Author Topic: Is there a polite way to say "You're waaaay overdoing that"?  (Read 2203 times)

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WolfWay

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Is there a polite way to say "You're waaaay overdoing that"?
« on: January 16, 2014, 01:57:40 AM »
I do a particular kind of job. I'm assigned tasks (say assembling widgets) based on certain required criteria. When I've done my job, I email various requestors to let them know that what they've asked of me has been made and it's ready for pickup.

There are two requestors who always reply with wildly over the top gratitude. I email out a simple "Hey, Your widget is ready for pickup, you can find it at XYZ place", and I get a typical respone email of "WOW!!! You're such a star!!! Thank you so much!! <row of smiley faces>" . This is nothing artistic I do that they could praise. It's the equivalent of making a box that has 5 sides and a lid that opens when you want it to, it's functional, it's nothing spectacular at all.

It just seems so bizarre and jarring to be wildly thanked for doing my job. It's what I'm paid to do, why the ludicrous overpraise and thanks? I'd appreciate it if I were staying overtime to make the widgets, or working under ludicrous deadlines, but it's just day to day work. (Note that when I do go the extra mile, I do get thanked by my bosses for that, so it's not a case of being unnappreciated).

Is there anything I can say to get them to tone it down a bit, because it's really grating on my nerves that somehow doing my everyday job to normal standards of competancy is so miraculous it deserves the email version of a fireworks display? EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. It's making me feel pandered to, like they're praising a child for colouring inside the lines.  It's earned for the equivalent of doing things like if you asked a chef to make a slice of toast and when he does, going "WOW! You're so amazing!!"

Or should I just be grateful they appreciate me and keep my mouth shut?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 02:10:37 AM by WolfWay »
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sweetonsno

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Re: Is there a polite way to say "You're waaaay overdoing that"?
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2014, 03:37:47 AM »
Rather than being annoyed at their enthusiasm, I'd focus on the fact that they're thanking you/acknowledging receipt of your email. You don't know what's going on in their brains. Maybe you're one of the only competent people they deal with. Maybe their need is particularly urgent. Maybe they really don't get how simple it is for you.

With the chef example, it could be that the other chefs they've ordered toast from serve it burned on the outside and frozen on the inside, or never get the kind of bread right. Maybe they're about to faint from low blood sugar and the chef's quick delivery of the toast saved them. Who knows?

I know that effusive praise can be uncomfortable, even if you did go above and beyond, but I'd try to not feel embarrassed. You can reply with something simple like "You're welcome," "just doing my job," or "glad to help."

WolfWay

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Re: Is there a polite way to say "You're waaaay overdoing that"?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2014, 03:49:15 AM »
Rather than being annoyed at their enthusiasm, I'd focus on the fact that they're thanking you/acknowledging receipt of your email. You don't know what's going on in their brains. Maybe you're one of the only competent people they deal with. Maybe their need is particularly urgent. Maybe they really don't get how simple it is for you.

With the chef example, it could be that the other chefs they've ordered toast from serve it burned on the outside and frozen on the inside, or never get the kind of bread right. Maybe they're about to faint from low blood sugar and the chef's quick delivery of the toast saved them. Who knows?

I know that effusive praise can be uncomfortable, even if you did go above and beyond, but I'd try to not feel embarrassed. You can reply with something simple like "You're welcome," "just doing my job," or "glad to help."

OP Here. I actually pinned one of them down today and said "It's really no biggie for me, it's part of my job." We got into this discussion because she'd come to thank me again in person for what I'd done (which was basically the labour equivalent of painting a decorative blue stripe across a prebuilt prepainted box, i.e. really quick and simple).

It turns out that she and other overpraiser were under the impression I was drowning in other work and this was taking time I didn't have, which is completely untrue. I think one of my bosses is trying to ringfence me for his work requests alone (which is stuck further up the pipeline and won't get to me for at least another week) and trying to fend the other's request off by claiming I'm too busy to do anything else. I told them I was happy for the extra work and they are more than welcome to send any further requests my way.

