One of my professors, who I'll call Deb, apologizes for everything. She is a very accomplished woman (she holds two masters degrees and a Ph.D.) and her students love her classes. However, some of her coworkers laugh behind her back because of her necessity to apologize. This conversation happened yesterday, between me and her.
Deb: I'm sorry to disturb you, BeagleMommy. Would you be able to make 100 copies of this?
Me: You're not disturbing me. I'll have to send it to the print shop to have that many copies made. When do you need them?
Deb: I'm sorry. Do I have to fill out the form?
Me: No, I have the form here. I'll fill it out. Do you need it single sided or double sided?
Deb: I'm sorry. Double sided.
Me: No problem. Do you want them stapled or clipped?
Deb: I'm sorry. Stapled, please.
Me: Not a problem. When do you need them?
Deb: I'm sorry. Is Friday, okay?
Me: Sure, that's doable. I'll take it over in a few minutes.
Deb: Thanks. I'm sorry I had to ask.
I was always told that, in business, you shouldn't apologize for asking for something. That it makes you sound disingenous and ineffectual. I know people think this of Deb. Is there a polite way to tell her how this sounds? She's not my supervisor; she's one of the professor I support as a secretary.