General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Is there a polite way to say "You're waaaay overdoing that"?

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WolfWay:
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?

sweetonsno:
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:

--- Quote from: sweetonsno 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."

--- End quote ---

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

Hollanda:

--- Quote from: WolfWay 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?

--- End quote ---

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

z_squared82:
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.

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