Sunday, July 10, 2011

Friends Don't Let Friends Pull a Kanye


Manners are something that I just assumed that all parents teach their children from a young age.

I'm not talking about the kind of etiquette you need to study up on in the doorstop tomes of Emily Post. Which is the proper silverware to use with which dish, or how to phrase a proper thank you note.

I'm talking about basic manners. Like just using silverware when you're eating something that requires it, or saying 'Thank you' to someone that's helped you out or given you something.

Manners don't need to be fancy, they can be very very simple.

I would have had no idea of the oceans of people that lack simple manners, if I didn't work with the public.

Lack of manners cross all socio-economic demographics. Rich people, poor people, young people, old people, people of all religions and ethnicities.

No one is safe from lacking manners.

As I said above, the act of saying 'Thank you' has gone the way of 8-tracks and rotary phones.

I help you find what you're looking for? You should say 'Thank you'. You ask me for directions? You should say 'Thank you'. Do I have the time? Yes, it's noon, and where the hell is my 'Thank you'? I will even accept a 'Thanks'.

The same goes for 'Excuse me' and 'I'm sorry'.

Now, I have to dish out extra 'sorrys' because I'm paid to, it's part of my job. Even if I am in no way sorry.

Plus, I'm Canadian. Our stereotype is being overly polite. I think as far as stereotypes go, that's the best one we could have hoped for. We like not being hated.

Jacksonville is full of very young people with very many children, as it is a military town. People push strollers that are bigger than SUVs. I've been nearly run over countless times, and maybe only 50% of the people pushing them say 'Excuse me' or 'Sorry'.

In one instance, a woman looked back over her shoulder at me and said snidely, 'Excuse you', after she had just about plowed me. Lady, I'm not the one maneuvering my stroller like it's a weapon.

The other bit of widespread rudeness is due to the cell phone.

I HATE cell phones. Actually, let me take that back. I don't hate them, because if I did I wouldn't have one. I just hate what they do to people.

When I'm in a dark movie theater, and all I see are bright, flashing, glowing screens? I want to yell, "Dammit! Why did you pay to see this movie if you just want to text your buddies or play Angry Birds?? Quit ruining it for me!'

When I see people walking into sign poles or other people because they're walking with their heads down, playing with their phones, I want to ask them if they realize how ridiculous they look. After I laugh at them of course.

The worst and most unforgivable thing someone can inflict on me with a cellphone (besides shoving it up my ass) is when they walk up to me, and attempt to conduct a transaction whilst still talking or texting on their phones.

I want to take the phone and bitch-slap them with it. LOOK at me when you're interacting with me. Say 'Hello' and 'Thank you' or even a 'How's it hangin'?'

Put. The. Damn. Phone. Down.

Oh, what's that? You're a heart surgeon on call? Then what are you doing in a store? There's a heart waiting on ice in a cooler and you're wasting time buying things whilst someone is slowly dying.

Oh, what's that? Your husband is calling from Afghanistan and you never get to talk to him? Then that's obviously way more important than buying shit, right? I know it would be if my husband was away fighting in a war. You can buy your stuff when you guys hang up. Right?


There is absolutely no situation that is important enough that you need to be on the phone in a customer service situation. If it's that important, you shouldn't be in the customer service situation, you should be taking care of whatever that important call means to you. And then come buy your shit.


Sorrys, thank yous, and cell phones aside...

The thing that makes me see red the most is when people interrupt me. You might as well slap me in the face in the middle of the conversation. I might be less pissed off with a slap than an interruption.

I'm not a slow or monotonous talker. I also am a considerate talker. I possess that chip in my brain that tells me, "Hey. That guy's eyes are glazing over. They've looked at their watch twice. Time to stop talking, because they want to do something else."

I mentioned this on Facebook the other day, and I think I made a few of my friends feel bad because they say they're interrupters and they can't help it.

I agree with that. I don't think most people are such assholes that they interrupt on purpose. There's a spark in the brain that just says, 'TALK NOW!' and they do.

I love my interrupting friends/family, but I can't help how I feel either.

Why ask me a question and then interrupt me as I'm answering your question? Don't ask the question then!

Interrupters make me batshit crazy.

Chuckles is an interrupter. Bigtime. The Interruption King. And I love him more than I love myself (which is a lot, because I really, really love me).

He says he interrupts because he's forgetful, and he doesn't want to lose his thought before he can relay it to me.

"Chuck, I really hurt myself today. I was in the receiving room, and this open box full of sharp box cutter blades started to fall on me, so I quickly reached up and-"

"Look, Kyna! A chicken!"

That's how most of our conversations go. Drives me bugfuck.

I KNOW he can't help it. But tell my blinding inner rage that.

When I'm interrupted, it's like I'm a bull, and you're waving a red blanket of disrespect in my face.

All I want is to finish my sentence. That's all. I don't mind if you don't agree with what I'm saying. Or if you've been thinking about feeding your cat the whole time and you haven't really listened. Or if there is, indeed, a chicken nearby. Even if the chicken's on fire.

Just please let me finish my sentence. Don't be a Kanye.

