Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Have a nice day!

A while ago I'm So Fancy wrote about American's and their compulsion to say, 'Have a nice day.' This is something I'm definitely guilty of doing. She laments that non-American's find it fake and insincere, I take offense to that. When I tell someone to have a nice day, I mean it.

My women's club hosted a nearly new sale this weekend. I was on the committee and we worked for months to make it all happen. It was a huge success... but I digress. I was in charge of keeping the check-out queue moving smoothly so I spoke to hundreds of folks in line. Everyone was lovely and I must have said, 'Have a nice day' dozens of times. I meant it every time.

Until 'he' showed up. We spoke briefly, as he was trying to push ahead and I asked him to stay behind the line until a cashier opened up. I tried to engage in small talk, 'How'd you make out?' 'Find anything good?' etc. etc. He wasn't having any of it. A cashier opened up and I pointed it out and moved aside so he could get past. And then I said, 'Thanks for coming. Have a nice day.' He looked over his shoulder and rolled his yes stating, 'Americans!'

I wanted to kick him square in the arse but I said, 'Or not. Your choice.' And smiled. I think he hated me just a little more. Whatever!

What's wrong with saying something nice to someone? Sincere or not it still beats a sharp stick in the eye, no?

I actually found it amusing and wasn't about to let his bad mood get to me. But should I cool the 'have a nice day'? I never even thought about it until I read Fancy's post.

17 comments:

  1. Well done, you're so quick thinking! A perfect response!

    It's just occurred to me that often when I drop my son at school in the mornings, I might have a little chat with another mum or a member of staff from my son's class. I often close the conversation with wishing them a nice day, just as I do my son, and I absolutely mean it. If an American says it to me, I always think it's a lovely thing to say, it doesn't bother me at all. Just goes to show you care! I always think these little things can go a long way in making someone's day nice.

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  2. And come to think of it, if I chat to anyone at school hometime, I wish them a nice evening.

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  3. Maybe it's just the British who don't say "Have a nice day." I hear it all the time from Aussies.

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  4. I think it's one of those things that if you are used to it, you appreciate it. What you said here sounded fine, and he was rude! As a Brit, where I find I get flustered is in shops/cafes - I'm don't know you, Starbucks man, I'm not going to tell you my life story just give me my coffee-but the occasional "have a nice day" can brighten up a morning.

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  5. Very quick! i think you're absolutely right, it's great to have a little bit of positivity.

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  6. I was so tired of it that at one point I would reply, "Thanks, but I have other plans." I'm a bad boy I know.

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  7. Ladies, thanks for the support. James - you're a rebel! Love it.

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  8. Good come back; I'd have just stood there trying to think of something pithy and cutting to say. And failing.

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  9. I always tell people to have a nice day/evening. I tell the grocery store cashier, random student loan person on the phone, whomever.

    If anyone ever rolled their eyes at me I'd TOTALLY have a go at them. I don't think the Scottish are as anti-American as the English and in general Scots are very friendly.

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  10. What a rude man - you seem to be encountering quite a few of them in London! I think a lot of Brits think of it as being insincere and fake, but how was he to know you did not genuinely wish him a nice day? I like your retort.

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  11. I must have looked completely baffled when a British friend described a trip to New York when the most annoying bit, for her, was everyone telling her to have a nice day. She was cursing under her breath by the end of the trip. I think they think it is bossy. Love the comeback. I'll have to remember that.

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  12. Nah! Keep at it. The "cheers!" drives me nuts here. Maria xx

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  13. ARGH!!!!!! You should have introduced your shoe to his arse. :-)

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  14. If you follow the logic, we should all stop saying good morning as well. Same difference.

    But some people just prefer the stick in the eye!

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  15. I always say: "Have a good one! " When saying goodbye Kiwi always say "Cool!". its an addictive little sign-off.

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  16. No way! If you are being sincere, say it! The thing is, we may live in another country but we are still Americans and shouldn't have to change everything about ourselves, particularly not the polite, nice, and sincere bits. I find that the nice open Brits appreciate my Americanness particularly when it's clear I am being truly sincere in hoping they do have a nice day. Keep on being you!

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  17. Thank you for all your comments. Saying 'have a nice day' is here to stay. I can't help it - it just comes out. Ah well. I'll make a conscious effort to NOT say it if I don't mean it!

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Go ahead, make my day!