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Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?

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Steve Kownacki
Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 12:43:09 pm

This phrase has bothered me for about a month now and I just can't let it go.

Being self-employed for almost 19 years now, I work very hard to earn every bit of respect from my clients. They hire us (any company)to do a job and that in itself shows immense trust. I don't do video to earn awards; the reward is a satisfied client and seeing their program/video/media doing it's intended purpose be it train employees or sell services. And if I do that right, they come back - what better trophy than that?

Now to my point - I have NEVER said "you're welcome" to a client. (Well maybe after I buy them lunch with what is essentially their money) They are paying me, I am doing my job. What give's me the right to say "you're welcome"? I appreciate them sooooo much, when they say Thank You, my response is thank you. I don't even say you're welcome to jobs I do for free.

So I have this producer along with me - I hired him for my job, I was paying the bills - and after a long day of interviews, I said "nice job, thanks". He said "you're welcome" - quite matter-of-factly. I stopped breathing. What?!!? Like I couldn't have done it without him. Maybe I'm being a little ridiculous, but I would have preferred his appreciation for me hiring him and him giving me - the customer - a big "thanks for giving me the job". I'm not being holier than thou, I just thought I would get a little of the respect I show to my clients. And guess what, I'm the customer to many freelancers; and yes, the good ones buy me lunch at times. Freelancers are vendors and need to work to get business the same as production companies work to earn client/jobs.

I suppose this mild rant would have eventually left my mind, but I was in Best Buy the other day picking up some drives and after the sale and I said "thanks" to the cashier, and then I heard it.... "you're welcome." DOH!

So maybe this has some message here: Ya better always choose your words wisely; be appreciative of the work you have; respect others. Or you won't have work next week.



Steve



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Mike Cohen
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 2:13:46 pm

Good post. Your thanks as a vendor is your payment. If a client does say thanks, thank them right back, or say "thanks for the business."

As a vendor, you should be saying thanks all the time. Be grateful for the work, but don't over do it.

If I have a really appreciative client, I may say "my pleasure" or "thanks for the compliment" or "nice feedback" because usually it is not a "thank you" but rather "the video was a big hit, thanks" or "I got the DVD and the CEO loves it, good job."

As for my vendors (narrators, designers, etc) they say thanks all the time, to which I reply, "thanks for your good work." And I will thank them when they send me Harry and David fruit baskets, but that doesn't happen much these days. I did get some nice swag from our freelance book designer however.

It all comes down to knowing your client or vendor. Know their culture, know their nuances of behavior.

Mike Cohen



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Mark Suszko
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 2:55:26 pm

Perhaps they are just reacting instinctively to a respose due to a lifetime of conditioning to be polite. Most of the time in public conversations, those two phrases automatically go together. So maybe you're reading too much into that. When clients thank me, I usually respond with something like "you're welcome; it was a fun project to work on, I hope we get to do something like this for you again soon". Or I find some other "and" to put along with the "You're Welcome".

Be careful reading intent out of innocuous things people just blurt out. You may be imposing extra meaning where there was none meant. Like the old adage: "never ascribe to planned evil, that which can also be explained by simple stupidity".

Have a good day.
("HEY! DON'T tell me what kind of a day to have!!!")

"Oh, you wanted to RECORD that?"


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Roy Schneider
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 3:49:29 pm

I think I agree with Mark. Let's try not to overthink this it is a conditioned response, and a courteous on as well. I do get your initial point, but would not overthink it.
Roy

Roy Schneider
Long Live Da Cow!


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grinner hester
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 2:55:04 pm

"you're welcome" closes a conversation wheras "thank you as well, when will I see you again?" begins one that helps your bottom line.
I hear ya. I say you're welcome when someone is welcome to somthing I give away, not when I trade services for currency. I thank em for that.



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Jeremy Doyle
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 3:36:49 pm

Personally if I tell someone "thank you" it really annoys me if they thank me back. I'm thanking you for a reason, it's Ok to accept it and and say you're welcome. Accept the thanks unconditionally. I'm not saying it to get thanked back.

Even if you are "just doing your job" its Ok to accept a thank. I was raised the the appropriate way to accept a "thank you" is to say "you're welcome"

It's so engrained in me that I actually have a hard time understanding why it bothers you.



