Sneeze dilema

hyruleherojoe

Senior Member
OK so not one to start debates. I work in an office full of cubicles. Being the semi new guy I try to be courteous and respectful at all times. Its hard to do that when I sneeze and they say the usual "God bless you." I don't say anything in response. My job place has many religious people and it makes me a little uncomfortable how they interact with me based on their beliefs.Most have religious quotes or pictures up all over their cubicle, my supervisor even has a bottle of holy water on her desk. I guess I'll have to suck it up for now, it sounds really petty of me. Just food for thought, how do you respond when someone blesses you after a sneeze?
Or overly religious people at work? And I mean the ones that blast the religion talk show all day at work, and say amen ever 5 seconds. Some of the stuff being spewed out of those talk shows are ridiculous.

How do you deal?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
A simple thank you is probably better than not acknowledging them. I try to be PC and say gesundheit (translation: good health) when I'm not the sneezer.
 

CreeplyTuna

Silver Member
I'm very non-religious so I sometimes face the same dilemma. You don't want to act rude but you're also not going to say something that makes you uncomfortable. I don't have a problem with "god bless you," though. It's more a figure of speech than some holy sacrament. Just say "thank you" and move on, no big deal. If you have a sick coworker and everyone's like: "I pray for your good health," and you don't pray, that's fine, you don't have to lie. Say "Get well soon" or "wish you the best." You can be true to yourself without offending anyone.

As for blasting talk shows, will you get in trouble for putting in earbuds? Or could you ask someone to turn it down?
 

hyruleherojoe

Senior Member
Thats what I say too, gesundheit. Or I give them a nod. I try not to be rude or insulting at work but its sometimes irritating. For example, the woman behind me blast hers religious radio, I'd have no problem if it wasnt for that fact that the talk personalities literally call gays, atheists, muslims, and basically anything not christians, a sin. Seriously! I was in shock. It literally preached the evils of science and how gravity is not a law since its inanimate. Stuff like that gets me really pissed. But I dont ever treat my coworker with disrespect.
 

hyruleherojoe

Senior Member
I'm very non-religious so I sometimes face the same dilemma. You don't want to act rude but you're also not going to say something that makes you uncomfortable. I don't have a problem with "god bless you," though. It's more a figure of speech than some holy sacrament. Just say "thank you" and move on, no big deal. If you have a sick coworker and everyone's like: "I pray for your good health," and you don't pray, that's fine, you don't have to lie. Say "Get well soon" or "wish you the best." You can be true to yourself without offending anyone.

As for blasting talk shows, will you get in trouble for putting in earbuds? Or could you ask someone to turn it down?
For the blasting radio thing I cant use headbuds at work. I mean I'm kinda new so I gotta be as professional as possible. But I do play my own music at a low volume. Barely audible outside my cubicle wall. I mean I know its not a big crazy deal but it has me thinking a lot. Mainly that it boggles me that people cannot understand the idea that not everyone is going to believe the same as you do and then get ruffled when they find out you dont.

I guess its this whole office culture going on really that bugs me. Everyone has to say good morning with such a huge smile. Weird stuff man
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I'm an atheist that has to work with a variety of of believers. I just don't get hung up about it. Everything in life is a choice between joy/love and fear/hate.

As far as the radio-man hate-monger. Gravitation is a fairly complex topic. If someone misinterprets the metaphorical story of genesis as being literal, we can hardly expect them to have the capacity to comprehend the nature of fundamental and emergent forces. Most of the time, radio-hate-mongers are just putting on an act and playing a character in order to generate controversy and increase ad revenue. It's exactly what performers like Alice Cooper do. It's a show.
 

hyruleherojoe

Senior Member
I'm an atheist that has to work with a variety of of believers. I just don't get hung up about it. Everything in life is a choice between joy/love and fear/hate.

As far as the radio-man hate-monger. Gravitation is a fairly complex topic. If someone misinterprets the metaphorical story of genesis as being literal, we can hardly expect them to have the capacity to comprehend the nature of fundamental and emergent forces.
Totally agree with you about it being a choice. I don't let it affect my treatment of others but it really gets me thinking.
 

JimFiore

Silver Member
As far as the radio-man hate-monger. Gravitation is a fairly complex topic. If someone misinterprets the metaphorical story of genesis as being literal, we can hardly expect them to have the capacity to comprehend the nature of fundamental and emergent forces. Most of the time, radio-hate-mongers are just putting on an act and playing a character in order to generate controversy and increase ad revenue. It's exactly what performers like Alice Cooper do. It's a show.
True, that. The difference is that some of them actually believe what they're saying. Yes, there are people who believe that the universe is literally 6000 years old and humans once rode dinosaurs like horses.

First, the whole "say something after a sneeze" is very silly. People don't have special sayings for when you cough or burp or hiccup. My understanding is that this saying arose in the Middle Ages because people thought that your soul left your body when you sneezed and before it returned the devil could sneak in. Talk about your sophisticated theology, ranks right up there with "step on crack, break your mother's back".

