LXIV – Kill ’Em With Kindness

The other day, as I was scrolling Facebook, I found one of those myriad of BuzzFeed lists (sometimes they’re fascinating, others are downright stupid and repetitious). This one mentioned some common courtesies that are ignored on a daily basis. The article called them “rules of etiquette”, but I see etiquette as things like keep your elbows off the table and things like that. I see these things as common courtesy. I’m not going to list all of them, as it’s quite lengthy, but I will run down some of the ones that capture my attention.

A. Listen to the content of what other people are saying before replying

Lots of truth here. There are many breakdowns in communication today, many of which can be attributed to the fact that many in a conversation are listening merely to provide an answer, rather than listening to understand. Also, it’s just downright rude to interrupt when someone else is speaking. Let them talk, dammit!

 B. When walking with a group of friends, pair up instead of everyone walking a row, so others can pass

Holy shit, that couldn’t be more accurate! Quit being so self-absorbed and self-important that your group has to take up the entire sidewalk or aisle of a store. Leave room to let someone else get by without having to break in and excuse themselves. Especially if you’re just strolling and taking your sweet-ass time. Some of us have things to do, and we don’t need to be waiting for you!

C. Headphones aren’t optional in public

Not everyone appreciates your taste in music or whatever video you’re watching. You could be watching porn, so far as we know. Really, we don’t care, nor want to hear whatever it is you’re listening to. Put on your damn headphones and enjoy your entertainment to yourself.

D. When someone is showing you a picture on their phone, don’t swipe

That should go without saying. They might have nudes or other inappropriate stuff on their phone. That’s their business and privacy. If they show you something on their phone, just look. Ask permission to touch their phone to see at a better angle, but don’t EVER scroll!

E. If you’re angry at a company, don’t take it out on the customer service rep

This applies to the customer service person on the phone, the fast food worker, the cashier or your server. Don’t blame the cashier because the price of gas skyrocketed, or the poor fast food worker because your Big Mac went up in price. The lowly service worker has absolutely no control over corporate policies or pricing. People tend to go ballistic over the smallest shit, and they let it out on the closest target. Give these people a break!

F. Pick up after your dog

I don’t mind at all when people take their dogs for a walk. The dog loves it, the human probably needs the activity anyway. But, for the love of all things holy, when your dog has to take a crap, carry some bags with you and pick it up! Few things are worse than walking along, and stepping in random dog shit. Be a responsible pet owner and a decent human being and pick up after your dog! You probably would get pissed if you stepped in someone else’s dog shit, so don’t leave your canine’s excrement to be trampled.

G. Cover your mouth when you sneeze

Again, should go without saying, but there are those nasty fucks out there that feel the need to sneeze all over everything and everyone, like a dog marking its territory. Everyone has to sneeze at some point, but at least do it into your shirt, or your arm. If you do use your hands to cover the sneeze, at least go wash them afterwards. Sneezing into open air is simply gross. It goes everywhere, and no one wants your spit all over the place. Sometimes that sneeze is more than just your spit, but I won’t go there🤮. Don’t be, as they say in Spanish, pinche cochino, cover that sneeze (or cough)!

H. It’s rude to fiddle with your phone when someone is having a conversation with you

This is an especially sore spot for many. Someone is trying to talk to another person, and said second person is doing god-knows-what on their phone. Firstly, it’s rude as fuck. Secondly, it shows that the conversation is unimportant to dumbass person B. If someone is talking to you, put your damn phone down and give them your attention. You might actually understand what they’re saying😱🤯.

I. If you’re sitting, and someone comes to shake hands, stand up

It seems old-fashioned, but it’s simple decency. You simply don’t shake hands with someone while you’re seated. Proper etiquette requires you stand and give the other person that good, firm handshake.

J. Don’t send unsolicited nude photos

Yet another that defies common sense. For some reason, there are dudes that are so enamored by their own anatomy that they think they’re God’s gift to humanity and think it should be shared with any and all members of the female species. I get it, some women do it, too. But it’s mainly guys. They think women will fawn over their penis. But guess what: no one wants to see that! Women already know what a penis looks like. Most of them don’t need or want to see your dick pop up on their phone unexpectedly. It’s disgusting, it’s unwanted and it can be a form of sexual harassment. Just don’t.

K. Don’t be an asshole in traffic

Okay, this one has several aspects to it. First, if someone lets you merge or gives you space to turn, don’t be an ingrate and wave them thank you. People also like to know if you’re going to change lanes. Use your blinker for hell’s sakes! You’re not giving away top secret information to the enemy. You’re just signaling your intent to change lanes or turn. Also, that blinker is not a license to go. Check your freaking mirrors and make sure it’s safe to change lanes. Thirdly, if you’re driving slowly, move to the right! Quit being an entitled fuck and move out of the passing lane! The left lane is for passing, not loafing or camping. No one should pass you on the right side.

L. Hand money to the cashier

This is the last one I’ll discuss this week. I’ve worked as a cashier before, and this one always irked the hell out of me. The cashier puts their hand out to receive the payment for whatever is being purchased. The douchebag customer throws the money on the counter, as if they’re nauseated to touch the cashier’s hand. Or they’ll toss their credit/debit card like a dealer dealing a playing card. Such action screams of rudeness or being self-absorbed. People who do this are serious assholes. How hard is it to actually put your cash or card into the cashier’s hand? Show some respect there, Susan!

A little bonus here: if you must pay for something with a large amount of change, either roll it up ahead of time, or just don’t. Take your change to the bank and get some paper money. One time while working at a gas station, a lady came in and bought cigarettes and several Diet Cokes. The total was something like $35.00. She hands me these Ziploc bags full of nickels and dimes. Just a bunch of loose change. I had to empty the bags on the counter and physically count it all out. Thirty-five fucking dollars’ worth of nickels and dimes. It held the line up, because I was working by myself. I had to count all that goddamned change to complete the transaction. I wanted to throw the bags back at the bitch and tell her to go roll it all up or take it to the fucking bank and then come back. But nooooooooo! God forbid you be rude back to the ignorant customer🤦‍♂️🤬!

I’m sure you can think of more common courtesies that are sorely lacking. Feel free to comment on my social media accounts. If more people were actually nice to one another, maybe the world would be a slightly better place. Maybe?

In conclusion, the band Bowling For Soup has a song that fits well into the theme of this post. The song is called “Don’t Be a Dick”. The chorus of the song is a very good message: Don’t be dick / Don’t be an asshole / Just be nice, You don’t have to be that guy / Show some respect, Just be a person / Love one another, You don’t need a reason why / Don’t be a dick. (Click play on the player to hear the audio)

Thank you for bearing with my words yet again. May peace be with you throughout the coming week, and I hope you’ll join me again for the next installment. Until then, be safe and be well.

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