Author Topic: Why didn't I congratulate you?  (Read 8581 times)

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Pen^2

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Re: Why didn't I congratulate you?
« Reply #45 on: September 09, 2013, 11:20:16 PM »
Lellah, I like your boss :)

cabbageweevil

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Re: Why didn't I congratulate you?
« Reply #46 on: September 10, 2013, 09:58:08 AM »
I was told that 'congratulations' went to a person who had achieved some accomplishment, and it was offered to grooms because they had persuaded their intendeds to accept their proposal of matrimony. One wished the bride happiness, since it was assumed that she had done nothing to lure the groom into marriage. And yes, even back in the day, no one believed that brides did nothing to persuade their fiances to propose.  ::)

Yep, this is what I've heard too.

On topic, what a weird woman! She berated you for not saying "Congratulations", but when you did say "best wishes", she still went over the edge! I suspect she was spoiling for a fight. If you HAD congratulated her at the outset, she probably would have berated you for being presumptuous or something.

I agree with PPs that the woman's behaviour re the OP, in this matter, can only be described as lunatic.  I'd perceive, however, that -- nutty though she likely was -- she was not totally alone as regards attitude to the word "Congratulations".  It seems that there is a small, but discernible, number of people who are extremely hung-up on what they see as use of that word being obligatory in certain situations -- expressing the same sentiments any other way, without specific use of the "c-word", being considered heinously rude.  Early this year, there was a thread on the eHell blog featuring this matter. It emerged there, that some people have this quite fanatical conviction about the obligatory use in some circumstances, of the "magic word": such cited, were when responding to a woman's announcement of her pregnancy; and at weddings -- in the particular example given, it was not re "say it to the groom, but not to the bride", but because the "offender" gave thanks and good wishes to the parents of the bride, but failed actually to say the "c-word".

Such very extreme sentiments regarding one particular word being used, or not used -- failure to use it, apparently seen as an etiquette violation on the level of (the most disgusting and disruptive conduct at such a gathering, that one can imagine) -- strike me as bat-poo crazy.  It would appear, though, that there are a few people -- some of them, presumably, sane in other respects -- to whom this thing is that important: and they feel that they must loudly proclaim their outrage if anyone gets it wrong.  If etiquette in general supported such "nuclear" responses, to things which were so trivial -- I would be in favour of the abolition of etiquette.

poundcake

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Re: Why didn't I congratulate you?
« Reply #47 on: September 12, 2013, 06:31:21 AM »
This is so timely to me, because when I got married a couple of months ago and was changing my name everywhere, every place I called they would automatically say "Congratulations!"  And because I have kind of a twisted sense of humor I would think (but never say, don't worry!) "How do they know this is a good thing?  Maybe it's a shotgun wedding!  Maybe my boyfriend lost me in a bet!  Maybe my father traded me for meth money!"  Thankfully, it's none of those things.  But because every single credit card/bank card/document/what-have-you had a completely different method for changing my name, I would typically start these calls with "So I just got married, and I need to change the name on my card...?" at which point I would get the "Congratulations!"  But in a couple of instances, I just started with "I need to change my name" and I still got a congrats.  I found that super amusing - what if it was a divorce, or something else?  (Running from the law, maybe?)

Anyway, I certainly didn't care that someone congratulated me, but I wouldn't have taken offense if they hadn't.  In fact, I would have found that more normal.  In short: this client was a nutter.

Plus, it's an interesting assumption that every name change should imply the person just got married and should be congratulated. What if they just got divorced? Entered the WPP? Changed a name for aesthetic reasons? Reclaimed a birth name?

MOM21SON

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Re: Why didn't I congratulate you?
« Reply #48 on: September 13, 2013, 06:00:44 PM »
I actually usually wish callers a happy birthday when I have to verify their DOB for a process and it's sometime within the last week or within the next week.  Likewise, I frequently congratulate them if they mention some major life event like a wedding or birth of a child.  I specifically do it because I feel like it helps remind people that they are talking to a real human being and not a robot and it makes them treat me a bit better.  It's more social engineering than honest sentiment, but it makes everyone involved happy.

I always do the same. It just seems friendlier. Not to mention it gives you something to chat about while the computer does it's thing.

OP, I don't think you were rude to not say anything but if you work in customer service you may want to consider adding more of a personal touch to your calls. Not because this woman was right but I find that being friendly can make all the difference when dealing with difficult people.

I would have been coached at my job if someone was listening in.  We do acknowledge when a customer makes a statement.  No matter what.

I she would have said, "I need to change my name because my husband died"  what would you have said?

Winterlight

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Re: Why didn't I congratulate you?
« Reply #49 on: September 14, 2013, 07:38:24 PM »
My mother raised me to say "congratulations" to a groom but not to a bride.  One used "best wishes" or some other platitude to the bride.  Mom said that to say "congratulations" to a bride was an insult.

Therefore, based on my mother's criteria, the OP was actually being properly polite.

This is correct. Congratulations was said to imply that the bride had bagged a man.

That seems like a rather sexist notion.

Agreed. However, when getting married was your livelihood because ladies didn't work, then congratulating her took on a nasty tinge.
If wisdomís ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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TaterTot

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Re: Why didn't I congratulate you?
« Reply #50 on: October 12, 2013, 05:57:26 PM »
I actually usually wish callers a happy birthday when I have to verify their DOB for a process and it's sometime within the last week or within the next week.  Likewise, I frequently congratulate them if they mention some major life event like a wedding or birth of a child.  I specifically do it because I feel like it helps remind people that they are talking to a real human being and not a robot and it makes them treat me a bit better.  It's more social engineering than honest sentiment, but it makes everyone involved happy.

I always do the same. It just seems friendlier. Not to mention it gives you something to chat about while the computer does it's thing.

OP, I don't think you were rude to not say anything but if you work in customer service you may want to consider adding more of a personal touch to your calls. Not because this woman was right but I find that being friendly can make all the difference when dealing with difficult people.

I would have been coached at my job if someone was listening in.  We do acknowledge when a customer makes a statement.  No matter what.

I she would have said, "I need to change my name because my husband died"  what would you have said?

Apparently, the phrase in that situation is "So sorry for your loss." I had to call companies to cancel multiple subscriptions to various products and services after my dad died, and this was the phrase that I heard over and over and over and over again to the point that it started to get annoying. I never took it out on the customer service representatives, however, because they were only doing their job.

sweetonsno

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Re: Why didn't I congratulate you?
« Reply #51 on: October 14, 2013, 08:01:08 PM »
This is a really interesting topic. First off, she was clearly out of line for reacting so strongly, especially because of the complaining bit. I imagine (hope) that she was already stressed and sensitive because of something else, and you just happened to be the one who set her off. If it wasn't going to be you, it probably would have been the deli worker who put too much lettuce on her sandwich.

If she simply asked about the name change, I think not commenting on or asking about it would be the wisest option, for the reasons mentioned above. However, if she had volunteered her reasons for changing her name, I do think it's better to acknowledge it with a situation-appropriate phrase.

As for being upset at you not using the word "congratulations," might your "best wishes" have sounded sarcastic or otherwise not very nice? I'm just thinking how annoying it is to hear "I'm sorry you feel that way" or "I'm sorry you're upset" instead of "I'm sorry for [action that resulted in emotions]" or "I'm sorry that I disappointed you/hurt your feelings." For some people, this may be analogous.

The TARDIS

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Re: Why didn't I congratulate you?
« Reply #52 on: October 19, 2013, 12:54:23 AM »
Wow, so she calls you rude while referring to you as a b-word? Uhhh...OP you're fine. The caller was flying out of her mind!

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