Manners Maketh Man

On Saturday I went to the Post Office to post a parcel. I queued with everyone else while only one window was open for service. All very British (and polite) we waited with hardly a murmur. Twenty minutes passed and a second window was opened. The lady in front of me went to be told her passport application was filled in incorrectly and would be rejected

  • an aside here, how is this possible? How can you fill in a passport application wrongly? I've filled in many, from the age of about 19, I'm not a genius. I've filled in forms for adult and child passports. They come with clear instructions, and a whole sheet about photos and signatures. How hard is it to understand 'do not write outside the box' or 'use a clear X in black pen only' sheesh people you don't deserve a passport.
anyway *removes judges wig* she was given a long explanation of the million and one things she had failed at and still we all waited. Finally a window was free, it was my turn! There was no trendy announcement system in this little post office so i headed to the window to be told, tersely "I haven't actually called anyone yet, you will have to wait" 
Now I don't know why I didn't ask if he was always that rude or if today was a special day, but what's wrong with "I'll be with you in a minute" and a smile.
I was told off! Told off for being a customer, who had waited (politely remember) for nearly half an hour to post a parcel!

I waited, finally he asked what I wanted.

"I would like to send this parcel, first class please"
 "Do you want it guaranteed to arrive Monday?"
 "Oh I don't know, how much is that? "
".....and how much is first class?"
" ...£3"
"erm, no then first class is fine, thank you" he grumbled something, took parcel and money and I left.

Later I offered some things on Freecycle, One item was brand new, still in box, worth about £15. I thought I'd have a few replies and I was right, but I was unprepared for the tone.

Actual Replies
  • can you deliver to (with address)
  • have you still got
  • can pick up now (about 3 of these)
  • yes please (more than 5 like this)
  • when can i collect
Now the thing is this was the ENTIRE message, no corrections, notice there is no 'hello' no sign off with name etc amazing! And RUDE!

When did this being rude become a thing? I know I sound like Victor Meldrew but politeness is the oil that helps society keep going without grinding to an aggressive halt. It seems to be the norm today for parents to not 'force' a child to say 'sorry' or 'please' or 'thank you' under the grounds that there is no point if it doesn't mean anything. But I think it does have a purpose, it keeps people calm, politeness helps in a society that is overcrowded, like dogs lowering their tails in a pack, we need to be polite. It is important.

I finished my day angry (and ranty hence this blog) no doubt with blood pressure raised. Of course you could argue that's my problem, but shouldn't we all be looking out for each other? Shouldn't society want to remain peaceful? If saying 'sorry' or 'thank you' can diffuse a situation why not say it? It doesn't cost anything. But not saying it might be costing society as a whole.

What do you think? Is politeness important? Do you teach it to your children?


  1. I have the same problem with people being incosiderate.

    We took Ben bowling today. Got the right balls for us. (2 x 6 for Ben, 2 x 8 for me, 2 x 12 for Dave). Another family turned up as we started our second game, didn't bother to go get a single ball, and the kids were picking up the 6/8 balls after their go and holding them until their next go meaning I had to go get more for a frickin' 2 year old. How much effort would it have taken to actually go get some more balls? Or for the parents to tell the kids to put the balls back?! Just thoughtless.

  2. Politeness and good manners have always been a big thing for me. Mostly it was drummed into me from a very young age, but it has proved to useful and something that I'm now instilling into my children. My mother used to say that although we didn't have a lot materially, we always had our manners because they didn't cost a thing and it's true.

    In a world where first impressions seem to count the most and space is getting pretty limited, I would have thought that politeness would be a no-brainer, instead it seems to be eroding away!

  3. Politeness costs nothing, is environmentally friendly and is unleaded. What's not to like?

    Thank you.

  4. Yes, I totally agree, manners are important in a civilised society. Yes, I am aware that I sound like an old person. Sometimes I think that one day I'll just stop going out entirely so that I don't have to deal with rudeness, especially from other drivers.

  5. Anonymous7/4/13

    I am Victor Meldrew. Rude people are the bane of society and should be sacked from their job when they're rude to customers. They forget if those customers didn't go in the shop they wouldn't have a job anyway! Idiots. Can't stand rudeness. Costs nothing to use manners and unfortunately we are no longer living in a world where parents teach their children to respect.

    CJ x

  6. You do make me laugh , rant away tattooed mummy ;)

  7. Great to find someone as equally angry about shit as me on the internet! I too am appalled at the everyday rudeness of some people; I totally appreciate that sometimes people have bad days but it's amazing how much difference a smile can make.

    Great post!

    Emily x

  8. You are totally right love. And what pi**es me off is that adults will criticise a child for not saying "please" or "thank you" when they're as guilty of not saying it themselves. People are so rude.

  9. Oh I found the same when I offered something for free on Gumtree. Most of the replies I got made me decide they didn't deserve my free coffee table! In the end I gave it to a lady who had bothered to explain who she was, why she wanted it and said thanks! Politeness costs nothing but usually pays off in the end!

  10. I've also had some doozy of replies on Freecycle and a number of people not bother to turn up or let me know that they couldn't make it.

    I once chased up one person and she asked if I could keep the items a couple of days till she could make it. I did. Nothing. She never came, I e-mailed her to ask whether she still wanted the items or I'd relist. She didn't reply.


  11. This makes me mad too. They cost nothing. One of my children's first words has been 'ta' so if they can manage it at 10,this old adults have no excuse. Manners get you alot further in life than money ever will

  12. I think politeness is important, it riles me when people are rude.

  13. Rebecca Carruthers22/3/14

    Rudeness is my bug bear. There is no need for it! People mask it with excuses such as 'I tell it like it is' or 'With me, what you see is what you get'. Um... NO! Drop the attitude, adjust your tone and adapt your behaviour!

  14. Good manners were drilled into my kids, but teen boy is taking a break from them right now...


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