Remember when we used to think that it was rude if someone didn’t RSVP to a party but showed up anyway?
Maybe more of an etiquette issue, but remember when your grandmother was aghast in the 1990s when people started wearing jeans to church on Sundays?
How about a few years ago when speaking on your cell phone in a public place became the modern tale of “bad manners”? Ha! Now, that’s just common practice.
Guys spitting a foot from their wife’s pretty shoes… someone belching grossly out loud in a restaurant… walking or reaching in front of someone’s face without saying, “excuse me”…. These regular habits of many people make the manners of the “old days” look silly:
It’s interesting how we become indifferent…how we slowly just accept the erosion and near entire demise of etiquette and decent manners as time progresses.
While those issues I named above are a little funny now, recently I’ve experienced bad manners on a whole new level.
We recently threw the biggest party (the only “big” party) we’ve ever thrown in our lives. Invitations were sent, RSVPs were required and it was held at a nice place. I was shocked that more than one “Mom and Dad” adult couple who were invited and said two were attending, showed up with their multiple kids and their boyfriends and girlfriends?!
They filled entire tables – those that we did not have prepared, nor paid for, nor counted on for food.
How about we wait for the 14-yr olds to be engaged before springing their significant others upon paid-for parties?
That I got over quickly…hey, they were coming to celebrate with us. But a few others are just stunning lately…
I was at Sears returning something from LandsEnd and I waited in line about five minutes. The entire time I stood there, I found it strange that the sales clerk was chatting away while the customer at the counter didn’t say a word.
As I approached the counter for my turn, the clerk smiled at me and asked if I finished my bagel with cream cheese. My face contorted and I laughed, saying, “I wasn’t eating a bagel”. Without a beat she said, “Finish what you’re doing and get over here to visit me”.
Huh? My eyes narrowed in on her as she fumbled with receipts, clearly distracted by her phone which was propped up on the register because she was face-timing someone! Just as I was about to say something, the manager walked over, not knowing about the face timing, but that clerk slammed her phone down so hard, she might have (hopefully) broke it.
My shock and awe at the rudeness of doing something like that where you work and serve customers was quickly followed by a similar situation.
As I was standing at a counter waiting for service and speaking to the 40-something woman helping me, her personal phone rang and she answered it. Surprising, but maybe she had a sick child at home. She began talking and no kidding, reached underneath the counter, pulled out ear buds, put them in her ears and continued talking. Slowly and utterly distracted, she attempted to continue helping me – without speaking to me – which obviously she could not do while chatting on the phone.
If this was the doctor calling about a child’s fever, of course, answer the phone! These were literally mindless conversations that I stood for only in seconds because I’m not someone who endures crappy (sorry for the nasty word) service quietly.
My last straw actually made me laugh out loud. I run a fairly engaging classroom environment in my college classes and expect everyone to talk and respond throughout any session I teach. It’s never a straight lecture. As a result, you can’t sit in the back of the room and text your friends in my classes without someone noticing.
I had a male student in his 30’s tell me that he “couldn’t” put his phone away when I asked him to during class because he was “addicted” to Facebook and had to check his feed constantly! He was somewhat serious and yet was making a failing attempt at charming me to allow phone use in my class. I laughed out loud, pointed to the door and said he could check his feed all day long out of my classroom, but not in it.
I foolishly expect decent manners and the audacity of poor manners, particularly when the person is in a customer service position, feels both disheartening for society at large and infuriating to me personally.