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View Full Version : Common Courtesy Take 2



Kitrianna
06-16-2008, 07:09 PM
Ok, I know that I've ranted about this before, but this last week has renewed my perspective. Previously it was concerning people's library manners which, while annoying, poses no real threat to anyone's health, safety or to society in general.

As some of you know, I've tore up my ankle pretty good and have been on crutches for a little over a week which has caused me to use the buses more frequently when I am in town, not normally a big deal. This morning when I got on the bus, I encountered a situation that I never have before and one which I hope that no one else does who has a physical impairment (permenant or temporary).

The signs at the front of the bus inform people that the first few seats are supposed to be reserved for those who are eldery or handicapped as they are easier to access and allow these people to be seated quicker and allow the bus to begin moving again safely.

When I boarded the bus, this area was filled with able bodied people who couldn't even be bothered to ask if I would like their seat (there were plenty of available seats beyond them), let alone move a row or two back. Instead I had to try to get to a seat a couple rows back and ended up injuring myself further because the bus driver assumed that someone would have let me sit down up front and began moving (he stopped the bus when he realized that they had not). Obviously I am a touch (ok alot more than a touch) peeved about this.

I always try to sit as far back as I can when I am healthy so I don't have to worry about taking a seat that is needed by someone else and I even move for small children and mothers with babies when some men won't.

My question is for all of you, is it becoming normal for people not to give a royal rat's pituty about their fellow man?

Roger J Carlson
06-16-2008, 07:17 PM
My wife and I went to Disney last year. Every evening, I ended up standing on the bus ride back to the hotel because I had given my seat to someone older or more infirm. I'm 50 years old (and still in very good shape, so it wasn't a hardship). One thing I noticed, however, is that very few people in their 20s or 30s did the same. Yes, I think it's more common.

James81
06-16-2008, 07:18 PM
My question is for all of you, is it becoming normal for people not to give a royal rat's pituty about their fellow man?

Yes.

get me a drink while you are up.

Kitrianna
06-16-2008, 07:19 PM
We need more people like you in this world. Glad to hear that someone else looks out for others.

johnnysannie
06-16-2008, 07:20 PM
My question is for all of you, is it becoming normal for people not to give a royal rat's pituty about their fellow man?

Unfortunately, yes.

gypsyscarlett
06-16-2008, 07:20 PM
Unfortunately, yes. :(

I used to work in retail, so I know all too well how rude people can be.
Customers would come in, demand (not ask) that I find a book for them. I would- and I'd hand it to them. They'd take it, and without a word of thanks, walk away.
Me? I'd say in my sweetest voice, "You're welcome." I'd say it totally straight, no sarcasm, as if I'd heard them say thank you.
Sometimes, they'd turn back, confused and then embaressment would actually come over their face as they "got it" and then they'd mumble a thank you.
So my advice to you? As you get off the bus, say in your sweetest voice to those people, "It was very kind of you to offer me a seat. Thank you." And just leave. Maybe, just maybe, it will get one of them to think.

Oh, and I hope you heal quickly!

Kitrianna
06-16-2008, 07:23 PM
Unfortunately while I think your advice is great gypsy, I have the courtesy to let everyone get off ahead of me so that I don't hold them up. I may have been on crutches many times, but getting up and down stairs and off and on buses scares me.

James81
06-16-2008, 07:27 PM
We need more people like you in this world. Glad to hear that someone else looks out for others.

Thank you Kit. I appreciate that.

mscelina
06-16-2008, 07:35 PM
Crutches are scary. They're a pain in the...*ahem!* ... armpits as well. Hope your recuperation goes smoothly. :)

There is no such thing as common courtesy any more. No one holds the door for elderly people who are loaded down with grocery bags (except me), no one says 'please' and 'thank you' and 'excuse me' any more. ( I do have a remedy for that, though; if someone doesn't thank me for their drink at the bar, I say "You're welcome" in a pretty flat voice. The regulars love it, because they know that if I don't get a hurried "Oh, I'm sorry. Thanks!" from the customer, then I'll slow the customer down on the drinking rate. ;) But the bus thing? Annoying. When I lived in the city, it didn't matter how crammed full the bus was, the men and able-bodied young women absolutely would NOT relinquish their seats to someone who was standing and shouldn't have been. I was the schmuck who sacrificed my seat to an octagenarian with a walker--and usually ended up on my feet for the rest of the ride. It's some sort of skewed sense of entitlement that has infiltrated our society, an attitude that "I deserve this and no one else does" that's reflected in interactions between strangers all the time on the streets and in the stores or public facilities all over the country. Unfortunately, the only way to fight it is to teach our kids better at home.

