Thursday, May 14, 2015

Offensive workplace greetings

What is with these grocery store clerks and baristas in coffee shops lately?  Instead of being trained to give a polite greeting like “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” they are saying, “What are you up to this afternoon?” or “What plans do you have for this evening?”

Sorry, but I don’t think it is anybody’s damn business what I am up to this afternoon or what I am up to this evening. 

To the first question I am tempted to respond “I am planning to rob the bank on the corner, but don’t tell anyone.” Or “After I visit the mortuary I’m going to the monument people to pick out a headstone” or “I’m having gall bladder surgery so hurry up with the latte.”

Also when I say thank you, servers or store clerks say “No problem.” And I want to scream, “I never said it was a problem!  How about just saying, you’re welcome in a civilized way?”

I find it offensive when someone I don’t know inquires anything personal about me, like what I am doing, where I am going and what plans I have made.  I am not after making best friends with strangers behind the counters I am just after completing a simple business transaction.


  1. Son Matt, who has overseen a number of retail clerks' training, loathes hearing "No Problem" coming from an otherwise competent clerk. He believes it implies that anyone else would most likely consider his need a big fat pain, but that particular clerk is 'big enough' to overlook it.

  2. Another of my least favorites is "Have a good one." I usually reply "A good what?" or "I'll look for one." I'm tempted, however, to say,"Thank you. I had one this morning." But that might evoke "No problem," and that could open a conversation that neither of us would want to have.