Thursday, February 01, 2007

Pardon Me

I've been noticing more and more that people lack manners. Forget the thank you card. That's obsolete. Holding the door for someone is few and far between. Saying "thank you" and "excuse me" are probably more common but not as much as is warranted. And you can just forget about eye contact. It's probably not gonna happen.

I have a friend (I use that term loosely) who completely lacks the ability to engage people in conversation. He doesn't ask the person he is talking to questions about themselves. Conversations with him either consist of him going on and on about himself or silence unless you ask prompter questions or resort to going on and on about yourself. Once when we were out to dinner with a couple (a husband and wife, the husband being one of his best friends), he sat directly across from the wife, next to me and kitty-corner from his best friend. I swear he hardly looked at her the entire meal while he went on and on and on. Instead, he looked over at his friend and spoke to him, occasionally looking sideways at me but frankly I didn't care if he looked at me because then he'd see how bored I was. I'd heard all his stories and wasn't particularly amused by them the first time I sat through them. Later, I mentioned to the wife how he never looked at her and she just shrugged saying that's how he is. How he is is kinda r-u-d-e.

This guy is also a cheapskate- the worst kind of cheapskate. He'll be sure to mention how much money he's been saving up but then never makes a gesture to pick up the tab. Or he'll invite me out to see a movie but by that he means, you buy your own ticket (even if I have covered his portion enough to warrant at least one friggen movie ticket). His friend, the husband I've mentioned, he's a generous guy and often will pick up the tab when we all go out. I'm always surprised and thankful and I offer to pay my way, the tip or to pick up the dessert/the movie/the drinks depending on what we are doing next. I feel it's proper etiquette to offer (and mean it). What do you think?

And what's your biggest peeve with manners?

33 comments:

Traveling Chica said...

It sounds like you'd all be a little better off without him around! Yikes!

You hear the girl hollering down the hall "bless you!" when someone sneezes on the other side of the office? Yeah, that's me. And I still write thank you cards... even for gifts that I've received four months late. :) I guess I'm just stuck in a past generation...

My biggest pet peeves with manners are no thank you's and no apologies.

Bre said...

I hate when people use their cell phones on speakerphone so everyone else can hear their conversations. I mean, I have a "beep beep" walkie talkie phone too, but they all have functions so that you don't have to let the whole world know that you want your spouse to bring home milk. Yick.

alissa said...

My biggest pet peeve is people that answer their cell phones when they're with you and have FULL ON conversations. I know there is the occasional emergency and if I'm expecting an important call, I will tell the person I'm with in advance and apologize. I will also send any call except said important call through to voice mail. Otherwise, you shut your phone off, make the person you're with feel important enough to have your attention - no phone calls, no texting etc... it's just rude.

That's my rant.

JustRun said...

I'm with Alissa- I am not fan of the full-on cell conversation when I'm supposed to be having lunch or coffee or whatever with someone. I'm amazed at the people who will do this who are otherwise polite.

I also think I'd be accepting no more "invitations" from this person. There are better things to be done, like recaulking the shower and untangling wires behind the desk. :)

girl and dog said...

Ooooo, I'm a stickler for good manners! I was brought up by the strictest mother when it came to etiquette! I despise when people don't hold doors, and when I hold a door open for someone, rarely do I get a thank you. (I've been known to yell out "you're welcome", but I'm sure my mother wouldn't approve!)

I hate it when people talk loudly on their cell phones in public places, chew with their mouth open (yuck!), slurp their soup, or even make that "sucky" noise with a straw when they empty their glass.

And don't even get me started on driving etiquette...

Mexican men are machos (yuck) but the one thing they have is excellent manners. Some men in Mexico will even stand up when a lady approaches or leaves a table!!

I was sold on Mr. T (not a mexican) when he courteously walked next to the street and allowed me to be on the inside of the curb. What a gentleman!

sandra said...

The cell phone thing bugs me too, as do bad tippers, people who calculate what's owed at a restaurant down to the penny (seriously, if $1 is a big deal, eat at home) and -- like you, Sizz -- people who are cheap.

g-man said...

I too have a low tolerance for rude behavior. What do you get out of going out with this guy?

kim said...

I hate when people deal with clerks (buying coffee, ordering food at a restaraunt,etc) on their cell phones. I was dining with someone who was on their phone (another pet peeve) and the waitress was waiting to take our order so as to not interrupt her phone call. My friend got mad. Since then, I have no tolerance for people who treat people waiting on them rudely. Is it just too much to ask for a little common courtesy?

jodi said...

i have a thing w/people not holding the elevator door open when its CLEAR that you're coming... and i also hate people that drive w/their turn signals on, its like HELLO! are you turning or not?

i'm so thankful i date a guy that has manners, its amazing at how many people - men and women - seem to lack that quality...

