お疲れ様です & お疲れ様でした

(sorry most of my questions are relating to ALT life and life in Japan in general)

So you’re leaving work, right? You’re leaving at the time you are scheduled and paid to leave at (lol Japanese working culture). But there’s still coworkers (AKA other teachers in my position) in the office when you are leaving.

I can never tell when you should say お疲れ様です! or お疲れさあでした!
Sounding like a huge newb, but yes I understand the basic grammar or です and でした.

I hear my coworkers say お疲れ様です and お疲れ様でした at the same time as another coworker saying the opposite one. Are they used interchangeably? Or does the person leaving say one and the person saying bye say the other?

I know they both mean variations of ”Thank you for your hard work." But I guess I’m just still a bit unsure about which one to use when or in what context.

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Just speaking from experience, it seems people sometimes use でした when you have done some specific hard work, and です when you leave after a normal day at work. Although it’s not always like that. I’m also a bit confused.

After a business trip that lasted 12 hours, my boss said お疲れ様でした, maybe signifying the hard work I had done that day. But most days when I leave the office he always says お疲れ様です.

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I agree that です is used more generally while でした is for specific things. Leaving work would be a general thing.

When my vice principal comes back from helping out with the ferry in the mornings we say お疲れ様でした。 Where as when we pass by someone on the street we say お疲れさまです。

I’m not sure about the rest of Japan, but here in Kagoshima we use お疲れさまです as a greeting just as often as we use こんにちは lol. Threw me for a loop there the first few weeks.

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The お疲れさまです as a greeting confused me, too! We say it up here in Nagasaki, though I assumed it was an all-Japan thing lol.
If anyone else is curious, this is how it was explained it to me: the first time you see a teacher that day, you say おはようございます・こんにちは. Any subsequent time you see that teacher, you should say お疲れ様です.
(I don’t have much to contribute to this です・でした discussion – sorry!)

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I like to think of it in terms of です being continous and not finished yet. Like you are leaving and your co-workers are still working.
While the でした version would be their response since you are finished.

It is just how I keep them straight in my head.

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That’s what I was thinking! I’m glad I wasn’t just making it up. Haha!

PS: お疲れ様です。

Oh, okay! Maybe I’m thinking of the Kagoshima-ben way of saying it as 「 オヤットサー」…

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