Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'No Problem' Is Anything but to Some Sherpa Readers; Let's Get Back to the Stamp-out-Rudeness Campaign

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'No Problem' Is Anything but to Some Sherpa Readers; Let's Get Back to the Stamp-out-Rudeness Campaign

Article excerpt

Yes, I am still trying to clear all the emails I've received from readers who join me in not understanding how, when and why our society became so darned impolite.

It does a heart good to see "That Guy" and "That Girl" people continuing to step forward and call people out for rude behavior. That's a good thing, because we St. Louisans really don't want to be mistaken for New Yorkers or Cubs fans, do we?

To kick things off this week, I am going to use one letter from a reader who complained about the "no problem" epidemic that has become more frequent in social exchanges.

I am running just this one letter, but please keep in mind I had five emails, a telephone message and a handwritten letter that contained the very same complaint:

Dear Life Sherpa - I have a pet peeve in the manners department. It doesn't technically count as "rudeness," but it does display a lack of parental training and it really rankles me. When someone extends a courtesy, I always say "thank you." The correct response should be "you're welcome" or "my pleasure." But it seems like the predominant answer now, especially among younger people, is "no problem." Does that annoy you, too? - Courteous Carol

Dear Courteous - We all probably agree that this is substantially better than getting no response at all to your "thank you." But when an employee who says it was "no problem" for them to do their job, I am always tempted to ask them what specifically would have been a problem for them? Smiling? Handing me my receipt? Saying "you're welcome"?

Stay with me here, but I think part of this problem is the way our generation, my generation, the baby boomers, raised our children.

For their entire lives, we've coddled them, nurtured them and wiped their noses well past the point of reason. We gave them trophies for just showing up, we worried more about their self- esteem than their work ethic and we let them "find" themselves at an age when they were incapable of finding their butt with both hands. …

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