No Problem–Customer Service

Like everyone else I’ve been doing a lot of holiday shopping recently: book stores, grocery stores, liquor stores, coming home broke and exhausted, just like everyone else. I’m also coming home irritated (luckily I’ve hit the liquor store), by the now apparently universal policy of cashiers and workers at drive through windows and store clerks to reply “No problem”, to my saying “Thank You”.

No Problem. No problem? How is it a problem for me to buy something at your store? What is the implication? I know I’m not a problem.

Oh I get it–I’m being assured it was no problem to serve me. I was not difficult, not demanding. Our transaction went without challenges and my oppositional disorder remained under control. Why the hell would it be a problem?

Here’s the thing: it’s not supposed to be a problem to have a customer buy stuff from you. To leave you their hard earned cash for a product they’ve purchased from your establishment. Even if I came in wearing my pants on my head, if I buy something–perhaps a hat, which I clearly need–there is no problem. There is never a problem. You’re supposed to be appreciative for my business, for the fact that I chose your store or restaurant over all the others that are possibly as good as yours. Maybe they are even better–if they don’t make me feel like I’m giving them trouble just by spending my money with them.

You’re supposed to say something along the lines of “Thank you”. You’re supposed to be the one saying it, to me. Thank you for coming to my store. Thanks for dropping by to browse. Thanks for shopping here. That’s the correct and appropriate way to respond to a customer: Thank you.

No problem.