Monday, February 16, 2009

Whatever Happened To Miss Manners?

I have been growing more and more cynical about our society over recent years. Maybe I'm hitting that age where everything isn't as good as it was when I was a kid. Maybe I'm destined to be a grouchy old bat who yells at little kids (please God, I hope not!). Maybe my expectations are just too high. Maybe I've just worked in retail too long.

What is wrong with people? Where have all their manners gone?

No one says thank you. No one says excuse me. No one picks up after themselves.

Let me give you an example of how far our society has fallen. A few nights ago, Valentine's Day actually, my Beloved and I went to a movie. I knew that the main theater in our small city has notoriously slow lines for tickets and concessions, so I planned accordingly. We arrived early and my Darling One got in the concession line while I stood in the ticket holders line outside the theater. While in line people pushed past me to get to the ladies room without so much as an 'excuse me' or a 'sorry'.

Then there were the 'crowders'. You know who they are. The people who have no understanding of personal space and persist in bumping you with their elbows or purse or whatever while they are in line behind you. No matter how many half-steps forward you take to move away from them, they just take it as a cue to move even closer.

And once I was finally in the theater, things went from bad to worse. First there was the man behind us who was loudly shoveling popcorn into his mouth... and chewing with his mouth open. *ICK* There were the two teenage girls sitting two rows in front of us texting each other throughout the entire movie. Then we were serenaded by a chorus of burps and belches and other disgusting chewing sounds from every side. And finally, there was the I-need-to-pee-every-ten-minutes-because-I-just-drank-a-large-Coke girl in our row.

People, the movie theater is not your living room! If you are that free with your bodily functions in the privacy of your own home, that's one thing. But please, don't subject the rest of us to it!

Another area that continues to shock me is people's behavior in a retail environment. I know that I am jaded in this area but sometimes people can still amaze me in their lack of manners. People interupt conversations, they snap their fingers at me when they want assistance, they pull product off the shelf and leave it on the floor. They get grumpy at me when I ask that they return to the coffee shop in our store to get a lid for their drink (Hello... our product is paper... one drop of your venti half-caff mocha with extra caramel drizzle and a book is ruined!). Then there are the ones refuse to get a lid, spill their coffee, and don't bother to clean it up or even ask for help in cleaning it up. People use language that twenty years ago would have had them banned from any store, and they verbally abuse my staff (no, a 16 year old cashier is not resposible for the difference in Canadian and American pricing and calling her a b*tch isn't going to get you anywhere except escorted out of my store).

And my personal favorite... parents who bring their children into our store, plunk them down in front of the toy table in our kids department, and then wander off to go look for something on the other side of the store. We are not babysitters! Heaven help us if something happens to one of these little abandoned angels while mommy is off perusing Oprah's latest pick.

Ok, so this post has wandered a bit. Basically, it comes down to three things...

Say Please!

Say Thank you!

Live the Golden Rule!

(And for those who have forgotten... Do unto others as you would have done unto you!)

Ok, rant over... for now.


  1. Thank you! Lately, I get the feeling that many people were raised in barns. More people need to read this!
    Thank you!
    from ICLW

  2. lol... thanks for your support! A new all time low... a mom of a new born was holding her little one , jiggling him up and down, and of course he threw up. Did the mom do anything? Did she say anything? No! She just watched as my staff member had to mop it up out of the carpet.

  3. Firstly, thank you for your comment, it helps to know there are others out there in the same boat as me..Secondly..I completely agree, I work in a doctors office where people are free to treat me like scum, but if I dare to not jump when they want me to, watch out. Just be kind to each other, how hard is that?!

  4. One thing I realized as I entered adulthood is that "common sense" really isn't as common as I was raised to believe. In fact it's something of an endangered species. I feel for ya and so know where you come from regarding customer service- my first job was at Ora.nge Ju.lius.


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