Customer service? Not a problem!

I’ve experienced a fair bit of customer service over my time, and one thing I’ve noticed over the past few years is the increased use of the phrase, “not a problem,” eg:

JB: “Thanks for your help.”
Customer Service person: “Not a problem.”

Why can’t Australians say, “You’re welcome.” ??

My theory? Something to do with being laid back and friendly, rather than acknowledging a more formal, “I’m-helping-you-but-I’m-not-your-mate-and-therefore-I’m-not-your-equal-in-this-converation-so-I’m-going-to-keep-things-egalitarian-because-although-we-don’t-have-a-class-system-we-really-do-and-you’re-not-better-than-me-just-because-I’m-serving-you.”

How’s that for a theory?

Mind you, it could also be because these customer service people haven’t had good training.

Or both.

Published by JB

When I'm not writing I'm doing paid work in Communications or International Relations, being mum to two teenage boys, attempting to maintain a reasonable marriage, and constantly adjudicating the battle between my inner feminist and inner domestic goddess, goddammit.

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  1. Well – it’s very closely related to the ubiquitous “No worries mate”, which is still in vogue.The Dutch say “als u blieft” which is interesting because it literally means “if you please” or “if you like” and is the normal for of polite request/ please. But it now gets used to mean – you’re welcome – or the quivalent.ciao


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