Monday, June 16, 2008

Modern Manners: A Rant

Cat W is best like butter, on a roll.....

I have, fairly recently, been spending some time lamenting the general lack of manners and courtesy that people appear to be exhibiting these days. I don’t know what it is, but I know that its not just kids – older people are just as guilty. I work in customer service, and one of the biggest things I have noticed about this industry is that people can be big old bastards. I’m not old, I’m 25 in fact, and I consider that I was brought up well enough by my parents to know what constitutes good manners. Subsequently I shall have a mini rant so bear with me, you may even sympathise!

I try to treat people the way I like to be treated. No matter if I don’t really like them, or care what they think about me, but I know how good I feel when people use their pleases, thank you’s and don’t treat me like general shite. I have this thing going on whereby if I don’t get a please, thank you, some kind of eye contact or even a smile, then I will often give back what I get and be quite cool towards my subject. Polite, but cool. I don’t know what impression this gives, but when you work with people everyday, it makes you very aware of what makes good service. Manners and a friendly demeanor are paramount.

I don’t think I’m asking for the world. For me, as a paying customer, you don’t need to engage me in conversation (in fact, please don’t) unless, for example, you’re a travel agent or someone I’m buying a book off (in which case I like to have a good old convo, preferably about the book). If I’m polite and friendly towards you, I simply expect the same in return.

One thing that quite annoys me is parents who don’t teach their kids to say please or thank you, or if they do, often it’s not enforced. Subsequently, we have a lot of spoilt little shits running around, who think it’s above them to show courtesy to others. Not all parents are like this, and not all kids obviously, but it’s too common a thing not to warrant comment! Young people, those in their teens and mid twenties often show a similar discourtesy. And old people. My god. They can push and shove with the best of them, and it ain’t pretty. You are not better than me because you’ve lived through 10 world wars and deserve to be treated like a legend, if you show some courtesy and don’t forget to say please or thank you, then maybe you’ll get said treatment. And for god’s sake don’t use your deafness as an excuse. Now I know people get old and grumpy and sick, and I respect that, but it’s an entirely different subject and not one I shall indulge in right now. Or maybe ever…

I don’t dislike the industry I work in, just in case you may have been getting that impression, but I do get a little irritated when people think it’s above them to use manners and/or show discourtesy. Whatever industry or life situation you find yourself in, just remember that rudeness, stuck up-ness and ill-manners are not at all becoming or endearing. So next time your out and dealing with the public, put away that dough face and remember your manners – it may make a difference, even just a slight one.

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