Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => All In A Day's Work => Topic started by: Jelaza on October 24, 2012, 08:45:12 PM

Title: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Jelaza on October 24, 2012, 08:45:12 PM
This could be a general question, but it may make a difference that the person involved is a co-worker and not a friend or family member, so I put it here instead of Life in General.

Short Background:
Ann is a co-worker that I am somewhat friendly with (we will chat back and forth a little from time to time) but that I wouldn't consider a friend at this point, for unrelated reasons.  She sits in the cubicle directly across the aisle with me.
Betty is a co-worker that I would consider a friend, and have some contact outside work.  Not a fully social friend, but maybe a "work friend".  Her cubicle is directly in front of Ann's.
(If it matters, I did used to interact and chat with Ann more, but there have been a couple of incidents that have inspired me to back off a bit on any conversation that is not necessary, but it's hard to halt that completely with Ann who sits next to you without causing unneeded drama while still being sociable with Betty in front of her.  I did try it for a bit, but it felt like when you are trying to talk around the person seated next to you at a table.)

Story and questions:
Not too long ago, Betty asked me, away from our desks, "Why do you still say 'Bless you' when she sneezes?  She never says 'Thank you' to anyone for it, and never says 'Bless you' to anyone either."  I replied that I say 'Bless you' to everyone; it's a habit and a polite thing to do.  Since then, I've paid attention and Betty is right.  Ann never says 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you' to her, and never says it to anyone else.

1) Is it rude to not say 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you', or acknowledge it in some other way?
2) Is it rude to say 'Bless you' to everyone in a group except for one person?  Does it make a difference if that person has never acknowledged a 'Bless you'?  (Note: There are other people besides me that still 'Bless you' Ann, but I don't know if she would notice even if there weren't.)
3) Is it rude to never say 'Bless you', 'Gesundheit', or sneeze-related comment of your culture when someone sneezes?
4) Do the answers to the above questions vary based on whether the person is close (friend, family member), not-so-close (co-worker, acquaintance) or complete stranger?

Bonus question: Was Betty rude with her question and comment?
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Mental Magpie on October 24, 2012, 09:04:57 PM
1) I want to say yes, but if it goes against something in which you believe, then no.
2) Yes; unless that person has asked you to not due to her beliefs.  That would be mean girl behavior.
3) No, not everyone does.  I think it is nice to say bless you but I don't think it is necessary.
4) No, no variation.

Bonus: Nah, not really; if she had said it to Ann then yes, but she didn't.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Gwywnnydd on October 24, 2012, 09:05:54 PM
Why is Betty paying enough attention to notice that you are blessing Ann?

I'd think it's rude to bless all but one person in a group. Either bless them all, or don't bless anyone.

But really, it's a social nicety. Why stress over it? Bless everyone and call it good.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: pearls n purls on October 24, 2012, 09:10:28 PM
I think for most people, a "bless you" or "gesundheit" is automatic, and it isn't necessary to thank someone every time you get a response to a sneeze.  I view it as a "to each their own" sort of thing.  Some people say it, some people don't.
If Ann sneezes often (allergies, etc.), it might be tiring to say "thank you" each time she sneezes or she might not want to call additional attention to the sneeze.  Or she might view a response to a sneeze as a superstition and not want to take part.


Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Sharnita on October 24, 2012, 09:14:30 PM
I don't think people are required to say "Thank you"

I wouldn't stop saying it just because you don't get a "thank you"

