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Please say Thank You

 article about Please say Thank You
In my opinion, the three most important words in the English language are not I love you. While those are relationship-changing words, they are not as significant as please and thank you.

Maybe because I grew up in Mississippi, I expect people to say please and thank you. I think that if you bump into someone, you should say excuse me. I think that if you want something from a co-worker, you should ask for it nicely. Asking someone to put together a report shows respect for the other person, telling them to do it is tantamount to ordering them to do it. Unless your job is in the military, orders are insulting. At least to me, common courtesy seems like it is not as common as it used to be.

When I first moved to California, I thought that people at fast food restaurants were incredibly rude. In Mississippi, it was customary to order food by asking the cashier something like, Could I please have a hamburger, fries, and a Coke? When they repeated back the order and got it right, you thanked them. When they gave you back your change, they would thank you for patronizing their establishment. In Los Angeles, it seems that people order food by saying Ill have a hamburger, fries, and a Coke. They dont usually say "please" or "thank you." A lot of times, the cashier will give back change without saying "thank you." As a customer, I appreciate being thanked for choosing that particular restaurant. There are many places where I could have spent my hard earned cash, and I value the cashier acknowledging that.

While I find lack of courtesy frustrating in stores and restaurants, I am livid about rudeness in my own workplace. There is someone with whom I work who seems to have an aversion to even the slightest common courtesy. This is a woman who works with my company as a consultant, whom I thankfully do not have to see on a day-to-day basis. When I do, she orders me around, talks down to me, and has never used the word 'please.' As a result, I do not go out of my way to do what she wants. While I felt singled out by her impoliteness at first, I found out that she treats everyone that way. In a recent situation, another company was donating items for our charity event.

She called them, demanding that the items be delivered by a certain date without recognizing their contribution or that they were doing us a favor. She only knew that they had something that she needed and wanted it done on her time table. The other company called us back complaining about the way that they were treated by her. It took major apologies from us to have them still make the donation. It could have been avoided if she would have just used the words 'please' and 'thank you.'

Saying that every job in the world should have the same rules applied is ridiculous. I do not think that a police officer should say to his or her partner, Cover me, please. Thank you for watching out for me and shooting that murderer. I also dont think that in an operating room, the doctor should have to say, Scalpel, please. These are different professions, where every second counts in an emergency situation. If you work in an office or any professional environment, manners should be used. If a spreadsheet is not done immediately, the world will not come to an end. For those of us who work with others, it only takes a second to acknowledge that a contribution is appreciated.

In a recent article by Jean Ann Cantore - "Miss Manners? - Dan Guaglianone, corporate director of university relations and recruiting for Unisys Corp. in Blue Bell, PA, states, The more cordial the workplace is, the easier it is to get the job done. Everyone is part of a team in todays workplace. In an office and in meetings, interpersonal skills are very important. In another article by Jean Ann Cantore, The Mannerly Side of Business, she states, It's almost ironic that in today's high-tech business world, something as traditional as etiquette has made a comeback. Think about it: The world is more pleasant when people are considerate to each other.

It only makes sense to treat others the way you would want to be treated. Cultures all over the world have some variation of the Golden Rule. The help of others is what makes someone successful, and most people realize that intuitively. Treating others with respect is something everyone should do because they should have respect for their co-workers.


The Mannerly Side of Business by Jean Ann Cantore

The Mannerly Side of Business by Jean Ann Cantore

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