Disrespect, rudeness and being impolite are MAJOR hot buttons of mine. Lately those buttons have been pushed to their limits. When something bothers a person intensely, it’s likely because that person may hold themselves to a higher standard. You would never think to treat a person in the manner in which you are being treated so when it happens to you, it irritates the (bleep) out of you.

My mom and dad instilled in us manners and respect. Rudeness was not tolerated. They taught us to say please and thank you. They taught us to hold open doors for others.  They even taught us (gasp!) to call if we couldn’t make an appointment.

Somewhere between them, me and the next generation(s), manners and respect have taken a backseat to rudeness. It feels like some people are just SOOOOO self-important they deem it acceptable to talk loudly on their cell phones, continue their phone conversations while they are getting their hair cut, in the check-out line or receiving a pedicure. They text their spouse when they want a divorce and yet can’t be bothered to use the cell phone to cancel a scheduled appointment.

I don’t understand why others feel they can treat human beings so impolitely, rudely and disrespectfully.  Is it because they are just too busy for social etiquette? Is it because they are narcissistic? Is it because ‘everyone’ does it? Or is it because they haven’t learned (or are un-learning) how to show respect or what manners are?

My husband left for Minot at 5 am to meet with two clients. One client decided not to show for his requested and confirmed meeting. He didn’t call my husband and he didn’t answer my husband’s phone call. Keep in mind, this guy REQUESTED my husband drive to Minot (4 ½ hours’ drive time – one way) because he didn’t want a teleconference. Normally, in situations like this, I’d hope everything was OK and give the person the benefit of a doubt but apparently this guy was well enough to let his work know at 8am he was ‘taking the day off.’

Some time ago, I wrote a blog entitled, “Hello” where I spoke about people not returning my greeting.  I am applying this same dynamic to school age children (6 through 16) as I walk my 22 month old to daycare. I say “hi,” “hello” or even “good morning” to each child I pass. About 50% of them ignore me.  One little prima donna was sooooo into her phone she refused to look up or move so we could pass.  I said “Excuse us” twice before she gave me the stink eye and disdainfully moved two inches. I ended up using the grass to get around her. Whaaa???? Evidently she slept through the ‘Respect Your Elders’ portion of her politeness class, too.

My husband will spend hours putting together a professional bid and have it to the requester before the deadline. He’ll not receive a response, even though he’s requested a read receipt. This leaves him wondering if his email went into a spam filter. He’ll type another response, resend and not hear a word.

He’s not the only one with the issue; I am no stranger to having requested information go unacknowledged and I bet all of you reading this blog are nodding your heads in agreement. Evidently some people can’t be bothered with this small bit of social etiquette.

Do you know how long it takes to type ‘thank you’ and press send on your computer?  It literally takes two to three seconds. Yes, anal-retentive me timed myself. Well duh!

In today’s technology world, a world that is supposed to make our lives easier, how is it we are too busy to send a 6 second text or a 30 second email?

Have we, with our smart-phones, our 60 hour work weeks and our self-perceived importance forgotten that it takes one second to greet someone or about 8 seconds to hold open a door? Have we forgotten that ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ shouldn’t be optional? Have we deemed others so beneath us that they don’t warrant a response or a fragment of our time?

To me, it feels like this digital age revolution is becoming too high-tech for old fashioned manners.

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