It seems that manners, good behavior, and plain old common sense have disappeared in the past few years. When did we turn into a bunch of rude, ignorant savages? You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all experienced rude behavior in our personal and work lives: behavior that you would have gotten in trouble for when you were a child. I used to think that it was a generational thing – that the youth of today have no manners, were raised in a barn, and cared only about themselves. Sadly, this is not the case. It's everywhere and everyone seems to be equally rude regardless of age, sex, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation, height or weight. What’s inspired this new rant on our unacceptable behavior?
A coworker flossed their teeth while they were talking with me.
Now, I’m in full support of healthy gums and teeth; I’m very “pro-flossing”. Just don’t do it in public and certainly not while you’re having a conversation with me! This was the absolute height of rudeness for me. I found it not only disrespectful but disgusting. I was so shocked I just stared at my coworker and then walked away. WTF?! What on earth do you say at a moment like that?!
To help combat this plague of mannerlessness (is that a word?), I’ve compiled a short list of things people should or should not do. Note that this is by no means a complete list of acceptable/unacceptable behaviours. Feel free to add to it as you see fit.
- If someone holds the door open for you, allows you to cut in line in front of them or gives you a free sample of something, SAY THANK YOU. It helps if you actually mean it.
- When you want something, or want someone to do something for you, SAY PLEASE. It’s amazing what that one magic word will get you.
- Treat others the way you want to be treated. Before you do something, imagine what it would be like if you were the one on the receiving end.
- Spit on the sidewalk, roadway, or the aisle of the bus. Exception: if you have just sucked the poison out of a person’s leg/arm after they’ve been bitten by a venomous spider/snake, spit all you want.
- Floss your teeth in public. No one wants to see that.
- Use your cell phone in public bathrooms. It’s not so much that I feel bad for the person on the other end of the line; I don’t want (1) them to hear what I’M doing in there, and (2) I don’t want to listen to your conversation while trying to have a wee.
- Clip your nails in public. See the note on flossing. This is disgusting.
- Text while on a date/in a meeting/talking to someone. You’re sending a message to the person you’re with that (a) they’re not important, (b) you have no interest in what they’re saying, and (c) you’re an idiot and an asshole.