I'm interested in what you guys find totally rude, that you absolutely can't stand?


Liz said...

Hi Kyna,

I think you're relaying exactly what most people find very annoying and intensely rude!

The interrupting thing annoys me too, but what annoys me more is when people ask a question and don't even bother to wait for the feckin answer. Now that gets my blood boiling and is the best way to have me ignore you for the rest of your life.

As you say, why ask the question if you don't even want to listen to the answer?

Here, or at least in Sheffield we're big on manners and if you don't follow them you'll get dirty looks and possibly even comments... We can always spot the students that have moved here for Uni a mile away because they haven't yet learnt 'THE rules' such as queueing at bus stops, saying please and thankyou to bus drivers - usually those who don't are from London, Manchester or southern cities where there are no manners. It was one of the things I hated about living in Manchester.

Kal said...

What a great post. I too hate cellphones. I always suspected that they caused brain cancer because of the microwave technology that cell phones use.

I hate being interrrupted too. I tell such great and entertaining stories. There should be nothing else distracting the person who I am talking too. Don't ask for my advice if you won't listen to it.

Al said...

People talking really loud in restaurants. Like they think I want to hear their conversation.

Gary said...

Kyna, you are so right about cell phones and being interrupted, particularly the glowing in the dark phone bit....really cheeses me off. Other things that annoy me......parents who treat adult establishments like bars and good restaurants like play kindergarten for their badly behaved spawns to run about and be a pain in.....young 'men' now dressing like women, in skinny jeans,silk scarves and red loafers, usually with their hair draped in a couldn't give a fuck about anybody else kind of way.....the list goes on....

Tatiana said...

I gotta say I'm relatively tolerant of all the above, mainly because I don't work with the public as such. I also firmly know that those behaviors are NOT ABOUT ME. And I've been the cell phone talker in line a few times, because if I take a call while waiting in a huge line up, then sorry. I do try to put the call on hold, say hello, thanks, etc. but I don't need to interact with the 7-11 clerk beyond that.

People with strollers and yelling kids drive me batshit crazy, since they're invading my personal space and that I can't stand, but other stuff doesn't bother me as much. I do find it rude when I'm out with a friend and they're constantly texting. Can't you sever the umbilical cord with pookie for an hour? Are you solving the world's problems? But that's because I like to feel important to my companion.

Still, my overall tolerance is probably related to NOT working with the public. I'm sure the pissed off factor rises exponentially after a while.

Kyna said...

Liz: It's funny how we can tie manners to locations. In Canada, which is sort of a big place, the closer you get to the center of the country, Toronto, Montreal, etc, where all the population is, the ruder it gets.

Kal: I just don't understand what the great love affair with cell phones is. Why would you want to have people able to get a hold of you all hours of the day, anywhere you are? I don't! It's a nice convenience thing, but I'm barely ever on my stupidphone. As opposed to smartphone. I'm already on the internet enough without carrying it with me everywhere I go.

Al: The other day there was a woman that came up to Customer Service for some help. She ended up taking a call on her cell, and spent about half an hour (or more) yelling into her phone about some legal matter. 'Yeah, well, my LAWYER says...', stuff like that. It was effed up. Nobody needs to know your business!

Gary: I hate that!! I hate paying money for an expensive meal when there's been a disruptive child[ren] there the whole time. I can understand if I was at McDonald's or something. There I just expect it. Chuck and I have asked to be moved before.

I don't think I mind the skinny jeans on guys thing so much, even though it looks hilarious on most of them. I grew up in the early 90's, and the style then was grunge. I HATED grunge. Pretty girls (and goold looking guys) wearing horrible baggy, nasty jeans, straggly hair (or hair that was long and shaved underneath, bleah) was horrible, but thanks to Kurt Cobain & Friends, this became the attractive style to sport. Except for me, so I just stayed 'uncool'. :)

Tatiana: Well, I see what you're saying, and I definitely agree with most of it. Except for the 7-11 clerk thing. I am just a lowly clerk. I sell books as opposed to cheesy nachos and cigarettes, but still a clerk. I think I'm entitled to 30 seconds of someone's time, phone-free, if they choose to come up and be served by me. I see what you're saying about being bored in a long line, and I don't mind if the person keeps with the call when they get to me, as long as they put the phone down.

But most people won't even look at me once while the transaction is being carried out when they're on their phones. That pisses me off royally.

John Gray said...

fucking hell we are twins!
I HATE bad manners
I hate phones



Anonymous said...

That's an easy one Kyna, it's the same damn thing. I can't stand when my customers insist on staying on their phone when it's their turn to be waited on. At the retail store where I work, I have multiple questions I am required to ask my customers. So I just talk right over them! I'm sure they go home saying that I was so rude to talk to them while they were on the phone! LOL

Kyna said...

John: Haha! I'm glad someone agrees with me so wholeheartedly :D It's good to get the anger out once in awhile ;)

Msrobin: I have to ask a couple of questions too. Another thing that bothers me is when someone comes up, knows the questions I'm going to ask, and says 'Before you ask, no and no.' Really? You know I've GOT to ask the questions, don't you? It's not a thing I'd choose to do otherwise? So how 'bout you just let me ask the questions and you say no afterwards. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

Kyna, sometimes I'll tell the people outright that I am required to ask about opening a charge or giving their email. That usually shuts them up briefly!

