Whatever Happened to Good Manners?


Hey guys, it’s been a while since I wrote a new blog post I know.

Life has been busy and I’ve been in and out of good health but hey! It’s a new month, a new day and I’m alive, so it’s all good.

There are a few things on my mind this week but right now, one of my pet peeves has been annoying me lately and especially so today; that is people who lack the simplest form of manners. You know…Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Thank you or Please. However, I’ve found it’s the Good Morning/ Good Afternoon or Good Night that goes a begging.

I’ve been trying to figure out if it’s generational, cultural or a bit of both. What makes a person enter a room where there are other people present and just pass them like an easy exam (as we like to say in Antigua) without a greeting or salutation?

Nederland, Rotterdam, 07-05-2007 ERIM reportage EBL en twee portretten. Erasmus Behavioural Lab psychologie gedragsonderzoek proefpersonen onderzoek EEG elctroden

Courtesy: Google Images

From a young age, (in the West Indies) you are taught that when you enter a room where there are others present you give the appropriate salutation depending on the time of day. That was considered having good manners. Woe be unto you if you entered your home and didn’t greet those there. If you woke up and went into the kitchen, living room etc you’d better get that Good Morning out before you said another word or tried to get breakfast.

If you visited someone’s home with your parents as soon as that door was opened you greeted the person. If you for some reason temporarily lost your senses and did not remember to say Good Morning or whatever; your mom would give you the look…

Child?!

Child?!                                           

Then say: “What are you supposed to say?” and you trotted out that “Good Morning!” quick, fast and in a hurry.

But hey…that’s just how I grew up and was raised; maybe it wasn’t so for many others. Well, obviously it wasn’t so for many people, I should probably say.

This morning I had an appointment with the dentist (that deserves it’s own post) but anyhoo…the appointment was for 8:00am and I got there at 7:35am. The office opens at 7. There was no one in the reception area but I could hear scurrying. A man emerged from a room, he looked like he possibly keeps up the premises. He walked right past me sitting in a chair and went out the door. Another man passed through, he actually said a curt hello.

 

I sat there until 7:50 and two ladies came in in street wear and walked right past me with their scrubs (I assumed to change). An elderly lady came in (passed me without a word) and went to stand in front of the vacant reception desk. I actually informed her that there were no receptionists present yet (because you see, I have manners and broughtupcy). That was when she turned to me and mumbled something like “Oh, ok.”

Finally at about 7:55, two girls who I assumed correctly were the receptionists came in and went behind their desks. (No greeting to either myself or the elderly lady waiting).

Once they had settled themselves in, one looked up from her monitor to finally address me and asked which doctor I’d come to see. In my head I was giving her such a dressing down! However, as I was more nervous about my appointment I didn’t have any ire to waste; so, I just exhaled and prepared myself for the chair of tension.

Do you have the same pet peeve? Isn’t it especially annoying when you enter a place of business to not be greeted? I mean, whatever happened to good manners?

© Chattinatti 2016

broughtupcy a term commonly used in the English speaking West Indies to mean: good manners or respect. It means you were raised or “brought up” with these traits.

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11 thoughts on “Whatever Happened to Good Manners?

  1. This drives me crazy, too! I don’t mind it so much in a social setting; I’m a shy person, so saying hello to people I don’t know can be intimidating. But there is no excuse for it in a professional setting like you described. I’ve worked in the customer service industry for nearly fifteen years now, and it sets me off in a bad mood right off the bat when I go into a store, restaurant, office, whatever it may be, and the person doesn’t greet me. It’s become especially common in fast food joints when you approach the counter. How hard is it to say “Hi! How can I help you?” or even just “Can I take your order?” Apparently, it’s pretty hard for some of these people. I just don’t get it. And it puts me into an immediate bad mood.

    • Hi L.S. Engler~ Thank you for your comment! Yes, I agree with you on the poor customer service (lack of greeting or acknowledgement) when entering an establishment…especially one where I’m about to spend my hard earned money! It’s like I can’t even get a “Hello, Good Morning” or a “How may I help you?” but you’re ready to take my cash? -_-

  2. Natti, all I am going to say is just add and the mind of CellaBella to your posts…cause nothing annoys me more than ill mannered people. I talk about it all the time to the extent that I say out loud when I enter a place saying good morning to no response “wait! Does no one have manners in here???” Must be old school or something.

    • Lol! Hi Cella Bella~ Yes! I’ve done that where I’ve repeated my greeting a second time but louder with a look of expectancy on my face. I would say having good manners almost seems to be an old school thing except for those occasions where it’s people past their 30’s and even 50’s who often are the ones displaying a lack of courtesy! So you know that the chances of them teaching their offspring any may be slim.

  3. Such a timely and, unfortunately, accurate post. I think culture has the largest part to play. Generations merely act out their culture after all. Here in the U.S the scene you described is the everyday norm generally BUT not typically so in settings of African American SOUTHERNERS (I stress southerners for a reason). Among them the good mornings and yes ma’am/sir are so commonplace it disarms if you’re not ready for them (like if you assume there are no sub-cultures here, just the dominant, main culture).

  4. Good out side and come back with what you left outside. That was a commonly used sentence when we forgot our manners. The world in which we exists in today everyone is into themselves, manners is no longer a way for life. Thank God though, living in the South manners still do exist somehow.

    • Hi Dawn, Your comment made me laugh! That is so true, if you entered a house without a Good Morning etc, you were sent back outside to look for your manners and could come back when you found it! LOL!

  5. I’m given the “you’re weird” look many times as I cheerfully bid good morning to everyone on the elevator in the mornings at work. 20 years ago when I moved to the US I was very bothered by this and even internalized it. Thought maybe I had a problem. I’ve even had my moments when I altered my behavior because I felt ackward for having good manners. Yea.. Imagine that. Today, I’m simply offer my salutation and who tek um tek um and who nuh want um lef um. I reside in NY… The Mecca of ill manners so I give them a pass. They just don’t know any better because most of them were dragged up.

    • I know what you mean. When I lived in the US and in Canada, I found that I started to try not to give a greeting because I was tired of being ignored or looked at like I was weird. LOL Eventually, I went back to saying it because I just felt so wrong not doing it! I felt as though I was letting down myself and my upbringing. It also just wasn’t/isn’t me to not have manners. shrugs

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