Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I was watching one of those interview/news shows the other day on TV.

As the host was wrapping up the interview she said to the guest, “Thanks for being with us, Jim.”

Jim said, “Well, thanks for having me on the show.”

To which the host replied, “No problem!”

I thought “no problem”?  Really?  Well THAT’S a relief. 

I’d hate to think that the host of an interview show had been inconvenienced in any way by having guests ON the show to answer interview questions.  It’s ALWAYS easier to have an interview show WITHOUT all those bothersome guests on.  What good news it was to learn that it was “NO PROBLEM” to have Jim on the program!  Whew!

I’m not sure when “No problem” replaced other more traditional responses to the phrase “Thank you” - (phrases like, “My pleasure” or the increasingly unpopular and quaint, “You’re welcome”) - but it IS the “go-to” response of the day, and I suppose I should just get over it.  But no matter how I try, it still BUGS me in professional settings.

When a waiter brings me a hamburger and I say “Thank-you,” and then he says, “No problem,” I kinda get the feeling he shouldn’t be charging me for this honor. After all, it was NO problem.  We’re kinda buddies now. 

I get the feeling he may have personally overseen the preparing of my burger himself, making sure it was just the way I like it, with the perfect pickle on the side.  It was “no problem” for him to do this, and then bring it back out to me and to refill my water and bring another napkin, because I’m such an adorable, hilarious, great guy.  

"Terrific.  Make it free then, Sam!  See you tomorrow for more of the same!"

Well, guess what?  When I was a waiter, it WAS a problem and an inconvenience to do my job.  Because it WAS a job.  Same goes for whenever I hold open doors, write BlermonsTM, or donate vital organs.  Every time I donate kidneys, it is a HUGE problem.  It can really put a kink in my day. 

"You're welcome" let's BOTH parties in on this little secret.  It WAS a bother, but I am happy to do it because it's my job - now pay up.

Sadly, I think it’s too late to stop this alarming trend.  So I’ve decided to try another approach.  I’ve decided to MAKE it problem. 

When a waiter brings me a hamburger today, instead of saying “thank-you” I’ll say something like, “Well it is about time!  Now go finish my taxes and wash my car!  And where’s that pony I ordered!  I HOPE I’m not being a PROBLEM!”

I still may not get a “Your welcome” out of ‘em, but I will consider a nice, stiff, “Get out of here,” a start.

As together we stand and sing.