General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Is There a Polite Way to Tell Her She Sounds Ineffectual?

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Tabby Uprising:
I don't think I'd say anything.  Like you said, she's got 2 master's degrees, a PhD and she's gainfully employed as a professor and well loved by her students.  Her apology quirk hasn't slowed her down yet!  A few colleagues may laugh about it behind her back, but that doesn't mean they actively dislike her or think she's ineffective. 

I do think it's okay to use the tactic recommended by another poster of saying "for what?" or "you don't need to apologize" when she goes into sorry-mode.

DavidH:
If she's well established, I wouldn't say anything, or at most say, no need to apologize, it's what I'm here for or something along those lines.

If she's relatively new, it might be helpful of you to mention it to her on the side in her office, along the lines of there's no need to apologize for asking me to do something, that's my job.  As one makes the transition from grad student to a job, you go quickly from being the one who is asked to do things to having much more seniority.  There isn't much in school that prepares you for this, so it can be difficult to make the mental transition sometimes. 

In my first job, I was asked to develop a presentation for a meeting.  I was very reluctant to reuse slides from someone else since it felt like plagiarism or copying until my boss said that now reusing a slide is called efficient and they are all the company's slides, not an individuals.

AngelicGamer:

--- Quote from: ScubaGirl on January 31, 2013, 12:40:03 PM ---Maybe pause each time and then ask, "for what?"  This may bring the frequency to her attention.

My DH sometimes throws in "you know" excessively.  I just don't think he is aware of the frequency.

--- End quote ---

The bolded - ScubaGirl is wise.  This is how I was broken of my habit of saying "sorry".  It made me stop and think what I was doing.  Yes, I still slide back into saying it from time to time for no good reason, but my friends and family go "for what?" and we all laugh. 

CrazyDaffodilLady:
I had a friend who was a compulsive apologizer, which drove me nuts.  I finally did point it out to her gently, but it didn't help.  Eventually, whenever she apologized, I belted out the Brenda Lee I'm Sorry song.  That worked.

Link to song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGLR25EJtfE

You probably can't do that at work, so I suggest the ehell-approved ploy of saying the exact same thing every time she apologizes . . . something just a bit OTT, like "Oh my goodness, why are you sorry?"

oceanus:
Frown, mild smile, then "What are you sorry for?"
Her reply, then:
"It's my job."

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