No Problem

He read an article on how irritating the phrase “No problem” is. Then he called his cable company to talk with a human, who when she eventually came on the phone after he had talked seemingly ad infinitum to a computer generated near human sounding voice, kept saying over and over and over, “No problem” as he was trying to explain the problem. “It makes it sound like you are doing me a favor,” he said. He explained that she shouldn’t have a choice over whether she considered helping him as a problem or not, because she certainly should know what she was doing and she was paid to do it, so it went without saying that it was no problem and not a favor. He said that he had the problem with his T.V. reception and that all he expected of her was to help him get rid of the problem and that he didn’t need to hear over and over that what she was doing was in reality a pat on her own back and a big favor to him and that by saying it over and over she was making it seem like it could really have been a problem but that she was rising above any such problem to be of service to him thus, in essence, placing him in her debt. After a pause, she said, “No problem” at which point the man decided to reply only to her questions with the offensive, “teeny bopper,” ubiquitous responses heard in human conversations “Just” and “Whatever” and “No problem.” After hearing them over and over, before hanging up, she almost shouted, “The repairman will be there tomorrow between 10 and 12. Okay?” “Just…whatever…no problem.” Click. Then and only then before the click would it have been to her credit if she had said to herself, the customer is always right and to the customer, “No problem” because now he had provided her with a problem and the opportunity to rise above it.  He almost wished to have the computer generated, near human sounding voice back. At least it never said, “No problem.”

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