness in greetings! I do not like “have a good one”. Have a good what? These so called greetings are uncaring and way too relaxed and informal.

    blessings and keep praying.

  45. I couldn’t agree more. So pleased someone is discussing this. When I hear, “no problem,” I feel like I’m an aggravation to them.
    Thank you!

  46. Mrs. Phyllis.. Those are my sentiments exactly…I Live in Atlanta where Southern Hospitality is being murdered everyday..Lol.. While I do try my best to respect everyone’s personal journey, there are so many transplants moving to the area bringing their mean, rude, dog eat dog way of life here that is consequently smothering out southern hospitality.. Most of the people I say good morning or hello or good evening to never speak back.. To add insult to injury most don’t even say I’m sorry or excuse me.. My mother taught me that it doesn’t cost you a thing to speak. Sadfully, the respectful, leisurely Southern way of life that I have grown up to love is quickly dying off and I will try to uphold that southern way of life even if I Am The Last Woman Standing and I mean that with all of my heart..Have A Great Afternoon…

  47. Oh my gosh, agree, agree, AGREE! In fact, did I write this post? Even noting the comparison between the standard CFA response (yes we have one that is our favorite fast food dining spot) to the what the majority say – no problem – is a conversation my husband & I often note with service folks. As if we are problems to their work performance otherwise?? UGh.

    1. I agree. I had a wonderful experience while working in my flower gardens recently. I was busy pulling weeds when a young couple with two children walked past our property. One of the children was small enough for a stroller … the other child, a little girl was maybe 3-4. I threw my hands up to say hello to all and the little girl called to me, asking me my name. I told her it was Mary and asked her for her name. She gave it to me and then said “Mary, it’s such a pleasure to meet you” and I replied the same. That mommy & daddy are doing an outstanding job as parents. God bless the whole family. What a treat it was for me to talk with her.

  48. Thank you for ascending your soap box!!!! I totally ageee with everything you said so eloquently!!

    My father and mother instilled those values and actions in me also and I’m very proud of my children and grandchildren!

    Thank you thank you thank you!

  49. I just answered “no problem” to a string of emails. But the person emailing me was having schedule conflicts and kept changing our call, and I kept saying “no problem” so she didn’t stress over it.
    However, I agree that “no problem” is not a response to “thank you.” Although when these phrases take hold in popular culture, we can’t let ourselves get upset over them when no ill will is intended.
    At the same time, the French answer to merci is “de rien,” or “it’s nothing.” Which does seem a bit like “no problem.”

    1. Thank you Phyllis for bringing this forward as the millennials I have contact with show no respect towards others. I agree with Nikki that as long as I breathe I will stand up for the Southern way, a more gentile way. I find it disgusting that when some move to the South they want to change us when all along they moved to the South for our way of life. Thank Goodness Chick-fil-A teaches their employees good manners. It is indeed a pleasure to be in their restaurants.

  50. I so agree. My rant is the use of “no worries” & “perfect.” At the doctors office the nurse said, “give me your full name & birthdate.” I did and her response was “perfect.” Everyone says perfect. Or the server who says, “are you ready to order?” and we say “please give us a few more minutes.” And the server says, “sure, no worries.” OR “perfect!”

    Just a quick note: when my husband is introduced to someone he shakes their hand & says, “nice to meet you, Joe.” He says if he repeats their name it helps him to remember it.

  51. I’ve never really thought of what the response, no problem, means. I’ve heard this a lot in retail stores and casual restaurants and I don’t think those using that term realize the actual meaning. I think they use it as a casual term meaning, your welcome. It’s a sign of the times. I do, however, remember the first time I went to Chic Fil A and how I felt when their response was “my pleasure”. It really did make my day. I would rather here no problem than be called “hon” or “sweetie”. I find that very offensive and it’s happening more and more. The first time I heard this was when my father, who was in his 60s at time, was called “hon” by a nurse while he was in the hospital. I cringed.

    1. Oh you are right……Hon or Sweetie just kills me. And I just love it when they call Neal “sweetie”. I rub that in for days……all in fun.

