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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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ExCUSE Me! Has Common Courtesy Become A Thing of the Past?
Is it just me or are people crabbier, ruder and less courteous than once was the norm? Have you ever received an email without any sort of greeting or salutation, but which ‘demands’ that you must do such-and-such for him/her and right now as well? Or perhaps had a parking spot stolen? Been given the one-finger salute? Been behind the person in the ten-items only line who has at least twice that amount? (C’mon! I know that you count them, too!) Held the door open for someone who obviously thinks that it must be your job or something and so has no need to thank you for YOUR courteous gesture? Tell us your horror stories! What can we do to make the world just a little better mannered?
For some background info, talking points and helpful suggestions, see: Courtesy by Chuck Gallozzi.
| Reponses: There are 97 responses posted to this question.
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| Server Need Not Mean Serville! ||Oct 14th. at 6:47:47 pm EDT|
|Auralia LVX Interna (Sweden) ||Age: 28 - Email |
Well, after 10 years in the service industry, all I can say is that yes, there are some incredibly rude and demanding individuals out there. Many people take a certain pleasure in behaving horribly towards those whom they view as in a servile position towards themselves. I won't even begin to go into the horror stories concerning men and women, both customers and employers, who have behaved in dreadful and piggish ways towards both myself and fellow coworkers... And how we've had to take such abuse in relative silence because our incomes depended on it!
Here, just for laughs are a few highlights from my Worst Day Ever as a Waitress...
I was 19 and working in a restauraunt owned my two brothers, both alcoholics and one with a serious cocaine addiction. They were so impossible to work for that the restauraunt was severly understaffed. It was a busy saturday night. One of my fellow servers didn't show up for work and neither did the busboy nor the bartender. It was a large establishment...I was bussing tables, making drinks and waiting on more than 15 tables...all the while apologizing and trying to explain the situation to hoardes of pissed off diners. One woman told me to eat shit because I forgot the lemons for her water. Another man stiffed me on an eighty dollar check because I didn't have time to flirt with him. When I went into the back office to find my manager, he was doing lines of coke off the office desk. Then he started screaming and threw a heavy glass ashtray at me, nearly missing my head! I would have walked out that very night but I didn't want to leave the other girl that I was working with alone. But needless to say, I did not return.
Now that I am older and have come into my power somewhat, I wouldn't be so silly as to get myself into a toxic situation such as that. But people can be awfully rude.
(Perhaps I was just working off a bit of Karma from a pervious life as royalty!)
However, I don't believe it's in anyone's best interest to take such behavior seriously. It's alright to get angry, but holding onto that anger, internalizing it and letting it fester, how does that serve us in any way?
To balance this rant, I will also add that I have been, at times, treated with exquisite kindness and love by total strangers. I have been helped and cared for in times of need and comforted in times of difficulty.
Also, I feel that even if we view ourselves to have inside us only one percent of the evil which we project onto others, we are still wiser to direct the focus of our attention within...for that is the only thing over which we have power.
I enjoy treating people with love and kindness. It brings me joy...it fosters peace within my soul. In concern to those who would treat me with cruelty when such kindness fails to break through, I usually respond by ice-cold and utter indifference towards any slander that they care to throw at me. It's amazing, that technique. I become very tall and they become very quiet. We should all cultivate and use our magick.
One more point and then I'll wrap it up. This is unrelated to the question at hand and I know it, but I have to say this. I want to utter a defense of my magickal name in response to a previous post. My magickal name is not a screen name to hide behind. I discovered my magickal name long before I even found this website, before I owned a computer. It came to me in a vision. It is inscribed on my elemental weapons. It is a force within me and an integral part of my being. It is no less real than the name I was given by my parents at birth. This site is one of the few places that I use it. For awhile I questioned whether or not I should use it in public at all...that is how sacred it is to me.
That's all...I thank anyone who took the time to read this!
Blessings and Peace,
| A Thing Of The Past?! ||Oct 14th. at 6:55:39 pm EDT|
|Sarah-Louise (Galway City, Ireland) ||Age: 21 - Email |
Hi, I've noticed most of you live the states, me being from Ireland think I should also share my view. I can't say whether I'm right or wrong but here's my opinion. I work with the public day in and day out as part of my job as a sales assistant in an electrical retail store, and to be quite honest I think there are very few people out there who still believe in manners and 'common courtesy' if some-one holds a door open for me it truly is a shock to my system because in this day and age it's not expected.