I can't tell if Betty was commenting because she disapproved of Ann or because she was concerned that you were inadvertently offending her?
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Onyx_TKD on October 24, 2012, 09:15:42 PM
IMO:
1) Is it rude to not say 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you', or acknowledge it in some other way?
No. In some situations, it may be preferable--the sneeze and "Bless you" can be enough of a disruption without adding to it.
2) Is it rude to say 'Bless you' to everyone in a group except for one person?  Does it make a difference if that person has never acknowledged a 'Bless you'?  (Note: There are other people besides me that still 'Bless you' Ann, but I don't know if she would notice even if there weren't.)
Generally yes. Unless you know that person would prefer not to be blessed, don't single them out for no reason. OTOH, if you do know they prefer not be blessed or if they've responded rudely to your "Bless you" in the past, it's perfectly fine to leave them out.
3) Is it rude to never say 'Bless you', 'Gesundheit', or sneeze-related comment of your culture when someone sneezes?
No. It may be traditional, but sneezes don't really require a response.
4) Do the answers to the above questions vary based on whether the person is close (friend, family member), not-so-close (co-worker, acquaintance) or complete stranger?
No. It's worth keeping in mind that more distant relationships have a higher likelihood of different traditions, so more situations like your office, where some people follow one custom, and some another.

Bonus question: Was Betty rude with her question and comment?
Maybe not rude, but definitely nosy. And oddly fixated on the issue, since she's bothered to keep track.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Luci on October 24, 2012, 09:17:45 PM


But really, it's a social nicety. Why stress over it? Bless everyone and call it good.

This.  Done. I don't even notice.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: doodlemor on October 24, 2012, 09:27:19 PM


But really, it's a social nicety. Why stress over it? Bless everyone and call it good.

This.  Done. I don't even notice.

Exactly.  Most people don't pay attention to stuff like this.  Betty needs to think about her job more.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Jelaza on October 24, 2012, 09:28:34 PM
Gwywnnydd, it's probably because Ann tends to sneeze loudly, so your attention is suddenly yanked from your work to Ann.  Not noticeably often, but loudly.

I won't comment on the issues between Betty and Ann, partly because they are primarily not etiquette-related, but mostly because it'd take more time than most of us have to spare.  I admit I typed out a bunch of stuff about it here, more than once, but then I deleted it all and put that first sentence, because it made me feel gossipy.  (I keep still wanting to at least say who I think is right and who is wrong.)
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: doodlemor on October 24, 2012, 10:07:49 PM
Gwywnnydd, it's probably because Ann tends to sneeze loudly, so your attention is suddenly yanked from your work to Ann.  Not noticeably often, but loudly.

I won't comment on the issues between Betty and Ann, partly because they are primarily not etiquette-related, but mostly because it'd take more time than most of us have to spare.  I admit I typed out a bunch of stuff about it here, more than once, but then I deleted it all and put that first sentence, because it made me feel gossipy.  (I keep still wanting to at least say who I think is right and who is wrong.)

I'll say it, and you are free to disagree.  In my opinion Ann is fine and Betty needs to lighten up. 

It's understandable that if someone sneezes loudly everyone will be distracted for a moment, but then people get back to business.  Ann can't help the way she sneezes. 

It would be nicer, I suppose, if she said thank you for every Bless You - Gesundheit.  Maybe she is busy blowing her nose, and doesn't want to distract everyone again when she is done.  Maybe she just never says it.

But.......... who keeps a tally on "thankyou's," anyway?  That is just goofy.  Who notices stuff like this?  I have a funny mental picture of a little scorecard in her desk with sticks and cross marks on it. 

I definitely agree with Onyx here that Betty is......

.....oddly fixated on the issue, since she's bothered to keep track.

Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: NyaChan on October 24, 2012, 10:09:23 PM
I may have told this story somewhere on ehell already but here it goes:

I grew up hearing people say bless you when people sneezed.  I wasn't familiar with it so when I heard others sneeze in public, I usually just hoped that someone else would speak up so I wouldn't have to awkwardly jump in.  One day, I sneezed and a girl at school said "Bless you."  I just smiled and she asked me why I never say thank you (prefaced by an "I hope you don't mind if I ask..." sort of phrase).  Well, I'll be honest, I didn't know I was supposed to.  In my culture and in my religion, we have our own sayings that accompany a sneeze & it wasn't the sort of thing that anyone had been bugged about enough to mention to me before.  I confirmed with her what the accepted response was for others and tried to adopt it into my interactions (I'm pretty good at remembering now :D).

