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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.

SleepingStandingUp Thu 28-Feb-19 16:35:19

Maybe I should just leave her be and she can always ask if she needs help
I meant with the pass the stapler, pass the list of this, pass that. The what do you need doing is fine because it doesn't necessitate a please from you. You just seem to be constantly asking her to do stuff for you.
If she's responsible for your work load then obviously you need to say what's next / what do you want me to do but that's totally separate to your "do this, thank you"

I think the issue with assuming just thank you is sufficient is when you're asking someone to do something for you, they don't know you'll bother to say thank you at the end as you cant bother to say please, so they think you're just going to say "pass me the stapler" and then ignore them.

The fact you think saying please is monotonous indicates how many times your interrupting her to ask her to do stuff FOR YOU

Sunshinewithshowers123 Thu 28-Feb-19 16:35:38

My DH never says please when ordering food but always says thanks. I'm always telling him how rude it sounds but he doesn't think it is. I think once you've noticed it happening you can't help but cringe so even though you do sometimes say please she's tuned into it and waiting for you to slip up.

mummyhaschangedhername Thu 28-Feb-19 16:36:54

@Mookatron - I hadn't considered it like that! I'm not the investor but I am sure she doesn't know the details. I'm not like that though, heck I'm grateful to help them out as the school has been an actual life saver for my family. I have four children, two with significant special needs. We moved to get this school and fought to get in. My eldest child has been transformed and the staff have been actual miracle makers. So that's how I decided to help out with the PTA as I was grateful to the school and from there the school have asked me to take on other roles.

However, you're totally right and maybe that's how it's seen. I got involved as I had relevant experience and there were things he staff couldn't do (and loads I can't too) so we borrow staff from other schools to do certain tasks like payroll which is then when I started asking if they needed anything.

But maybe it's time to back off. Thanks

mummyhaschangedhername Thu 28-Feb-19 16:38:59

@Yabbers - I am sure you have read me admit I was wrong several times throughout this thread now. 👍 Will use please as well as thank you to her from now on.

LavenderBelle Thu 28-Feb-19 16:40:42

My DH also never says please or thank you, he also buts into conversations when it’s rude. I don’t understand why kids are shouted at for it but adults not. I always pull him up on it. But I suppose it’s different telling my own husband what he’s doing wrong, rather than a colleague

MadameDD Thu 28-Feb-19 16:43:01

I think sometimes what she says is fine, but e.g. in emails etc in the office we always use 'thanks' or acknowledge politeness.

If someone gets us something especially when out - e.g. a sandwich it's always accompanied by a please or thank you.

as someone says earlier in the thread 'manners cost nothing'.

mummyhaschangedhername Thu 28-Feb-19 16:52:18

@Witchend - I know I don't come across as that. I am the new one. My family only moved 2 years ago but it's my old primary school but then so are the majority of parents at the school are multi-generational and we all knows each other. It makes things more complicated at times.

I am liked, people ask me to get involved in various things in and out of school, in different careers etc. I've recruited volunteers in the past and I totally know the ones you mean. We certainly have some strong personalities on the PTA and governing body.

I tend to be the peace maker in most situations, I think why I'm asked to get involved as I am diplomatic and fair.

Plus I can't spell so I always feel inferior in most circumstances as I'm more concerned about if I have spelt than notice others mistakes 😂

mummyhaschangedhername Thu 28-Feb-19 17:14:40

@SleepingStandingUp - I do appreciate what your saying but in those circumstances it's not like that though, yes I am asking, but we are working together. So we are BOTH counting the money, so we are both on task. I don't interrupt her. I'll let her finish and then ask if I need something. But honestly, I don't want to be there anymore after the revelations on this post. I was working my ass off to help my school, I spent last week in tears after the disciplinary and governor meeting. It's not worth the emotional and mental toll.

I clearly am not alone in my idea of gratitude but despite admitting I way wrong and saying I would change I have been sworn at, called names, told I'm over lording my (nonexistent) authority, and had several character assassinations. Clearly I wasn't strong enough for AIBU as I thought I was.

Yes I am wrong! I will say please every time! But it's clearly time for me to duck out of the extras and cut back.

Armadillostoes Thu 28-Feb-19 17:39:58

OP-Don't feel bad, AIBU is filled with people who take delight in kicking the OP on principle, often whilst purporting to take the moral high ground. Some of the people giving you a hard time would have ripped you to shreds if you had posted it from the point of view of the Etiquette Police.

The woman you described isn't miffed about manners, she is trying to assert her authority. You sound lovely. Don't let her behaviour or vicious people online get to you.

BlueJava Thu 28-Feb-19 17:44:52

I think she's acting like a bit of a twat but so are you imo. She isn't doing you a favour, she's doing her job. So saying "Please can you give me whatever" is better than asking for a favour. I'd keep comms short "Please do X" and "Thank you" if she's like this keep in mind she might have other dramas so keep your distance but remain polite.

mummyhaschangedhername Thu 28-Feb-19 17:51:29

@Armadillostoes - thanks. I recognise I need to do better, but even with saying that people are really having a go now. I posted as I really wanted a full range of posts, I fully excepted a lot of people wouldn't agree with me, I just didn't expect to be sworn at and called names, I need to develop a thicker skin.