Common courtesy is stressed in this house. Now, if I can just get them to believe that the best usage for "Excuse me" isn't after they belch at the dinner table, I'll be okay.

;)

James81
06-16-2008, 07:37 PM
Common courtesy is stressed in this house. Now, if I can just get them to believe that the best usage for "Excuse me" isn't after they belch at the dinner table, I'll be okay.

;)

They shouldn't be saying "excuse me" after burping at the dinner table anyway.

The proper response is "My compliments to the chef."

tjwriter
06-17-2008, 12:15 AM
My question is for all of you, is it becoming normal for people not to give a royal rat's pituty about their fellow man?

I see more and more of this and I just want to smack people upside their heads. Or maybe knock all their heads together. Something.

I'm just the type of person that will offer you the shirt off my back if I think you need it. I'll hold the door open for anyone, which seems to embarrass old men, but whatever. I even went as far as to grab a box of cereal off the top shelf for an old woman because she couldn't reach and was flippin' out over it, turning circles in the aisle. Just like a smile or a 'hello' can make someone's day, proper manners go toward a better world.

There is nothing wrong with showing common courtesy and manners to any and all ages and abilities. My two year old knows how to use please and thank you, and even used excuse me appropriately when she bumped into someone in line while out with my mother. Surely a grown person could do the same.

Perhaps you should have looked pointedly at one of them with the comment, "I can see that you're not old, so what's your impairment?"


I'm 50 years old (and still in very good shape, so it wasn't a hardship).

He doesn't look a day over 45, don't let him fool you! ;)

Kitrianna
06-17-2008, 12:22 AM
LOL tj, but that would have required forming a coherent thought, let alone a sentence at 7am (I didn't sleep well last night...thunderstorms). Roger, I have been thinking about this all day and you say that the lack of courtesy is raging amongst people in their 20's and 30's, but I am in my early thirties (some say I act much older) as is Kthrok. He gets frustrated when the women he works with try to open the door for themselves. I am not allowed to get my own door when he was around. James, there is nothing wrong with teaching children to excuse themselves when they burp, some don't consider it a compliment to the chef.

It is very refreshing to see that I am not some throwback to a forgotten age and that there are others who are upset at the way people treat each other. I wish that there were more of us.

JimmyB27
06-17-2008, 12:53 AM
I am considerate, I just never get the chance to prove it. The other day a heavily pregnant woman got on the train, looked my way, and turned to find a seat at the other end of the carriage. She could have had mine! Then I'd have felt good all day for having done a nice thing for someone.
Selfish cow.

Soccer Mom
06-17-2008, 01:04 AM
I don't think it's quite as bleak as folks have made out. I see people do courteous things every day. People hold doors and give up seats and let folks merge into traffic. It's the rudeness that stands out, but there are plenty of polite people out there.

Maryn
06-17-2008, 01:34 AM
I'm getting to be such a hard ass in my older years. When I was 33, at my due date, and unable to get a seat on the subway because healthy 20-somethings had to sit, the only person ever to get up and give me a seat was a homeless guy I'd seen jump the turnstile. I told him, good and loud, that he was the only person on board with any courtesy. A couple months later, traveling with my colicky daughter (who loved the subway), I saw him and showed him the baby. I could tell he was touched that I'd remembered his kindness.

Anyway, nowadays I wouldn't bite my tongue if I were on crutches. Those seats are reserved for people like you--nudge some able-bodied bozo with a crutch and say, nice and loud, "Excuse me, I need a handicapped seat you're sitting in. Now."

Maryn, who no longer cares if everyone likes her

HeronW
06-17-2008, 01:50 AM
There are a few good considerate people left, unfortunately they're going the way of the dodo.

astonwest
06-17-2008, 02:44 AM
I don't think it's quite as bleak as folks have made out. I see people do courteous things every day.I think it also has to do with the area of the country you're in.

brianm
06-17-2008, 03:24 AM
I don't think it's quite as bleak as folks have made out. I see people do courteous things every day. People hold doors and give up seats and let folks merge into traffic. It's the rudeness that stands out, but there are plenty of polite people out there.