The Idiot Gardener said...

I was on a train with a work colleague; we had a three hour journey and sat next to me was what looked like a normal chap. The train was packed so I had no choice if he'd been a nutcase.

So we pull out of the first station, and the stranger's phone goes. He talks loudly, very loudly. Luckily, he's talking a load of shit as well. Everyone in the carriage breathes a sigh of relief when he stops.

Then it rings again. More shit talked, very loudly. Then he laughs. It's like the sound a horse makes if it's having its ballsack removed with a rusty blunt saw. Luckily, he doesn't laugh again.

The call ends, I hit my hip flask, and silence is golden ... until his fucking phone rings again. By now we're about 10 minutes into the journey, so we all know how it's going to be.

He answers his phone loudly.


I turned to face him, my mouth about six inches from his ear, and yelled as loud as I could (and I can be a loud bastard) "BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH".

He stops and looks at me like I'm a lunatic, which of course I nearly am (thanks Dad), then he goes back to shit-talk with Jason.



Then he talks to me; not as loudly as he talks to the phone.

"Do you mind, I'm trying to take a call."

I reply, as loudly as I can, "DO YOU MIND, I'M TALKING TO MY FRIEND".

Good for the goose, good for gander! Of course, I didn't say that; I just shouted "TWAT" at him.

He turned his phone off.

Kyna said...

Msrobin: Haha, I've actually used their bad attitudes to my advantage sometimes. We have a membership card that we have to sell, and a lot of people will say no because it carries an annual charge. It is worth it for some people though, who will drop hundreds of dollars in the store over the course of a year. When someone is irritated with me for asking them (yet again) if they'd like to buy the membership, I tell them, 'Just about the time you're most irritated with me for asking about the membership because you've heard it that many times, is when you should probably buy it. You would have saved a LOT of money by now.' I usually get a laugh and an occasional card sale :)

IG: You're my hero. Seriously.

The older I get (and the longer I live with Chuckles), the easier it is to put rude fuckers in their place. Unfortuately, I just can't do it at work.

The other day, I just about chased someone down for dangerously passing me in a narrow road when I was almost home. I drive fast, so what the fuck? It was late on a weekday, in Buttfuck, NC...where did he have to be that badly? The road ends at the waterway a few miles down past my house, so the chase wouldn't have lasted long.

But then of course, I live in hillbillyville and I would've just been quietly shot and stuffed and hung above Jethro's mantlepiece next a bunch of deer heads.

I don't think glass eyes would suit me.

So I left it alone. But I did do a whole lot of useless yelling and swearing out my window, and leaned on my horn like it was a whore that owed me money.

I just realized I don't use the word 'twat' as much as I'd like to.

Marguerite said...

Haven't worked in customer service for a long while but talking on the cell phone while you're trying to ring someone through made me crazy - to the point that I would refuse service. Get off the phone and I'll finish the transaction. More so lately it's tailgaters or speeders in parking lots. I drive the speed limit, there is no need to ride my ass. If it makes you crazy then pass but pass in a safe manner. do not try to run me off the road or pass me in a parking lot. I drive a 20 year old big ass SUV with 4x4 and the temptation to ram you may overcome me one of these days.

Jayne said...

Hello - I'm Jayne and I'm an interrupter. Not that I mean to be, but something comes to my mind, related to what the person is saying and if I don't get it out there and then, I'll forget it by the time they are finished saying what they are saying! (It comes with age, I think)

I'm still laughing my ass off at Idiot Gardener's post! There was a woman on the bus behind me once, talking to her "boyfriend" loud enough for the entire bus to hear. She was being a total *itch - I couldn't believe she would talk to someone like that, let alone do it in front of a herd of strangers. When we arrived at our destination, I was sooooo tempted to grab the phone from her and tell the poor guy on the other end to hang up now and save himself.

MdD said...

"A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot..."
— Robert A. Heinlein

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Kyna girl I know you have been out of Canada land for a while .. so you may have missed this .. Canadians are getting as rude as Americans .. I don't know when it started but it is HERE and it is disgusting ..
Cell phones .. husband and I HATE that people can not discern when and what is important enough to clamp that bit of SHIT to your face and not take it off for anything .. driving, at stores, theaters etc ..
I wish a huge zap would melt it to their faces and fix them for life.
I have nothing against cell phones when it truly is important .. people are another matter because evidently some can NOT live without it glued to their bloody faces.
OK .. cellphone rage over .. for now ... Arrrrrrggghhhh !!

Rory Grant said...

I waited several weeks to respond as I didn't want to be accused of interrupting - That was one helluva post :)

And should I ever, ever, ever not put my best foot forward in your company may I please say 'sorry', excuse me, pardon me, forgive me right here and now in lieu of such an event.

Loved that post :)


Toolchick101 said...

So, can you implant the chip in my brain that lets me know when to stop talking? It'd help out everyone...!