Sizzle said...

kim- it isn't too much to ask!

g-man- i got nothing from going out with him, not even sex. ha.

sandra- ooh bad tippers. embarassing!

girl and dog- chivalry is not dead. :)

justrun- yeah, i'm over his "company."

alissa- i couldn't agree with you more!

bre- totally. when did we have so much to talk about anyhow?!

traveling chica- i like you more now. way to be manneriffic!

Jenny said...

this one is HUGE: He doesn't ask the person he is talking to questions about themselves.

ugh. the worst. r-u-d-e.

Melissa said...

Oh bad manners are just a total shitter. One of the worst offenses to me is interruptions. Listen to what I'm saying. I know how to have a grown up conversation, I know the rhythm of it. Stop talking over me! It's conversation, give and take. Because if you are constantly interrupting me you are not listening to me.

Lefty said...

I'm with alissa on the cell phone thing. In fact, about 50% of my pet peeves are related to cell phones.

I abhor lateness. I think it is a form of bad manners.

(I also abhor a vacuum.)

Circe said...

Oh where do I begin...I also hate people who answer or make cell phone calls when they are supposed to be visiting YOU. Again, emergencies are understandable but I've seen this happen entirely too much and I think it's about time I get vocal about it. And I still get torqued if I'm having a phone conversation and I get put on hold while they answer another call!!! I will hang up after 30 seconds to 1 min. F** 'em!

Lefty said...

Ah, yes, call waiting can be extremely rude, too. "Please hold. Someone more interesting may be on the other line."

Sizzle said...

circe- i hate being on hold too. call waiting is for the birds!

lefty- lateness is a peeve of mine as well.

melissa-what were you saying? i was too busy thinking about what i would say next. (another one of my peeves!)

jenny- i knew you'd agree.

jodi- that one gets me too! or when they don't ask you what floor you want.

LVGurl said...

Currently, my biggest pet peeve is people who don't help out and open a door when you're in a pinch. Typically, I am happy to open my own door, thank you (so liberated!) But when I'm juggling two kids or arms full of whatever, while trying to open a door to a store by using my butt and left heel, and people look on without offering help...UGH! I know I must throw off a "I CAN DO IT MYSELF" air, and I understand it must be a fun spectacle to watch, but at least OFFER!

snackiepoo said...

My pet peeves are really simple and easy to do! Say "please", "thank you", "bless you" or something similar when someone sneezes, don't interrupt, open the door for the elderly or anyone who has their hands full. I am hugely bad at thank-you notes but because of the times, I do send a thank-you eCard or email just to let the person know I appreciate them. I truly expect that people should follow those basic sets of manners. Nothing peeves me more than someone not saying thank you OR acknowledging that you did something nice for them, and it is not about my need to be validated either. Also, I am really for women's rights but that does not mean that a man should not hold a door open for me...I gasp when one does these days.

I tend to follow the rules of polite society more than others so there are things that I do that I never expect in return. Like if you are visiting someone, bring them a gift. If you are taking someone out to dinner (or brunch) in their city, pick up the tab. When you go to a party, bring wine....blah blah blah!

nicalyse said...

Manners have been disregarded far too much in today's society. Part of it is the fact that it's easier to be rude when you aren't face-to-face with someone (phone, email, etc.), but that's still no excuse.

My biggest pet peeve: The lack of the simple "thank you." It takes less than two seconds to say and you can never say it too many times. I am also a huge proponent for "please" and "excuse me." Commanding me or pushing me out of the way is a direct path to a snide comment.

diane said...

Oh! Oh! So many good ones!! I am actually very laid back about cell phones, but probably because I think people's conversations are often funny, AND I often talk on my cell phone as a way to pass time. Also because it is sometimes near impossible to reach me at home (not lately, since the temperature dropped under 20!).
I HATE the nickel-and-dimers at restaurants too--when my friends say, "let's just throw in X dollars" I am always on board with that. But I also believe if I overpay it will come back to me at some point in the future. I also like to treat sometimes for no reason just because it is nice.
I hate bad customer service. Once at Sears the guy in the electronics department walked away from the register because he had to "go get something real quick". It's not like it had been a long line and he needed a break. Nope, I wandered up, and he walked away. I have no shame in reporting bad service to store managers.
I admit to being totally puzzled by the proper etiquette on a date. Sometimes I think it will make the man more comfortable to pay, but I feel horribly rude if I don't at least offer. I don't have expectations either way--in fact, I had a boyfriend that HATED that I always wanted to pay for myself. I would be very curious for both men and women to weigh in on that one. Maybe that will be my blog poll tomorrow...

