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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Give You Joy - a little rant


There's a line in a book called, The Letter Of Marque* by Patrick O'Brian, where one captain congratulates the promotion of another by saying, "Give you joy with all my heart, William!" What a wonderful expression! The book takes place in the early 1800s, so I don't think there's much chance of the expression coming back, but wouldn't it be great if it did. Then instead of saying, "Congratulations," or "I'm happy for you," or even, "How wonderful for you," you could wish that person joy.

One of the reason's I like the expression, Give you joy, is that it's clearly about the other person, not yourself; which brings me to one of my pet peeves, answering a "Thank you," with a "No problem." Once when my senior citizen Dad heard someone say "No problem," he said, "Well I know it's not a problem.." :-)  I'm tempted to say that sometimes, but I know the person saying, "no problem," actually means well. So why does it bother me? Because the expression, "No problem" is directed back at yourself, i.e. 'That's okay because it wasn't a problem for me." Whereas, answering "You're welcome," is directed back to the other person, i.e. 'You deserve this; you are appreciated." In other words, it's about you, not me.

Businesses with good customer service usually train their employees to answer, "You're welcome," instead of "No problem." Once when our family went to Disneyland (known for their exceptional customer service), we decided, just for fun, to count the number of times we heard an employee say, "no problem." Out of a full day, we only heard one, said by a very nice busboy (bus-man). Everyone else answered, "You're welcome."


Why is this important? Because not only do good manners make other people feel good, they also  reflect well on yourself. So thanks for listening to my little rant - I hope it wasn't a problem for you. Give you joy.

*The Letter Of Marque by Patrick O'Brian
Copyright 1988 William Collins & Co. Ltd.

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