Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Whatever happened to nice?

Heck, what happened to polite or civil?

I have dealt with more incivility in the last week than I can remember in a long time.
Starting last Thursday when I didn't rant, I seem to be running into a string of disgruntled, unhappy, or just plain rude people. Here, here, and here. I have had no-shows for appointments. I have a telemarketer who repeatedly calls and hangs up. For the second time I have had a solicitor for a political party argue with me about why I don't want to donate. (That makes me want to help!)

A couple of days ago I started questioning whether it was something about the way I was engaging the world, so I decided to make a point of being friendly, nice, cheerful, polite.... I dunno, maybe it's the weather, but that almost seemed to make it worse. (
Besides, my oldest son says people tromp on me because I'm TOO nice.)

Today I was holding a door for a woman with a stroller and a preschool-age child. A middle-aged woman went barging through, against traffic, nearly knocking over the little kid. Today I had a woman at Starbucks get mad at me because my drink was done before hers and she ordered first. (Sorry!) And, most pleasant of all, as I was pulled over waiting for a police car and ambulance to pass, some guy laid on his horn and then went whipping around me, almost hitting the car in front of me as it pulled back into traffic.

There were also the positives--thank goodness--to offset these. I got a sweet smile from the little kid. I got the usual friendly smiles and helpfulness from the folks at my bank, the grocery store, and my favorite clothing store. So I'm going to keep on smiling, holding doors, pulling over when there are emergency vehicles, letting people out of a parking lot instead of stopping at a light in front of them, etc., etc., etc. Maybe some of these rude, unhappy people will get a clue.


Barbara Frank said...

I experience the same thing here, and I've always blamed it on the hurried lifestyle here in the Chicago area.....guess that's not the case after all.

DD22 works at a bookstore in the city, and she and her coworkers post to a company blog where they share stories of outrageously rude customers---unfortunately, there's no shortage of them!

Hope you and your family are having a great summer!

Rick said...

Courtesy is about as common as common sense. It takes humility and respect to watch out for other people, and to not think too highly of ourselves.

Are most people too hurried? Yes. Is that a reason to be disrespectful of others, no.