I am fairly new to consulting and am puzzled by how best to react to sneezing in the office. Obviously this is a relevant issue now we’re in the midst of winter. Put simply, how should a young thrusting MC (not long in the industry) decide when and how often to say "bless you" in response to a sneeze?
It’s a given that sneezes proffered by those above you in the pecking order (those of a higher grade) should be met with a jaunty, perky, slightly deferential and immediate "bless you".
The problem is, how to handle sneezes emitted by those of a similar or lower grade?
It's wise to bless those in the same grade, provided they are widely considered to be the rain-makers of the future. It aides the ingratiation process.
How should one approach the lower order however? A single, dismissive, delayed and slightly weary "bless you", designed to exhibit slight contempt at the auditory intrusion? Or should they merely be ignored?
The other issue, is how often should “bless you”s be repeated when faced with serial sneezing. Should this be decided on a sliding scale, weighted according to seniority?
Help, chums, help.