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Posted: Nov. 17, 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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| 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,
| 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.
| 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,
| Both Side ||Oct 14th. at 5:43:35 pm EDT|
|Lone Saladin (South Florida) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I have spent time in both small towns and large cities, and the generalities do hold. The smaller cities are more polite and the large cities are *slightly* ruder. I have spent most of my adult life working with customers on a day to day basis, so I know what it is like to be on the recieving end of someone's screaming. Fortunately that has given me the insight to be a little more patient and understanding when it comes to service. I dont yell and scream or threaten jobs, i just do a couple of things. The first time I'm in a store and get a rude person, I think maybe their having a bad day and will go back again if needed. If i get the same treatment a second time, I will quietly talk to a manager and inform them of my expierence. If it happens again I just find somewhere else to go. With rudeness in general believe it or not I blow it off. People want to pass me and flip me off because I wont drive 20mph over the speed limit. Let them. All it does to them is elevate their blood pressure and I wont waste my time on simple-minded people who cant understand that just because they left an hour late for work doesnt make it my fault. Live and Let live is the only way to go. Bright Blessings on all may your lives be filled with peace, love, and laughter.
| OH! Almost Forgot! ||Oct 14th. at 5:35:37 pm EDT|
|Thunder Mouse (Saint Joseph Missouri) ||Age: 21 - Email |
To keep my opinion my opinon and uninflunced, I tend to read other posts after I write and send my own as to keep my opinion from being affected. I realised though after readint some of the posts, that I left something out in my post. How rude of me.
A huge thank you to the Witch Vox Staff!
| Doing The Right Thing. ||Oct 14th. at 5:23:27 pm EDT|
|Peter (Stillwater, OK) ||Age: 48 - Email - Web|
This world has two faces Black and White, Good and Evil. Grey is the nice touch we added to fool ourselves, and mask our bad choices. Grey does not exist, every bad thing you do makes the next test harder to pass, enough failures and there are no more test, the end. Poor behavior, disrespect, and rudeness are small bits of Black and like a small amounts of poison that don't seem harmful, they add up with direr consequences. Understand this; life is serious, you can run out of chances, you can fail, and when you fail you will end. Doing the right thing sound cliché, but, it is the answer. Do good things where you can and harm none.
| I Am Void Of Common Courtesy ||Oct 14th. at 5:22:14 pm EDT|
|Danielle (Texas) ||Age: 21 - Email |
People tell me all the time that I'm rude, stuck up, and a major you-know-what. I don't let what they say bother me though. I *try* to be courteous, but I just can't sometimes. Most people aren't worth my time, and if they knew what I was, they probably wouldn't be courteous to me either. Since I follow a "traditional witch" path, I've been bashed for being biased in my believes and for being fundamental sometimes. One person even said that traditional witches don't even like themselves, that's why they don't like other pagan faiths. I have no problem with other pagan paths, it's just the people who try and sugar-coat them that I have the problem with. No one said that traditional witchcraft was a tolerant-let's-be-friends-and-share-secrets-faith.
| My Opinion ||Oct 14th. at 5:17:10 pm EDT|
|Thunder Mouse (Saint Joseph Missouri) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I cant realy say how pepole used to be, as I am only 21 (almost 22 ^_^) and have only realy ben experinceing the world for the last 4 years or so as an adult. I have run into ALOT of rude pepole especialy when I lived down south a few years ago. There was a customer I will never forget. I was working in the Lowes store in Sumter South Carolina. I was in the lawn and gaurden department. A customer had a problem with a gas heater he bought last year. He wanted me to turn it on and try to figure out what was wrong with it, but because I am not a repair person and because of the risk the thing could blow up, I was told not to do it and to tell him that we couldnt take it back because it was far past our return pollicy and he didnt have a recipt. I told him this and that I was verry sorry that I couldnt help him (truly, because it was rather cold this day) and asked him if there was anything ells I could do for him. He then proseded to use....creative language to describe me and my ansestery. I then told him again that I was sorry, and that I hope he has a nice day....he then went up to my manager and sead (and I quote) YOU NEED TO FIRE THAT BOY! My manager asked, Him? why? THe customer then screamed back, "HE TOLD ME TO HAVE A NICE DAY!" I wish events like this in retail werent so comon, but truth is, I run into inconsideret pepole nearly every day (well night now that I work nights at a grocery store here in missouri). I hate to say it, but rude pepole do seam to outnumber those who are polite. I suppose the best thing to do, is to just try to be the best person I can be. If anything just to make the person behind the counters life a little easyer.That, and when I have childeren of my own, rase them to understand that others other than myself have fealings. The way this world is today, I hope that more pepole try to be a little kinder to those they meet.
| You Never Know... ||Oct 14th. at 5:05:28 pm EDT|
|Katy (Los Angeles) ||Age: 22 - Email - Web|
Oh boy, do I have horror stories. I'm not afraid of specifics -- I work at a Payless. Cheap shoes for people who think our prices are exorbitant. :::shrug::: Well, if everyone is in a hurry, then they're obviously still going to have to wait in line for me to help them. And people do get rude, pushy, even occasionally abusive. And it's over the silliest things!
