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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.

EmeraldShamrock Thu 28-Feb-19 12:50:57

Yanbu she is acting rude and entitled, I would understand if you grumbled a request, tell her to get stuffed.
You'd spend all day thanking colleague's, your DC, the car behind you.
Call her out on it. Yanbu

cabingirl Thu 28-Feb-19 12:52:00

Maras2 Also who the heck says 'I love you' to the boss/customer etc?

It's when it accidentally happens because you are absentmindedly saying what you automatically say to your spouse etc. I've said it at the end of a phone call to a stranger before - very embarrassing!

DoJo Thu 28-Feb-19 12:54:08

Personally, I would rather someone just said please or thank you rather than calling me a star like a four-year-old. She's doing her job so simple manners seems more appropriate than trying to imply that she's achieved something spectacular by passing you keys or a cash box.

I'm not sure why you seem so determined to find reasons why she might not like you other than the fact that you appear to be going out of your way not to demonstrate basic politeness.

Katterinaballerina Thu 28-Feb-19 12:54:27

It’s the adult equivalent of calling a teacher Mum grin

sweeneytoddsrazor Thu 28-Feb-19 12:54:47

Of course you should say please and thank you. It is polite. I always say it to my colleagues regardless of how I phrase the request/order.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Thu 28-Feb-19 12:55:32

I find the automatic messages on emails a bit off actually. Like you’re thanking me, but you don’t want to have to type it so you’re not THAT grateful!

MamaWeasel Thu 28-Feb-19 12:57:34

She is being a bit of an arse, but so are you. Just say please and thank you for goodness sake, it's not difficult.

HolesinTheSoles Thu 28-Feb-19 12:58:22

Oh god I've done the accidental I love you before and signed off a formal email love from <silly nickname my husband calls me>.

The reason you teach kids to say please and thank you every time is because they don't have the social skills to express gratitude in other ways. If someone does you a favour and you say "oh wow that's amazing, you're such a star" you've obviously conveyed the fact that you're thankful without explicitly saying "thank you". Only someone with severely lacking social skills would then take offence. In fact saying "please get me the cash box" comes across as much more blunt and rude than saying "When you have a moment could you grab me the cash box? That would be great!".

Katterinaballerina Thu 28-Feb-19 12:58:22

‘Can you do me a favour‘ does annoy me - just ask the damn question. Asking an adult what the ‘magic word’ sounds prissy.
You’re both unreasonable.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Thu 28-Feb-19 12:58:56

please can seem a bit demanding though depending on the context.

please double check these lists can sound lot worse than would you mind or would you have time to

Please can come with an assumption that the task will be done, which is fine in some situations but not in others.

Bagpuss5 Thu 28-Feb-19 12:59:27

I don't see the issue, I say please when I think of it. I'd have no problem saying it to an arsey colleague if it kept her happy.
Say it to everyone so she isn't getting favoured treatment.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Thu 28-Feb-19 12:59:38

Cross post with holes who explained it much better!

JenniferJareau Thu 28-Feb-19 13:01:27

If I am asking someone for a favour, I would always say please regardless of the circumstances.

WarpedGalaxy Thu 28-Feb-19 13:02:47

I would think the ‘please’ is implicit in the way you frame the request, making the word itself is redundant. That’s me though, she is obviously more of a nitpicky stickler. I wouldn’t give her the satisfaction of rising to her obvious powerplay baiting. I’d drop the ‘brilliant’ and ‘you’re a star’ too. If she’s sniffy she might view them as patronising or insincere. Just stick to ‘would you get me the keys/petty cash box please?’ And then a simple thank you when she hands them over.

mummyhaschangedhername Thu 28-Feb-19 13:02:58

I do always say thank you though, I just haven't actually used the word please is my point. I don't know, I always assumed gratitude was more than just a word. Me coming in doing things for her and me then saying to say please can you pass the stapler, and thank you for passing the stabler 20 times or so it just a bit irking! That isn't gratitude surely? It's just a word. That's my point.

Fair enough on the star thing, I do tend to use works like stars, amazing, brilliant, fantastic etc a lot, I try to be really enthusiastic. But I just assumed using words like that was showing gratitude. So perhaps I am not as polite as I think then, I just have never ever notice someone say please can you and thank you for 20 times to the same person in an hour sort of thing. She never said thank you to me for going in for free to help.

As for the "I love you" thing, I've just heard people on her mentioned it a lot as a embarrassing mom et kind of thing.

Snog Thu 28-Feb-19 13:08:56

Don't ask for a favour as it's not a favour for her to do her job.
Just say please and thank you OP.

mummyhaschangedhername Thu 28-Feb-19 13:09:05

@Ragwort - I'm nit sure where on Earth you found me saying I was trying to be edgy. No, that isn't something I am trying to do. I am trying to be polite and like I say I always use thank you, but it irks me when I'm giving up my time for free to get her and a paid member of staff and the school and I'm sat down with her and having to say it over and over again or be called out as a child. She never said thank you to me, not that I care.

I am aware that people will feel hostile towards me in my role, I get that, that is fine. I'm just surprised that people think gratitude is just about the word please and thank you, gratitude to me is more than that, which is why I try and show enthusiasm for her work. I can see where people are coming from saying calling her a star isn't right though.

littlepeas Thu 28-Feb-19 13:09:36

It is entirely possible to convey thanks without using the words thank you - body language and tone of voice are also really important, probably more so. It is also possible to ask for something very politely without saying please. I would just carry on as you are op - I'd be tempted to speak to her robotically, emphasising the please and thank you, but that wouldn't be very mature.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Thu 28-Feb-19 13:10:15

"that's great, you're a star"

^^ stop treating her like shes in Year 3 for a start and treat her like an adult. It really isnt difficult to say please and thank you is it ?

mummyhaschangedhername Thu 28-Feb-19 13:11:17

@Namechangeforthiscancershit - I didn't mean I've set it to that, I mean that it automatically suggests it. I always verbalise thank you, even to get, every single them. Please from the responses here I need to say please every time too.

ScreamingValenta Thu 28-Feb-19 13:12:35

'Thank you' is not the only phrase in the English language by which gratitude can be expressed.

I do think 'you're a star' and similar are often overused in the workplace.

- staying three hours late on a Friday to help you finish a task - yes, I'm indeed a star.
- passing you the stapler - a simple 'thanks' is more appropriate to my minimal level of exertion in assisting you.

rededucator Thu 28-Feb-19 13:12:35

You keep saying about having to say 'please and thank you 20 times an hour' Perhaps the problem is your asking her to pass you stuff 20 times an hour!!!!! How vast is this office? Get the stapler your bloody self!

Armadillostoes Thu 28-Feb-19 13:13:02

The problem is that this individual is now being rude to the OP, so rewarding her rudeness by complying and don't what she wants is bad for society (It encourages said woman to carry on being rude).

A compromise would be to tell her that you will use the words she likes from now on, but that it's a shame she was so inappropriate and patronising in her behaviour.

MummysBusy Thu 28-Feb-19 13:13:36

"Can you do me a favour and do x" isnt the most polite way to ask for something is it? YABU. Even if you werent, its just one woman. You need to brush it off! Ask more politely if thats what she wants.

Armadillostoes Thu 28-Feb-19 13:14:01

Sorry, should read '"complying and DOING' what she wants.

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