Sunday, December 6, 2009

Things That Make You Go, "What the....?"

Is it my imagination or is there an increasing lack of manners and common courtesy these days? It's not just the "younger generation" that has cornered the market on rudeness. Young, old, rich, poor. You name it, it's everywhere.

I work in a wine shop, and have customers from all socio-economic backgrounds. Last week, a well-coiffed, middle-aged lady came in looking for a specific wine. While she was standing there holding her designer handbag, she was chewing a piece of gum LOUDLY. I mean smacking it! As if that's not annoying enough, she starts blowing bubbles! This a grown woman, not a twelve year old. The entire time she's doing this, all I could think was, "Didn't your parents ever tell you it's rude to smack your gum?" Apparently not!

Then, of course, there's the ubiquitous cell phone use. Don't get me wrong. I love my phone, too, but I'm beginning to think everyone should be required to take a class when they get their phone: Cell Phone Etiquette 101. Please don't talk on the phone when you are completing a transaction, whether it's the bank, grocery store, what have you. It's rude! Tell the person you're talking to hold on or call them back. And for pity's sake, turn off your phone when you're at the movies, a play or concert!

I was at a Kenny Loggins concert this summer, and in the middle of a song someone's phone started ringing. This man in the row behind us answers it, "Yeah, I'm at the Kenny Loggins concert. Blah blah blah." and proceeds to carry on a conversation. Newsflash, dude! The rest of us paid to see Kenny, not listen to you talk on the phone! Aaargh!

Even worse was the recent cell phone debacle during Hugh Jackman's performance on Broadway in A Steady Rain. Gorgeous Hugh was in the middle of a very serious scene with Daniel Craig (also gorgeous), and some yahoo's cell phone starts ringing and ringing and ringing. Finally, Hugh breaks character and turns to the offender and says, "You want to get that?" Bravo, Hugh!! I hope the clueless idiot with the phone was mortified. Who knows, maybe he didn't think he did anything wrong, unlike the rest of who try to be more polite.

Have you seen or heard anything lately that really got on your nerves? Are manners becoming scarce?


  1. Yay Hugh on the cell phone thing! This is absolutely impolite!

    The latest thing that got me thinking WTF happened Thursday a week ago. I had just sat down in the train to take me home after school at 1 p.m. when some kids aged 13 to 16 started smoking. In a goddamn train!

    Now you must know that in the "common" German train there has - until recently, I believe - always been a compartment for smokers. But the line from my home village to Munich was bought by some minor enterprise and their trains are pretty much like one big compartment so you're most definitely not. Allowed. To. Smoke.

    And even if there hadn't been that big sign showing a crossed-out cigarette directly above their head, it would have been very nice to just have considerations for the other passengers! Why are they smoking when they've not even reached puberty, anyway?

    My tubes are mostly a little ailing in winter and I absolutely can't stand cigarette smoke! And if it is in a closed room it's even worse, of course!

    I thought about giving them a stern talking to but they were like, two heads taller than I am, definitely stronger and most definitely more people. So I decided to be quiet and wait until someone else says anthing. Of course nobody said anything...

  2. Oh, Gannon, I am so with you on the cell phone thing. Some things really can wait, you know? People, please. There is no need to subject the rest of us to your minutia!

    I had not heard that about Hugh--how awful. But now I am seriously jonesing to see that play!

  3. LisaK, the smoking deal would have done me in! I can't stand the smell, and I'm with you on the fact that they were too young to smoke!!! But people really don't want to say anything and cause a scene.

    Sorry you had to deal with it. :(

  4. Deb, I would love to see the play! Of course, I would see anything Hugh is in!! *vbg*

  5. The DH is convinced that I will one day be the victim of another person pulling out a gun and shooting me because I don't tolerate people doing stuff like that.

    I rarely hesitate to a) tell people to get off the phone at the gas pump with something to the effect of, HEY! I'd really like to not blow up, do you mind sit in your car while you talk?

    b)someone talking in line on a cell phone, I'll generally tap them on the shoulder and ask them to get off the phone so they're not wasting my time as I'm waiting for them to fumble through a check-out process.

    c) I've told people to not talk in a movie theater

    and as for the woman with the bubble gum. I don't care if I was the worker. I would have said something to the effect of "ma'am, do you mind stepping back from the counter, please. With all the flu going around, my immune system is weak, and I'd prefer not to have any spit land on me.

    Rudeness used to be for the uneducated, now it seems to be an attitude of entitlement. Ok, I'm off the soapbox Gannon. I just get really irritated with people who are classless clowns.

    So it's why I try really hard to give people compliments in the elevator everyday. You should see them light up and smile. It's a nice feeling to make someone's day in a world that is far from pretty at the moment.

  6. Nice cross section of rudeness. My new fave is texting at the dinner table. You better stop or risk me snatching that phone out of your inconsiderate hands.

