August 01, 2005

Saying "Thank You."

There are generally two grocery stores that I go to, Harris Teeter and Food Lion. I detest Kroger, the prices are bad. I loathe Winn Dixie, the service is poor. I realized yesterday why Harris Teeter is my favorite. They are nice. They say thank you. They acknoledge you. That means alot, at least to me. Food Lion can be hit or miss, but Harris Teeter is always spot on nice.

I almost always use the do it yourself lane, and there is always an associate keeping an eye on things, ready to help in a heartbeat. When you are done, they say "thank you," and often include something like "have a nice evening."

Now, what gets me is that so many business (and people) do not say "thank you" anymore. Too often, it is the customer who is saying thank you, and the associate will say "you're welcome." Shouldn't that be the other way around? How did it become reveresed? When I go and get a cup of coffee, it isn't my job to say thanks. It is their job.

Now, I am, in Real Life, a polite person. I'll say thanks at a resteraunt, when I am buying something, and, when I get a cup of coffee (among others). I trump any possible "thank you" from the associate usually by saying it first. But, the proper response is not "you're welcome." They need to add something like "and, thank you" on to their "you're welcome," especially when I am leaving a tip.

People have forgotten the proper use of "thank you." The wrong people are saying it, and not getting the correct niceties back. Simple common courtesy. I'd pledge to never say thank you in situations such as getting a cup of coffee, but I know I'd break it in a heartbeat.

Posted by William Teach at August 1, 2005 08:26 AM | TrackBack

We do not have Harris Teeter but I am in love with Publix for the same reasons. You know the Publix and Winn Dixie in my town are maybe 2 miles apart...the employees at Publix are polite, helpful and courteous and the ones for Winn Dixie don't even know where the black olives are in their store. Same hiring base, Publix just obviously trains and emphasizes customer service better and more consistently than Winn Dixie...and they don't have those stupid discount cards!!! (Have I mentioned how much I hate those things?)

Posted by: jody at August 1, 2005 11:17 AM

Jody, I know how you feel. I'm a pretty polite person, too, but frankly, I'm getting a little bit fed up with thanking people for taking my money, too. The difference is, I've stopped being the one to say "thank you" first. If they don't say "thank you" to me, I won't say it back to them. It felt a little weird at first, because I DO have nice manners, but I'm now used to it. Now, I'm working on saying "you're welcome" even if they don't say "thank you" to me. That feels almost rude to me still, but so did the first step until I got used to it. I will keep at it until it feels right.

Great post, and good point!

Posted by: Gun-Toting Liberal at August 1, 2005 12:06 PM

That is a great way of putting it, GTL: "thanking people for taking my money." I used to do that "you're welcome" thing for awhile, but I found out that it was pissing me off for a longer time then if I hadn't. I would seethe on it.

Posted by: William Teach at August 1, 2005 12:39 PM

I have to take the opposite tack on this. I'm always surprised when customers thank me, but I am grateful. I try to go the extra mile for everybody, whenever I can, because it is my job nad I take pride in it. I'm probably unusual in this, but rest assured, were you to come to my store and thank me, I would be appreciative but still a little surprised.

Posted by: Nettie at August 2, 2005 12:35 PM

Our choices here are Winn Dixie, Albertsons and Publix. I hate Winn Dixie and Albertsons because they're both filthy and have such rude employees. Publix employess are very well trained and I can tell you that the courtesy in the company starts at the very top. The way the employees treat the customers is a reflection of the way they are treated. I think that's true of most companies these days.

What you get from the employee is very likely how they are treated by their managers and the managers in turn by their supervisors. I think it's symptomatic of corporations having lost respect for their employees and their customers.

If you are constantly treated rudely by customers at a store either quit shopping there or complain to the corporate office. Managers of stores these days are little more than glorified stock boys/girls with little power to discipline employees.

Posted by: Janette Stripling at August 2, 2005 01:25 PM
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