LSL said...

This guy sucks. Do you have to hang out with him? Dudes like this need to be banished to an island, all to the same island, to make the dating pool a little easier to negotiate.

And some may think this is rude, but someone needs to tell that guy that he sucks. I'll volunteer.

Biggest peeve: cell phones.

meghansdiscontent said...

YES! It's definitely proper etiquette to offer to pay - - and mean it when you do so. I'm so glad that someone has laid that out there.

I'm not sure I could put up with a "friend" like the one you're describing. You must be vying for sainthood.

Biggest peeve: People who think the world owes them something (this is kinda manners related, right?).

gorillabuns said...

annoyances? don't get me started...
people that take the last appetizer at a party. people who take the last piece of toliet paper without replacing the roll. people who rummage through your cabinets at a party and exclaim that you have a "shit load" of toliet paper, even though there is only one of you. people, who when the cashier asks, "i can take the next person in line," means the last person in line feels like he quite entitled to first dibs.
when people behind you in the self check out line at the grocery store, start running their bottled water and deodorant while you are hurriedly trying to bag your groceries with two kids screaming in your ear, causing an inevitable mixing of groceries and a subsequent scolding to the bald, assumed sexless male for not waiting his GD turn!

i think i have to stop or i might go crazy on this post..... people just plain suck sometimes.

Anthony S. said...

Ok, here's a story...This always happens in threes:

Someone sneezes, I say, "Bless you!".

Another person sneezes, I say, "Salud! (Bless you!).

I sneeze. Silence. You assholes!

(It's like some comedy bit, where I'm the butt of the joke. I can see not saying bless you out of the blue to someone, but when you're handed the baton, please pick it up, or you should have it shoved right up your ass).

Rachel said...

The Nextel Chirp drives me bonkers.
People who don't say excuse me after then bump into you.
Kids that backtalk. I would knock my son's block off if he did that.
People who make plans with you and then cancel at the last minute because they decided to do something else. RUDE!!!

kapgar said...

I hate that caller ID makes people so much more cavalier both in terms of how they answer the phone or if they answer it at all. Grrr...

Claire said...

Call waiting is pretty high up there, along with cell phones answered when you're with someone. Generally, people who can't stop multi-tasking long enough to be present either literally or for a phone call, particularly if I'm calling long distance.

And people who don't acknowledge receipt of packages... Hell, I'm not even looking for a thank you anymore, just a 'hey, I got it.' With email, that can't be too much to ask.

I'll leave it at that so I don't get thoroughly irritated.

Bone said...

People who let their kids run wild.

matilda said...

Sending thank you notes is the top manner peeve of all time for me. I send thank you notes for every single occasion including job interviews. And I get sooo irritated when my own friends cannot have their children write a simple thank you note.

Esmerelda said...

Not using turn signals. IT IS A SAFETY ISSUE PEOPLE!

I try really hard for me to be as polite as I'd like to be. So I make a point of teaching the children in hopes that I'll learn. It's awful to say but that's how I was raised.

I try short cuts like thank you's at the party so notes aren't due later.

sue said...

Just the lack of politeness in general... you know, saying "excuse me" when you accidently cross in front of someone in the store, or bump into them... or "thank you" or "your welcome"... just the things that roll off my lips naturally, I guess. Does that mean I'm old? Hmmm...

KittyNess said...

This is a sad state of affairs, and my direct involvement with this person leaves me scratching my head. One of his closest friends, the one mentioned who picks up the tab sometimes, couldn't be more opposite then Mr. Rude. They are life long friends, and that's been made clear to me. I don't approve of anyone treating anyone poorly, especially when its a close friend. There is so much history of this behavior here it would make your head spin. I have noticed an indirect drifting of the friendship, and this is possibly not an accident. This guy has been told many times how wrong this is but it seems to cause no change.

What I don't get is why anyone, including Sizzle, is willing to spend time with this fellow? In a way, I think he wants attention, which he is getting here.

sangram said...

Hello there! The guy you mentioned in 'Pardon me' might be shy around women and suffers from low self-esteem. These people cannot maintain proper eyecontacts, find it difficult to start conversations, break ice and involve in small talk. They are nervous around people of opposite sex. They sometimes also suffer SAD(social anxiety disorder). They also run a risk of being labeled rude when they are actually shying away from conversations. But they are not always like that. They deserve some consideration.

That said, I don't think its wrong to go dutch when we are socializing. In my view its not rude as long as you are offering to pay your lot.