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Making another adult say please/thank you!

(174 Posts)
mummyhaschangedhername Thu 28-Feb-19 12:12:30

For clarity, I often have to shake myself because I say thank you so often and often at inappropriate times. Like those people how say "I love you" to customers or their boss, it a bit of a brain fart for me. My emails automatically Sign off Thanks as I use it so often.

Anyway. I help out at a school, I'm on the PTA and a Governor, but I also help out with whatever needs done and volunteer for most things going on there.

There is a new temporary office staff, I often have to ask her for things as we store PTA money in the office or to get keys etc. I usually use her name and will say something like, "can you do me a favour" and request what I need. She has three times stopped me and asked me what the magic word was and twice said "if you were a child I would be telling you to say please and thank you". For reference I do always say thank you anyway. But I am getting irked by being called out in an office for being impolite. One of the times she did this, I had just said "that's great, you're a star" and she still called me out on this.

All my kids reports always say how polite they are.

There is some undercurrents in the school so I am not sure if this is to do with this, but frankly I'm fed up of it. It happened so many times now. I'm in the school helping them out, all staff have to go ask to get stuff, I'm not making more work, In fact the opposite. As it is we "borrow" staff from other schools to support our office staff as there are some major issues going on, I am involved in some staff disciplinary actions and while I know the staff don't know the details I think they don't like me because of that. I don't care if she likes me or not, but she doesn't dare do it in front of senior leadership and I can see her smirk 😏 when she does it to me to the kitchen staff.

I guess I find it irking that an adult would instruct another adult in this manner. I am being grateful, I do say thank you, I can surely express gratitude my saying, "that's brilliant" or whatever without a script saying "please may I".

I'm not confrontational but looking for a funny reply that gets my point across but isn't too catty. Unless everyone actually believes AIBU and my conversations need to be scripted that that manner.

pallasathena Thu 28-Feb-19 12:15:02

When in Rome.....

CripsSandwiches Thu 28-Feb-19 12:16:30

YANBU. saying "that's great, you're a star" has exactly the same affect as a thank you. She's being patronising and rude herself.

Armadillostoes Thu 28-Feb-19 12:19:42

OP-Why not just be really direct with her next time? Tell her that th find it patronising and very rude!

Shockers Thu 28-Feb-19 12:19:59

Deliver all spoken requests with a cool please and thank you. Nothing else!

PuppyMonkey Thu 28-Feb-19 12:22:47

Could you respond with a “lol”?

Or a “soz, mum.”grin

LittleCandle Thu 28-Feb-19 12:23:48

I wouldn't be doing things for you if you didn't say please, either. Who are you that you think you are above saying that? And 'thanks, you're a star' is much better than just saying 'you're a star'. Perhaps you ought to give your head a wobble and realise that manners are important to everyone, not just children. Of course, the other person shouldn't be saying 'what's the magic word'. I would be far blunter than that.

buzzbobbly Thu 28-Feb-19 12:24:09

I usually use her name and will say something like, "can you do me a favour" and request what I need.

Why not kill two birds with one stone - make your request without making a request to make the request; and include the ps and qs at the same time:

"Annie, please give me the keys to the stationery cupboard, thanks"

Ribbonsonabox Thu 28-Feb-19 12:24:50

YANBU I'd just never say anything remotely like please and thankyou to her again tbh. But I am pretty passive aggressive! I'd not be pleased or thankful for anything she did. What a patronising dick!
Just up the commanding tone of your voice and look her dead in the eyes whilst doing it. And if she says what's the magic word say 'if you were a child I'd be telling you not to be so cheeky'
People like this get away with it due to your embarrassment and softer nature. Key is to stop caring about whether shes happy with you or not and to stop being embarrassed or ashamed. She is trying to make you feel like shit, she doesn't have a point really shes doing it out of spite. Saying 'that's great' or 'brilliant' is as good as saying actual thank you any other adult who wasnt trying to pick away at you would agree.

PregnantSea Thu 28-Feb-19 12:26:28

I would be tempted to completely ignore her when she says stuff like that, and walk away

ShadyLady53 Thu 28-Feb-19 12:26:32

I loved our office staff when I worked in schools but they were so used to having children and parents approach them demanding things, often quite rudely, that they'd automatically say things like "What's the magic word?" "Go away and think about how to politely ask for something then come back when you've figured it out" or "I am a person you know, a please and thank you would be nice". They must have seen me look shocked when I overheard the middle comment one day (I did think it was rude/abrupt) and they all started explaining, once the parent left, of how sick they were of being spoken to like dogs and of how rare it was for people to say please and thank you . I suspect it's a mixture of both the above and being on a huge power trip that's wrong with this woman.

