Somebody has decided that assistants serving behind the counters of fast food outlets, coffee chains and big stores - will all from now be trained to respond to my request for a bacon sandwich or cappuccino with either: "Yes - of course" - or - "Not a problem!"
Well, since I am English and middle class, I am used to adopting a stance of servility towards all retail assistants; but really - I did not expect my polite requests to be taken seriously and for me to be treated as if I was craving a favour when I am ordering something off a retail menu.
To be honest, I cannot remember what assistants used to say before they had been inculcated with these catch phrases - perhaps they used to say "Yes Sir"?If so, then clearly that was insufficiently democratic, and had to be replaced. Ahem.
And of course the assistants are only saying what they have been trained to say: but why have they been trained to say it? For whose benefit?
I suppose I should be grateful that I am not yet required to enter shops shuffling on my bended knees.
"Not a problem." irks me something fierce.
But I am getting to be more and more hostile to the phrases uttered at me by counter assistants and sales people of all types.
"Are you finding everything today?"
"Were you able to locate all your needs today?"
"How are you today?"
"Are you doing anything interesting for the rest of the day?"
I'm glad to know that it is not just my own short fuse, but that even a serene Crow finds this kind of thing hard to tolerate.
Agreed, I'm not comfortable with chit chat, or personal questions from clerks - especially when other customers are standing right there - but I really dislike clerks engaging in off topic conversations with their peers or, even worse, on the phone.
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