Author Topic: Acknowledging a "Bless You"  (Read 4819 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Jelaza

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 196
  • Meow
Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« on: October 24, 2012, 09:45:12 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?

Mental Magpie

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5169
  • ...for the dark side looks back.
Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2012, 10:04:57 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.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Gwywnnydd

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1645
Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 10:05:54 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.

pearls n purls

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 214
Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2012, 10:10:28 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.



Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21387
Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 10:14:30 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?

Onyx_TKD

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1320
Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2012, 10:15:42 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.

Luci

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5994
Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2012, 10:17:45 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.

doodlemor

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2175
Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2012, 10:27:19 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.

Jelaza

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 196
  • Meow
Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2012, 10:28:34 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.)

doodlemor

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2175
Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2012, 11:07:49 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.


NyaChan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4107
Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2012, 11:09:23 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.

Surianne

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10783
    • Prince ShimmerShine Moondream's Blogging Adventure
Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2012, 11:15:56 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.

Mental Magpie

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5169
  • ...for the dark side looks back.
Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2012, 11:22:47 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.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21387
Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2012, 11:24:52 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.

doodlemor

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2175
Re: Acknowledging a "Bless You"
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2012, 11:51:40 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.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 11:56:30 PM by doodlemor »