For what it's worth, I'd say "Please can I ask a favour?" as clumsy as it sounds but I'd also probably make a point of saying, "I was about to say thank you but you didn't give me the chance before criticising me. I am a polite person, I have good manners and I've raised my children the same way. I am offended that you repeatedly talk to me as if I am a child because I, for example, say something like "you're a star", instead of "thank you". Please stop belittling me and attempting to embarrass me in front of other members of staff, your behaviour and attitude makes me feel very uncomfortable." And make sure you do it in front of a more senior member of staff!

GreenEggsHamandChips Thu 28-Feb-19 12:27:41

Manners cost nothing.

EyeOfTheTigger Thu 28-Feb-19 12:27:49

Or - shock, horror - you could actually say Please when you ask for the favour? Is it really so difficult to add that word on? Just because you say Thank You, doesn't mean you should omit a Please in the first place. Why do you dislike saying Please?

userschmoozer Thu 28-Feb-19 12:29:26

Yanbu, suggest assertiveness training to your employer. There shouldn't be any need for please and thank you every time.

Likethewind321 Thu 28-Feb-19 12:30:02

I would turn the whole thing into an in-joke. Try to appear good natured rather than catty. Whenever she gives you what you’ve asked for, say “THANK you very much Mrs Jones” with a smile and a wink.
Make it clear that you are indulging her desire for a specific wording, rather than deferring to her superior rules on ettiquette.

MaybeitsMaybelline Thu 28-Feb-19 12:30:31

I always say please, I think that’s normal.

MyKingdomForBrie Thu 28-Feb-19 12:32:15

I have to say I would just say please and thank you. It's a totally normal social convention. She shouldn't be reminding you but you should just be saying it anyway. 'You're a star' etc is a bit patronising to another adult in my opinion.

zzzzz Thu 28-Feb-19 12:33:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NCforthis2019 Thu 28-Feb-19 12:36:02

So your usually polite with your please and thank you’s however when it comes to her you don’t say please and thank you?

flooredbored Thu 28-Feb-19 12:37:49

To be honest, I think 'please' and 'thank you' would be the most appropriate for those situations. Personally, I find 'you're a star' quite patronising.

JassyRadlett Thu 28-Feb-19 12:38:26

I’d be tempted to go all Ron Swanson and append ‘please and thank you’ to the end of every request.

maras2 Thu 28-Feb-19 12:44:53

Why on earth could you just not say please or thank you? confused
It's just basic common courtesy.
Also who the heck says 'I love you' to the boss/customer etc?

DearTeddyRobinson Thu 28-Feb-19 12:47:03

Personally I find 'you're a star' a bit affected and annoying. Lending you a stapler doesn't make me a 'star'. Just say thank you.
However with this particular woman who sounds extremely annoying, I would just say please and thank you very coldly. 'Could you lend me a stapler please Janet?' No intervening chit chat, then, 'thank you for the stapler'. And walk away.

Ragwort Thu 28-Feb-19 12:47:28

Agree with floor, surely the good mannered thing to is to say ‘please may I ask you a favour and could you do ......’. And then say ‘thank you’.

I would also find ‘you’re a star’ patronising, I used to have a colleague who always said that to me instead of a simple ‘thank you’?

Normal adult social convention is to use the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Do you think you are being ‘edgy’ by not using those words? confused.

My pet hate is ‘are you all right there’ in shops or restaurants rather than a polite ‘how may I help you’ ... not quite the same as your points but irritating when people don’t use the normal, correct phrase.

(& I can still remember my grandmother teaching me the difference between ‘can’ and ‘may’ grin and what context to use them in.)

PolarBearDisguisedAsAPenguin Thu 28-Feb-19 12:47:45

Saying please and thank you isn’t difficult and is clearly what she is asking you to do. Why do you insist on not doing so? A prewritten polite sentence in an email that goes out by default and having children who are polite has nothing to do with you having the manners to speak to her in a way she is asking. YABU.

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