  52. Well Phyllis, you hit the nail on the head with this !!! When I hear that I want to respond with a bad mannered reply , yikes but I refrain. Manners will always be important !

  53. Oh I thought I was the only one who got irked at “No Problem or Hi guys” from people. Recently I ordered at a drive-thru and I thanked the young man for my food. His response was the typical “No problem”. I really wanted to say “I certainly hope not!” But I didn’t. Manners matter and you didn’t grab food at my parent’s table. You asked “Please may I have… or please pass the…” My Mother said if you reached you’d draw back a nub, meaning you’d get your hand slapped, lol. Hurray for a return of Manners!

  54. Whoa! Haven’t had the opportunity yet to read the other (33) comments; but, I’d say you really hit a nerve!

    Probably not a nice thing to admit, but I seem to divide folks into well reared and not by the way they respond to Thank You. I suspect my Grandmother (who would be 125 were she still with us!) would have labeled the No Problem response as “tacky.”

    I, too, have noticed the young people and the way they conduct themselves at our local Chick-FIL-A. It is not just their words but the manner in which they appear to interact with one another as well as the customers. Civility is alive and well within their establishments.

  55. Thank you so much, Phyllis, for such a timely reminder. My lovely mother spent so many hours trying to instill manners in her children. I cringe now when I hear young men and women with such sloppy speech mannerisms. Thank you for taking up the cause!

  56. Does anyone count out change anymore? Seems change is always handed back in a blob. In same realm as ‘you guys’, ‘no problem ‘ responses.

    1. So funny! I thought I was the only who is annoyed by that. Cashiers don’t have to know how to count change back because the cash register does all the brain work for them, so they don’t have to count it out to make sure THEY are correct. Then all they have to do is dump it all in your hand at once.

      Heaven forbid my bill is $11.06 and I give the cashier a twenty, a single, a dime and a penny. They’re completely frozen in their spot! They then dutifully “obey the machine”, hand me back my $10.05. I say “thank you” to which they reply “no problem”. 🙂

  57. Recently, I purchased several furniture items ($$$$$$)from a well known store. The salesperson was helpful and I thanked her for taking so much time with me. Her response: No problem.

    No problem??!? It was no problem for me to spend $$$$$ in this store so you can make $$$$$. I have to admit that a good experience was ruined by the much to casual response of the salesperson. It was as if she was giving me permission to spend money. It didn’t sit well with me, at all. Gracious manners are no longer valued.

  58. Oh, my goodness, do I ever agree! I never heard this response in the South, but it’s become quite common out West. I never know what to say other than a timid “I hope I wasn’t a problem for you.” Did the person think I might be?

    On the other hand, “My pleasure!” is delightful and rare.

  59. I totally agree with everyone’s comments about manners. For most of us “golden agers,” manners were learned in the home. Our guides to good manners were parents, grand-parents, aunts and uncles, and all the honorary family we had.

    Where do children learn manners today when both parents are working and children are in day care, school and/or after school care? The parents? Yes, but in many cases, parents cannot teach what they don’t know.

    Recently, I shopped in Brooks Brothers for the first time and was happy to discover the books they sell: How to Be a Gentleman, How to Be a Lady, How to raise a Gentleman, How to Raise a Lady, and so on. Each of these books is beautifully bound.

    I bought A Lady at the Table and found all the basics we learned growing up plus information relevant to business entertaining.

    Some of the books are also available in less elegant binding through books stores, but I think any of them would make great gift for young people.

    Thanks for the reminder, Phyllis.

  60. Good Morning,

    I truly appreciate reading all of your comments because I now know there are others like yourselves who share my thoughts and feelings concerning manners. Also, thank you for sharing your love of Chick-fil-A because I also love Chick-fil-A because of their manners and genuine kindness as well! Does anyone have any recommendations on a book or books on etiquette and manners for children as well as adults?

