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Thread: Manners - The NY Times gets it

  1. #1
    I'll Lock Up dhermann1's Avatar
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    Manners - The NY Times gets it




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    Nice op-ed piece from the Times, reflecting fellings often aired here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/10/opinion/10alford.html
    "Hello. I'm Mr. Hardy, and this is my friend, Mr. Laurel."

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    My Mail is Forwarded Here Miss_Bella_Hell's Avatar
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    Reading this article actually makes me hate the writer. Or at least roll my eyes.

    In the case of rude people in the service industry, the author seems to have failed to consider the very real possibility that his servers actively hate all their customers.

    In the case of people on the street, maybe he should 1) move out of Manhattan; 2) stop being that guy on the sidewalk who is moving in a non-linear way, and too slowly.

    The meek will inherit the earth, but not the mineral rights. -J. Paul Getty

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    My Mail is Forwarded Here AmateisGal's Avatar
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    That takes courage in this day and age to actually tell someone, "I'm saying the words that you should be saying." He's liable to get "flipped off" or something equally insulting. And isn't that itself a sad commentary on our society?
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    I'll Lock Up Paisley's Avatar
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    I don't think he's going to get very far with this. These days, an apologetic attitude is seen as an opportunity to be even ruder.

    And correcting the manners of a complete stranger is rude.

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    "A List" Customer pdxvintagette's Avatar
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    How appalling!

    "Doctor, heal thyself!" is the only thing I can think of in response to this piece. He's missed the whole point of instilled manners, and if he has any, he's had to completely compromise them in order to use this "reverse ettiquette."

    I've pointed out public rudeness in others before, but not without realizing that I myself was engaging in another form of it myself. This fellow seems to be completely unaware of how poor his own manners are in regards to the issue, particularly once out on the street.

    Frankly, I'm a little embarrassed for him.

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    One of the Regulars MadelienneBlack's Avatar
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    I think his heart's in the right place, but I'm not sure about his effort. I don't think his tactics will get him very far, which is unfortunate. I'm often shocked at people's manners these days.
    "You're a good man, sister"

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    My Mail is Forwarded Here Undertow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss_Bella_Hell
    Reading this article actually makes me hate the writer. Or at least roll my eyes.

    In the case of rude people in the service industry, the author seems to have failed to consider the very real possibility that his servers actively hate all their customers.

    In the case of people on the street, maybe he should 1) move out of Manhattan; 2) stop being that guy on the sidewalk who is moving in a non-linear way, and too slowly.

    I tend to agree with Miss Bella Hell here. Sure, his heart was in the right place, but it's a little too smarmy for me. If he wanted to make people aware of their manners, he could simply state, "Please excuse yourself," and even that is unnecessary.

    Ironically, I find it a bit rude to impose one's manners on others. If someone fails to exhibit appropriate manners, you should let the rube continue on their way; afterall, you're not their mother. However, if it is distressing enough, perhaps an unkempt mourner is drinking and cursing at your mother's funeral, then I see that you have the right to impost SOME manners by asking the gentleman (and even lady) to excuse themselves out the door.

    In the case of bad service or bumps on the sidewalk; get over yourself.
    "We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will." ~ C. Palahniuk

  8. #8
    I'll Lock Up Fletch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miss_Bella_Hell
    Reading this article actually makes me hate the writer. Or at least roll my eyes.

    In the case of rude people in the service industry, the author seems to have failed to consider the very real possibility that his servers actively hate all their customers.
    Or their jobs? Is that even admissible anymore, to hate your job in this toughest of cities?

    In the case of people on the street, maybe he should 1) move out of Manhattan; 2) stop being that guy on the sidewalk who is moving in a non-linear way, and too slowly.

    I've read Alford. He's too much of a hothouse flower ever to quit Manhattan, so 1) is out. As for 2), yeah, maybe, but how long must we apologize for NYers' tendency to charge around like blinkered racehorses in public?

    In midtown, I used to practice what I called guerrilla strolling, ie, maintaining minimal body tension and a snappy pace at the same time in quiet defiance of all the jerks marching around with their jaws set and knees locked. It involves a kind of Zen mindfulness, I suppose - rather than jerking or twisting out of the way of obstacles, you try deftly to sidestep them. Imagine you're Fred Astaire; he could handle it.

    Beats hell out of being smarmy-coy at people because they don't say sorry. That's irritating. What's worse, being thoughtless or being a scold? I rate them about equal.

    I get bumped, I say, "Sorry!" and that's all. The harder the bump, the louder the "Sorry!" and the more of an edge I put on it. If that doesn't make them think, nothing will.
    Simplicity never goes out of style, and never comes into fashion.

  9. #9
    My Mail is Forwarded Here Miss_Bella_Hell's Avatar
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    Fletch, I'll do you one better. If I get bumped, I'll say sorry (even though it's unlikely the other person hears or cares). But if someone if crossing my path when I am walking with the flow of traffic and they are cutting it so close I have to stop or move to avoid them, I'll throw out an elbow. Subtly, so it seems accidental. I consider it training, like dogs who nip the sheep to keep them in line.

    Yup, just compared myself to a collie.
    The meek will inherit the earth, but not the mineral rights. -J. Paul Getty

  10. #10
    I'll Lock Up MrBern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhermann1
    Nice op-ed piece from the Times, reflecting fellings often aired here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/10/opinion/10alford.html
    Wow, that was so odd & passive-aggressive.

    Reminds me of an article that observed an angry drunk businessman pushed thru a crowd & sneared, "pardon me' & 'excuse me" all the way. The article surmised that these apologies were the new "@#$% YOU!"

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