You’re Welcome and Thank You

thank “Could you give me your name?” the man on the phone asked.

“Sybil McLain-Topel,” I replied.

“No problem,” he said.

“Of course it’s not a problem,” I said. “It’s my name. Why would it be a problem?”

And that is the problem, of course. The proper response should be “Thank you.” Clean, simple, clear. What happened to the perfectly good and accurate phrase, “Thank you?”

If he hadn’t replied, “No problem,” he might have chosen “No worries.” To which I would have replied, “Worry’s a waste of time and why would I worry about my own name? I rather like it.”

Instead, I went on to point out to him that by saying ‘no problem,’ he’s repeating a negative. Repeating a negative’s not a smart tactic for call centers or sales people. A few moments into our conversation, which centered on an insurance provider trying to save their money by forcing me to use a mail-in prescription service, he thanked me for the observation on ‘no problem.’ Then he said it three more times before he hung up, shortly after he did the math and realized I was saving the insurance company and myself a nifty chunk of change by driving to a nearby retail pharmacy instead of using the mail-in service.

“You’re welcome, dude.”YOU

Author’s note: Apparently I am not the only person whose nerves grate like aluminum on back teeth when people use these phrases.



Author’s note again: Do you think the lyrics to this song might be different if “thank you” were replaced with “no problem”?





©Sybil McLain-Topel and, 2014-2017. Unauthorized use or duplication of  material without written permission from Sybil McLain-Topel is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, however, please give full and clear credit to Sybil McLain-Topel and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


4 thoughts on “You’re Welcome and Thank You

  1. “No problem, for letting me be myself again.” LOLOL What about that DIDO song? “And I want no problem for giving me the best day of my life.” Good one! Loved reading this!


    • I read the NPR article and I have to say it’s the avoidance of eye contact that irritates me the most – and not just with the person working the cash register. The same seems to be true with other customers. Folks seem to be allergic to eye contact these days and that bugs me a lot more than the “have a good one” sort of thing.


  2. I like this post, enjoyed this one regards for posting. He removes the greatest ornament of friendship, who takes away from it respect. by Cicero. ddkegddeegdd


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