So I don't think it is rude not to say bless you or thank you, because it is a particular etiquette of a particular culture and I would even say can be limited to a certain faith.  I use our cultural/religious saying for sneezes because it has a certain religious value (semi-required) & I wouldn't impose that on people who aren't part of that community.  Even within the community, I don't think it is rude because a person may have chosen to practice their faith in a way that doesn't incorporate that.

I don't think Betty was rude if she was asking you that out of curiosity, but since it seems more like she was trying to get you to stop saying it because she doesn't like Ann's way of acting, I think it kinda was out of line.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Surianne on October 24, 2012, 10:15:56 PM
I don't think either (not saying bless you, or not saying thank you) are rude.  It's really a habit more than anything, and I don't see blessing or not blessing as more/less polite. 

I sneeze a lot at work (perfume allergies) and I have a new coworker who is always blessing me.  It drives me a little crazy because it interrupts my train of thought (I don't even notice when I sneeze anymore, it's so common, but I do sometimes notice when she blesses me) and honestly, if I stopped to say thank you every time it would get pretty silly.  I'm hoping eventually she'll grow tired of blessing me.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Mental Magpie on October 24, 2012, 10:22:47 PM
Gwywnnydd, it's probably because Ann tends to sneeze loudly, so your attention is suddenly yanked from your work to Ann.  Not noticeably often, but loudly.

I won't comment on the issues between Betty and Ann, partly because they are primarily not etiquette-related, but mostly because it'd take more time than most of us have to spare.  I admit I typed out a bunch of stuff about it here, more than once, but then I deleted it all and put that first sentence, because it made me feel gossipy.  (I keep still wanting to at least say who I think is right and who is wrong.)

I'll say it, and you are free to disagree.  In my opinion Ann is fine and Betty needs to lighten up. 

It's understandable that if someone sneezes loudly everyone will be distracted for a moment, but then people get back to business.  Ann can't help the way she sneezes. 

It would be nicer, I suppose, if she said thank you for every Bless You - Gesundheit.  Maybe she is busy blowing her nose, and doesn't want to distract everyone again when she is done.  Maybe she just never says it.

But.......... who keeps a tally on "thankyou's," anyway?  That is just goofy.  Who notices stuff like this?  I have a funny mental picture of a little scorecard in her desk with sticks and cross marks on it. 

I definitely agree with Onyx here that Betty is......

.....oddly fixated on the issue, since she's bothered to keep track.

I have to admit that I am one of those people that will notice the random little things that pass by others.  I once pointed out, in about 8th grade, that my one friend always went "ahhhh" after she had the first sip of canned pop (only ever with canned pop and only ever the first sip), and when I told her, she was completely surprised.  She never noticed she did it and had no idea why she did...but I noticed!  I have no idea why.

Betty noticing may be nefarious (as far as she only notices because she doesn't like Ann and thus the little things that Ann does really stands out to Betty) or Betty could just be like me and notice the odd things.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Sharnita on October 24, 2012, 10:24:52 PM
I say "bless you" bit don't particularly expect a thank you.  In class I have said it in the middle of teaching and I don't really pause afterward but keep teaching so the student doesn't have to figure out whether they should say anything.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: doodlemor on October 24, 2012, 10:51:40 PM
Gwywnnydd, it's probably because Ann tends to sneeze loudly, so your attention is suddenly yanked from your work to Ann.  Not noticeably often, but loudly.

I won't comment on the issues between Betty and Ann, partly because they are primarily not etiquette-related, but mostly because it'd take more time than most of us have to spare.  I admit I typed out a bunch of stuff about it here, more than once, but then I deleted it all and put that first sentence, because it made me feel gossipy.  (I keep still wanting to at least say who I think is right and who is wrong.)

I'll say it, and you are free to disagree.  In my opinion Ann is fine and Betty needs to lighten up. 

It's understandable that if someone sneezes loudly everyone will be distracted for a moment, but then people get back to business.  Ann can't help the way she sneezes. 

It would be nicer, I suppose, if she said thank you for every Bless You - Gesundheit.  Maybe she is busy blowing her nose, and doesn't want to distract everyone again when she is done.  Maybe she just never says it.