I witnessed only last week on a bus going to work a group of school going children sitting down having a chat, when an elderly lady having trouble supporting herself got on to the bus and stood beside them. I myself having been brought up with great manners was standing so had no seat to offer the poor lady. I didn't know any of the children but after watching for at least 3 minutes went over and asked if 1 of them would mind letting the poor lady sit down. I was waiting for 1 of them to at least acknowledge my request with an answer but instead they ignored me. A guy of about my age to my left turned quite red and got up to let the elderly lady sit down, and apologised for not seeing her while she was in full view of him.
I would have considered it common courtesy for the nearest person on the bus to get up and give their seat to the lady so obviously in need of 1.
| Ahhh Manners. . . ||Oct 14th. at 9:24:16 pm EDT|
|Waking Iris (Iowa) ||Age: 18 - Email |
Pleases and thank yous were well drilled into my poor little head as a child. If my parents did nothing else right it was manners. In high school I worked, like mant other high schoolers today. McDonald's and Casey's (a gas station for those that don't have a Casey's)the longest. I made note of one thing most of all. Employees of such places seem to have forgotten, or never knew, what a two-week notice is.
Customers of gas stations, with a few exceptions, happen to be the most polite people I've worked with. They come in, get what they came for, "please excuse" they're rowdy children, thank you for your services and leave.
Fast food patrons on the other hand, generally are loud, obnoxious, unappreciative, and downright rude. I'm sure, and happen to have been lucky enough to run into, there are a select few polite fast-food customers out there. Sadly, they tend to be people who have worked in hamberguers and french fries themselves.
I'm from Iowa, a state that likes to pride itself on "family values," ironically small towners around here are markedly more rude then "cityfolk." I routinely open doors for people, all types, and pick up dropped pencils. I also get odd looks and strained "thank yous" for my efforts. Yes, at the ripe ol' age of 18 (19 in 6 weeks!) I have come to the conclusion that manners and common courtesy are a rare thing indeed. Anyone think they could make the endangered species list? Then maybe people would set out to save them.
My two cents,
| This Is My Thought ||Oct 14th. at 9:31:01 pm EDT|
|Nikki Chase (Grifton, North Carolina USA) ||Age: 15 - Email - Web|
Yes indeed, as the generations pass on so do the corteus manners that once ruled among humans. Its sad, even tho at my age, I might be considered ignorant or iresponsible, I may say Im all the contrary, yet might I add I cant spell correctly sometimes. I do notice that mostly children and young adults have now lost most, or should I say ALL respect for properties, elders, animals, especially the peoples in need, like the homeless and needy. I can hardly bear the idea of what society has turned into, its pitiful! SO outrageous I can hardly believe it, tho what I see, is just the plain truth of what most humans have turned into, they have so much lack of respect!
Children younger than me already know words and umm 'items' that I had no clue existed untill I entered high school, they already cuss and fuss and argue with you could call babies, my gosh they are only kids that havnt even started living yet! Only 4 or 5 years old, and the first thing they learn is how to talk profanity, sometimes I am disscussted at how humans act, not all but,well you know who I mean, all those out there who think one sex is better than the other, or that one race is superior to some other.
I think that to solve some of the outraged problems going on here are to give those children a nice whoopin or just totally scrub their mouths out with the strongest soap there is! And that goes for me as well, because I know I am not no saint, althought I do try to be calm, and maybe I am one of the few kids my age to actually put some one else before my self, like an elder or just some one else.
The other day, I was at the Zone, a place where you go to play softbal, and this KID, about 3 or 4 years old, was standing in front of the door, and well the place was almost full cause it was game
day, and he started calling people thatwould pass by 'Knuckle heads'
For no reason at all, I just laughed, but then the little red neck tried to kick me, I got mad obviuosly, but I just walked out and left, I had already finished my game.
But Im sure I wont forget about it for a while.
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| Oi Vai! ||Oct 14th. at 10:42:46 pm EDT|
|Morrighan (NC) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I don't know, as an educated person, if I should bring this up, but here goes...
After-church people are the worst customers in restaurants. They are rude, pushy, and eager to get up and walk out if only slightly affronted with the offering of the wine list. I have seen it happen. Restaurant bosses, at least the places I have worked, would tell you that after-church people are some of the rudest customers. I guess, having sat for so long, they're itchy, tired, and hungry. I would be too.
