I had written recently about two phrases that we should eliminate from our normal language — “congratulations” and “good luck”. I explained that these phrases don’t reflect the effort that is put towards doing a job or accomplishing something; that we should recognize the work put towards getting something done.
Here is another phrase that I would like to see removed from our common language — “no problem”.
What exactly does no problem mean? That there was a problem and it is not there any more? Or that it’s usually a problem but this time it’s not? Or that you may think that there’s a problem but I’m telling you that there is no problem?
Either way, it indicates that somewhere or the other that there was a problem that needed to be rectified. But is this is really a case? Don’t we use “no problem” in cases where there should not have been any problems?
For example, if you go to purchase something or ask information and you say “thanks” and the clerk replies “no problem”. What does that mean? It shouldn’t be a problem! I don’t expect it to be a problem. It’s your job. You have to answer my questions or sell me stuff.
Instead we should start replacing that phrase with “my pleasure”, “it’s my pleasure” or “you’re welcome”. Why do we seem to always indicate that there is a problem in doing something for someone?
Let us not insinuate that there was a problem doing business with them and instead let others know that it’s always a pleasure to provide service to them.