Manners at Work: Please and Thank You


Ska 'n' BPeople have been asking me for favors for thirty-seven years.

Maybe it is because I am competent. Maybe it’s my close proximity to some cash. I have no idea why — but I started counting the incoming requests for the purpose of this blog. Guess what? I am asked for a ‘favor’ by someone I know on a daily basis.

Sometimes several times a day.

Let me clarify. When it is your family, it is not a favor. Those don’t count. You do things for the people you love without any quid pro quo. (I’ve had to learn this a hard way.) And I have a difficult time asking for something in return, anyway, because I don’t really need anything.

Except when I raise money for charity. Then I ask.

I very rarely say no when it’s my friends, colleagues or acquaintances. They don’t ask for anything much…

…except lately I’ve been inundated with requests that begin with the words, “Can you…?”

Can I? Can I what?

Well, it basically goes like this.

  • Can you use your social media status to help me make money? I don’t have a good business plan. 
  • Can you please ask the people you know to come to my website? I want to find a shortcut to building an audience and establishing relationships with people. 
  • Can you do a webinar/video/guest blog post for me? Even though I can’t pay you and I don’t really think you’re a very good HR professional, I still want to leverage your micro-celebrity to sell my shitty product.

The answer is YES I CAN DO ALL OF THOSE THINGS FOR YOU but I won’t  even consider it unless your requests include please and a thank you.

I don’t want a bouquet of flowers. I don’t want a parade. I don’t even want you to exercise basic manners. I want you to say please and thank you because you are a decent human being and you have kindness in your heart.

If you don’t fit that demographic, don’t ask me for anything.

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