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Friday, March 13, 2015

No problem

This is the start of my modest campaign to get people to stop saying 'no problem'. I stopped saying it last year when I realized that when I said 'no problem' I was in some way indicating that whatever favour I had done for someone was of little consequence to me and therefore should not be appreciated.

It actually is of consequence to me when I do someone a favour or someone does a favour for me. I really got to thinking about this again yesterday when two people did favours for me and when I thanked them they responded with the now typical reply of, 'No problem'.

In the first instance my babysitter picked up a yellow shirt for one of the kids-- she's on the yellow team for winter carnival. I could have done it-- I actually thought about doing it but it was just one more thing to add to an already busy schedule and I decided she could live without a yellow shirt. Unbeknownst to me the child had already bemoaned the fact that she did not have a yellow shirt to the sitter and she set out to get her one. When I thanked the sitter she replied, “No problem.”

She took time out of her day to look for a shirt for my child. It may not have been a problem but it did take time and consideration and I think when we say no problem we downplay these things which are so important to how we live together as a society.

Yesterday I also asked someone for some information about an after school program. I sent a message to the recreation Facebook page. In the evening, after work hours, one of the staff from Recreation got back to me and answered the question. Once again when I thanked her she replied, “No problem.” Again, it was not a problem for her but it did take time and thought after her work day was supposed to be done.

I just want to call attention to this phenomenon of the 'no problem' reply. I want people to say 'your welcome' so that we will think more about the time and effort put into these every day favours. I think when we say 'no problem' we are selling ourselves short-- we need to think more about what we give and what we receive. I know I do since I banished the 'no problem' response from my repertoire.

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