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To expect a (senior) colleague to say 'please' and/or 'thank-you'?

(52 Posts)
fadingfast Fri 06-Oct-17 15:36:28

For context, I don't report to this colleague. He has asked me to help with something that is strictly speaking beyond my remit but won't take long. I'm happy to help out colleagues, junior or senior when I can and most of them have the courtesy to manage a please/thank you when they email me. I'm honestly not expecting effusive gratitude for everything but this particular manager seems to think he is too important to bother with even basic manners. Or am I expecting too much?

Allthebestnamesareused Fri 06-Oct-17 15:51:33

In person yes I would expect a please and a tahnk you.

In an email possibly not if it was merely instructional.

eg. When you have done X can you do Y too.

I wouldn't necessarily expect a when you have done X please can you do Y thank you.

EnglishRose13 Fri 06-Oct-17 16:46:42

I hate poor manners and I've actually deleted emails from colleagues that don't contain please and/or thank you without actioning them.

I'm with you.

fadingfast Fri 06-Oct-17 17:06:11

I wouldn't go as far as deleting the email but I was really tempted to reply 'a please would be nice' but lost my nerve grin

Allthebest I really wouldn't expect both in a quick email but surely a 'could you do this and this, thanks'.

This particular colleague is known for being a twat (I think he has small-man syndrome). I just wish I was brave enough to pull him up on it.

ShirleyPhallus Fri 06-Oct-17 17:07:49

I've actually deleted emails from colleagues that don't contain please and/or thank you without actioning them

What a pain in the arse it must be to work with you if you take such extreme action to such a minor thing

Capricorn76 Fri 06-Oct-17 17:21:35

YANBU. I find this behaviour very rude and whilst I wouldn't delete the request, depending on how critical it was I'd either ignore it, put it to the bottom of my priority list or action the request but not bother to tell the requester so they have to chase me for an update.

Kids are taught to say please and thank you because one day they'll run into someone like me who takes basic manners very seriously and is in a key role which could make things difficult for them if they don't use manners.

LilaoftheGreenwood Fri 06-Oct-17 17:25:19

It's not a minor thing at all and I admire englishrose's refusal to deal with it. It goes far beyond an individual feeling a bit affronted, it creates an unpleasant culture which makes the work harder. Good manners cost nothing and are important social glue and professional grease.

EnglishRose13 Fri 06-Oct-17 17:30:47

It's a massive pain in the arse to work with me. How awful I am to have standards... 😂

londonmummy1966 Fri 06-Oct-17 17:31:39

I had a (very)senior partner like this at work and on one memorable occasion he asked me to give him something and on auto pilot (baby brain) I asked him "Have we forgotten the magic word?". It was months before my colleagues allowed me to live that one down............

ShirleyPhallus Fri 06-Oct-17 17:31:43

There is nothing to admire about passive-aggressively just deleting an email request for work because it hasn't got a please in it. Not doing the work is bad for the company, which is bad for you.

Why not just do it then raise it with the person.

Deleting the email and ignoring the work just because you didn't get a thank you is a much worse offence than not giving a thank you!

RavingRoo Fri 06-Oct-17 17:32:38

@englishrose - can’t do that in a real workplace otherwise you’ll get fired, but by all means lie as much as you want.

OP email communications are informal and increasingly are sent by busy people in a rush who need to get things done same as you. They may not have time to format an email correctly - but that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate your work. Just get the job done and move on - it’s not worth stressing over this.

ShirleyPhallus Fri 06-Oct-17 17:32:38

englishrose but your "standards" are detrimental to the company performance. How is that a good thing?

Secretsthatnevershouldbetold Fri 06-Oct-17 17:35:20

I dunno - it is possible to be perfectly polite making a request without saying please.

Who is being rude here:

A:"Oh, would you mind awfully just dropping this piece of paper on x's desk?"
B:"No. you didn't say please."

didnthappeninmyday Fri 06-Oct-17 17:38:43

I had a (very)senior partner like this at work and on one memorable occasion he asked me to give him something and on auto pilot (baby brain) I asked him "Have we forgotten the magic word?". It was months before my colleagues allowed me to live that one down............


OP it would depend on how the email was worded, if it was polite and a could you possibly do x y z I wouldnt notice the lack of p&q, but if it was a demand when it wasn’t my job then I might just not see it or put it to the bottom of the to-do pile

Tazerface Fri 06-Oct-17 17:45:57

I don't think it's minor at all. I often respond that I don't have capacity to support if they can't even be bothered to use basic manners. They cost nothing and you catch more flies with honey!

ShirleyPhallus Fri 06-Oct-17 18:14:55

Oh the irony of being rude to someone as payback for them not using manners....

zippydoodaar Fri 06-Oct-17 18:25:15

Who is he?

It's fairly standard for alpha males at the top of the tree to have no manners. Email replies usually consist of one word.

Not saying I agree with that but it's just the personality type.

PJBanana Fri 06-Oct-17 18:29:36

I hate the general acceptance nowadays that a lack of manners is just something we all have to put up with.

I always try to be polite in work, in person, on the phone or via email. It takes no effort at all. I don't go as far as not dealing with requests from those with no manners, but I'll certainly go the extra mile for those who say 'please' and 'thank you'.

OP, the person you've described sounds exactly like 90% of the people I work with. YANBU.

RavingRoo Fri 06-Oct-17 19:51:46

@PJBanana - senior managers have never been polite at work in the UK! Not 20 years ago when I started work, not 50 years ago when my mum did.

ethelfleda Fri 06-Oct-17 19:54:28

Doesn't matter if it's the bloody CEO - you should show people manners regardless of where you are in the pecking order!

Ttbb Fri 06-Oct-17 20:01:54

I would expect anyone to say please and thank you. If my three year old can do it then yourcollegue should know to do it too.

bungaloid Fri 06-Oct-17 20:23:53

I sometimes wonder about obsession with "manners". Strange that language evolves with fairly pointless bracketing words. It's just a word, who cares really. Language and tone can make a huge difference I accept but you should let that kind of stuff wash over you. Alternatively write a plugin for your email client that appends pleases and thank yous to all incoming emails so everyone appears lovely and friendly.

PJBanana Fri 06-Oct-17 21:01:13

@RavingRoo what a sweeping generalisation. In my experience many of the rudest people I work with are on a similar level to me. I've actually found in my current company that our senior management are generally polite and keen to show their appreciation for the very hard work that me and my colleagues do.

When I read threads like this I often wonder why people think it's ok to show no manners. Then I remember that it's those same people who are the ones who probably have none.

Tazerface Fri 06-Oct-17 21:47:21

@ShirleyPhallus are you saying my response is rude? confused

fadingfast Fri 06-Oct-17 22:55:03

The manager in question is very definitely alpha-male and I think his emails are designed to make people realise how important he is. To be honest it makes be begrudge doing anything for him and I certainly don't go out of my way to help him on the same way I do others who at least manage a cursory 'thanks'. I mean, honestly, it takes a second to type. Even our CEO can manage that.

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