I agree.

Manners have changed with the times, but I still rise when a lady (or anyone for that matter) enters a room, pull out chairs, open doors, give up my seat for a lady or elderly person, and do most of what I was taught as a child. Although, I don't bow as much as I did in the past. It only looks like I do because of my lower back pain. :tongue

MarkEsq
06-17-2008, 04:11 AM
I don't mean to rain on your rant, and I am disturbed at the lack of consideration you were shown, but this thread does remind me of Grandpa Simpson and his buddies at the old folks home complaining about how "them young 'uns" ain't like they used to be. I think every generation disparages the manners of the one below it but if the downward curve was as each generation claims, we'd be actively murdering each other by now.

Like SoccerMom, I see people doing nice things for each other every day. Okay, Like SoccerMom I live in Texas but we're s'posed to be bigger and meaner here so that can't be it! I think we'll always have courteous people (you lot) and discourteous ones (the lot you lot have run into).

Or I'm just a blinkered optimist. :)

WendyNYC
06-17-2008, 04:17 AM
I am considerate, I just never get the chance to prove it. The other day a heavily pregnant woman got on the train, looked my way, and turned to find a seat at the other end of the carriage. She could have had mine! Then I'd have felt good all day for having done a nice thing for someone.
Selfish cow.

Be careful with that. My husband offered his seat to a pregnant lady one time and was loudly berated "I'm not pregnant! I'm just fat! You gotta problem with that?"

Write4U2
06-17-2008, 11:54 AM
I am considerate, I just never get the chance to prove it. The other day a heavily pregnant woman got on the train, looked my way, and turned to find a seat at the other end of the carriage. She could have had mine! Then I'd have felt good all day for having done a nice thing for someone.
Selfish cow.

Really!!!! Don't you just hate it when someone won't let you do a favor for them? Bust@rdos!:rant:

JimmyB27
06-17-2008, 01:30 PM
Be careful with that. My husband offered his seat to a pregnant lady one time and was loudly berated "I'm not pregnant! I'm just fat! You gotta problem with that?"
Hehe - That happened to a friend of mine when he was serving a couple at his pub.
But this woman was definitely pregnant - skinny all over, GIANT belly.

SpookyWriter
06-17-2008, 01:51 PM
Hehe - That happened to a friend of mine when he was serving a couple at his pub.
But this woman was definitely pregnant - skinny all over, GIANT belly.Maybe she got knocked up by a beer.

L M Ashton
06-17-2008, 03:14 PM
Perhaps you should have looked pointedly at one of them with the comment, "I can see that you're not old, so what's your impairment?"
If you'd done that to me, I would have told you. :D Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. It's a genetic collagen defect. :D

I'm only 40 and, by all appearances, I'm perfectly healthy and able. By all appearances. In reality, I'm in much worse shape than most 85 year olds with arthritis who've already had three hip replacements and, were I in, say, Canada, the US, or the UK, would easily qualify for disability and that blue wheelchair sticker thingie for my vehicle. And, because of appearances and looking all healthy and able, other people would likely yell at me - and often - for abusing the system. Because I look healthy and able. It's what others with hidden disabilities tell me happens to them.

I'm not saying that people don't have manners these days and I agree that it would have been helpful and polite if someone had moved for you, but I'm also saying that you can't always tell what's going on just by looking at someone.

tjwriter
06-17-2008, 03:48 PM
Oh, I know plenty of people with something that is hard to distinguish with a glance, and often you can see people who are by no means impaired, but rather lazy.

L M Ashton
06-17-2008, 03:57 PM
Sure, but how do you tell the difference?

Roger J Carlson
06-17-2008, 05:02 PM
Roger, I have been thinking about this all day and you say that the lack of courtesy is raging amongst people in their 20's and 30's, but I am in my early thirties (some say I act much older) as is Kthrok.I didn't mean that as a blanket condemnation of people in their 20's and 30's. Obviously, there are courteous people in that age range. I was once. ;) I was talking about what I actually observed on those buses.

I also found that true of teenagers on the buses. That perhaps is understandable, but the interesting thing is that their parents didn't tell them to give up their seat. They'd rush in and get their seats while some old lady or a young mother with a child in her arms stood there and the parents said nothing. How are kids ever going to learn unless someone teach them?


