Friday, February 19, 2010

When did Manners Die?

Common courtesy isn’t so common anymore and it makes me so sad. I had to run a bunch of errands, not my favorite thing to do on my day off by the way, but sometimes things just have to be done. Maybe I was just ultra sensitive today, but I don’t think so. I believe that people have just gotten more rude than they were in the past.

First stop is to Target to grab a couple of silly things for my family. Right away I should have known to turn around. The parking lot was fairly full and thanks to the recent dump of snow, many of the spots were unparkable. I pulled into a spot and another car pulled in next to me…Bang!...their door opens right into mine. Not a big deal really. I understand that things happen, but what got me was that they just got out and began walking towards the store like I wasn’t even standing there. I am not looking for some big drama or anything, but an “I’m sorry” would go a long way.

In the store now and they are taking out the Valentines items and putting up gardening and Easter so some of the isles are filled with carts full of merchandise to be put out. No big deal, they have a job to do. As I am coming out of one such isle a woman on her cell phone runs right into me. I quickly apologized, though I really didn’t do anything, and all I got in return was a glare that would raise the dead…and back to her conversation. Deep breath…don’t let silly things get to me…..

Up at the register I place my things on the belt and say “Good morning” to the cashier. No reply, just a scowl. As she is scanning my merchandise she gets to a print cartridge that is locked in one of those plastic cases. She heaves a big sigh, like I asked her for a kidney, and announces to the woman behind me that she has to call someone to take the lock box off so it will be a while. Rather than continue scanning, she stands there tapping her foot and holding the print cartridge waiting for the magic key. Finally it arrives and my cartridge is free from its prison. Now, before someone jumps in telling me maybe they were having a bad day or their fish just died; I understand having a bad day but it seems to me that there are so many people that work retail jobs that are just miserable. I’ve worked with the public and understand that it can be rough, but to look like you are in front of a firing squad when a customer says hello…well…get over it!

Bottom line, all I wanted to do was go home. Why this rant? Well, I was raised by an old fashioned woman that demanded politeness from me….please, thank you, excuse me we not reserved for company but were expected at all times. Now that I am raising my own children, I expect no less from them. My oldest son is great for holding doors at the store or picking up a dropped object for a stranger. He allows adults to pass him in the isle and says thank you to the cashier. It doesn’t take any thought from him; it is just the way I expect him to be. Maybe a few others could take a cue from a child and the world would be a much more pleasant place to live.


jewelry by NaLa said...

I, too, believe that things in general are going in a slightly nasty direction these days. Take television and video games, for instance. These days, it seems the meaner and more rude they are, the more popular they are. I think that that kind of pop culture visual on a daily basis could make some people (especially young people) insensitive to others' feelings in real life.

Just remember, that karma wheel keeps turning, and your consideration of others will eventually come back to you. ;)

Christine Burgess said...

OMG, I think the same thing and wonder how in the world these people got there jobs.
I try to say to myself that maybe they are having a bad day or maybe something terrible is going on at their home, but it can't be for everyone!!
People are becoming so de-sensitized that it's scary.
Good post.

trusk4u said...

There is nothing old fashioned about be courteous and showing some decency. I certainly taught my kids that "Please and Thank-you" will take you a long way in the world. Apologize when you are in the wrong.
I can remember that being rude to a customer like that was grounds for being fired. It's all so sad.
Great post!

CJ Grand said...

I see this more and more and I live in Canada where we are supposedly so polite. I live in a small town where everybody knows everybody else so I don't see as much of it here but it is becoming more prevalent in the cities. I wonder if anonymity doesn't have something to do with it. Like oh well I'll never see this person again so why should I be nice?

I work in retail and to be honest I really don't like my job but I'm still friendly and joking with the customers. It just make the day go by so much easier. Besides it's not their fault the company treats their employees like dirt and my boss is a jerk. My goodness I seem to be having a rant of my own.

There is one more thing that is becoming as scarce as common courtesy and that is common sense, but that's another rant.