As Brits we hate not to express gratitude – for pretty much everyone. And everything. It's well known that we spend half of our lives apologising, but for every sorry, there is definitely a thank you. Here are just a few times we say thank you, wholly unnecessarily.
1 Saying thank you after getting frisked at airport security
Are you sure you enjoyed the encounter so much that it warranted a grateful sign off? Maybe you did and in that case crack on. Is that a bottle of water over 100ml in your pants or any you just glad to see us?
2 Saying thank you to the bouncer who just upturned the entire contents of your handbag
Cheers to him and his turnip fingers for messing up the orderly contents of your clutch so that it will never close again.
3 Saying thank you to the lady you just gave up your seat on the tube for
You have certain verbal reflexes and this is one of them. Think of it as overly polite Tourettes.
4 Saying thank you to the parking warden who just issued you a ticket
There should be NO gratitude in receiving fines – plus, you really WERE just popping in. Still, here you are using gratitude as a handy tool to wriggle us out of another awkward social exchange.
5 Saying thank you for your bosses' 'constructive criticism'
Feedback may be key to progress but is there really any need to show your appreciation for an appraisal that left you crying in the loo for half an hour. Alas, you apply that bandage of gratitude and get on with your day.
6 Saying thank you after waiting over an hour for your food in a restaurant
"Thanks, ta, cheers, ta, thanks, ta, cheers". Pick one of each for the waitress using tortoise moves to and from your table.
7 Saying thank you exiting the bus from the middle door
The driver wasn’t actually there but we’re sure your gratitude was noted by a higher being.
8 Saying thank you at the end of a cold call
Or more specifically ‘Cheers! Thanks! Bye!’. Thank you ever so much for having the courtesy to phone me and let me know I might have PPI to claim that I definitely don't have. I jolly well hope you phone again.
9 Saying thank you at the end of an email
This is actually a warning that you are angry and they should hurry up with the task in hand. Like much of being British, it’s all very passive aggressive.
10 Saying thank you back to the person you just held the door open for
It’s these sorts of involuntary reactions which make the Americans think we are bumbling twits and gets Hugh Grant parts in films.
11 Saying thank you for every bag at the supermarket check out
Substitute a couple with "ta" and hope they don't notice you're a over appreciative twit.
And a couple where you really should say thank you…
Receiving a compliment
Please don’t be as British as to go all defensive offensive with blabbering of ‘Oh THIS old thing? It’s only from (insert name of budget retailer)’. It sounds a bit well, American but there really is something empowering about fully accepting a compliment - EMBRACE IT!
For good service
Make like our cousins across the pond and don’t just think it, say it. Who knows? You might just make someone's day. Although yeah, they'd probably prefer a tip.
Featured image: TimeInc.com