At least now I know why they're being so grovellingly effusive.  ;D
It's best to love your family as you would a Siberian Tiger - from a distance, preferably separated by bars . -- Pearls Before Swine (16-May-2009)

Hollanda

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Re: Is there a polite way to say "You're waaaay overdoing that"?
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2014, 08:29:28 AM »
I do a particular kind of job. I'm assigned tasks (say assembling widgets) based on certain required criteria. When I've done my job, I email various requestors to let them know that what they've asked of me has been made and it's ready for pickup.

There are two requestors who always reply with wildly over the top gratitude. I email out a simple "Hey, Your widget is ready for pickup, you can find it at XYZ place", and I get a typical respone email of "WOW!!! You're such a star!!! Thank you so much!! <row of smiley faces>" . This is nothing artistic I do that they could praise. It's the equivalent of making a box that has 5 sides and a lid that opens when you want it to, it's functional, it's nothing spectacular at all.

It just seems so bizarre and jarring to be wildly thanked for doing my job. It's what I'm paid to do, why the ludicrous overpraise and thanks? I'd appreciate it if I were staying overtime to make the widgets, or working under ludicrous deadlines, but it's just day to day work. (Note that when I do go the extra mile, I do get thanked by my bosses for that, so it's not a case of being unnappreciated).

Is there anything I can say to get them to tone it down a bit, because it's really grating on my nerves that somehow doing my everyday job to normal standards of competancy is so miraculous it deserves the email version of a fireworks display? EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. It's making me feel pandered to, like they're praising a child for colouring inside the lines.  It's earned for the equivalent of doing things like if you asked a chef to make a slice of toast and when he does, going "WOW! You're so amazing!!"

Or should I just be grateful they appreciate me and keep my mouth shut?

Lol I'd just smile and feel glad that at least someone out there appreciates something I do :)
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z_squared82

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Re: Is there a polite way to say "You're waaaay overdoing that"?
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2014, 02:54:25 PM »
Well, at least you now know there's a reason. I used to work with a guy who told you how much he appreciated anything you did for him, even silly stuff like making a copy or printing an envelope.

Turns out, he was just an insincere, shallow something-or-other who liked to hear himself talk.

I so don't miss him.

Kaymyth

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Re: Is there a polite way to say "You're waaaay overdoing that"?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2014, 06:59:26 PM »
I see the same stuff fly by on occasion, but the kicker is that it has nothing to do with me.

We get new merchant setups from corporate clients.  One particular brand of corporate client has this one guy (who I NEVER have any actual contact with) in their sales department who inevitably sends an over-the-top congratulatory e-mail for the sales rep who nabbed them the account.  The e-mails come complete with hyperbole, bad jokes, unending ellipses, and eleventy billion exclamation points.  Bad enough that he does this to the sales rep, but he hits Reply To All, so EVERYONE can see it.

Drives. Me. Nuts.



bah12

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Re: Is there a polite way to say "You're waaaay overdoing that"?
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2014, 07:18:23 PM »
I think that avoiding things that annoy you at work is kind of like trying to avoid people with two feet...it's not going to happen.

While I can understand that it might be annoying to get these emails all the time, I wouldn't try to tell the overpraisers to stop.  Emails can be deleted. Being that you now understand why you're being praised so much, I think might make it easier to tolerate. 

Put it this way.  As uncomfortable as an email might seem, it could be worse.  They could be praising you like this in person...which would, I think, require some kind of an "you don't have to come praise me like this all the time" response.  I just wouldn't fuss with it when it's on email.

bopper

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Re: Is there a polite way to say "You're waaaay overdoing that"?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2014, 10:47:02 AM »
Sometimes you just gotta go with it...you get some "credits" with the other people.Not a bad thing.

I have this new person that I deal with that is so "HI! HOW ARE YOU!!!" and while I prefer the enthusiasm toned down a bit I just pretend like i am her new best friend too when I walk by but  she is my bosses right hand woman so I want to stay on her good side. Seemed to have worked...when we got assigned new offices, I now have a window!