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Todd Terry
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 3:47:41 pm

It all reminds me of this old Marx Brothers routine in one of their movies (I think it might have been "Duck Soup"... not sure), where Groucho and Margaret Dumont kept thanking each other in real fast increasingly aggressive patter...

Margaret: "Thank you."
Groucho: "Thank you."
Margaret: "Thank you."
Groucho: "Thank you!"

Pretty funny.

We do always thank clients and tell them we appreciate their business. In just casual everyday conversation I think I personally probably say something like "Our pleasure, thank you." But I'm not really sure as I don't even think about it. Or get worked up about it.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Steve Kownacki
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 3:55:33 pm

Hmmmmm.......

Thank you for all the great responses.

Steve



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Mark Suszko
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 5:33:39 pm

"Just what do you MEAN by "thank-You!?!?!"

Go ahead, say that to my face once more! :-)

I'm raising young teens at home right now and every day is a struggle to try and ingrain these conditioned responses in them, so they will someday stand apart from and above their uncouth peers and competitors in life. Certainly I'm no etiquette expert but so far I haev them mostly waiting and opening and holding doors for women or others older than them at church or the store or the like. It really feels like a dying art sometimes.

We're meeting the inlaws at a restaurant, and I and my boys stand up when Grandma arrives at the table, and we wait for her to be seated before we sit back down. Even grandma is like: "What are you all standing up for, you going someplace?"

"We're standing for YOU". My kid points out.

Grandma is flabberghasted that chivalry is still somewhat alive. Especially from her son-in-law's side:-) We just grin. I'm grinning because I can see, from the corners of my vision, the folks at the tables nearby seeing this and marveling, turning to wach other and going:"why don't OUR kids have manners like that? What's the trick?".

I say to myself: "because you have to WORK at it."





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grinner hester
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 4:19:07 pm

it bothers me when I hold the door open for a lady at 7eleven and she doesn't say thank you.
I'd return that with a you're welcome and often still offer it when they ignore the kind gesture.



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Mike Smith
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 3:51:25 pm

Have a nice day!



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walter biscardi
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 4:00:05 pm

[Steve Kownacki] "So maybe this has some message here: Ya better always choose your words wisely; be appreciative of the work you have; respect others. Or you won't have work next week. "

When folks thank me I usually respond with "My pleasure" usually followed up with "would you like another espresso?"



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Dino Vince
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 8:10:09 pm

let's open another bottle of worms (yes, I have tequila on my mind). Don't you hate when you tell someone 'thank you' and they say 'no problem'? That drives me nuts. It's as if they're inferring, "You're lucky....it's no problem this time, but it could have been a problem, etc."


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Nick Griffin
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 8:14:54 pm

You guys have too much time on your hands if stuff like this is really a concern. Or is it just a slow summer day?

I'm in the thanking them back camp but really don't mind if someone says "you're welcome."


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Bob Zelin
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 10:00:08 pm

I agree with Nick. I actually thought that this was a "joke" thread.
I am the rudest, most inconsiderate, disrespectful person on Creative Cow, and when someone hands me a check AND says "thank you" - you bet your behind that I say "YOU ARE WELCOME". And I also say "and if anything goes wrong, make sure to call me right away" (because I can't wait to give you another bill).

Bob Zelin




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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 10:12:25 pm

[Bob Zelin] "And I also say "and if anything goes wrong, make sure to call me right away" (because I can't wait to give you another bill)."


Bob, don't forget the Golden Word: "Please...I can't wait to give you another bill, please."

;)




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Mark Suszko
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 29, 2009 at 11:05:10 pm

"My father thanks you, my Mother thanks you, I thank you...


... and my 30-year-old boat thanks you, please come back soon."

"Oh, you wanted to RECORD that?"


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Bob Cole
Problem with No Problem
on Jul 30, 2009 at 1:44:49 am

Okay Nick and Bob Z, I get your points about this thread, but I couldn't resist when I saw Dino's post.

[Dino Vince] "Don't you hate when you tell someone 'thank you' and they say 'no problem'?"

