Lately, Birdie had been noticing how people responded to “Thank you”. Birdie’s mother had taught her to answer with “You’re welcome” whenever someone gave her a thank you. So, of course, that was the proper response. Anything else was inferior. If someone told you “thank you”, you should not reply with “Sure”, “You bet”, or even a polite but incorrect “Thank YOU.”
The most prevalent inappropriate response, which usually came out of the mouths of young men who were waiting tables, was “No problem”. Birdie was always tempted to ask what kind of problem could possibly arise with the refilling of a water glass.
“Look, lady, I’m not feelin’ like bringing any more water out to the table. I’ve brought you one glass–with ice–and that is my limit. Now, if you come up with anything else you want, think it over real good before you ask for it, because I’m already fed up with you and your demands.”
The waitress refills Gerald’s coffee cup, and he says, “Thank you.”
“Not a problem.” the waitress replies.
Birdie imagines the waitress going on to explain, “We had this great idea to make extra coffee today and keep it brewing in case anyone wanted refills, and I just found out that part of my job description is to give refills on coffee, so as it turns out, it’s no problem. If you had come in yesterday…well, it would have been a problem.”