He doesn't look a day over 45, don't let him fool you! ;)Oh, pshaw!

tjwriter
06-17-2008, 05:36 PM
The shame is usually a good indicator. Some people have the decency to look ashamed of themselves, yet lack the intelligence to get up. Or the defiant look. That's usually a good indicator, too. Perhaps it's all in the body language, now that I think about it.

Perhaps the best method is to stand at the front of the bus and ask, "Will no one swap seats so that I do not injure myself trying to make it to the back?"

Or you could whack 'em a good time or two with the crutches. But I think Roger's right. Someone has to teach the younger ones before they learn. I am ashamed by quite a few of my peers, and their 'entitled behavior'. But the best remedy that I've learned is to open your mouth and speak up. Until you call people out on it, they do whatever you let slide.

There was this young boy (about 8 or 9) the other day at the gas station screaming in what looked like his grandmother's face while she pumped gas. She stood there and took it. I had the sudden urge to smack that boy across the mouth, and it really took everything I had not to open the car door and give him a severe tongue lashing. Everything I had. Who teaches a kid that it's okay to do that? Who lets that behavior slide? Until someone stands up and says it's not okay, that kid will keep doing it. There is some truth to the village having some responsibility for all the children of the community. Letting bad behavior slide because it's not your problem eventually makes it everyone's problem. And I still feel really bad for not opening my mouth, though I'd probably be frowned upon for it.

dobiwon
06-17-2008, 06:36 PM
Like as has been said, I think there are plenty of courteous people; it's just the exceptions that stand out. Much of it is due to plain lack of consciousness that there are other people around.

My pet peeve is when a group of people will gather to chat in the doorway of a store, theater, church, etc., when other people are trying to get through, or will walk slowly three or four abreast in a hallway or on a sidewalk, blocking others, or people who rush to enter an elevator before the people already on it can get off.

(All right, that's three peeves)

As a former pastor of my church used to say -- these people need a Copernican revolution -- they need to come to the realization that the universe does not revolve around a spot several inches below the midpoint of their belt.

rhymegirl
06-17-2008, 10:04 PM
Anyway, nowadays I wouldn't bite my tongue if I were on crutches. Those seats are reserved for people like you--nudge some able-bodied bozo with a crutch and say, nice and loud, "Excuse me, I need a handicapped seat you're sitting in. Now."

I love this. Excellent advice.

And I'm with you, Maryn, I don't care if anybody likes me anymore either.

JimmyB27
06-17-2008, 11:06 PM
...or people who rush to enter an elevator before the people already on it can get off.


I get this same thing every evening getting off of the train on my way home from work. GET OUT OF MY WAY JACKASSES!!

Ahem. Excuse me, just had to get that off of my chest.

icerose
06-18-2008, 12:19 AM
I, personally, think common curtesy is on the decline because it's not being taught in as many homes as it used to be. Sure there were discurtious ones in previous generations but I watch my generation and sometimes I'm embarrassed by them.

Sara - in the 20 something group.

Silver King
06-18-2008, 04:18 AM
I'm not so sure courtesy has as much to do with upbringing as it does with our personalities. Parents can teach their children proper manners, which they should, but it doesn't mean those lessons will carry through into adulthood.

Common courtesy comes to us without reasoning. You either do something thoughtful for someone, or you don't. You either care for the well-being of others above yourself, or you don't. There's some middle ground at times, I suppose, when common decency works to our advantage, and we're selective to whom we bestow our finer manners. But for the most part, the world is made up of those who would rather give and others who would rather take. It's always been that way. Courtesy toward strangers is but a tiny sliver of the equation that makes up the sum of all of our parts.

Like someone once said, "You either have it, or you don't."

Kitrianna
06-18-2008, 05:32 PM
I don't mean to rain on your rant, and I am disturbed at the lack of consideration you were shown, but this thread does remind me of Grandpa Simpson and his buddies at the old folks home complaining about how "them young 'uns" ain't like they used to be. I think every generation disparages the manners of the one below it but if the downward curve was as each generation claims, we'd be actively murdering each other by now.

Like SoccerMom, I see people doing nice things for each other every day. Okay, Like SoccerMom I live in Texas but we're s'posed to be bigger and meaner here so that can't be it! I think we'll always have courteous people (you lot) and discourteous ones (the lot you lot have run into).

