Saturday, February 3, 2018

Do You Have Bad Manners?

If I had one wish today it would be for every person that looks at their mobile device 4 or 500 times per day to really stop for a moment to get a glimpse of themselves.The average person with a conscience would be appalled how they really look when interacting with people who are not, well, rude to anyone else. When asked, most people can't even understand the words, bad manners, because we all have great manners.  Might be time to check that phone again for more accuracy.

Poor or bad manners occur 24-hours per day, no matter who you are, male or female, short or tall, black green, yellow blue or orange.  If you just take an hour, okay, 30 minutes away from your mobile device to observe human interaction -- you would be sick in your stomach. That's what most people with decent or good manners think about those with no manners or who are just plain rude.

Bad manners occur where we live, in the workforce, on public transportation, in hospitals, in restaurants, in our schools, in clubs and bars, in Whole Food or other food stores, while driving, while biking, while jogging or walking, while shopping for beautiful outfits and especially on the streets of San Francisco and every major city.

Case in point, this afternoon, I left out of my condo unit and looked dead in the eyes of a neighbor who lives 2 doors down. As usual, I said hello. He made a point to look at me and put his head down. By the way, that's being rude or just plain stupid. And just in case you are wondering, English is his first language and mine too. When such idiotic events happen, I usually smile and make a note to delete that person from my view forever. To be quite honest, if there was a major catastrophe I wouldn't bother to lift a hand to help or to alert him. Listen up people, when someone says hello to you, respond with a hello or hi or just give a fake smile and nod your head to acknowledge the other person. My dad taught me to be nice to everyone once. It doesn't matter if they are the President of a Fortune 500 company or the janitor cleaning toilets or the busboy in one of your favorite restaurants that most refuse to acknowledge. Everyone is important. Ever thought about what they could do to your food -- Yum!

 Go ahead and deny it, but here are a few tips that may indicate you may be RUDE: 

Flat Out Rudeness

Some people pretend no one else in the world is affected by their bad behavior, actions, and words. Don't ask rude questions that are none of your business. And if someone does something nice for you, say, Thank you, to show your appreciation. Or Excuse me, if you step on someone's foot.That shouldn't be too difficult to say -- Just 2 small words even if you don't mean it.

Cell Phone Conversations in Public
When you're talking on your cell phone in public, remember where you are. Don't discuss anything that the rest of the world has no business knowing nor do they want to know, like what your doctor said about your infection, your Brazilian waxing appointment, your baby's daddy in prison argument about money, in an Uber of Lyft auto, or the argument you had with your boss after you didn't finish your work. Wait until you get home – or at least in your car or on a street corner with no people around – before discussing such private stuff.

Barely Tipping in Restaurants
Remember that many people who rely on tips make below minimum wage, and they often have families to support. Tip according to the type and quality of service rendered. The latest bills also add it up for you whether you want to give 10%, 15%, 20% or more. Check the box and sign your name.

Taking Your Phone to Dinner to See Friends
What did these people ever do before texting and social media existed? I am sure we all notice couples sitting at dinner and both are on their cell phones and not looking at each other. Are you dating the phone? They probably had "real" relationships with "in person" people. If you are physical with someone, don't ignore him or her to text someone who isn't even with you.

Breathing Down the Back of Necks
When you're waiting for someone to finish his or her transaction with a cashier, give the person room to breathe. We are not in an overcrowded country. Everyone needs personal space when dealing with anything financial – even if it's the purchase of a burrito or Cosmo. Pretty sure you would hate it.

Unkind to Disabled People
When you spot a wheelchair-bound person in a grocery store, ask if you can help get something off a top shelf. That should take you about a second, and it will be good for everyone. Never park in a spot designated for a disabled person with the reasoning that, " I will only be a minute", unless you are disabled.

Respecting the Elderly
A big sore point for me is to see young or middle aged people sitting on their butts on public transit, looking at their phones and refusing to move over so that someone can at least take a seat on a crowded bus or subway. Many people pretend that they don't see older people struggling to hold on while standing on a crowded bus. Or my latest observation is when women are 6 to 8 months pregnant and no man or woman could consider offering them a seat. My only wish is if someone who is rude lives to become elderly, disabled or pregnant and that you be treated the same.

Screaming Children = Poor Parenting Skills
You know how frustrating and annoying it can be when someone lets their children misbehave in public or on public transportation while the parent is on his or her cell phone. Whether they're throwing a temper tantrum or running around and disrupting others, they get on other people's nerves. Before you bring your children to any public place, talk to them about their manners. If the child does not understand, perhaps you should not be in a restaurant disturbing everyone and ruining a great date.

Smart Grooming
Dress for the place and occasion. Follow the dress code at work and other places where people typically wear nicer clothing. Remember that casual Friday at the office isn't an excuse to be untidy. Regardless if you work for a high tech company, a startup or for a non-profit agency please take a shower, brush your teeth, comb your hair and for goodness sake wash your feet if you are going to wear flip-flops and prop your dogs on top of your desk because it's cool. Trust me, it's not.

After you receive a gift, send a thank you note. No need to write an essay, just simply thank the person, address the envelope, put a stamp on it, and stick it in the mailbox. Wait, you do know what a stamp is right? And a mailbox - It's that big blue box on most corners in most cities.There is an app for it. If you absolutely don't have the two minutes to spare, send an email. Email isn't the best , but it's better than nothing.

Using Profanity in Public
There is no reason to let loud foul language pass your lips when you are in a public space, especially when there are elderly folks and children around you. Losing control of your language is considered a weakness and screams insecurity,

Don't Touch Me
Get real people. If you ever been on public transportation during rush hour, everyone touches each other. The other day a young woman threatened to call the police if a woman touched her again. I couldn't help it, I just laughed out loud at the stupidity. As a result, everyone on the subway laughed too. Let's get real, if you don't like crowded buses or trains, drive on a crowded freeway. What! no car? Maybe you should never leave your house or apartment.

Mikael Wagner is a Communications Project Manager. For more information, visit us at