These days in Australia, when café owners and waitstaff approach you at your table with your coffee order, they often say ‘thank you’ before they’ve even set them down or you’ve had the chance to thank them for the beverages. Shouldn’t the patron be saying ‘thank you’ in this moment, or is this a confirmation of the staff’s gratefulness for the patron’s decision to order from the establishment? This is after the five instances of thanking during the transaction at the counter, passing money and receipts back and forth.
It feels like we’re still in some sort of post-colonial, über-British vortex of meaningless courtesy. Let’s all say ‘thanks’ once and move on.