What to do when your suggestion is not wanted.

As I have written before, my pet peeve is the popular expression “no problem”. The ear hears “problem”.

A few days ago my colleague and I went to a lovely little place on Brock Street. You can sit outside and enjoy the weather, and watch cars roll through the stop sign. The pretty woman behind the counter was the same age as my eldest grandchild and had a fairly heavy accent.

Between my ordering an espresso and receiving it, she told me three times “no problem”. Since I was alone in the establishment, I suggested that she say “you are welcome” or “my pleasure” as it sounds so much nicer.

Well, did I get a talking to! She let me know in no uncertain terms that she does not go to my house and tell me what to do. And I have no right to tell her what to say. I waited until she was finished ranting, then I walked out and told my colleague what happened.

As I sipped my espresso, I realized it did not have enough sugar in it. A minute later I walked back inside. The girl and I stared at each other – I presumed she was ready for my comeback. I put the cup on the counter and very quietly and politely asked, “May I please have some sugar”. She poured some sugar into my cup and said, “No problem“. I walked out, never to come back again.

On one hand she was unbelievably rude to a paying customer. On the other hand I should have remembered, that unless I am in a teaching session, I should not say anything. At the end of the day, it is not my business what she says and how she expresses herself. The only choice I have is to not revisit. Too bad … it was a really cute corner bodega.

Have you had experiences similar to this?

Upcoming Workshops

Tiny Tots
Ages 6 to 7
Workshops run 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. (unless otherwise stated)
Sunday, August 8
Sunday, August 22
Saturday, September 18
100 Dowling Avenue, Toronto
$30; $50 for two students

Kidiquette
Ages 8 to 12
Workshops run 10 a.m. to 12 noon (unless otherwise stated)
Sunday, August 8 – one spot left
Sunday, August 22
Saturday, September 18
100 Dowling Avenue, Toronto
$40; $70 for two students

Teen Etiquette
Ages 13 to 17
Workshops run 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (unless otherwise stated)
Saturday, August 7 – one spot left
Saturday, August 28
Saturday, September 25
100 Dowling Avenue, Toronto
Includes three course lunch,
an 10-page workbook and a quiz
$175; $295 for two students

Adult Etiquette
Workshops run 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (unless otherwise stated)
By appointment for private session.
Saturday, August 14 – two spots left
Sunday, August 15 – full
Saturday, August 21
Saturday, September 11 – one spot left
100 Dowling Avenue, Toronto
Includes three course lunch,
an 11-page workbook and a quiz
$150 for university students
$295, $450 for two persons

Meals & Manners
A three-hour session for larger groups, at least ten persons.
Includes three course lunch or dinner.
Please call to discuss.

What People Are Saying

What the heck is Zoom?
– Tom

You’re very inventive.
– Jerome Shore
The Coaching Clinic

Great tips! Especially the one about being present in the meeting and not checking your phone.
– Debbie Ross
Women’s Travel Network

It is so encouraging to see your lovely smile and uplifting suggestions. Your friendship and positivity means all the more when the pandemic separates us physically.
– Marilyn Field
Windrush Estate Winery

Good to hear from you again. Although I’m not comfortable with the use of Zoom, I do hold a virtual service every Sunday morning and some of the comments from your readers I have trouble with as well. Especially with asking people to mute their phones or to turn off other devices while listening. These are very helpful hints.
– Dawn Clarke

I loved the comments and have to look through my emails to find Part 1. I must have missed it! I also forwarded this to others.
– Barbara Onyskow

Nice to hear from you. Keep up the good work.
– Marlene George
Life, Wellness and Business Coach

Great Newsletter!
Thank you,
– Valerie Dooley