But.......... who keeps a tally on "thankyou's," anyway?  That is just goofy.  Who notices stuff like this?  I have a funny mental picture of a little scorecard in her desk with sticks and cross marks on it. 

I definitely agree with Onyx here that Betty is......

.....oddly fixated on the issue, since she's bothered to keep track.

I have to admit that I am one of those people that will notice the random little things that pass by others.  I once pointed out, in about 8th grade, that my one friend always went "ahhhh" after she had the first sip of canned pop (only ever with canned pop and only ever the first sip), and when I told her, she was completely surprised.  She never noticed she did it and had no idea why she did...but I noticed!  I have no idea why.

Betty noticing may be nefarious (as far as she only notices because she doesn't like Ann and thus the little things that Ann does really stands out to Betty) or Betty could just be like me and notice the odd things.

Please be advised that I don't think that there is anything wrong with noticing little things.  Lots of people do this - no doubt some of them are our most cherished writers and artists.  I apologize for giving you the wrong impression.

I just think that Betty doesn't need to ponder about this and gossip about it.  That, to me, is unnecessary and definitely not part of her job description.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Danika on October 25, 2012, 12:42:56 AM
1) Is it rude to not say 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you', or acknowledge it in some other way?

I've been involved in many discussions where saying 'Bless you' is actually considered rude and presumptuous because it's religious in nature. In general, where I live, most people will say 'Bless you' and that is considered the most polite thing to do - to acknowledge that someone else had a poor health moment (a cold or an allergy) and that you are wishing them good health. But from the discussions I've had with others, IRL and on forums, not everyone takes a 'Bless you' as an acknowledgement of what they did and that you wish them good health. Some people truly believe that you are making assumptions about their religious beliefs and the state of their souls and they dislike being told that. Those folks are generally ok with 'Gesundheit' based on the things I've read.


2) Is it rude to say 'Bless you' to everyone in a group except for one person?  Does it make a difference if that person has never acknowledged a 'Bless you'?  (Note: There are other people besides me that still 'Bless you' Ann, but I don't know if she would notice even if there weren't.)

Generally, yes. But if she doesn't seem to appreciate it, then are you truly saying it for her benefit or for your own, so that you feel good about being polite and thoughtful? Maybe she doesn't notice, so you shouldn't expend the effort. Maybe she secretly dislikes it and hopes that you'll stop.


3) Is it rude to never say 'Bless you', 'Gesundheit', or sneeze-related comment of your culture when someone sneezes?

I think it depends on where you live. I live in a roughly cosmopolitan area with various religious and cultural backgrounds so people generally say 'Bless you.' I've lived in other places where it's more expected, like said about 95% of the time, and other places where it's said about 60% of the time.


4) Do the answers to the above questions vary based on whether the person is close (friend, family member), not-so-close (co-worker, acquaintance) or complete stranger?

I'd say yes. If you're good friends with someone, you might know their religious beliefs or if they notice people saying that to them. Someone who is seated near you but is not a close friend, you don't know if they like it or not.


In your situation, I've actually said to my coworker "I tend to automatically say 'Bless you' to people, but I don't want to do it if it's annoying you rather than coming across as a social nicety. What do you think?" And then going forward, I try to do what interrupts them and annoys them least.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Allyson on October 25, 2012, 01:31:15 AM
I have dust allergies, and when they kick up, I can sneeze upwards of ten times in a row. To be honest I really wish people would not say anything to me when I sneeze, particularly if they aren't already interacting with me in some way. "Bless you!" "Thank you!" ten times in a row is not fun, and having sneezing fits already puts me in a grumpy mood. It doesn't make me think less of the person, nor am I really annoyed with *them*, it's just the situation. And it's not a religious objection, I feel the same with 'Gesundheit'.

