Social Question

LittleLemon's avatar

Do you say "thank you" too much?

Asked by LittleLemon (1281points) July 10th, 2012

When leaving for lunch today, I told my coworker (who also “mans our post”) that I was leaving. I let her know when to expect me back and gave her a quick, “Thank you!”

She responded with a quiet, “Your welcome?” in a confused tone.

Do any of you consider the over-use of “thank you” to be annoying? How often do you find yourself saying it?

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24 Answers

Sunny2's avatar

I probably say it too much for some people, but I think I’m reasonable. In general, I think people should say it whenever someone does something for you, even if what is done is not unusual.

picante's avatar

I generally try to be very deliberate with my thanks—to “feel” what it is I’m thankful for. I certainly do have various reflexive “thank you’s,” when I’m ending a phone call as an example. I’d rather err on the side of too many than not enough—and in your example LittleLemon, it seems you were very polite and proper, and perhaps she was confused by the propriety ;-) Thank you for your question!

Skyline43's avatar

It sounds to me like she was just being a stuck up brat. I’ve never really met someone who said “thank you” too much, and I don’t think I say it too much either. It’s a show of appreciation, so there’s really no excuse for a shitty or sarcastic response to it.

flutherother's avatar

I often shorten it to ‘thanks’ but I do say it a lot. I say it to the bus driver when leaving the bus. When I really mean it I say ‘Thank You’.

Fly's avatar

I probably do, because I think it’s very important to be polite. I know say “excuse me” too much. Sometimes people even give me weird looks just for being polite, which I think is a little sad, actually.

But I think there is a difference between saying it too much and it being so inherent that you say it out of habit when it is unnecessary/doesn’t make sense. I think your co-worker was probably confused because she had no clue what you were thanking her for, and it really didn’t make sense to thank her in that scenario. Honestly, I would be confused, too! Of course, you were just being polite, which certainly never hurts. Better to say too many thank-yous than not enough!

JLeslie's avatar

I say it a lot, I don’t think it is too much. I sometimes can be sort of bossy when something needs to get done, I don’t do the “pleases” as much, but I always thank someine for their efforts and consideration.

marinelife's avatar

No, one can’t.

josie's avatar

Nobody says it enough, in my opinion.
By the way, I have experienced what your co worker did. I think it is condescending.

Blueroses's avatar

No. I don’t think “thank you” can be overused. “Sorry”, on the other hand…

One of the things I like about my job is actually in the Mission Statement about being present, respectful and appreciative of our coworkers and patients. People look each other in the eye and say “hello” when passing. We say “please” and “thank you” even when people are just doing their jobs. It contributes to a friendly atmosphere and eliminates most of those superiority/inferiority feelings. Surgeons thank the housekeepers, CNAs thank the pharmacists. It’s nice.

tups's avatar

I say thank you when I feel the need to say thank you and yes, it’s often. Some people seem to not like politeness all that much. Maybe it’s not considered cool or anything, I do like politeness though and I wish more people would use it.

LittleLemon's avatar

@Blueroses ”...even when people are doing their jobs.” I think this is very important. In the past, this same co-worker’s responded to my appreciation with a furrowed brow and the classic, “I’m just doing my job,” which I think is an irrelevant point. I can be grateful to someone for doing their job. It’s my right!

@josie I feel very similar. It’s nice to know I’m not unfounded in my concerns.

As a general addendum: I can definitely understand the annoyance when “thank you” is used as just another meaningless social norm like, “How are you?” in quick passing. However, I do think it was justified for the situation. In me taking my lunch first, and her having no one else to watch the front desk, I was imposing on her time. I suppose it’s a little thing, but it seemed valid to me.

This is also the same co-worker that emails to let us know that she’s taking a sick day, 30 minutes after her shift has already started.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

In an attempt to look at it from the co-worker’s perspective, I’d like to ask a few questions. What were you thanking her for? Is it her job to cover for you when you are out of the office? Does she do this for anyone else? When does she get to take her lunch break if her job responsibility includes covering for those that are out on break?

Blueroses's avatar

@LittleLemon Some people really are uncomfortable being thanked, just like some people can’t take a compliment gracefully (often the same person), but will negate it or shrug it off.

Don’t let that stop you though. No business succeeds on the back of one person. Everybody contributes and “thanks”, with a smile, goes a long way toward everybody recognizing that.

When courtesy is common, maybe we’ll all remember why we call it “common courtesy”.

LittleLemon's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I was thanking her for covering the front while everyone else was out at lunch, since I know how taxing it can be to have to juggle everything when there’s no coverage (We’re short one student intern for the front this summer). Ideally, we try to stagger lunches for this reason, but I headed out earlier today than I normally do.

We’re front deskers, meaning we don’t move out of earshot of the phones unless someone else (normally another admin or front desk intern) is there to cover. So technically yes, it is her job to cover when I’m out of the office.

We usually coordinate lunches amongst ourselves (just the two of us) around 11:30 am when our boss starts getting ready for hers. It’s generally a toss-up between my co-worker and I on which one gets to go first. When she goes, I stay glued to the front, and vice versa.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Thank you is more often omitted when it should be used than used when it should not.

Adjectives such as “awesome” are used way too much, almost as if it was the only positive adjective that exists.

6rant6's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence Exactly. Also, adverbs like, “way”.

AstroChuck's avatar

I don’t think so.

Thanks for the question.

ucme's avatar

I mostly say “cheers” or “about fucking time.”

LittleLemon's avatar

@ucme I wish I could give your answer a “Superb Answer”.

ucme's avatar

@LittleLemon I’m going to pretend you just did & wear a big smile of approval :¬).....see.

Kardamom's avatar

@LittleLemon your co-worker sounds a lot like this mean woman that I used to work with, who would sneer at me whenever I said Good Morning to her.

She was the same woman, who when seeing that anyone (me or anyone else) was coming to the same door that she was, only we were a little bit behind her and carrying a load of boxes or books, would open the door, walk through and let it slam in our faces. She was an equal opportunity offender.

Her most famous move though, was showing up to potluck lunches empty handed, then butting into the buffet line, loading up her plate, then standing over a garbage can scarfing down her meal. She never once congratulated the birthday person, or said good luck to a person who was retiring, or congratulations to anyone that was having a baby.

Another co-worker reminded me recently, that this was the same woman who would sit down on a chair and cross her legs like a man whilst wearing a dress, revealing her cellulitic thighs and giving everyone a view of London and France.


Mariah's avatar

“Thank you” and “sorry” are my downfall. You’d think I was Canadian.

AstroChuck's avatar

“Thank you” and “sorry” are what I always say to my wife after we make love.

Mariah's avatar

Bahahaha XD

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