  61. Ms. Phyllis, I love your blog and I NEVER respond to anyone; I just read and enjoy every word every visualization. However you’ve touched on a topic that has caused my husband and I to stop frequenting certain restaurants. We love eating out for breakfast on weekends mostly but frustration is curbing that habit for us. True customer service is lacking from staff who don’t introduce themselves to dropping off a meal and never checking back. I’ve spoken to other wait staff and they are equally frustrated with staff that don’t exhibit common courtesies. If you think that “no problem” responses bother you, just wait until your order isn’t correct and they argue with you about what you ordered! My answer is to pray, stay home and cook! I can only change my behavior so that’s what I do; and pray for the rest. Maybe restaurants will get the message and become more proactive with their staff and insist on good customer service training.

  62. I truly believe when one walks into a business there should be a smile and greeting for the person, costomers will notice and feeling welcome to be there. I just told the guys at our local Radio Shack how much I enjoyed the way they greet people. Such nice young men., makes a big difference. Yes, you are so right about Chick-fil-A, such a pleasant experience and a great Christian company. So, glad you were on your soap box today!

  63. I totally agree! The other phrase I despise is “you guys ” when being served! Last time I checked I wasn’t a “guy”!

    1. You took the words right out of my mouth. You’re at lunch with a group of women and the server greets the table of guests with “Hi, guys, I’ll be taking care of you today!”

  64. I’m trying so hard to teach my son good manners, and he’s always being complemented on his firm hand shake and friendly demeanor. (We’re from Texas, so it’s not an option in my book!) However, I was unaware that “no problem” was a “problem.” Now that I’ve read your post, I understand. I will share this with my son and try not to say it either. However, give some grace to those of us that just didn’t know we were annoying you! We were sincerely being friendly and happy to help someone. 🙂

  65. Isn’t it funny? I had a very active discussion about this very thing on my FaceBook page a few months ago. Like you, I am not a huge fan of this statement. A simple “you are welcome” or my pleasure is respectful, and the way it should be. I couldn’t agree with you more, Phyllis. Hoping good manners never leave our planet!

  66. I love the response, “my pleasure” and despise ” no problem.” I have heard it so much, it has at times, come out of my own mouth ! Horrors !

  67. I completely agree . . . and another phrase that drives me nuts is, “My bad.” Mea culpa is a tad less offensive to my sensibilities, but what I’d really prefer to hear is a sincere, “I’m so sorry,” or “I apologize.”

  68. Thank You! I get on this soapbox a lot, to the point that when it happens, my friends hold their breath, “is she going to reply to “no problem” or stew in silence!

  69. I agree; although I haven’t heard that particular response, it wouldn’t sit well. My pet peeve is the term, ‘my bad’. The first time I heard this was from Martha Stewart and I was shocked.

    This really irks me as it seems to eliminate the responsibility or accountability for whatever error the person made. It eliminates FAULT. When someone says that to me I tell them the correct response is, “I’m sorry, that was my fault or error.” Not ‘my bad’. To me it seems flippant and totally unrepentant.

  70. Oh my! This happened to us this past weekend. Our server was a total joy. Very nice, very attentive and just perfect until we thanked her. You guessed it….her response was “no problem” and she said it with a smile on her face unoblivious to the fact that this is not a positive response! It certainly did not deter from our more than perfect service but I was dying to let her in on the “my pleasure” secret to impeccable customer service. At the Chic-fil-a by my home,the line is literally around the block from sun up to sun down. I often wonder if the food is that unbelievable or is it the customer service. Most likely the combination. Small acts go a long way! I am so happy you posted this. I was wondering if I was just being over sensitive regarding our waitress but now I know it is not just me!

  71. “It’s my pleasure . . . to serve you.” I too appreciate the culture of Chick-Fil-A. I appreciate the emphasis on the value of service.

    Where I live a locally owned supermarket has the slogan, “A Smile in Every Aisle.” And I enjoy doing my weekly shopping there because before I even get to the produce department at the front of the store, I’ve encountered a smile and a happy greeting. If I’m unable to find a product and make inquiry of an employee, I’m not just told where to find it, the employee takes me to find it. And before I leave the store, I’ve experienced several smiles in the aisles and at the checkout counter.