I don't see why it's rude to not say anything to someone's sneezes. I wouldn't say anything about someone else's coughs, burps, hiccups etc either, as it's my preference to just ignore those things (unless it's a burping contest, in which case you can rate your friend's burps, but anyway...)
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: CakeEater on October 25, 2012, 05:49:25 AM
I have dust allergies, and when they kick up, I can sneeze upwards of ten times in a row. To be honest I really wish people would not say anything to me when I sneeze, particularly if they aren't already interacting with me in some way. "Bless you!" "Thank you!" ten times in a row is not fun, and having sneezing fits already puts me in a grumpy mood. It doesn't make me think less of the person, nor am I really annoyed with *them*, it's just the situation. And it's not a religious objection, I feel the same with 'Gesundheit'.

I don't see why it's rude to not say anything to someone's sneezes. I wouldn't say anything about someone else's coughs, burps, hiccups etc either, as it's my preference to just ignore those things (unless it's a burping contest, in which case you can rate your friend's burps, but anyway...)

Yes, Ann might be the type of person who would prefer people to ignore her sneezes and is perhaps hoping that not saying thankyou might deter people from blessing her. It might just not be a habit that she grew up with and makes her feel uncomfortable. No-one in my family ever said bless you when anyone sneezed. It's a habit I adopted as an adult because lots of people seem to expect it, but I still feel vaguely uncomfortable every time it happens.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Zilla on October 25, 2012, 07:48:27 AM
I think that your coworker that pointed out the lack of thank yous was rude and obnoxious.  You never noticed it before and it isn't a big deal.  It's automatic to you to say Bless you without thinking.  But now that she pointed it out, you are waiting and seeking out that thank you.  It doesn't cost you a single thing to say Bless You, and I would continue to do so unless told to please stop.  Or not do it, which is also not rude.
 
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Judah on October 25, 2012, 09:41:09 AM
Quote
1) Is it rude to not say 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you', or acknowledge it in some other way?
2) Is it rude to say 'Bless you' to everyone in a group except for one person?  Does it make a difference if that person has never acknowledged a 'Bless you'?  (Note: There are other people besides me that still 'Bless you' Ann, but I don't know if she would notice even if there weren't.)
3) Is it rude to never say 'Bless you', 'Gesundheit', or sneeze-related comment of your culture when someone sneezes?
4) Do the answers to the above questions vary based on whether the person is close (friend, family member), not-so-close (co-worker, acquaintance) or complete stranger?

IMO,
1) No. It's nice if you do, but it's not necessary.
2) All "Bless you"s are voluntary.
3) Same as #2
4) relationship makes no difference to me.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: O'Dell on October 25, 2012, 11:42:38 AM
1) Is it rude to not say 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you', or acknowledge it in some other way?
2) Is it rude to say 'Bless you' to everyone in a group except for one person?  Does it make a difference if that person has never acknowledged a 'Bless you'?  (Note: There are other people besides me that still 'Bless you' Ann, but I don't know if she would notice even if there weren't.)
3) Is it rude to never say 'Bless you', 'Gesundheit', or sneeze-related comment of your culture when someone sneezes?
4) Do the answers to the above questions vary based on whether the person is close (friend, family member), not-so-close (co-worker, acquaintance) or complete stranger?

Bonus question: Was Betty rude with her question and comment?


1) IME, most people don't say "thank you" every time. They might never say it or only sometimes. Based on that, I'll say not rude.
2) No, not rude. Some people don't even like it being said to them. It's fine to say it only to people who respond to it.
3) It's not rude among people I know to never say "bless you". No one thinks that much about it.
4) Somewhat. I don't often say it to complete strangers except in close quarters and sometimes not even then. If it matters, I'm probably the most insistent on saying it of the people I know.

Bonus: Not at all rude, but then I love discussing this sort of thing so I'd welcome someone bringing it up. One of the reasons I'm here at EHell. I still like to chat about it with RL friends too.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Auntie Mame on October 25, 2012, 11:51:09 AM
If Ann sneezes often (allergies, etc.), it might be tiring to say "thank you" each time she sneezes or she might not want to call additional attention to the sneeze.  Or she might view a response to a sneeze as a superstition and not want to take part.

This.  I now hate it when say "bless you" or anything else when I sneeze because my allergies are really bad and I sneeze often and sometimes several times in a row.  My sneezes are often very painful as well.  There is always someone who thinks it's cute and clever to say "Bless you! Oh bless you again! Bless you again! Bless you again! Bless you again!" after each and every single sneeze.