You've hit on one of my pet peeves. I agree with you, Dino. (btw, we're not alone; Garrison Keillor wrote a funny bit on this for one of his Prairie Home Companion shows.)

I really hate it when a waiter/waitress says it. "No problem" implies, "Yes, bringing you this plate COULD have been a problem, but as your waiter I'll forgive you for this incredible lack of consideration on your part, just this once."

I think in Spain there's a similar but better phrase: "de nada," meaning, "It was nothing; don't mention it." I still prefer a pleasant "You're welcome," or "My pleasure."

Steve, while I can't share your ire about people who say "you're welcome," I guess you're entitled to your pet peeve -- just don't reply, "No problem."

Bob C



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Chris Blair
Re: Problem with No Problem
on Jul 30, 2009 at 2:04:06 am

Wow...where I live, if someone just responds to me thanking them I'm usually impressed. None of the responses people list as peeves would bother me in the least. Most people don't even think about what they're saying and whatever they spout out has been ingrained in them since they were kids.

I truly don't think anyone responds with "you're welcome" or "no problem" or even with a "thank you" in response to your "thank you" to imply much of anything other than an attempt to be polite. I'd have to be having a pretty shitty day to let that get under my skin!

Like Bob...when clients hand me a 5 figure check...they can put me in ceremonial garb, spank me with a paddle and make me say "Thank you sir may I have another!" if that's what they want to hear.

I think it's perfectly A-Ok for a vendor to tell you "you're welcome" if you thank them for the work they've done. I rarely thank a vendor...but when one does a particularly good job and goes above and beyond what their fee dictates, I often send them words of thanks...and I often talk them up in forums and in conversations with colleagues as a show of appreciation. Good service, good people and good companies are in short supply. They deserve to succeed and I don't mind helping them along if they've gone out of their way to do right by me.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Mark Alexander
Re: Problem with No Problem
on Jul 30, 2009 at 3:46:56 am

Dear Abby,

A client of mine recently said "thank you". I was paralyzed with fear because I recently read online that it could be insulting to say "you're welcome". Is this true? Now I'm afraid that soon someone will utter those two dreaded words again. What should I say? What should I do? Please help before it's too late!

Signed: "Grateful" in So Cal.



Mark


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Steve Kownacki
Re: Problem with No Problem
on Jul 30, 2009 at 11:12:24 am

Bob, your thoughts here are more along the line with what I'm talking about. I want to not look at this from the provider's or business owners perspective - I'm really talking about being the customer in this instance. And you politely and respectfully thank your server, their response should not be "no problem" nor even "your welcome" but "may I get you anything else"? They should have the response of the vendor.

Hey Mark, you keep working on those kids! Long live chivalry and just plain courtesy.

I must work now. Or sleep or something.

Steve



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Michael Hancock
You shouldn't thank anyone in business...
on Jul 30, 2009 at 12:36:55 pm

[Steve Kownacki] "you politely and respectfully thank your server, their response should not be "no problem" nor even "your welcome" but "may I get you anything else"? They should have the response of the vendor."

Basically, you're paying them to do a job so they should be thanking you, right? In that case, you shouldn't be thanking them at all! After all, you're paying them and that's their thanks. By adding thanks on top of the payment you're inviting a response, and saying they've gone beyond the minimum requirements to earn that paycheck.

So if they've done more than the minimum and you thank them, they absolutely should say "Your welcome" if they want. After all, they've already receive the typical thanks in the form of a paycheck. If you don't want people to say "you're welcome", just don't thank them.

I always thank my clients (especially the good ones) for bringing me work and being a pleasure to work with (usually). If they thank me in return for doing a standup job I reply "You're welcome. It was fun. Let's do it again, soon." I've never had anyone complain that I accepted their thanks. It's common courtesy to do so.

As far as "No problem"... It doesn't imply it might have been a problem. Saying thanks can be interpreted as "Thank you for going out of your way to satisfy me as a customer". Saying 'No problem' can just as easily be interpreted as 'No problem, it was my pleasure to do my job for your money.'

Don't read too much into this.

Michael

-------------------------------
I'll be working late.


