When someone thanks you, do you respond with “you’re welcome,” or the more informal “no problem”? I was amused by a recent Salon column by Matt Zoller Seitz in which he rages against the use of “no problem” these days. To him, when a cashier says “no problem,” he feels the urge to respond, “I know it’s not a problem, it’s your job.”
This may seem like splitting hairs, but I was once talking to a career expert who advised young professionals to avoid saying “no problem,” because it implies that there might have been a problem. On a personal level, the word “no” has a negative connotation, while “you are welcome” is positive and inviting.
My advice? Try to stick with “you’re welcome,” especially if you’re speaking with older individuals. It just sounds more professional!