I had a brief conversation with a friend at Curry College recently who commented on the habit of younger (than the two of us!) people today responding to a “Thank You” with a (usually) muttered “No Problem.”
No Problem?!? I didn’t ask for a recap of the state of the nation…although “no problem” would be as far from accurate as humanly possible at this point if that were the case.
It seems that common courtesies are becoming more and more uncommon. And it’s not just the younger generations who are the guilty parties. I went to dinner with some friends a while back. We enjoyed great service from an attentive…and engaging…waitperson who took extra pains to make our experience outstanding.
I noticed almost immediately that one of my dinner companions absolutely would not even acknowledge this person’s existence…never looked at her…never spoke to her…nothing.
Before you launch into your “Kirk, you’re showing your age” speech, I’m not suggesting that we should bring back the sanitary conditions of the 17th and 18th centuries that “inspired” the custom of the gentleman walking on the street side when accompanying a lady in the event someone chose that moment to dump (how do we say it daintily?) “waste” out the upstairs window onto the sidewalk below.
No. I’m simply saying that it’s not an onerous duty to, at the very least, let the person with whom you’re interacting feel that he or she actually exists.
It’s not rocket science. It’s a very simple effort to maintain what is slowly eroding thanks to the proliferation of internet-based communication platforms (I’m talking about you, Twitter and Facebook…and other culprits!) that facilitate person-to-person or person-to-group communication without the actual face-to-face contact.
A simple and sincere request from yours truly. The next time you go to eat, or to shop, try this…
Look at the person who is assisting you.
Smile. Say “hello.” Say “thank you.” Say “you’re welcome.”
You might be pleasantly surprised by the reaction you get.
Relationships…It’s about the UNcommon courtesies.