(FYI, I didn’t really want to post the video above. I really wanted to post this YouTube video here. But CBS News won’t let you. I guess that’s understandable.)
If there’s one thing that I hate, it’s gripe posts.
Unfortunately, I write what I want to read. And I’m pissed off for no good reason at all. So I’m gonna have to break one of my own rules (not that I really had any to begin with).
What set me off was reading a post from Slate that addressed those that get pissy about cashiers saying “no problem” instead of “you’re welcome”. Unfortunately I only read the title because I was too lazy. So, like an idiot, I read the comments first where there were some heated opinions.
(Come to find out, the article is pretty much arguing my point. Which you can read here.)
A few thoughts…
First off 1.) Fuck you if you get pissed off when an underpaid cashier tells you “no problem”. 2.) “No problem” means the EXACT same thing as “you’re welcome”. 3.) “Thank you”, “No Problem”, and “You’re Welcome” are all empty words that we say to one another because of social conditioning, so you’re reading WAY too much into the words. 4.) You’re a piece of shit.
Look, I love to write. But words don’t mean shit.
I hate the English language. Unfortunately it’s the only one I speak, so I don’t know if other languages work the same way. But no one owns the English language. Not even the dickheads who write the dictionary. Only arbitrary rules hold it together and they change all the time.
Do you hate slang? Well guess what….that’s what the official English language will sound like in the future.
Words don’t matter. I don’t give a fuck what George Carlin said. It’s the intention of the words that matter. If a friend tells you to “suck my dick”, that intention can sometimes mean “I am fond of you, but you can kindly go to hell”. Everyday interaction doesn’t involve the LITERAL interpretation of words. There are many other factors that are involved.
Mind you, if a stranger ran up to you and said “your hair makes you look like a fucking idiot”, when he REALLY meant “hey, wanna fuck?!”, you would rightfully be able to claim offense. BUT, if we only listened to his words, we would be completely missing the fact that he’s a weirdo. THAT’S the point we should be taking from that interaction.
“Why are you hating on words and language, Wes?” you’re asking me.
I don’t have to give a fucking reason!
I once had a girlfriend that couldn’t eat bratwursts because it had the sound “worst” in the name. She also thought ‘Punjab’ was a dumb name, even though it’s derived from a different language than English so it doesn’t conjure up the same images in the brain as say, oh, someone living in PUNJAB.
But that’s the kind of hole that you dig yourself into when too much value is placed on language.
Yet I guess what REALLY set me off in the Slate article is the demand placed on low-wage workers. I’ve mentioned before that this doesn’t make sense.
Plus, who gives a shit?
When I walk into a store, my first instinct is to find the product that I want to purchase. In fact, that’s my ONLY instinct. I don’t want anybody to talk to me. If I have to talk to an employee, all I want is a YES or NO. Getting angry about either answer is futile because, in all likelihood, the employee I’m speaking to can literally do nothing about it. All I want to do is hand them my money and be on my way.
I only need a neutral experience. If they do something to intentionally piss me off, then clearly that would make it an uncalled for negative experience. If they’re really nice, then I’ll leave with a positive experience. But either way, I only go in with the expectation of buying a product.
Saying something like “no problem” instead of “you’re welcome” can, in no way, cause me to have a negative experience. Before today, I have never thought about this stupid problem. If it causes YOU to have a negative experience, then YOU are the problem.
Nevertheless, this is an interesting problem that the first-world has. It’s the problem of customer experience. It’s the problem of…..entitlement?
It’s the problem of “No Problem”. (Don’t laugh, it’s not funny)
Even the most liberal-minded among us still walk into a places of business, knowing full well what it’s like to work for these places, expecting to get a handjob for just spending $5.99 at their establishment. Anything less would qualify as a negative experience.
I’m not saying that employees of these establishments necessarily have “hard work” or are underappreciated by their management. I’ve worked plenty of these jobs and largely enjoyed my experiences. HOWEVER, (and I’m speaking purely from experience), it’s highly unlikely that it’s that employee’s only occupation. And if it were, it’s even more unlikely that they were living quality lives. They’re probably a student or work another full-time or part-time job. And they aren’t getting paid SHIT.
They’re primarily concerned with keeping up their grades for their expensive education, feeding their kid, and keeping roofs over their heads. And here YOU come along, bitching about the s’mores Pop-Tarts being out of stock….
….Or not saying “you’re welcome”!
America doesn’t appreciate these jobs anyway, why should we expect “superior service” from them?
This entitlement isn’t about the decline of western civilization. Western civilization has been in decline since there’s been a western civilization. This is about thinking that WE matter.
The harsh reality is that no one matters. If you or me were never born, reality would continue on without you. It didn’t need you to exist at all.
Now this runs contrary to the feel-good liberalism that lefties like me eat up. We believe in telling children that they will someday change the world. Yet we all know deep within our hearts that it’s bullshit. But shedding this notion of “mattering” is also relieving.
Besides, why would you set that kind of expectation on a child? Making them entitled would be the least of their problems. Can you imagine the stress and disappointment they’d experience?
But knowing that we “don’t matter” sets us free to pursue our own paths…to not live under some imagined expectations that world places on us. Not only are we beholden to no one, but no one’s beholden to US. They’re free to pursue their own paths. So we don’t have to be disappointed when someone says “no problem” instead of “you’re welcome”.
It’s not the decline in “values” that’s causing a perceived decrease in customer service. It’s entitlement to think that you’re, well….entitled to it!
Now you can argue that I haven’t followed any of my advice.
And that’s all I have to say.