Monday, June 24, 2013

Manners, Courtesy, and the Like

I happened to watch this video late last week. 

Did you see it?  I know so many people laughed at the man or maybe even cheered him on.  Why?  I found what he did very rude and almost violent in his reaction.  The first thing that went through my mind was the fact that he obviously never worked in fast food otherwise he would never have done this.  People that work in those types of job know how the process works inside.  I’m always surprised that other people don’t get it.  Do people really not realize that the person that hands out your food to you didn’t actually make it?  In fact had no control over its production?  Do we want the people that handles our money to then paw through our food to make sure it’s made to your specifications?  I for one do not.  How many hand sinks have you seen at the drive through window?  Second, why would you take out your aggression over cheese on a young girl that is making minimum wage, just trying to get through their shift?  We all know what the appropriate action here should have been, right?  Right? 

This however brought to mind manners.  We (well most of us…okay some of us) try very hard to instill in our children good manners.  The time and effort that goes into the simple words of thank you and please and you’re welcome.  We work to teach our children to share and treat people with respect.  We work tirelessly on these skills. 

So my question is…once we reach adulthood, do we suddenly not have to use our manners anymore?  Is it a pass once we reach, oh twenty-three years of age or what?  How many people do you say thank you too?  How often do you add please to your requests?  Do you willingly share?  I try very hard to not have to interact with real people as often as I can because the answer to these questions is: No.  Most people, don’t use any type of manners or just plain common courtesy at all. 

I want….get me…do this…now.  I wait in line at my local Starbucks at least once a week (yes, okay, sometimes more) and I have a memorized line, “Venti, non-fat, light foam, caramel macchiato, please”.  No other “pleases” are heard while I wait.  I am handed my drink and I make eye contact and say thank you.  Every time.  What has me confused is the shear look of WTH on the face of the person handing me my drink at how to respond to my thank you.  They aren’t used to it.  Evidently.  They always give me a very lovely smile and then a surprised you’re welcome. 

At the bank, I don’t receive a “How can I help you?”  I have on a regular basis gotten a curt, “Yeah, come on up.”  It sets a very defensive tone immediately.  How do you respond to that?  All I am then able to do is set down my deposit and slide it across the window.  I still say thank you when I am tossed back my receipt, but I very rarely get a you’re welcome. 

Children I meet along the way are always so polite and sweet.  I get a smile, always.  I get a please and thank you every time necessary.  Why are children so mannered when adults who are taking the time to teach their children these very manners feel they should go without them?  I’m confused and a bit frustrated with the human race. 

Oh I know there are many adults out there that feel the same way, but I am not running into you and that is why this is so upsetting.  Where are the mannered and the courteous? It’s really sad and really no wonder I shy away from adults more often that not anymore.  Adults are mean and selfish and self absorbed.  I’ll take the children any day over the adults. 

Just in case you don’t know what the appropriate action to have taken in the drive through situation, here it is:  Go inside, ask to speak to the manager.  Tell your complaint to the manager, the one person that can actually do something about the situation.  For those that are saying why should they have to get out of the car? The dude above drove over to a parking spot, got out of his car, walked up to the drive through and then went on a several minute rant!  That got him nothing but face time on the internet.  Heck, at least with bringing your complaint to the manager, you might get free food for your next visit.  Woo Hoo!  

So be nice out there people.  I for one am taking notice.  Are you?


  1. I, like you, always try to be nice, however I really have little patience for Customer service people who don't want to help or are lazy. Occasionally, I have given a smart alec comment or a dirty look back at them but have never yelled at anyone. If I'm irritated and don't say thank you, I really feel mad at myself but sometimes people just don't deserve a thank you! They are being paid to do their job, no matter how little, so they need to do it! But they don't deserve to be yelled at by the general public.

    That man in the video was really out of line. Sometimes I think the older we get, the crankier we get and sometimes don't care what people think! But to act like he did... I think he came out cranky at birth.

    1. The video just must have rubbed me the way wrong way. I was at Old Navy this past weekend for the $1 flip flop sale. The girls at the checkout (the line was staggering btw) was stressed and you could tell she'd had a long day with cranky customers. I tried very hard to lighten her day and she even smiled at the end and told me thank you, not for the purchase of my flip flops but for being a nice person and treating her well. I like to think I made her day just a little better, even if it was for only that moment.