  7. Ag, that sounds awful. I would have asked that women to stop with her gum. I can't stand people smacking their gum. It's like nails to a chalk board to me.

    I do think people are becoming ruder. Besides the gun smacking thing and cell phone use there seems to be a completely lack of common cutesy for those around you. There seemed to be a time when you would hold a door for the person behind you. It's something that has been inbred into me, but i can't tell you how many times i've had the door smacked shut in my face.

    Another one of my pet peeves is people in a movie theater. I absolutely hate going to the movies just because of the people around me. Now, my theater is a pretty old one and doesn't contain any of the nifty upgrades that newer theaters have like stadium seating. Earlier this year i took my 7 year old brother to see "Up". We got there early and got seats in the back. Just when the movie is about to start two grown men decide to sit in front of us when there was at least 15 rows of empty seats around us. They had to have seen a 7 year old sitting there when they choose to sit down, yet they proceeded to sit in front of us knowing perfectly well my brother wouldn't be able to see the movie then. We ended up having to change seats so Noah could see and i then proceeded to have an allergic reaction because the person beside me was eating peanuts. No common cutesy despite the well documented fact that many people are allergic even to the smell of peanuts. Then you have to bring up the fact of screaming children. People seems to ignore the ratings on films now and bring their kids everywhere. This is distracting to the rest of the movie goers.

    The only time i've ever had a pleasant experience as of late was at a theater was the midnight premier of Harry Potter and Half Blood Prince. That's because fans seems to be more aware of the other fans and want the same cutesy expressed to them.

  8. That gum chewing episode would have had me fuming and I would have said something I am sure.

    I do so dislike it when people are talking on their phones while you are trying to serve them it happens to us all the time at work and is so frustrating. I usually tend to pull faces at them and just serve them as quick as possible hopefully one day manners will be bought back into society

    Have Fun

  9. The cell phone thing really gets on my nerves, too!! I'm a cashier at a grocery store, so it's really aggravating when the customer is on the phone. Especially when they get upset with me for asking them how their day is going!

  10. Yes, Gannon, manners are becoming scarce. Too many people think only of themselves and that's sad. I used to work in customer service at a grocery store and I would always make it a point to continue talking to someone that was on the phone just to p*$$ them off. ;-)

  11. Monica, feel free to stay up on that soapbox as long as you'd like! When it comes to rudeness, it's a good place to be. ;)

  12. Shawna, do you remember that yahoo at the concert?! I swear I wanted to take his phone and cram it down his throat!

    Oh, yeah, texting at the table. Your two nephews try that at home, but I threaten to take the phone. Most of the time it works. :)

  13. Jedisakora, I don't know why adults have to sit right in front of small children when there are other seats available. And if you have a crying baby/screaming child, please take them outside. No one paid to hear them.

  14. Helen, I wish I had said something to the gum smacker. She'll probably be back and I won't be able to restrain myself next time.

  15. Gannon, I agree with you on all counts. People who chew their gum like cows chewing their cud absolutely make me INSANE!!!!!
    Ok and another pet peeve are popcorn eaters during movies. It makes so much NOISE! Being surrounded by the crunching, munching, craking sounds of people eating it ruins my movie going experience. I hate going to movie theatres because of it, and if too many people sit down around me with it I get up and move.
    That said I know you all think I am weird since everyone loves the stuff and has no problems with the sounds eating it makes (Probably because when you are eating it you don't hear the sounds it makes). I can't stand it--the smell, the greasy hands, the spilt kernals you have to walk on, and the sounds of people either shoveling it in or doing it slowly one kernal at a time.

  16. Trisha, I know it must be particularly annoying for you as a cashier to deal with the cell phone talkers!

    Andrea, LOL @ you continuing to talk to the rudies who wouldn't get off their phone. Serves 'em right!

  17. Cyndi, I have to say that a lot of people are very noisy popcorn eaters at the movies. My whole family loves popcorn, but we don't rattle the bag when we're eating. *g* I hate it when there's a very quiet part in the movie and all you hear is someone digging in their popcorn or candy bag.

  18. Cell phones (or the people that use them) bug the hell out of me!! Most people talk so LOUD on them, I'm glad at the library where I work cell phone use is restricted to outside.

    This happened a couple of months ago, we were attending my cousins wife's funeral, and somone had brought their really small child, the baby cried the whole time! Did the mother take the baby out of the chapel?? NO WAY. Leave small children home - don't take them to a funeral..

  19. Martha, I can't believe that the parents of the crying child wouldn't leave the chapel at the funeral. So disrespectful!

  20. Thanks for expressing the need for lessons on when to use a cell phone. My first 'run-in' with a rude user when before the phones became as prominent as now. I was a clerk in a department store. The woman was on on the phone when she came to the desk, handed me her items continuing her conversation. Guess I figured out what she wanted because I was able to finish and give her her change, but I wanted to tell her off. jld