But who am I to judge? What happened to them before they walked into the store? Is the woman shaking her fist at me just a bitch, or is she just as overworked and underpaid as I am? Is her husband a jerk? Are her kids in trouble at school? Did her goldfish just die? I never know. It's really hard sometimes, but I try to be polite. And I try to *always* be polite, no matter where I am. Y'know, threefold law and all that jazz. If nothing else, it does give a *little* satisfaction to know that the jerk of a bus driver who closed the door just as I was running up to the bus will get his in due time. ^_~
Remember, the threefold law is a cosmic force, not an excuse for us to screw someone three times as badly as they screwed us.
| Yes And No ||Oct 14th. at 4:29:09 pm EDT|
|Stella (Pasadena, CA) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I think there are lots of rude people out there, but there are also a lot of very nice, very considerate people out there. In the past month I have had strangers help me push my car off to the side of the road and jump start it. I have had customers at my restaurant hug me because it was my birthday (by the way, happy birthday, Becka). I have had people hold doors for me, let me cut ahead of them in the grocery line because I only had two items, and a host of other nice things. I think we tend to focus on the times people are rude. It can be easy to dismiss all the times people are polite.
| Oh, Boy... ||Oct 14th. at 3:14:22 pm EDT|
|Becka (Here) ||Age: 22 - Email |
As someone who has worked in the service industry for the past three years, namely a self-serve, pay-first gas station, I have seen more rudeness than I could have ever imagined.
I look like I am about 17 (I'm 22 as of yesterday) and a lot of the people who came into the gas station were rude to me because of my age. They were polite as can be to the older attendants, but all I ever got was a gruff "here put this on pump 5" or whatever.
A lot of times I wouldn't even get that, people would just throw the money in the drawer and point in the direction of their car and then come back and curse at me because I got it wrong.
And the out of state people who had never heard of paying first were sometimes the worse, they would curse and yell and threaten all because they had to make two trips to the window.
I will admit that my first year and a half there I was just as rude back, but then I grew up and started to greet EVERYONE with a smile and hello even the ones who were yelling. Some people calmed down and smiled back, some didn't.
Unfortunately in this era of ME
nobody wants to take responsibility for their mistakes, they are always looking to pin the blame on others (especially service people).
Oh, I waited too long to return this sweater, its the store's fault for having such a short return period.
Oh, I didn't want peas with my meal (even though I didn't tell the waitstaff that), it's the
waitstaff's fault because s/he can't read my mind.
And the people who don't slow down enough to read signs are my biggest pet peeve. It could be posted in bright orange blinking letters that something is out of order, but there are people out there who will look right at the sign and ask to use that machine.
| Me Me Me And ME!!!! ||Oct 14th. at 2:42:48 pm EDT|
|SharlaMoon (Omaha, NB) ||Age: 31 - Email |
In a sef-center'd society... Why would there be manners or courtesy? THAT would be very inconvenient wouldn't it?
Sad but true and Pagans are worst than others... too much air and fire, too little earth. I sure thought this crowd would be different... An it harm none? Correct and for the good of all? YES I know these are Wicca phrases but even though I'm not wiccan they are the same as the golden rule. "do unto others... as you'd like them to do un to you" - The cop out I see (in the past few years) is... 'I am not wiccan so I don't HAVE to abide by 'harm none' - Well isn't THAT convenient. Ya ever notice that ANY code of ethics that THEY may have don't seem to manifest?
So what ARE the ugly words in this community? From what i've seen in the past ten years the list would include HONESTY, RESPONSIBILITY, INTEGRITY, SERVICE. Ya just don't see these words discussed much, they are just too inconvenient. - "Hey I've got a fantasy going on..." They sure do. What better way to shurk responsibility than to just fantisise or hide. that way you won't HAVE to be accountable. This is a great place to do that.
It's my nature to NOT buy this BS, and to be honest, the only reason that I hang out in this community (other than it calling to me spiritually) is for the few that DO give, ARE Nice, are NOT needy and DO offer themselves to the all. - They are my inspiration, I WANT to be like they are.
Thanks Witchvox. Thanks for being here.
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