Photo by Paul Boccuzzi on Unsplash

Photo by Paul Boccuzzi on Unsplash


Stop Being Rude

Life will reward you for it

Our devices have made us think we are entitled to be impatient, rude, and inconsiderate. It is a serious problem and having a snowball effect on society. Bad manners are a sign of cultural decay.

We have lost respect for one another. Seduced by our technology, we barely lift our eyes, to speak with the person in front of us.

Half of Facebook users check their account several times a day. With 96% checking it on mobile devices.

We use our phones as tools to stay in touch and informed. Globally we can see what's happening in an instant. You can check out the latest pictures of your nieces and nephews. Get the latest update on the hurricane with all the stats. Then Skype with your new friend on the other side of the planet. All at the same time.

What connects us has also had the opposite effect in our close relationships. We are more disconnected with what surrounds us than ever before.

It has made your friends and family more distant. With acquaintances and old friends too close.

You don't need to be associated with everyone else's friends. Also, you don't need to stay in touch with everyone you’ve ever known. People move on for a reason. So they can have new experiences.

Is it more important for you to appear as special to strangers? Or are you going to connect to a few deeply? 

The quality time spent with people in your life has declined. It has had a trickle-down effect on society.

Not holding the door open for the elderly or disabled is rude. Not looking people in the eye when you speak to them is disrespectful. These are common occurrences today.

Knowing how to be kind, patient and polite to people seems to have been forgotten. Especially when we're dealing with the sales and service industry. It seems to be common courtesy is considered unnecessary. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The manners you reveal and how you engage with people define your character. Displaying compassion, kindness, and tolerance is severely lacking in our culture. Without requiring those qualities in society, all our relationships will suffer.

Checking Out

Early this summer, I was reading on my phone while waiting in line to check out at a large store. There was a lot of activity going on, but I managed to remain somewhat oblivious to it. I was into the story.

The lady in front of me had three kids crawling all over the place. It was the only other thing that had my attention. They were keeping Mom on her toes.

One kid was reaching for candy, and the other two were slapping at each other. Their Mom would get the candy put away, in time to tell the other two to stop fighting. Eventually, I quit reading to watch them bantering back and forth. It was comical.

All of a sudden Mom was grabbing everything off the belt and gathering up her kids. I'm backing up so she could get out of there. I was thinking she's doing this because her kids were acting up. As she left, she leans towards me and says I should pick another lane. Then nods in the direction of the cashier.

The conversation going on between the cashier and a customer made her leave. I stood there for a minute watching the two of them go at it. There was nothing on the belt, figured they would be done soon and started unloading my cart.

The customer was a woman, well-dressed, around 40 years old. The cashier was a young lady in her twenties. The customer was talking on her cell phone. It was a little confusing at first to figure out what was going on. She was telling the person on the phone what was happening. Then she was responding to the cashier's questions.

The customer was saying, she shops here all the time and left her driver's license in her car. She was waving a wallet in her hand, which made no sense. If she had her wallet, where was her driver's license?

The cashier repeatedly explained it was store policy to show ID to pay with a check. The cashier even offered to keep her items in the bagging area for her.

This lady was practically foaming at the mouth. The customer was loud, rude, and bullying the cashier. The young lady held her ground and kept reiterating she must have ID. Both were upset, and it was getting out of hand.

I told the lady to settle down. She gave me a dirty look and told me to stay out of it. I told her to get a grip. That anyone in their right mind knows they're going to have to show ID.

I probably shouldn't have said, "in their right mind.” The woman was out of control and needed a reality check.

She gave me another dirty look and right then a manager walked up behind her. The manager escorted her out of line away from the cashier. The manager was insisting she calm down, or she would have to get security. The woman blurted out some obscenities and finally walked away.

The cashier quickly removed her items and gave them to the manager. She was teared up when we made eye contact. The young lady thanked me softly with a little crackle in her voice. She was pleasant, but it was obvious this incident upset her. I told her not to let people like that bother her. She said it was hard because stuff like that happens often.

The thought of this incident has weighed heavy in my thoughts. This kind of behavior seems to be on the rise. People are not held accountable and get away with being mean. It's a form of bullying.

I knew how she felt. It’s one of the reasons I don't want to be in a job where I have to deal with the public anymore.

Phone Etiquette

I have been in sales most of my life. It used to be rare that you would get a customer that would be blatantly rude. In the last five or six years, I have noticed a change in their behavior.

As you greet some customers, their hand goes up in your face. Curtly, they say, "I'm just looking." If you say one more thing to them, they get snotty.

Having a customer say they are just looking has always been a normal response. Nothing about this is new here. It's their go-to phrase so they can look around without being bothered. The difference is, there used to be a level of politeness.

Now they come into stores with their guard up. Often on their cell phones, as they walk in the door. This behavior has become a pattern.

They’re on their cell phone, so they don't have to talk to you. Often the customer won't even say hello. They think it's okay to be rude and not make any eye contact. 

They peruse through the store, chatting on their phone. Often they disturb other customers. They head out the door, still on the phone, never allowing you to greet them. It's bizarre that people think this is acceptable behavior.

A Little Education

Usually, a sales team will have something that is called "the up list." It’s necessary, so all salespeople have an equal shot at getting customers. After you've had a customer, you go to the bottom of the list. Whether you had the chance to greet them or not, it's a rotation.

So let's say you are cruising through a store, killing time. Realize the salesperson is there to help you and also sell something. Try not to be offended. The store is not a museum. I'm not saying it's not fine to look. It’s good to know so you can be aware of how things work. If the salesperson impressed you, ask for their card, for when you return.

You might think you shouldn't have to worry about all that. Well, it's the same concept when you're dealing with a waitress or waiter. Part of their pay is the tips you give them. Tipping low is rude, especially if you've had good service. No one is clueless about tipping the wait staff. So you should also be aware of how sales work as well.

Customers give it no thought and continue with their phone call at checkout. Now if it's an emergency call, you can easily step out of line.

Sometimes you can't tell if they're talking to you or the person on the phone. So you answer them to make sure. If they weren't talking to you, they get irritated and point to their phone. It's rude and makes the staff and other customers uncomfortable.

It seems just as unacceptable when a customer approaches an employee, and they are on the phone. Customers assume it’s a personal call or text. Employers allow and expect their staff to use their phone for work. It’s convenient for calculating, taking notes, and staying in touch with their managers. Be aware that walkie talkies may have been replaced, by phones, in many stores.

Sign Of The Times

My husband's store is a little busier. It's rude when a customer, talking on their phone, approaches the cashier to checkout. They are trying to get customers through the checkout line as quickly as possible. When a customer is on their phone, it’s distracting. The staff needs you to pay attention to what they are saying. It's not only rude to the cashier, but also the customers waiting in line behind them.

Customers are either handing the clerk cash or a credit card. If they’re on their phone they’re not paying attention; to the total of their transaction or the change, they get back. It’s a recipe for mistakes to happen by either the customer or the cashier. He made a sign to inform customers of the store policy regarding cell phones. The sign is by the cash register and says:  

Please, we understand your phone calls are important. Therefore, we will be happy to serve you when your phone call is over. Please turn off your cell phone.

My husband gets many comments on the sign, and it's mostly positive. Once in awhile, though, someone complains about the sign. Saying it's wrong to have it posted. Their defense mechanism kicks in when they see the sign because they can relate.

Over and Out

We use our devices to keep organized, calculate, and contact people. Whether it be for business or personal use. They are used in all aspects of our lives now. There is no going back. We need to set up some boundaries for when to use them. Turn the volume down or try one of the “do not disturb,” features. It will become a habit that people around you will appreciate.

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