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  • April 30, 2016, 10:32:47 AM

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Author Topic: The unacceptable 3-second 'thank you' delay  (Read 1567 times)

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#borecore

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The unacceptable 3-second 'thank you' delay
« on: April 21, 2016, 02:57:25 PM »
I'm studying in a coffee shop and I needed to use the restroom for a moment,  but wanted to leave my notepad, folder and coffee on the table.  I asked the two young women at the table next to me, "Mind if I leave this here for a minute?" One said "sure,"  and I said, "Thanks!" I took my phone and wallet with me.

When I came back to the table 2-4 minutes later, I was still settling back into my seat and putting my phone away, when the girls looked at each other, giggled, and one said a loud,  sarcastic, "You're welcome."

I replied with a smile, "Thanks,  I was getting there!" but I thought to myself that they really have no idea why it took me more than 3 seconds to thank them. I thought at first that it might be that they were eager to leave, but both had full drinks, and they didn't leave for another 30 minutes.

So, 3 questions:
1. When can you make the interesting assumption that a thank you  will not be coming?
2. We've discussed this one before, but was this a good use of the sarcastic "you're welcome"?
3. Does keeping an eye out for a stack of papers merit a thank you in the first place?

LB

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Re: The unacceptable 3-second 'thank you' delay
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2016, 03:26:45 PM »
1. Much longer than 3 seconds...I'm not sure how long. Sometimes people get distracted and will remember a few minutes later and say thanks. And maybe apologize for not saying it earlier. It happens, I've done it and I think as long as you correct yourself, it shouldn't be a big deal.
2. I don't see a way that can be polite...
3. Yes. Even a small favor is still a favor. If you hadn't cared about the papers, you wouldn't have asked them to keep an eye on them.

lmyrs

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Re: The unacceptable 3-second 'thank you' delay
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2016, 04:19:09 PM »
It's important to offer a prompt thank you for a favour. Which is what you were getting. Of course it merits a thank you. You should have thanked her as soon as you returned to the table before you started getting settled. It would have been extremely easy to walk up to your table, turn slightly towards her, smile and say "Thanks so much. I appreciate it." before going on with your business.

That said, she didn't need to be snarky about it. That was also rude.

EllenS

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Re: The unacceptable 3-second 'thank you' delay
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2016, 05:32:43 PM »
Needing to inhale before you speak is not rude.

If I ever get chided by snarky, passive - aggressive rudeniks, I generally respond with something like a surprised face and a chipper, "yes, Thank you!"

These are the same people who start honking at the exact second the light turns green because they think you should be doing 40 mph already. Be grateful you don't have to live with them. They actually carry that around with them, poor things.


lilfox

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Re: The unacceptable 3-second 'thank you' delay
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2016, 05:48:12 PM »
It's important to offer a prompt thank you for a favour. Which is what you were getting. Of course it merits a thank you. You should have thanked her as soon as you returned to the table before you started getting settled. It would have been extremely easy to walk up to your table, turn slightly towards her, smile and say "Thanks so much. I appreciate it." before going on with your business.

That said, she didn't need to be snarky about it. That was also rude.

Agree completely. There's the "expressing gratitude" aspect as well as the "taking back responsibility for your stuff" aspect, and both take precedence over sitting back down and getting comfortable.

sammycat

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Re: The unacceptable 3-second 'thank you' delay
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2016, 06:14:39 PM »
It's important to offer a prompt thank you for a favour. Which is what you were getting. Of course it merits a thank you. You should have thanked her as soon as you returned to the table before you started getting settled. It would have been extremely easy to walk up to your table, turn slightly towards her, smile and say "Thanks so much. I appreciate it." before going on with your business.

That said, she didn't need to be snarky about it. That was also rude.

Pod.

NFPwife

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Re: The unacceptable 3-second 'thank you' delay
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2016, 06:18:35 PM »
It's important to offer a prompt thank you for a favour. Which is what you were getting. Of course it merits a thank you. You should have thanked her as soon as you returned to the table before you started getting settled. It would have been extremely easy to walk up to your table, turn slightly towards her, smile and say "Thanks so much. I appreciate it." before going on with your business.

That said, she didn't need to be snarky about it. That was also rude.

Pod.

No to pile on, but I have to park my perspective here, too. The thank you should be in front of the getting settled in. Getting settled before saying "Thank you" comes off as a bit precious.

That said, a snarky, "You're welcome" is rude, too. I can appreciate their annoyance, they didn't need to express it.

Two rudes don't make a polite.

Bales

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Re: The unacceptable 3-second 'thank you' delay
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2016, 07:43:38 PM »
This was not such a huge favor that you needed to fall over yourself thanking them the very nanosecond that you returned. You had already thanked them in advance and you were still getting situated.  Gratitude expressed two seconds later is just as good in my book.

