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Bloviating Zeppelin: Mizz Manners 2005

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Mizz Manners 2005

So there I was. I had just taken my 85-year-old father to Wells Fargo to conduct some banking and, on the way out, I held the door open for a woman who breezed through, said nothing, and disappeared as though it was expected.

This really pissed me off. I got no "thank you," no "thanks," not even a grunt. If she were 10 years old I might expect that. This lady was obviously in her mid-30's, well dressed, not a dirtbag, and had all her teeth. She wasn't on crank to the best of my knowledge.

I told Dad: "You know, that's the last damned time I hold the door for anyone. I'm tired of doing that for nothing. People are plain rude so screw 'em."

My Dad had to agree.

I hold the door for anyone; it doesn't matter, male or female. I look upon it as simple courtesy. At 24 Hour Fitness, when I go to work out, I open the door for anyone close. I open the car door for my girlfriends, hold the door at restaurants. When I order something in a store, on the phone, in person, I say lots of "please" and "thank you."

More and more, in response to "thank you," I get: "no problem." It's like everyone's forgotten the proper response is: "you're welcome."

Hello? Thank you = you're welcome.

I'm at the point in my "career" on this planet where I can go either way and not lose sleep: do I keep doing what my gut tells me to do, or do I open a door, let it close behind me, and communicate to those in the service industry with grunts, clicks, or absolute silence -- as I see most others do?

This is apparently an issue in Britain as well:

The British are nowhere near as rude as Americans. Americans are loud, crude and inconsiderate. I see a British people that are chivalrous towards people who are disabled or elderly. In stores or restaurants to be unfailing polite and courteous as well as highly professional and competent. The British are very direct and say exactly what they mean - they are honest, but they are never mean. I have found, on my numerous visits to Britain, the people to be polite, helpful and competent, yet more brisk and impersonal than Americans. Jeff, USA

Or some more comments from Britain:

People all over the world, in my opinion, are today getting more impatient and in the process, ruder too. In today's highly materialistic society there is the inner urge to compete and do better in life than one's neighbour come what may. This often leads to rude behaviour. Gone are the days when people had the time and were in a mood to listen and accommodate the other person's point of view.
Albert Devakaram, India
And:

I love France but if there is one thing that I hate about the place, then it's their level of customer service. Without exaggerating, I can honestly say that they haven't a clue how to treat customers. I have rarely been satisfied when purchasing goods in French shops, and can tell you that the UK's standards in customer service are much, much higher than those in France. James, France

Not an issue. Everyone hates the French anyway. No loss there. This next comment may have hit the nail on the proverbial head:

I'm ashamed to admit that I'm getting ruder. If you're polite these days, many people perceive it as a weakness and exploit your "better nature." As a result, I think that the nation as a whole is getting angrier. Raymond, United Kingdom

So I posit this question: what should I do? I can roll either way. Do I continue to be as polite as, I must admit, I tend to be or -- do I "go with the flow" and shirk what I consider to be my general public resposibility?

2 Comments:

Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

10 16 05

Bloviating Zeppelin:
The advice I would give you is to keep opening doors and being courteous, BUT don't expect anything in return. Do kind and courteous acts from your heart and then you may console yourself everynight with the thought that you did the right thing. Screw those rude people; they are everywhere. But their poor attitudes will eventually be their downfall anyway. Goonight:)

Sun Oct 16, 09:37:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Mahndisa: I guess I got kinda snarky that day and, in truth, I know I'll just continue to do what I do -- because it's my nature.

Mon Oct 17, 03:57:00 PM PDT  

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