I also hate, and this happened a lot when I attended college, when you hold the door for someone and ten people pass through without even a thank you. Oh! I got mad once, yes, yes, patience and tolerance were thrown to the wing and I shouted, "I am not paid to hold the door for you people!" It felt good, though. ^_^
| In Response To Peter's Statement.... ||Oct 14th. at 10:46:14 pm EDT|
|Jenn (Toronto, Canada) ||Age: 20 - Email |
The world is not black and white, good and evil. The world is filled with various colours, shades and hues. (just for the record, "colours" is the proper spelling in Canada)
The way we treat others reflects the way we treat ourselves. People who treat others with disrespect and cruelty usually have a problem or imbalence within themselves, it has nothing to do with "evil". When we are faced with difficulties, in my opinion, it is better to regard the situation from all angles and seek all outcomes and concequences rather than there is only a "right" way or a "wrong" way.
I'm not attacking your opinion. We all have our own paths, I'm just sharing mine. ;)
Injustices are a result of imbalence. It's just common sense to put yourself in anothers shoes, and be curtious.
| IN A WORD ||Oct 14th. at 11:46:42 pm EDT|
OVERPOPLULATION. (THINK ABOUT IT)
| OH BOY ||Oct 15th. at 10:20:49 am EDT|
I totally understand the question and where the author of it is coming from. It's funny, because it's not just Pagans and Witches who are getting picked at anymore; it's everyone. I mean, yeah, I've gotten some nasty things said to me because I'm Wiccan, but still... Not just us, anymore. I think that people are really starting to feel the pressure of the times, and they're figuring "Hey; lets take it out on everyone else, because NO ONE has it worse than me" Sad, but sometimes... So true.
| I'm Still On The Fence ||Oct 15th. at 11:23:57 am EDT|
|Stefanie (Florida) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I'm not sure whether or not manners are still alive and well. I believe that the most incidents of
rudeness occur on the highway. I get flipped the 1-finger salute or honked at if I take too long waiting to cross six lanes of traffic (without a traffic light, mind you) and not wanting to wreck my boyfriend's truck. Generally, 99% of the time, I ignore these hurried persons because I know that they are in a hurry to get home just as much I am. However, this doesn't entitle them to think that I should risk my life and someone else's just so that they can get home or wherever they
are going 30 seconds faster. Most people down here are fairly pleasant (that whole Southern hospitality thing, I suppose). I am in customer service also and the majority of "cranky" customers are usually someone whose had their fill and refuse to take anymore. The behavior of people in public places has to be the worst I have seen in years. I don't know how some people get the idea that the world revolves around them and their "precious time". Unfortunately, these are the people that spoil everyone else's day and it makes no difference to them whatsoever. I have raised my two sons and will do so with my unborn child, to be polite, saying please, thank you, and even excuse me when they want to say something when someone else is talking (that is one of my biggest peeves) I can hope that they will grow up to be polite and helpful when they are grown.
| In My Opinion... ||Oct 15th. at 12:49:51 pm EDT|
|Alley (Michigan) ||Age: 15 - Email |
It is my opinion that there are as many polite wonderful people out
there as there ever were. But now there are even more rude people, who lack common courtesy too.
The numbers may not have changed, simply put we are being exposed to more of these people.
But from the view of the lunch room at our local high school I'm thinking maybe I'm wrong in that assumption.
| Courtesy Isn't Common Anymore ||Oct 15th. at 12:54:19 pm EDT|
|magefire (Easley SC) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I also work for a retail company and deal with the public. I have noticed the trend toward rudeness, abruptness and crudeness too. However, I am a memeber in a historical reenactors group that stresses courtesy and chivalry. It has almost become second nature for me to be courteous. I try to keep that in mind when I am dealing with a rude individual and have discovered that it usually sets them off guard when the rudeness is met with courtesy. (and I've even noticed that in some of the people it shames them into acting better.)
Just my thoughts. Blessed be
| Changing World ||Oct 15th. at 1:13:09 pm EDT|
|bryan (sc) ||Age: 35 - Email |
There are a lot of good posts to this question. I'm not sure if others have noticed it as well, but the smaller towns still have a few manners left in them. I guess there aren't enough influences clustered tightly together to make a dramatic impact. Nothing against population density though. I live in a very small town and commute to a rather large town to work. I see it every day. A lot of it is on the roads. I try to use the 1 hour trip home to reflect on the day, observe the world changing as I pass by daily, and sometimes "people-watch". With a lot of people waiting in traffic and some of them yelling and honking, others are influenced and some join in. We are influenced by our environments. We all need to remember this. WHAT WE GIVE OUT COMES BACK TO US!!! I have witnessed it all too much, hey, I've done it, regrettably. Yes, we're all human, maybe some of us can start acting that way. I occasionally may forget, but I try to do my part. Brightest Blessings to All.
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