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grinner hester
Re: You shouldn't thank anyone in business...
on Jul 30, 2009 at 3:33:57 pm

If people wanted honesty, they'd stay home with their spouses.
When someone asks me a questoin that translates to "is it a problem to change every freakin name key we just speant all damn day making?", they really are not asking me if it's a problem so much as telling me to get at it in a nice way. I respond with "nooo problemo" not because I'm a liar or even respectful but because I get paid by the hour to aid in the changing of minds of powers that be but have never done it. Same thing with you're welcome. They are always welcome to waste time at my hourly rate. It's what I do. If it irritated me, I'd become a producer and get paid for shopping as my editor made my shows.



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Simon Stutts
Re: You shouldn't thank anyone in business...
on Jul 31, 2009 at 1:36:38 am

[grinner hester] "If it irritated me, I'd become a producer and get paid for shopping as my editor made my shows."

Zing! :-)


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cowcowcowcow
Bruce Bennett
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 30, 2009 at 5:12:22 am

Hey Steve,

I have found that some people say "You're welcome" to deal with anxiety. Some say it while trying to pack up as quickly as possible (and try their best to save me money), Some say it because they haven't figured me out since it's the first time we've worked together. And some say it because if they didn't, their parents would beat them silly no matter how old they are.

If they did a great job, fagetta 'bout it. If their work speaks louder than their words, hire them again:)

Just my thoughts…
Bruce


Bruce Bennett
Bennett Marketing & Media Production, LLC


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Bill Davis
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 30, 2009 at 4:39:47 pm

Unbelieveable that this thread hit such a chord.

I'm generally in the "It's an automatic response - pretty meaningless - get over it" column.

However, since we're all so intent on parsing every smidgen of meaning out of the original interchange - here's some grist for the conversational mill...

What does it say about YOU that you got upset at his clearly extremely typical response? Actually, more specifically, what does it say about your "feelings" about that particular client? The amateur psychologist in me thinks you probably don't feel particularly comfortable with this "producer" and has a smidgen of resentment about his taking the "you're welcome" credit. So since it's your business and your call, go ahead and feel free to demote him or her to the B-list of folks you want to work with in the future.

I say this because if the relationship with him RESONATED with you properly, you would never have questioned the "you're welcome" in the first place.

May be telling you something subtle about them.

Or maybe in his brain, it's like it is for me when someone says "hello" in a foreign language. If I know the proper response - I'll gladly parrot it as a form of respect - tho half the time I'm clueless as to what the actual translation of my response is.

And so it goes. (small tribute to the late Linda Ellerby for those old enough to understand)



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Todd Terry
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 30, 2009 at 4:48:25 pm

[Bill Davis] "And so it goes. (small tribute to the late Linda Ellerby for those old enough to understand)"

If Linda reads this forum (highly doubtful), I hope she isn't too shocked to learn of her demise. :)



T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Are vendors allowed to say "you're welcome"?
on Jul 30, 2009 at 6:11:41 pm

[Bruce Bennett] "I have found that some people say "You're welcome" to deal with anxiety."

While I have little doubt that this may in some cases be true, most people say "thank you" and "you're welcome" in an attempt at courtesy -- I have linked the word for your convenience.

The root of the word comes from the meaning of "courtly manner or bearing." You did not come into the court of a great monarch without "courtly manner" -- that is, a gracious disposition and bearing that acknowledged the courtesy they were extending you (and so it was returned).

But in a world (to quote Don LaFontaine) where self-esteem has gone rampant and people think that they are far greater than everyone else around them, how can courtly manner survive?

I like the world of Disney's Chip and Dale, thank you. Now they had it right. ;)

Here at Creative COW, all of the people that work here exchange civility on an ongoing basis. We use please, thank you and congratulatory phrases regularly. All of us treat one another with a lot of courtesy and courtly bearing and it helps us to forge a team that out competes billion dollar publishers with a handful of people. We are constantly cheering one another along. It fuels a strong loyalty and comradery and maximizes our productivity because of the unity it produces. Why? Because we are huge fans of one another and we acknowledge that quite regularly. Everyone around here has said many times over the years that this is the best place they have ever worked.

Courtesy. Courtly manner. It goes a lot further and produces far more than this modern pseudo-equality that is little more than the gimme-mine-before-I-give-you-yours (but not a penny more) mindset.

Ron Lindeboom


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