Not a problem

At first I was understandably reluctant to ask the waitress for a glass of water with our cappuccino, but then I took the plunge and made the request.

She took it very well, I thought and when she assured me it was “not a problem” I wiped my fevered brow with relief. After all, the last thing in the world that I would like to do is to cause her a problem. I was tempted to ask her if it was really not a problem or was she just being self-sacrificing by pouring the glass of water and placing it in front of me.

On reflection, however, I thought it was best not to ask her what problem she had envisaged in the first place regarding the request. I concluded that perhaps it would be a problem for some people but that, in fact, being the accomplished waitress that she was, her talents would not be stretched too far if I were to request a glass of water.

She had already reassured us that it was not a problem to bring us the menu. Not a problem to take our order. Not a problem to bring us a knife and fork wrapped up in a paper serviette and not a problem when we asked for the menu again before ordering coffee.

Indeed, I have never seen a person who insisted on sharing her feelings about the lack of problems as much as this lovely young girl did. It made me feel so happy to observe how she managed to get through the entire ordeal without a solitary problem.

When we left the restaurant, we expressed our gratitude and that’s when she changed her response to “No worries.” Now I’m really perplexed. What worries did she have that are gone or is she simply informing us that she hasn’t a care in the world? What was left for me to say but “I’m glad to hear it.”

It’s better than the usual grunt, I suppose, but I definitely could do with less sharing of feelings in the service industry. After all, all I asked for was some food and drink, not a cure for global warming…

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