Manners – Whatever Happened?

Where did May go and where the hell have I been hiding? Well, between working on four–that’s right–four separate manuscripts (2 potential paying & 2 non-paying) and working two separate jobs to make ends meet I feel as if I’m chasing my own tail. What you didn’t know foxes had tails? *snickers*

Well, I was inspired to get my head out of my bum last night when I got home from my second job, only to have my phone ring at close to 10:00 pm. Now my phone number is both home and work, it’s listed in an advo for apartments. I can forgive someone thinking they’re calling an office to leave a message. This though was a potential client who knew the number was also my home who left a message. I do not pick up after 6:00 pm unless it’s an emergency or a friend/family I’m expecting to call. In his message he said and I quote I guess it is too late to be calling…

You think, Einstein?

Christ on a cracker–whatever happened to manners? In a society of instant gratification via the internet and other such technology people seem to have forgotten what manners are. I’m not an old fart, but sometimes I feel like it. My mother ingrained manners in my siblings and I from an early age. The rule of thumb included the following:

Respect your elders and the opinions of others even if you don’t agree with them.

Please and Thank You are part of your required vocabulary.

Hold doors for people when coming in and out of businesses.

Ask politely, do not demand–only rude people demand.

Never show up uninvited unless it’s an emergency.

Do not call people after 8:00 pm unless it’s an emergency. (That was my aunt’s addition.)

Patience is a virtue.

These rules of appropriate behavior have stuck with me over the years. Apparently this type of behavior is nearly non-existent in today’s society. I cannot begin to count the number of times I’ve held open a door, allowed an elderly patron ahead of me, or simply said thank you to a store clerk and received a shocked look followed by a grateful smile. Just the other day I was in a Quik-Trip and the young man who was serving me at the counter was a trainee. He was nervous as hell and still learning. I patiently waited with a smile as he sorted out why my card wasn’t scanning and apologized numerous times for the delay. The kid was practically vibrating with nerves. I smiled at him and said Don’t worry, hon’ it happens to all of us when he realized he’d slid the card the wrong direction. Before taking my purchase I told him thank you and have a nice evening. The smile he gave me could have blinded and he returned a your welcome and you have a nice evening as well.

Compassion and patience was all it took to make this kid’s night. Is that so much to ask in situations like this? Have we all lost our minds to the point a simple thank you and a couple of extra minutes are going to ruin our plans/lives? Relax people. The world is not going to end if you’re held up for 3 or 4 minutes. Hell, the Apocalypse won’t pop in if you’re held up for a single minute. I know you’re exhausted and stressed, but it takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown. And for me that kid’s smile made my night. Making others feel good sometimes helps you feel better. I was on my way to my night job when this happened and I wasn’t looking forward to it. I was tired and my body was screaming bloody murder (arthritis in both knees and ankles). But that one smile made me forget how tired I was long enough for me to get my second wind.

Try it folks. It works.

Until Later & Blessed Be…


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