In February 2009 and 2010 I wrote about the popularity of people saying "No problem" when "You're welcome!" was the appropriate thing to say. Well, here I go again. The two previous posts both revolved around flowers I sent to my cousin Jeanine in Wisconsin and the replies I got over-the-phone from the florists. You can read both of those posts by clicking on Being Courteous at the bottom of this post. Here is my 3rd installment on this topic.
Mr. Bubbles has been very sick for 6 months. He's lost 8 pounds and that's a lot for a cat. He went from 20 pounds down to 12 pounds and his luscious mane disappeared. He has been weak and lethargic and seemed to have a problem eating. For 11 years he has been a Lover Boy but the last 6 months he's been crabby and keeps pouncing on Margo, Baby and Angel. Not like him!
I took him to see our favorite verterinarian. After $600 of blood tests to rule out kidney problems or cancer and a load of X-rays he got a clean bill of health but still seemed lethargic and weak. So next I took him to have his teeth checked only to find he had dental issues which explained his problem eating and his cranky mood. That surprised me because he has his teeth cleaned every year. Another $661 later Mr. Bubbles was released after dental surgery, stitches, extractions and meds. I went to the counter to pay my MEGA bill and thanked the receptionist for her help. Guess what she said? "No problem." In my mind I said, "I didn't think it was a problem darling. After all, you should be thanking Mr. Bubbles for keeping YOU employed!" I wish she would have said, "You're welcome! We thank you for bringing your beloved Mr. Bubbles to our clinic and entrusting him to us. We appreciate your business and it is our pleasure to help you."
I couldn't walk away from the counter and let this young girl's inappropriate manners win. So I said it again, "Thank you for helping Mr. Bubbles." And only then she said, "You're welcome."
An incident happened yesterday which prompted my tirade. I went to visit my friend, Sally, whom I have written about here before. When I arrived at her White Cottage she presented me with a gift for our non-profit children's ballet company. Sally didn't have to give us anything, but she did. I thanked her for helping us and she said, "Well, you're welcome. It's my pleasure to help." Now that's my kinda woman! Ever so polite and sensitive, Sally is always aware of the impact of the words she says. Never flippant. Always thoughtful. Her courtesy cancelled out the rude response from the receptionist and my hope for humanity and the resurrection of Common Courtesy was restored.
The beauty of a proper handshake, of someone saying I'm pleased to meet you, of being kind, gentle, responsible and worthy mean something to me. I feel it is a duty to promote manners and to be sure what is Right prevails ~ especially with young people. As I sign-off I tip my hat to the Virtues of Common Courtesy and Good Manners. May they live a long life on our beloved Planet Earth.