Mookatron Thu 28-Feb-19 18:11:14

I tend to just hide the thread when I've got the answers I needed these days @mummyhaschangedhername. Otherwise you just feel worse and worse as people get more and more insulting about something which is at the very most a minor breach of etiquette. I'm sure (I hope) they're not like it in real life. flowers

MrsCBY Thu 28-Feb-19 18:14:10

OP, just because a lot of people say/think something doesn’t mean it’s true/right. When you get to my age, you realise that a lot of people are just about as unreasonable as it’s possible to be. And, funnily, AIBU is one of the places many of those people like to congregate.

You have not been rude in the slightest. This member of office staff, however, has been SPECTACULARLY rude to you, especially given you are helping her and the school out (and it sounds like you put a LOT of energy into the school), completely unpaid.

Reasonable adults do not police other adults’ speech and do not demand that you constantly say please and thank you. What she is doing is actually a form of bullying, and you shouldn’t have to tolerate it.

I wouldn’t want to work with someone like that, especially if I wasn’t even getting paid for it, and especially given how much else you already do for the school. Just tell the school that unless she’s prepared to be civil to you, someone else can help her out from now on. Honestly, her behaviour is preposterous.

Sardonicsnape Thu 28-Feb-19 18:17:52

"Good job I'm not a pupil then"

SleepingStandingUp Thu 28-Feb-19 18:25:51

mummyhaschangedhername unless anyone here also works in the office then what is said on here isn't a reason to stay or go. You can consider each opinion and decide if it's right or wrong from all the stuff you know but haven't included.
There's been some useful ideas in how she might feel or think but the answer doesn't have to be "well I won't help then!" unless that's what you want. You just go in tomorrow or Monday and do things a little differently and see what happens

Wellfuckmeinbothears Thu 28-Feb-19 18:44:43

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Armadillostoes Thu 28-Feb-19 19:01:10

Wellfucked-you are a hypocrite. You didn't even have the decency to answer a point which I (and other) posters made to you some time ago. Because it didn't fit with your narrative. In short, that the argument here was about power rather than manners.

So you are in no position to tell other people to be polite. But you are not interested in a rational conversation, just being a loud, bully it seems. Nice.

InternationalRelationist Thu 28-Feb-19 19:02:33

I work in a school office and have to put up with rudeness from pupils, parents and teachers.

Just say please and thank you. The "you're a star" is meaningless and patronising.

mummyhaschangedhername Thu 28-Feb-19 19:10:46

@Wellfuckmeinbothears - you have attacked me and be really horrible to me throughout this post and keep coming back to insult me further when you know I have accepted I was wrong and admitted IWBU ... you tell me I am not a decent person yet I've never sworn and name called someone like you keep doing to me. Not saying please is perhaps wrong, but bullying you know what I own up and recognise my mistakes. You have constantly attacked me and been a bully. Please leave me this thread alone, you have made your point and I have taken in onboard, continuing this shows far more about the type of person you are than me now.

Tanaqui Thu 28-Feb-19 19:42:31

I agree with mrsCBY and I think some posters are insanely rude (yes including wellfucked) No one, when working with someone in a role that requires lots of communication, says please and thank you for every request. It would be boring, passive aggressive and time wasting. It is possibly to ask politely in a myriad ways, ditto thank you- thanks, ta, cheers have all been mentioned here. Please and thank you is for strangers, first time of asking, out of usual requests, general start and end of communication. No one says”please pass me the stapler, thank you, please let me put these here, thank you, please may I get to the cupboard, thank you” in the same few minutes! That would imply literally no working relationship at all.

HolesinTheSoles Thu 28-Feb-19 19:48:20

I think the point is quite well illustrated here. The posters who insist on "please" and "thank you" at all costs have quite often littered their posts with unpleasant and really quite nasty language. They are clearly not the people any of us should be paying attention to when it comes to being a polite and kind person. I'd much rather someone showed genuine gratitude than said "please" and "thank you"while barking orders at me. People with social skills can pick up gratitude without having to hear an explicit phrase.

OP you sound like a nice person. Unfortunately AIBU is a bit of a snake pit where certain people like to hang around and think the very worst of OP at all costs.

mummyhaschangedhername Thu 28-Feb-19 19:51:45

Massive thank you to those who have been kind and supportive and those who have constructively offered advice or constructive criticism. I really do appreciate it from each and everyone who contributed constructively.

Genuine thanks to you all.

woollyheart Thu 28-Feb-19 20:47:32

@HolesinTheSoles is right. It sounds like some posters have never had a job involving working as a team.

woollyheart Thu 28-Feb-19 20:50:36

Sorry, I meant @Tanaqui

But also agree that people have a problem if they think you just need to say please and thank you, but otherwise can be rude and insulting.

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