FauxFoodist

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Re: The unacceptable 3-second 'thank you' delay
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2016, 09:36:21 PM »
It's important to offer a prompt thank you for a favour. Which is what you were getting. Of course it merits a thank you. You should have thanked her as soon as you returned to the table before you started getting settled. It would have been extremely easy to walk up to your table, turn slightly towards her, smile and say "Thanks so much. I appreciate it." before going on with your business.

That said, she didn't need to be snarky about it. That was also rude.

Pod.

No to pile on, but I have to park my perspective here, too. The thank you should be in front of the getting settled in. Getting settled before saying "Thank you" comes off as a bit precious.

That said, a snarky, "You're welcome" is rude, too. I can appreciate their annoyance, they didn't need to express it.

Two rudes don't make a polite.

Pod.  I think you should've said "thank you" as soon as you returned, but their "you're welcome" was rude.

#borecore

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Re: The unacceptable 3-second 'thank you' delay
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2016, 08:21:42 AM »
Thanks for the feedback,  everyone!

I am in grad school and used to the library, where everyone does this for everyone else basically a few times an hour, and because we have a nearly  silent library, I'm used to the smile  and nod of gratitude instead. Since I was actually getting around to the thanks in this case, I guess I was surprised that smiling and making eye contact wasn't enough to tide them over for the moment.

Duly noted,  and I'll endeavor to be more prompt in the future.

FauxFoodist

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Re: The unacceptable 3-second 'thank you' delay
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2016, 11:15:47 AM »
I guess I was surprised that smiling and making eye contact wasn't enough to tide them over for the moment.

You didn't mention this in your initial post.  Your initial post reads like you did nothing but try to get yourself settled first.  Given your additional info explaining the college culture in the library for these situations, my answer would've been different as the smile and eye contact are the indication of thanks.  In that case, I would've responded to the sarcastic "you're welcome" with another smile and a breezy innocent "Oh, I'm sorry; I'm used to everyone saying thank you here by smiling in order to keep the area quiet.  Thank you" then moved on (and would've been thinking not nice things about these two).

Kiwipinball

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Re: The unacceptable 3-second 'thank you' delay
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2016, 01:51:33 PM »
I guess I was surprised that smiling and making eye contact wasn't enough to tide them over for the moment.

You didn't mention this in your initial post.  Your initial post reads like you did nothing but try to get yourself settled first.  Given your additional info explaining the college culture in the library for these situations, my answer would've been different as the smile and eye contact are the indication of thanks.  In that case, I would've responded to the sarcastic "you're welcome" with another smile and a breezy innocent "Oh, I'm sorry; I'm used to everyone saying thank you here by smiling in order to keep the area quiet.  Thank you" then moved on (and would've been thinking not nice things about these two).

But they weren't in the library, so I think that response would be odd.

OP, I think it's better practice to say thanks right away (in a library I might mouth it). That doesn't excuse their behavior of course. So consider it a good reminder that cultures differ (even from the library to a coffee shop) and I think it's generally better to be as prompt as possible with thanks. I think overall they were ruder but I really can't imagine a situation in which a sarcastic you're welcome isn't rude. It's fine to remind children you're in charge of to say thank you (or please or whatever) but not other adults. If someone regularly didn't thank me, I wouldn't be as quick to do them favors in the future.

FauxFoodist

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Re: The unacceptable 3-second 'thank you' delay
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2016, 11:12:42 PM »
I guess I was surprised that smiling and making eye contact wasn't enough to tide them over for the moment.

You didn't mention this in your initial post.  Your initial post reads like you did nothing but try to get yourself settled first.  Given your additional info explaining the college culture in the library for these situations, my answer would've been different as the smile and eye contact are the indication of thanks.  In that case, I would've responded to the sarcastic "you're welcome" with another smile and a breezy innocent "Oh, I'm sorry; I'm used to everyone saying thank you here by smiling in order to keep the area quiet.  Thank you" then moved on (and would've been thinking not nice things about these two).

But they weren't in the library, so I think that response would be odd.

OP, I think it's better practice to say thanks right away (in a library I might mouth it). That doesn't excuse their behavior of course. So consider it a good reminder that cultures differ (even from the library to a coffee shop) and I think it's generally better to be as prompt as possible with thanks. I think overall they were ruder but I really can't imagine a situation in which a sarcastic you're welcome isn't rude. It's fine to remind children you're in charge of to say thank you (or please or whatever) but not other adults. If someone regularly didn't thank me, I wouldn't be as quick to do them favors in the future.

Oh, never mind then.  I thought the OP mentioned it because they *were* in the library.  Otherwise, why mention it?

Adelaide

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Re: The unacceptable 3-second 'thank you' delay
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2016, 12:34:08 PM »
Even if we assume arguendo that OP's failure to thank them in a timely manner was unacceptable, this is still a case of them improperly pointing out another person's rudeness and attempting to use two wrongs to make a right.