I don't acknowledge bless you's and I don't say them to other people.  I find it stupid, pointless and extremely annoying.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: camlan on October 25, 2012, 12:58:15 PM
I have dust allergies, and when they kick up, I can sneeze upwards of ten times in a row. To be honest I really wish people would not say anything to me when I sneeze, particularly if they aren't already interacting with me in some way. "Bless you!" "Thank you!" ten times in a row is not fun, and having sneezing fits already puts me in a grumpy mood. It doesn't make me think less of the person, nor am I really annoyed with *them*, it's just the situation. And it's not a religious objection, I feel the same with 'Gesundheit'.


When this happens with co-workers, I pop my head up from my cubicle and say, "Please consider yourself blessed for the day." That usually gets a chuckle, and the poor person sneezing knows that when I stay silent when they sneeze, it's not because I've suddenly decided that I don't like them, but that I know we both have work to do.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: grannyclampettjr on October 26, 2012, 11:48:43 AM
I don't think either (not saying bless you, or not saying thank you) are rude.  It's really a habit more than anything, and I don't see blessing or not blessing as more/less polite. 

I sneeze a lot at work (perfume allergies) and I have a new coworker who is always blessing me.  It drives me a little crazy because it interrupts my train of thought (I don't even notice when I sneeze anymore, it's so common, but I do sometimes notice when she blesses me) and honestly, if I stopped to say thank you every time it would get pretty silly.  I'm hoping eventually she'll grow tired of blessing me.

It's a social nicety and goes along with please and thank you.   If I knew you sneezed a lot and would get silly then of course we change the rules a little bit.  But in general I can tell a lot about a person by whether or not they mind their ps and qs.  Sorry.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Surianne on October 26, 2012, 01:00:15 PM
I don't think either (not saying bless you, or not saying thank you) are rude.  It's really a habit more than anything, and I don't see blessing or not blessing as more/less polite. 

I sneeze a lot at work (perfume allergies) and I have a new coworker who is always blessing me.  It drives me a little crazy because it interrupts my train of thought (I don't even notice when I sneeze anymore, it's so common, but I do sometimes notice when she blesses me) and honestly, if I stopped to say thank you every time it would get pretty silly.  I'm hoping eventually she'll grow tired of blessing me.

It's a social nicety and goes along with please and thank you.   If I knew you sneezed a lot and would get silly then of course we change the rules a little bit.  But in general I can tell a lot about a person by whether or not they mind their ps and qs.  Sorry.

I'm sorry, I'm not sure what you're saying here.  It sounds vaguely insulting.  What do you mean by ps and qs in this instance, and what do you think you can tell about me? 

I apologize if I'm misreading.  I'm pretty confused. 
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: bopper on October 26, 2012, 01:07:00 PM
Not too long ago, Betty asked me, away from our desks, "Why do you still say 'Bless you' when she sneezes?  She never says 'Thank you' to anyone for it, and never says 'Bless you' to anyone either."  I replied that I say 'Bless you' to everyone; it's a habit and a polite thing to do.  Since then, I've paid attention and Betty is right.  Ann never says 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you' to her, and never says it to anyone else.

Perhaps you could say "Some people just need a little more blessing than others. "
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: doodlemor on October 26, 2012, 01:27:48 PM
Not too long ago, Betty asked me, away from our desks, "Why do you still say 'Bless you' when she sneezes?  She never says 'Thank you' to anyone for it, and never says 'Bless you' to anyone either."  I replied that I say 'Bless you' to everyone; it's a habit and a polite thing to do.  Since then, I've paid attention and Betty is right.  Ann never says 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you' to her, and never says it to anyone else.

Perhaps you could say "Some people just need a little more blessing than others. "

Love this!  It's perfect.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Mental Magpie on October 26, 2012, 01:28:36 PM
Not too long ago, Betty asked me, away from our desks, "Why do you still say 'Bless you' when she sneezes?  She never says 'Thank you' to anyone for it, and never says 'Bless you' to anyone either."  I replied that I say 'Bless you' to everyone; it's a habit and a polite thing to do.  Since then, I've paid attention and Betty is right.  Ann never says 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you' to her, and never says it to anyone else.