    The culture of a business matters!

  72. I agree, good manners never go out of style & benefit all of us for a lifetime. I always try to be kind; that simple gesture might just be a tonic someone needed that day. Thanks for reminding us all that Chick-Fil-A is a first class restaurant

  73. This inappropriate response has become the norm and I think it’s time to speak up rather than not patronizing places of business where the employees say it. Talk to the management and explain the problem with “no problem.” And if possible, take a moment to just say something to the employee like , “You know, ‘You’re welcome’ or ‘My pleasure’ is the correct response when someone says Thank You. People appreciate it more than being told they are not a problem.” Honestly, a lot of young folks have no idea about manners. They are clueless and have fallen into bad habits. It’s our job to lovingly help them.

  74. Yes, I TOTALLY agree! In a society where manners seem to have sometimes gone out the window, it’s refreshing to be on the receiving end of simple respect and kindness. Great post!

  75. Oh Joy! Finally someone has acknowledged one of my top pet peeves. I have said, in reply to No Problem, “the correct response is You’re welcome”. They look at me like I’ve got two heads!

  76. Totally agree!!!! Chick-fil-A is a restaurant founded in the south where they still appreciate manners!!!! If you do not have one where you live you are missing out on a real treasure!!!!

  77. The associates (workers) at our Hardee’s in our town respond the same way. It always brings a smile. They also always ask if there is anything else they can do for us and wish us a great day. Very refreshing. I go there for my ice tea when I’m going to be out and about and love that they “seem” unhurried even though I know that they are busy.

  78. I absolutely agree and I applaud Chick-Fil-A for training their staff to be so polite. I like them even more now.

  79. Oh, yes Ma’am! I do agree! The example and teaching has to be taught early and thoroughly! I remember my son, when he was four, running ahead and opening the door for a couple of older ladies entering a restaurant. They praised him and helped to reinforce what I had tried to teach him. I gave them the thumbs up…..I also praised him myself when he returned to me with that big smile of his. Manners add sophistication to even the smallest gentleman or young lady, and prayers help! So proud of those working teenagers who have been taught manners and RESPECT….which is what is boils down to.

  80. My personal peeve is shop employees who don’t acknowledge you and/or are too busy chit-chatting with their co-workers to help. I spent many years as a retail manager and I always taught my staff to focus on the customer in front of them and to at least acknowledge those behind them who are waiting to be helped. Although I long ago left the field I still observe with a critical eye and will not patronize stores who don’t teach their staff proper customer service. Proper customer service should include a polite greeting and a thank you for their patronage.

  81. Chick-fil-A have their employees taught well. Let’s hope they use those responses off the job as well. Manners matter!

  82. Oh my goodness, I thought I was the only one who hates that response of “No Problem “, every place I go anymore it seems to be their response or no response at all until I say thank you and then they say no problem. Please note that when this happens I have made up my mind to no longer shop there or eat there so even though I am only one person, since I now know there are others who feel the same maybe they will start training using the same methods like Chic Filet uses! Thank you for letting me rant also!!!!

  83. I agree whole-heartedly!!! When Chick-Fil-A opened in our area last year….I was stunned. Sad to say, I know. It should be normal to have good manners, instead it is often taken for granted. I praise the owners and trainers of Chick- Fil- A also. What a breath of fresh air. I love to go there and to hear those two simple words of good manners and kindness, “My Pleasure”.

    1. WOW! Your comment, Phyllis, really “hit a cord.” I also despise these kind of flippant remarks, including No Problem. Even more than that, I fully despise men calling me honey, sweetheart, etc. I decided finally that I needed say something and I told one man that I was not his sweetheart and I was offended by his calling me that. He said: Oh, sorry and then just two minutes later called me the same thing. Oh well…….

      I’m sure we can brainstorm about what the response should be– if nothing else—just to get people thinking about why they say these things.

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