Good Manners are getting hard to find. Good manners are almost impossible to keep.
In my world, manners are important. I like to say “Yes Sir”, “No Mam”, “Please” and “Thank You.” I was taught to use my manners by my Grandmother and my mother. My Dad insisted on me having good manners. My Grandfather would just look at me and never say a word if I didn’t show my manners. I knew.
As I got older, showing my manners started making sense to me. Good manners are nothing more than being respectful.
I found value in being nice, in being grateful and being appreciative of others. In the business world, manners are important. Bad manners and rudeness run hand in hand. They create roadblocks. My Grandfather said “Show your respect, let your manners do your talking for you.”
In the private world, bad manners shut doors and lock you out. It’s just that simple.
Yesterday, I stopped by a store, walked down a couple aisles, picked up what I was looking for and went to check out. I walked past those cursed “self-checkout” spots. I found a check-out line with only one person in front of me. A stroke of luck for me!
I live in a college town. We have a lot of youngsters are in town. They are always spending their Dad’s money. I was standing behind a young coed. I hope her Dad has a lot of money. She spent more money in five minutes than my wife and I spent in a semester.
I watched as she put her items on the counter. I watched the clerk scan and bag each item. Then the college girl whipped out a credit card and a moment later she was gone, pushing her way through the store with a buggy full of whatever. She didn’t say thank you, you’re welcome or kiss my foot. She just stuffed her Daddy’s credit card back in her pocket and stormed away.
She looked like the poor clerk was doing her a favor. She was rude.
I only had two items. Yes, I could have scanned, paid and been on my way two minutes earlier. I’m retired. I don’t do “hurry up and wait” anymore. I have time.
The clerk scanned my two items, told me the price and I did the credit card thing. She handed me a receipt.
I said “Thank you.” I didn’t even think about it. Just a simple “Thank you.” That’s who I am.
She looked at me. “What?”
She was still looking at me. She turned her head a bit, like she was pointing her ear at me. “What did you say?”
“I said thank you.”
I walked to my car and sat there for a minute.
We don’t hear Thank You much anymore. We don’t hear Please, we don’t hear Yes Sir, we hardly ever hear Yes Mam or You’re Welcome.
Like I said, good manners are hard to find.
Please feel free to share. I encourage and welcome your comments and thoughts. Contact Mike Windham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please follow my blog at mikewindham.com.