Now that we can travel, I thought I would share this with you. The writer (not from Canada) invited her elderly parents to an all-inclusive resort in Cyprus. Hear her complaints.

Let’s talk about the hotel patrons eating at their restaurant…. Taking all the food that’s out there to their tables, and leaving it untouched or just touched, but not even half finished.

C’mon people… how can you eat a dozen baklavas? Of course you can’t, and you’d leave 10 pieces of baklava behind after all that dinner (one night I counted the baklavas at a table as the people left.)

“Simple Etiquette at a buffet” should be provided by the hotel management to some of the hotel patrons who do not know how to behave.

At a lunch, the table next to us, 3 fellows took about 6 bread loaves – not slices!!! Big loaves before they were sliced and left about 4 of it… I asked our waiter if I was seeing that correctly. He unfortunately confirmed that was the case. They took the bread loaves but left them untouched. I was sad, really sad to see the waste. Yes, the food may be included in the package, you may take it as it’s free… but the food is to be eaten, not to be wasted like that. Do you waste your own food at home? I sure hope not! Now that I’m at etiquette I have some more comments:
– Waiting for the elevators at the hotel, one nicely dressed lady just barged in front of us. I just told my sister “I guess the lady is in a hurry, perhaps she needs to rush to the bathroom, let her go first.” She turned around to tell me “Oh, I’m here for a conference”… whattttt? I couldn’t shut my mouth, I had to answer that “really? We’re all here for something, why your conference should take priority”.

Dear Readers: Let’s see if we Canadians can behave better.

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What People Are Saying

Well done. Your actions reminded me of the old saying which I think is Biblical: “A soft answer turneth away rath but grievous words stir up anger.” You were quite in order by your actions.
– Dawn Clarke

No problem!?!? I hate, loath, despise, and detest any person serving me, anytime, anywhere who says “no problem” when I say “thank you” or something similar. Why should it be a problem? You’re just doing your job. It’s such a useless, hollow, meaningless response. Thanks for reminding me.
– Bart Mindszenthy, APR, FCPRS, LM

I have to comment as I cringe whenever I hear “no problem” and have had this discussion with my 22 year old daughter about it. She thinks the term is used for the equivalent of “it’s just part of my job”. Whereas saying “you’re welcome” implies that you went out of your way to help someone. I love hearing “my pleasure” as long as it is a pleasure, or said in a tone that implies it is, and not a forced expression because your employer expects you to say it. The youth seem to use “no problem” often, and it hurts my ears too. I also cringed at the rude experience you had. Thank you for all your wisdom. Always a pleasure reading it.
– Marni Olmstead

Yes – I’ve experienced something like you describe. Several years back, I stopped at Fran’s with my husband for a coffee. It was served warm, spilled on the plate (missed me by a little), and with little care from the server. I quickly made the decision that I would not reward the lack of professionalism (if not simple consideration for the messy service.) As we walked out, I didn’t notice I had left behind a coin from the change received. The server walked behind us and asked if that was all the service was worth (with indignation.) I held out my hand, received the coin from her, and said politely, “oh thank you. It wasn’t my intention to leave that behind.” No, I never returned to Fran’s…
– Preciosa Leal, Strategy & Implementation Coach
Alliance Business Solutions

That is an interesting story. From my perspective, it was to be expected that she would feel corrected and judged when you suggested responding in a different way. I don’t feel it is the right situation to teach her since “np” (as people write in short form) is so common these days. If she’s young, it’s what she’s learned from friends and others her age. So she is just repeating. And as English is not her mother tongue, she is likely more sensitive to being corrected or judged than someone who has English as a first language. I don’t think I would have said anything unless we had developed a rapport and she knew I was an English teacher. But even then, it is sensitive to correct other’s way of speaking.
On the other hand, her response was definitely rude and poor customer service. But I also dislike the “no problem” response as it doesn’t make me feel welcomed, more like I am not too much bother! Using more gracious language should be taught in school but it isn’t. I do teach it but to adults…
– Heather Chetwynd
Voice to Word

That’s not a very nice thing that happened. I also dislike that answer “no problem” it’s very negative. I prefer more positive answers like it’s my pleasure.
– Debbie Ross

Oh yes, Adeodata, I have many experiences like this. The young and mid-life adults do not want to have anyone older than they give them advice: those you know well maybe included! An exception are Indigenous individuals whose traditions teach them to respect and listen to elders. So let us come back to the drawing board and create a way – different for each occasion – to get our message across where the other person ‘learns’ without knowing they are doing so! Welcome to this age-old challenge. No wonder the Indigenous traditional symbol for a teacher is The Raven, called The Trickster!
– Marilyn Field, MSM
Windrush Estate Winery

My pet peeve is when my 9 year old says huh? When I remind her to say pardon each time it doesn’t stick. Love your newsletter.
– Cynthia

I enjoyed reading your newsletter article very much. A good reminder to us regarding expressing ourselves. However, I must add that when you can see that someone is speaking kindly in an effort to help you up your game, it is a good idea to put your ego aside and take the comment in that spirit. Although I might have been taken aback a little, I would like to think that I would have used your advice to refine my service approach.
– Kathryn Gillett
David Gillett Design Ltd.

Thank you for this enjoyable newsletter. I felt inspired to commiserate about the use of “no problem” – but also that ill-mannered espresso server! Although she didn’t appreciate the pearl you set before her, it’s not less of a pearl, is it?”
– Linda Wild
Marketing Executive

Hi. Good story. My son in law and two grandkids like to say “I’m good” instead of no thanks. How will we survive the next generation?
– Jerome Shore
Managing Partner
The Coaching Clinic

There is one that is worse: “Perfect”
– Tom

I always enjoy your stories.
– Juliana

Köszönettel vettük leveledet, amit figyelmesen elolvastunk.Tudod, ez a mai 18-25 -éves generáció meglehet?sen szemtelen, tiszteletlen és f?képpen neveletlen. Nincsenek otthon tényked? édesanyák, hanem azok is robotolnak, hogy szebb és újabb autójuk legyen. A fiatalok élnek demokratikus jogaikkal és élvezik a liberalizmus adta függetlenséget minden korábban helytelennek ítélt dologtól. Nos, én a helyedben a lány kifakadása után asztalomhoz kérettem volna az üzletvezet?t. Elmondtam volna az esetet. Nem hiszem, hogy a lánynak adott volna igazat, hacsak a f?nök nem a szeret?je és ugyanolyan nemzetiség?. Ha a f?nök nem a tulajdonos, akkor irány a tulajdonos. Egy pimasz kis fruskáért nem mondjál le a kellemes sarki bodega látogatásáról.
– Székely Péter és Leila