Or I'm just a blinkered optimist. :)

No love, you just live in an elightened area. I know because I lived in Austin for 2 years. During that time Kthrok and I where hit by a car and on crutches for over a month for me. Everyone was kind enough to make sure that those seats were available for us during the healing process. I suppose that's why I am so sensitive to it here. Canadians are supposed to be our kinder, gentler cousins so as far as I see it they should be just as courteous as Austinites, if not more so.

As far as everyone else saying that people still do nice things, yes, yes they do, but as previously pointed out all the losers detract from their good deeds. Face it guys, if someone lets you make a left turn in front of them on your way to work and then someone flips you off on your way home, you are more apt to remember being flipped off than let through. I'm just sayin'...

Kthrok
06-18-2008, 05:34 PM
i agree Silver, tho i do find that location plays a part in it too. Kit and I have lived in a lot of places both in the US and in Canada. I could almost tell you by city how ppl act in general just by the city they grew up in. Tho i think that has more to do with ppl following the examples of others around them

astonwest
06-19-2008, 01:41 AM
Isn't peer pressure a great thing?

Kitrianna
06-19-2008, 01:44 AM
Sometimes it can be, but only used for the purpose of good and not evil...evil bad, very bad :tongue.

Siddow
06-19-2008, 02:42 AM
I'm so used to all these courteous southern folk now, I don't know how I'd react to some of the a-holes ya'll describe. People are just nice down here, for the most part.

TerzaRima
06-19-2008, 02:59 AM
Who teaches a kid that it's okay to do that? Who lets that behavior slide?

Depressingly many people, as I have learned from my job. Fertility and common sense are not intersecting sets for many.

Kitrianna
06-19-2008, 04:40 AM
Unfortunately I have seen that as well, but there is no law against ignorant people breeding and I think if we tried to make one it would be declared unconstitutional...

chevbrock
06-19-2008, 05:24 AM
I don't think it's so much as "teaching" kids manners, but "showing" them manners. I think it's hard to teach a kid to say "please" and "thank you" if you don't use those words yourself.

Like most others, I've seen consideration, and lack of it, at both spectrums. Unfortunately, I think I see more of the lack these days. I'm not going to single out any particular section of the community - I think all are equally guilty.

lisake
06-22-2008, 11:57 PM
Like the Texans, I am surrounded by people with good manners, maybe because Southerners just put so much emphasis on being considerate. Though I've never been on crutches or otherwise physically challenged, I was pregnant twice and had people fighting over who got to open the door for me, load my groceries into the car, etc.

I think people's lives are so hectic these days that it doesn't really occur to them that they're being inconsiderate. In situations such as the one you encountered, Kitrianna, I would suggest good manners overkill on your part. In your most pleasant voice and with a big smile, say something like: "Pardon me, I'm sorry to bother you, but I'm finding it difficult to continue standing up or to move further back on the bus, and I wonder if any of you kind people would mind letting me borrow your seat?" I bet several of them would have offered, and you would have had the satisfaction of knowing you gave them all a gentle refresher course on manners.

Matera the Mad
06-23-2008, 01:19 AM
I don't think it's so much as "teaching" kids manners, but "showing" them manners. I think it's hard to teach a kid to say "please" and "thank you" if you don't use those words yourself.

"Show" vs. "Tell" :D Yep

Carole
06-23-2008, 02:37 AM
I agree with some of you - it really depends on where you live. Where I am, it's still normal for someone to hold the door for you. Just two weekends ago when hubby and I were going into a restaurant, a teenage boy held the door for us and several other couples while his family went on to their car.

Sean D. Schaffer
06-23-2008, 03:27 AM
Snipped...

My question is for all of you, is it becoming normal for people not to give a royal rat's pituty about their fellow man?

I can't speak for the rest of the world, but where I live that seems to be the case ... sadly. :(

A few months ago, while I was riding the bus, a bunch of teenagers with skateboards got on, and they all sat in the elderly and handicapped seating area. When asked to move for an elderly lady, they smarted off to her and said they had the right to sit there.

When I was their age, in the late 70's to mid-80's, if I'd have done that, the woman would have rightly smacked me up alongside the head and no one would have said a thing to her about it.

If anything, people would have been applauding her for it.

What I'm saying is, society in my neck of the woods is changing in a lot of ways for the worse. And like you asked, I'm sad to say people are caring a lot less about their neighbors than they did even twenty years ago.

:(