The current crop of young clerks seems to be even less gracious than the last couple of generations. Back in the day, it used to be that clerks thanked customers for shopping at the store. Then it got to the point where clerks expected us to thank them for deigning to wait on us. Actually, we’re still to that point. I wish I could break myself of the habit of saying “thank you” to someone I just gave a fistful of dollars. But I was a touch rude today, so perhaps that offset the thanks.
The clerk, as they all do now, told me “Have a good one” in a bored tone as she handed me my change.
What does that even mean, “Have a good one?” So I asked her. She just stared at me as if I were Homo Unsapiens Unsapiens, then finally responded, “Day?”
So why not say “Have a good day”? “One” and “day” each have a single syllable, so these clerks are not saving any time by using “one” instead of the more concrete word. Perhaps it’s that “one” is comprised of soft sounds, and “day” is not, which might make it infinitesimally harder to say.
Oh, well, it’s not my world anymore. My world is one of precise speech, words that mean something, people who care not just about words but about those they come in contact even if only for a moment.
I suppose it’s foolish of me to waste time and words on such trivial matters as to the meaning of a meaningless phrase when the rest of the world is resorting to desperate measures and coping with trauma, but for the most part, you have to go where the day takes you and deal with day you are dealt.
And the hand I’ve been dealt today is a good one. It’s such a beautiful day that even a barely civil clerk couldn’t ruin it.
The day after tomorrow is Memorial Day. If you’re travelling this weekend, please take it easy.
And if you want to play a silly game, count how many movies titles I used in this blog.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.
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