Too often, friends and I will encounter some rude, careless or oblivious person, and we will commiserate about the slipping standards of politeness. As I like to say, “common sense isn’t … common … anymore”.
What are some of the things that annoy you? I remember when…
- Women used to wipe spills around the sink after washing their hands in public bathrooms. When did that stop? And why?
- The person next to you on the bus would say “excuse me” when they wanted to get past you at their stop – instead of just kind of squirming and then pushing their way past.
- The response to “thank you” was “you’re welcome” instead of “un hunh” or, worse, nothing at all.
- One person would step behind the other when someone approached from the opposite direction, instead of squeezing the oncoming person off the sidewalk.
- Someone spotting a piece of litter on the ground would pick it up and deposit in the nearest garbage bin, instead of scowling and stepping around it.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
I work in an office with 60 or so people every day. We share a coffee room/kitchenette, printers, photocopiers, a supply rooms and bathrooms.
I don’t know why I am surprised at the lack of ‘common sense’ and consideration of others. For example, people leave used cups and cutlery in the sink, instead of placing them in the dishwasher that’s three feet away. I will jokingly say “Wow, I didn’t realize so many people believe in miracles – they expect their dirty dishes to miraculously end up in the dishwasher!”
Dishwasher stacking is yet another ‘pet peeve’. Most people have a dishwasher at home, yet in the office, they fail to observe the logical etiquette:
- Fill from the back, not the front
- Don’t haphazardly stick your cup or dish in – remember that at the end of the day, 30 people are putting their dirty dishes in the machine (we have 2 kitchens and dishwashers on our floor)
- Do NOT put glasses on the bottom rack
Other basic standards of behaviour when sharing facilities are too often ignored. Refill the paper tray (of the printer or photocopier) when you notice it is low. Turn off the extra kitchen light when you’re finished and no one else is in the room. Let the office manager know when the supply of your favourite coffee runs out – don’t just grumble and complain about it.
Not All Bad
While I confess to having a negative bent, I don’t want to end these ramblings on a negative note.
I have a large quarterly mail-out of real estate newsletters that takes me two days. I was away, ill, for the second quarter mail-out and our Receptionist/Admin took over and finished the project. She said, “Let me know the next time you’re doing this, I’ll be happy to help.”
I did, she did, and the job got finished in one day instead of two. And with her help, I was able to concentrate on some other work more important and time-sensitive work that I had to do.
There are a lot of verses in the Bible, especially the New Testament, that I call the “one another” teachings. These apply in everyday life, not just at church or in spiritual pursuits.
If only we would all be patient with, kind to and help “one another”, the world would be a better place. Neater and cleaner, too!
I am going to do my part. Would you do yours?