It’s time to start hammering down some ground rules. I don’t think I should have to say this, and I can’t believe I actually have to say this, but, people need to use their manners.
We have to start returning politeness back into our language, and common courtesy back into our behaviour. One of our human flaws is that we forget that we rely on other people for most things in life, and therefore in order for everyone to positively gain, it is better for us to be polite and courteous to each other.
Watch some TV with a little research project going in the back of your mind. Try to find, and make note of, all the places where very polite language is in use. First of all, I bet it’s hard to find. Secondly, I bet you had to go looking for it…and you finally found it, but mostly only children’s programs supported such language and courtesy. Third, I bet you notice that most of those shows, are unpopular, and relatively unwatched by anyone your age, and you probably feel silly watching such a program. What do we find on the shows we do like watching?
Any show for children of age after pre-school level, has little or no politeness, or common courtesy. Therefore in real life, we are losing our politeness and our courteousness. Have people forgotten about politeness and courtesy? Well, in case we have, I’d better remind people. To be polite is to be well-mannered, or showing or possessing good behaviour, or showing common consideration to others, which is looked upon as being elegant, and pleasant, often considered refined or cultured.
Consideration for other people means careful thoughtful concern for, or at least sensitivity towards the feelings of others, which is something to be taken into account when weighing the pros and cons, of any situation, before making any decisions. What’s been happening lately, is that people are in too much of a hurry, or they think that they are more important than other people, and some people are just plain ignorant jerks.
Here’s a small scene I’d like to act out for you. A man walks into the restaurant and walks up to the front counter, where a woman sits on a stool, reading a magazine, waiting to serve customers. The customer looks up and mutters “Coffee.” The Server looks up at the customer, and says, “Coffee…what…?” The customer stares at the server, dumbfounded for a moment, but the server carries on. “…to drink?” The customer blurts out, “Yeah, can I get a coffee? The server just stands there staring back at the customer, equally dumbfounded for a moment, until the customer finally says, “Please?!?” The server jumps off her stool sarcastically and says, “Oh yes, happily!”
One of the worst work industries in the world for people being treated poorly, is the hospitality industry. Servers are members of a wait staff, who serve other people, by bringing requested items. They go and get the things that somebody asks for, usually continuously for a long period of time. They attend to the purchasing needs of a customer, mostly serving somebody at table, bringing food and drinks to people sitting at a table, usually in a restaurant setting. Most of these servers work for the lowest minimum wage allowed by law, (although, for some reason, significantly less than minimum wage in Ontario) and they take home a percentage of the tips they make. Tips are a gift of money in return for a service, especially in addition to what is owed. There is an old acronym which I was taught as a younger man, and that was, TIPS, Tips Insure Premium Service. Meaning that if you want premium service, you will have to tip more, if you don’t tip at all, don’t expect premium service.
Another thing to think about, is the fact that most servers are continuously stressed and anxious, because of having too much to do, or worry about, all day long, day after day. Looking after dozens, maybe hundreds of people in a day, and doing the other duties that are required, aside from serving, including any of the following procedures. Most servers are responsible for cleaning duties, and some management duties, and handling, and being responsible for other people’s money, while handling other people’s their food and drinks, and being responsible for other people’s safety, and pleasure, and at the same time, these servers are trying to make good tips, because if they don’t, they might not be able to afford to pay the bills. People just think that it is their job to do so, therefore, no politeness is necessary. That is incorrect. Nobody is above politeness. All people deserve common courtesies when being spoken to, just because they are people.
Anytime you ask something of someone, it is polite to begin with “may I, can I, could you, would you,” etc. Why should the other person take time out of their day, to get up off their chair, and get you something, or let you borrow something, or anything else you could ask of someone, if you can’t even ask with a little common courtesy? If you are asking for a favour, it is always polite to say “please.” If that person decides to do that something for you, it is polite to say “thank you.” In fact, those words are the most widely spoken words in the history of humanity. Every single language in use today, from cultures all over the world, has words or actions that mean “please” and “thank you.” Let’s remember that. When people start behaving in more polite, courteous ways, it becomes much easier to help solve underlying conflicts, especially those conflicts where everyone needs to work together, to ensure the safety of all.