Uncommon courtesy

Uncommon courtesy

Column by Kay Frances

 

Column by Kay Frances

Color me “old-fashioned,” but I yearn for the good old days when you’d let someone pull out in front of you on the highway and you’d get a “thank you” wave. These have gotten to be few and far between and I want my kindness to be acknowledged! I know we are supposed to give “unconditionally,” but is a wave too much to ask?

Worse is when you hand someone money for a purchase and don’t even get a “thank you.” These days, it’s become common for people to hand you your change with “Here ya go!” or “You’re all set!” Where is my “thank you?” I used to find myself thanking them. Somebody has got to do some thanking in this transaction. I caught myself doing this and had to consciously vow to stop. I was actually showing gratitude to THEM for accepting my money. It’s all backwards!

Sometimes, I hand them my money and say, “Here ya go!” This negates their “Here ya go!” and forces them to go to “Have a nice day.” One step closer to a “thank you.” Maybe I’ll start saying, “Here-ya-go-have-a-nice-day” really fast, thus preempting them and forcing them to go to all that’s left, “Thank you.” No, they’d find a way to bypass the “thank you” and go straight to “You’re all set.”

Some places ask for you email address. I’m old enough that I can say, “I don’t have one” and they believe me. If you give it to them, they’ll hound you until the end of time. I don’t think a one-time transaction needs to turn into a long-term relationship. When they ask for my phone number, I pretend I can’t remember. I love playing the Old Lady Card.

As part of their incessant inquisition, they also make sure to ask you, “Do you want your receipt in the bag?” When was it decided that this was to be part of the exchange and not the “thank you?” To me, it’s an odd question. In a way, I don’t think it’s really any of their business where I want my receipt. Maybe I want to tuck it away in a Swiss bank account or include it in some nefarious scheme. Why don’t they just hand it to me and let me stow it where I want? Why do they offer to put it in the bag for me? Do they think I’m incapable? If they’re willing to put the receipt in the bag for me, would they be willing to put it anywhere I wanted it? Aren’t they kind of setting themselves up for a potentially unpleasant situation? What if I turned around and offered up my backside, “Would you be a dear and put in in my back pocket?” Or between my cheek and gums or in my shoe.

Be careful what you ask for Retail People, that’s all I’m saying. There ya go! Free advice and you don’t even have to pay me. You’re all set!

Salt Magazine