After yesterday’s rant, it seems only fair to report that we had an email from a satisfied customer today. He was impressed with the quality of packing and the speed of the service. Sometimes we do get it right. We get positive feedback via eBay all the time but much of it is meaningless. It’s all part of the artificial “have a nice day” culture we have imported from the USA.
Along with Pollyanna and cosmetic dentistry, it has never caught on in Europe and reference to Wikipedia reveals that I’m not the only one who has negative feelings about the use of the phrase.
I had to laugh as I researched it. As with so many “new” “Americanisms” it comes from the UK, and is first recorded in 1205 and was frequently used by Chaucer in the 14th Century. However, there are many things in Chaucer that wouldn’t fit in the 21st Century, so that is not necessarily a recommendation. It’s amazing how many things turn out to be our fault.
Anyway – feedback on eBay is such that any average service (such as putting a properly described item in an envelope and sending it by post after taking money for it) is described as “positive”. Surely it is what you should expect and is more properly described as “normal”, “average” or (in modern eBay usage) “neutral”.
It is always nice to get a message from a happy customer, despite us just doing our job.
Then we had an email from a customer who we had refunded last week, much against our wishes, but he insisted instead of waiting. He told us the item had arrived and that he would like to pay for it. This is unusual. Normally they just keep it and ignore us.
The payment came in just before the end of the day. He is American, by the way. When I do the emails tomorrow morning, would it be hypocritical of me to thank him and tell him to have a nice day?
I am fascinated by your reference to our “Have a nice day.” culture. I had no idea that was how you felt about us. lol And regarding “Pollyanna” is it the gift giving Pollyanna you object to, or the stupidly optimistic attitude? I do like to know what gives offense. I’ll just sit here with my pretty teeth and await your reply. (Someone who doesn’t know me will be appalled to read this. I’m kidding of course.)
It’s the optimism. And the fact that my day will be the same whether the wish is uttered sincerely, or not, by a shop assistant. I am a shop assistant and as far as I know my views on the progress of the day are not factored into the activities of the Almighty, providence, fate or whatever else may control our day.
As for teeth, mine look like the gravestones in a neglected Victorian cemetery, but they still work and I only ever see them when I smile in a mirror.
Tee-hee! Not at all. As you noted, the phrase originated in the UK. 😉
It is a besmichment to the language of the Bard . . .
Yes, it would be hypocritical – then, of course, you wouldn’t do it 🙂 The paragraph on the origin of the phrase is fascinating
I was amazed by the depth of history behind it.
Some things come back like a bad penny. 🙂
We are an invasive species, for sure. 🙂
There is a song by Steve Kaufman, and flat picking and bluegrass musician, who wrote a great song called “Have A Nice Day” which makes your point quite well. It is on his “To The Lady” CD, track #4.
🙂 A fine song.
The continual Americanization of the Australian culture continues. Recently we have started using the phrase ‘first responders’. Not so long ago we would have been told that a passing stranger stopped and gave first aid until the police or ambulance arrived.
In the UK we now have ambulance personnel lurking by the roadside in marked cars in various locations. These are “first responders”. I suspect it is because we have fewer ambulance stations so they have to sprinkle themselves about to ensure a faster response. Effieciency? Economic? ho can tell?
You could just thank him warmly (good customer relations) and leave the quality of his day to him. I never take it well when people whom I don’t know ask me to enjoy the rest of my day.
Yes, I like good customer relations, believe it or not. 🙂