When someone sneezes, I go the Seinfeld route and say "you're so good looking". My students are perfectly conditioned to it by the time they graduate. If I sneeze and someone says "god bless you" I'll usually say something like "Arf!", just a non sequitur acknowledgement.
 

hyruleherojoe

Senior Member
First, the whole "say something after a sneeze" is very silly. People don't have special sayings for when you cough or burp or hiccup. My understanding is that this saying arose in the Middle Ages because people thought that your soul left your body when you sneezed and before it returned the devil could sneak in. Talk about your sophisticated theology, ranks right up there with "step on crack, break your mother's back".
That's why I don't say thank you. Because to me it just doesn't make sense. When one farts they say excuse me. One coughs they dont say anything most of the time. A hiccup is also followed by excuse me. Its just odd for a sneeze to be treated special haha.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
I'd get out of there quickly if I had that kind of drivel on the radio and couldn't complain to my manager about it. I'd probably snap within hours.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
In some latin cultures, they say "Jesus" when you sneeze. When it's a double sneeze, it's "Jesus y Maria". When it's a triple sneeze, it's "Jesus y Maria y Joseph". I think they start listing the 12 apostles after that....
 
T

The SunDog

Guest
Almost everyone that I've ever met in my life has some religious belief. Most of the people that I love and respect. Some of the kindest and smartest people. I just let it go now. I don't want to argue with these people over evolution, or heaven, or the fact that I believe we 're just big apes cruising around space on a giant rock. It's all just too short to waste time fighting about things that will not be agreed upon in my lifetime. If Halley predicting comets couldn't convince people , how can I hope to persuade "Bob" in Human Resources.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I think of "bless you" as more of a courtesy remark than anything else. Even I use it, and I'm not religious. Just like when I ask, "How are you?" I don't necessarily really want an answer. I'm big on social etiquette so this one doesn't bother me in the least.
 

hyruleherojoe

Senior Member
I think of "bless you" as more of a courtesy remark than anything else. Even I use it, and I'm not religious. Just like when I ask, "How are you?" I don't necessarily really want an answer. I'm big on social etiquette so this one doesn't bother me in the least.
I guess I'm on of those people that actually answer to "How are you?" =( Have to stop being so literal.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
You can always say Bless you, and then reply thank you. No religion involved. If you aren't the sneezer you can always say nothing
 

hyruleherojoe

Senior Member
You can always say Bless you, and then reply thank you. No religion involved. If you aren't the sneezer you can always say nothing
Wouldnt blessing someone imply bestowing some supernatural's good will on you. Like I said before, maybe I'm too literal and petty. Saying nothing will appear rude to them i believe.

My job has a morale committee where they discuss interpersonal problems and feelings. Maybe I could bring it up to them just to see what they say.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Wouldnt blessing someone imply bestowing some supernatural's good will on you. Like I said before, maybe I'm too literal and petty. Saying nothing will appear rude to them i believe.

My job has a morale committee where they discuss interpersonal problems and feelings. Maybe I could bring it up to them just to see what they say.
Not at all, I'm absolutely with you here.

With regards to the morale committee, I'd much rather discuss your colleague's radio. If you put in a complaint about the overtly religious and discriminatory content then that might get some traction. You don't even have to be offended. Just point out that a potential client entering your office could be if they heard it.

We have a similar policy at my work. I work in the community a lot and if a service user makes a racist or discriminatory remark, we point out how it might make somebody they don't know feel. It usually nips it in the bud very quickly (and if they don't stop...).
 

Magenta

Platinum Member
My understanding is that this saying arose in the Middle Ages because people thought that your soul left your body when you sneezed and before it returned the devil could sneak in.
I have always understood that sneezing was one of the earliest symptoms of the Black Death and that the blessing was intended to protect you from further and more fatal ones, which tallies with "Gesundheit".

Although the "God" bit is implied in "bless you", I don't think I've ever heard the whole thing said over here.

But what is really, really important is that you should never say "Thank you" after somebody says "Bless you", because every time you do, a fairy dies. This is FACT.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
First, the whole "say something after a sneeze" is very silly. People don't have special sayings for when you cough or burp or hiccup. My understanding is that this saying arose in the Middle Ages because people thought that your soul left your body when you sneezed and before it returned the devil could sneak in. Talk about your sophisticated theology, ranks right up there with "step on crack, break your mother's back".
I've always read that it had a lot more to do with the Black Plague. Sneezes (along with other flu like symptoms) were one of the first signs, and it was very bad news to get the good ol' Bubonic. Hence, the original sentiment was typically genuine, and I imagine followed by whomever said it taking some distance from your person immediately.
 

Macarina

Silver Member
You don't have to say anything after they say bless you. There is no 'responsibility'.

If they get their panties in bunch, which I hope is not happening, then it's on them how they take the silence.

I sneeze... a lot. I never expect a Bless You... In fact, I kinda let on not to say something because you'll be saying it about 10 more times in the next minute and that gets tiresome.

Thus I never say Bless You when people sneeze too.

Note: I thought this was going to be a thread of sneezing while playing. That's actually a small fear of mine. As is a major scratch or my glasses starting to slide off my face. Like I said, it's just small fear.
 
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