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Don't call me guest.


I am thinking about the most minor and insignificant of annoyances that pop up when what was once the common and the usual, shifts to a new code of unfamiliar nonsense.

At the moment, my pet peeve is being called a “guest” as in “next guest” at my local drugstore. Really? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines guest as a person entertained in one’s house. Since Duane Reade is not an abode, and I am not visiting to be entertained, I am hardly a guest. I am merely someone who has stopped by to drop money on assorted sundries.

But my question is: when and why did my “customer” status morph into guest-dom? Did some marketing wizard send out a memorandum:

To all Employees:

Profits can be increased 50% if our paying public feels warm and cozy!

Give them the feeling that they are entering our living room!

Make them feel special and connected to the cashier.

They are our GUESTS!

But I do not want to be a guest. I just want to be told I’m next in line so I can move on. And get out of the drugstore.