Monday, November 12, 2007

No Problem

I had lunch at a restaurant with a friend this weekend, and, after each of us ordered, the waiter said, "No problem."

What's up with that? An increasing number of waiters say "no problem" or "not a problem" when you order. Don't they realize what that sounds like?

"No problem" is what you say after someone has apologized for inconveniencing you. By saying it in response to your lunch order, the waiter is suggesting that, by ordering, you are annoying the waiter, and that a lesser waiter might have walked off in a huff, but that he will graciously bear the inconvenience of having you around.

Perhaps some waiters actually feel this way, and there are days when we all feel annoyed at being asked to do our jobs. But a waiter is supposed to make you fell welcome. I don't expect waiters to respond to orders with "At your service," although I loved it when I got that response from a concierge in Nice, but they could come out with something positive or at least neutral, like, "thank you," "certainly," "coming right up," or "OK." "No problem" is a problem.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I also hate it when they ask, toward the end of the meal, "Are you still working on this?" Is eating my meal "work"?