Common Courtesy & Calling People Out


The other day, I was walking into a building. (This is thrilling, I know!) It was a courthouse to be exact. I had jury duty. The man in front of me didn’t hold the door. Now, I don’t need a knight—I’m no damsel in distress. But I was directly behind him so, when he let that door go, it slammed right in my face.

I opened the door, stepped inside, and said something like, “Gee! That was nice. Thanks for holding the door! Much appreciated.” As I was taking off my watch to walk through the metal detectors, I heard a voice say to the man, “Oh! Good morning Judge Quincy.”

This was not good for me. And maybe I should keep my little comments to myself. However, just because you’re a judge or some other “important” person who wields power, does that mean you are excused from being considerate and civil? (Pun intended). Hell, no. Superman? Polite. Captain America? Polite. And they are way more powerful than any old judge.

Okay, so that’s a funny little anecdote that I simply had to share because… Well, imagine the look on my face. Anyway, it made me think about my intolerance for people who lack manners. Also, about my rage frustration when I see someone disrespect another person.

I’m one of those people who comments on others’ behavior or says something sarcastic—you know the type. Type me. Rude.

I’m also a stickler for common courtesy. (I know. It’s a conundrum.) I certainly could never be mistaken for Miss Manners, but if you can’t take 3 seconds out of your life to acknowledge others around you and act appropriately, I get a bit bitchy.

How difficult is it to say “please” and “thank you” or hold the door for someone or smile? Had a shitty day and don’t feel like smiling? Got it. Been there. Doesn’t mean you scream at a cashier because your coupon expired last week and she can’t give you the discount. Or whistle at your waitress and point to the fork you dropped. Dude. Really. That’s just wrong on so many levels.

I overtip a waitress who’s been mistreated and joke with a cashier who’s been yelled at. I’ve also been known to offer an irate customer the fifteen cents she would have saved with the coupon. That makes me giggle inside. Yes, I know. Rude.

I try to let my irritation out in small snippets. It may not be the best solution but it helps me feel like a boiling tea kettle rather than a bag of microwave popcorn. Those are perfectly apt analogies. Let’s move on.

When some kid pulls stuff off a shelf, throws it all over the floor, and the parent tells them to leave it – someone who works there will pick it up – I want to throw my bag of frozen peas at their head. But since I’m so nice, I say “Oops! Look at all those things you accidentally dropped! Do you need help picking them up?”

When someone elbows me out of the way to get ahead in line, I make it my mistake. “Oh, I’m sorry! Didn’t mean to bump you. Excuse me!” As I said, I’m one of those people.

Is my attitude just as bad as their behavior? Maybe. Maybe not. You can label me a trouble-maker. But I like to think of it as a form of meditation. I’m calming my inner Hulk.

What do you do in these situations? Do you feel more like the Hulk or Hello Kitty?

“Roar!” Meow.”