Perhaps you could say "Some people just need a little more blessing than others. "

I actually find that quite insulting and do not suggest its use.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Winterlight on October 26, 2012, 02:49:27 PM
I have dust allergies, and when they kick up, I can sneeze upwards of ten times in a row. To be honest I really wish people would not say anything to me when I sneeze, particularly if they aren't already interacting with me in some way. "Bless you!" "Thank you!" ten times in a row is not fun, and having sneezing fits already puts me in a grumpy mood. It doesn't make me think less of the person, nor am I really annoyed with *them*, it's just the situation. And it's not a religious objection, I feel the same with 'Gesundheit'.


When this happens with co-workers, I pop my head up from my cubicle and say, "Please consider yourself blessed for the day." That usually gets a chuckle, and the poor person sneezing knows that when I stay silent when they sneeze, it's not because I've suddenly decided that I don't like them, but that I know we both have work to do.

One of my friends says, "Bless you all day," and I think it works nicely.

Not too long ago, Betty asked me, away from our desks, "Why do you still say 'Bless you' when she sneezes?  She never says 'Thank you' to anyone for it, and never says 'Bless you' to anyone either."  I replied that I say 'Bless you' to everyone; it's a habit and a polite thing to do.  Since then, I've paid attention and Betty is right.  Ann never says 'Thank you' when someone says 'Bless you' to her, and never says it to anyone else.

Perhaps you could say "Some people just need a little more blessing than others. "

I actually find that quite insulting and do not suggest its use.

Seconding the "don't do it." It comes off as snippy and rude and if someone else heard you it could get you in trouble.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: baglady on October 26, 2012, 07:31:25 PM
I don't think it's rude or insulting; it's a joke. But it's the sort of know-your-audience joke not everyone is going to get, so I wouldn't use it, especially in a workplace situation.

The OP's original response is all that's needed -- "It's a habit and the polite thing to do." Or maybe just "It's a habit."

I'm a blesser; it's a habit. I know that not everyone is going to say "Thank you" in response, and not everyone is going to give me a "Bless you" or "Gesundheit" if I sneeze. I've got more important things to think about than whether I should stop saying "Bless you" to Mary because she never thanks me, or to John because he never blesses me back.

I had a co-worker years ago who had nasty hay fever; she pretty much sneezed nonstop through her shift. Another co-worker gave her a Post-it that said, "Bless you! Bless you! Bless you!" A pre-emptive strike as it were. She loved it.
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: Lauren on October 26, 2012, 08:03:22 PM
The history of Bless You was that you were possessed by a demon (this was during the plague eras) and sneezing was a way the body was trying to expel the demon, saying Bless You assissted with this, but by saying thank you you kept the demon in the body. I don't know if it's true, but I've heard this a number of times and I have some friends who won't say thank you.

Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: AlansGirl on October 27, 2012, 12:56:03 AM
I have pretty horrific allergies and at some times during the year, I SNEEZE SNEEZE SNEEZE SNEEZE SNEEZE without even that much typographic in between.  I think it's lovely when people bless me because regardless of their, or my, ecumenical or personal view of the thing, a 'bless you' is kindly meant.  I have said at times, when my sneezes were one after another out-of-control, "You don't have to bless me every time, thanks!"

(I've been doing allergy shots for the last 5 months so that I can, y'know, BREATHE, but those are still in progress and in the meantime - well, I'm happy to hear it b/c I think it's kindly meant.)
Title: Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
Post by: MissBrit on October 27, 2012, 06:29:45 PM
I have a coworker who is like Betty but she actually approached me at work shortly after I started working there as asked why I never said thank you when she blessed me. Honestly, the thought of it never occurred to me! It was never something we did in our household. I, like the poster above, grew up having nasty allergies that I got shots for and it never was a issue. I sneezed a lot!  I think Betty needs to get over herself.