U is for Uncommon Courtesy

No Rude People Allowed Photo by Wayne kelly
No Rude People Allowed
Photo by Wayne Kelly

Common courtesy. What is it? Well, for one thing, it certainly isn’t as common as it used to be (I now realise that statement makes me sound about a hundred years old, and you may now be picturing me smoking a pipe, squinting into the middle distance and chuntering about ‘the good old days’).

In reality, I’m a mere 36 but I don’t think that precludes me from bemoaning the moral decline of manners and decency towards others. I was brought up to be polite and show consideration to others – a fairly standard part of being a human being – or so I thought. I was obviously mistaken.

Just a few examples of my gripes:

1) Smiling and saying hello to someone, only to be ignored, rebuffed with a sullen grunt or to receive a menacing stare.

Two words: Miserable. Sods.

2) Holding a door open for the person behind you, for them to sail past without acknowledgement or gratitude.

Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot I’m invisible. I must remember to wrap myself in bandages next time I want to be seen.

3) Following an individual in to a building only to have the door closed in your face.

Remove your head from the dark place in which it currently resides and notice the similar-looking organisms that surround you – they’re called people, you self-absorbed imbecile.

4) Using your phone to listen to music in a public place – particularly on the bus – without the use of headphones.

Firstly, the kind of person likely to do this usually has awful taste in music. Secondly, music played through a tiny phone speaker sounds terrible anyway. Thirdly, headphones were invented a LONG time ago. Use them, you inconsiderate troglodyte.

And, at the risk of once more donning my ‘Old Man Withers’ pipe and slippers, it only seems to be getting worse. What next – someone using my shirt sleeve to wipe their nose? It’s coming . . . mark my words.

What are your pet hates when it comes to lack of etiquette and civility? Or perhaps you regularly indulge in some of the behaviour I have outlined and think I’m being a little over-zealous? Let me know your thoughts below.

This was my 21st post for the A-Z Blog Challenge. Follow the blog during April for more writing tips, inspirational life posts, short fiction, film-inspired articles and more songs with audio recordings. Next post – V for Vinyl. Why I love to put The Needle on The Black (with song and lyrics)

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31 thoughts on “U is for Uncommon Courtesy

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  1. Great post. Welcome to being older.. I think there’s an age where people stop noticing you as much.. then they do again.. hmm.. Cultures change, who opens the door for whom is very different since I was young. It would have been offensive for me to open it for a man, still is sometimes but if I get there first likelyhood is I’ll open it for you. So long as I’m being polite that’s all that matters. We can only change our behaviour and hope no-one can ever be grumpy about what we do..

  2. Good manners cost nothing. I agree it’s quite startling how very rude some people are…

    My own motto is ‘Be Nice To Each Other’ and like you, I see rudeness every day. Everything is getting diluted, to the point that people are becoming insular, and wrapped up in their own worlds. Not in a writerly way, more of a ‘can’t be bothered’ way, as if people don’t matter any more.

    Take parenting, it’s no wonder we are where we are, I hate passive parents, who let their offspring run amuck ..Don’t start me off Mr Kelly, I could go to town!

    Good post, I think you’ll get many comments.

    http://www.firstdraftcafe.blogspot.co.uk

    1. Haha – that’s ok, Dee – you were meant to laugh. I like to moan about it from the safety of the blog. I’m too much of a chicken to actually complain to the offenders!

  3. People on buses or in shops who speak to each other in the loudest voice possible just so you will hear them and because they think their lives are so interesting.
    Assistants at service desks or GP surgeries who say,”Yes” with their heads down writing at never lift it to look at you as you speak.
    People who wear sunglasses indoors or when there’s no sun.
    Need I go on?

  4. I haven’t had the issue with music in most places, but it frequently happens in parks, and people have it very loud! (Often from their cars.) What’s with that? Bonus impolite points if the lyrics are not something I want my child to hear!

    Rinelle Grey

  5. I’d like to add- using headphones but playing your music so loud that everyone around you can hear your show tunes blasting regardless.

    You and I have the same gripes- where do these rude people come from?!

  6. I tend to satisfy myself with having done well by others, regardless of their feedback. Neutral or positive feedback, including being ignored, can be okay. It’s only when someone yells at me for daring to hold the door that I get missed. And that does actually happen.

    John at The Bathroom Monologues

    1. I can comfort myself with that Zen feeling of ‘doing good’ for only so long, I’m afraid. I get annoyed with myself in the end, because I can’t help continuing to greet someone and engage in conversation – even though they have ignored me the last dozen times I’ve tried it! And yes – I’ve had the same door experience. RUDE.

  7. I agree with all those moans and would like to include the people who drive straight by me without acknowledging a thank you after I’ve waved them through a narrow section of road and waited patiently.

  8. Yeah. Miserable sods, complete tossers. I always try to be nice and courteous, but I expect that on a few days I might be some of those sods too, lost in a world of dark – or perhaps just writing in my mind, but missing the world around me, bad habits hard to stop.

    1. We’ve all had those ‘miles away’ situations where you zone out for a while, but you usually realise and apologise, whereas Mr and Mrs Insular simply retreat further in to their own version of The Truman Show.

  9. “Chuntering”, I love that word! I am lucky enough to have married a proper old fashioned gentleman and I love every bit of chivalry he extends to me and anyone else he encounters. He’s a true gem, my husband. On Mother’s Day this year he tweeted that he was drinking a pint and watching the rugby and he had lots of astonished tweets back asking how he ‘got away’ with that. His response was that he treated me as if every day was Mother’s Day, and it’s true, he does.

    1. Yes, Dee – chuntering is a lovely word! Sounds like you have a decent chap there – I also treat my wife like everyday is mother’s day – she would probably argue I do this by treating her like she’s my mother!

  10. Since becoming a mother I have noticed that the worst contenders for a lot of these things are women with pushchairs.
    One of my biggest pet peeves is when a group of people decide to take up the whole of the pavement when they are walking so that anyone coming in the opposite direction cannot get passed. On a similar note – the ones who stop in the middle of the pavement meaning that no one can get passed.

  11. After I initially commented I appear to have clicked the
    -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I
    get four emails with the same comment. There has to be a means you are able to remove me
    from that service? Thank you!

    1. Hi Louis. There haven’t been any comments on this post for quite some time, but as I didn’t add you to the comment subscription I can’t remove you unfortunately.

      However, all you need to do is log on to your wordpress account and ‘Manage Subscriptions’. From there it’s a simple case of deleting the post you no longer want to subscribe to. Hope that helps.

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