Saturday, February 16, 2013

Automatic Teller Machine Machine?

Diebold Opteva 562 ATM (Automatic Teller Machi...
Diebold Opteva 562 ATM (Automatic Teller Machine). With an extrange expansion on the side. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I thought we were really past this, yet I keep hearing terms that make me cringe! Right up front, I'll say I've had it with the following: "slippery slope," "been there, done that," and "ATM machine"--particularly this one! And how many times during the course of a day do we thank someone and are told that it’s “no problem”?

OK, folks, how long does it take for one to realize that ATM stands for Automatic Teller Machine? So why would people continue to refer to it as “Automatic Teller Machine machine”? Baffles me.

And what, may I ask, constitutes a “slippery slope”? I’m almost afraid to venture out wherever there might be some hilly country where it might not serve my best interests. Seems to me it borders on the lewd and lascivious.

And to be really blunt, I’ve had it with “been there, done that” as well. First, I really don’t care much if someone has experienced the same thing, event, feeling, incident, etc., previously, and I find it rather annoying whenever I hear “been there, done that” as a follow-up comment about something I’ve said. It adds nothing to the conversation.

Taking another tack in this world of word usage that annoys me, I must say that anyone who answers “no problem” to my “thank you,” is really treading on thin ice! I’m not sure where this all began, but it has truly grown quite annoying exponentially for the past several years. Once, as very young students way back long ago, we were taught to say “You’re welcome” when someone thanked us for something. Seems pretty clear to me, and I don't know why that simple response needs to be anything else.

Call me old-fashioned or whatever, but saying “You’re welcome” seems to be very clear-cut and respectful. On the other hand, “No problem” seems to cheapen the act and takes away from the person doing the “thanking.” It’s as though the person being thanked has gone  out of his or her way—at great sacrifice—and provided some kind of good deed or service.
And something that always seems to go hand-in-hand with the “no problem” reply is the phrase “there ya go…” offered up usually by the window person, handing us our change and/or food, at McDonald's, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, or any other drive-through facility. I really wouldn’t mind this part so much if only it were accompanied by the aforementioned “thank you” instead of the “no problem.” 

Call me simply a grouchy and grumpy old guy, and I’ll live with it. What I find even worse, however, on my various forays and adventures through the many drive-through’s is a complete failure by the window person to offer any kind of response at all! Not a “thank you,” “here ya go,” or “no problem.” They merely take my money, send me to the next window, and quickly hand me my order in silence.

At times like these, however, I make it a great point to shout out “You’re Welcome!” It often draws stares and quizzical looks from the Einsteins behind the glass as they have no inkling as to what I mean. Fact is, I know exactly what I mean and I feel better about things, even though, at the same time, I wonder what kind of higher-level management there is in this particular franchise. Is there no training in the area of proper etiquette at these places? 

Alas, I write it off as just one more brick that is being eroded out of our wall of society and the way things are supposed to be. Sad, isn’t it…MLA

Drive Up Window
Drive Up Window (Photo credit: David Gallagher)

No comments:

Post a Comment