Corporate Outplacement and Career Transition Information

Monday, July 27, 2009

When did Rude Become the New Black? Tell me YOUR Story

Situation 1: I was standing in a check-out line at the grocery. The person behind me had a six-pack of a carbonated adult beverage. One can from the six-pack chose to make its escape, experienced a little thing called gravity, hit the ground, burst open and sprayed the back of my legs (and a lovely new pair of sandals I might add). The cashier called for a mop. The holder of the now five-pack issued an expletive. No one said "Oh excuse me" or "pardon me" or "sorry about your legs now smelling like a brew-house."

Situation 2: 45 minute commuter flight from Charleston to Atlanta. My head was smacked twice by luggage - once going in the overhead, once coming out. I do not have an overly large head. I am 5'1" inches tall. I am not an easy target. I also understand that these things happen, but would an "excuse me" kill you?

Situation 3: Same flight. De-plane time. Man three rows behind me grabs luggage and lunges in front of other folks who are attempting to exit in a polite, row-by-row manner. The plane is not late, we are 3 minutes early. He crushes the foot of a gentleman attempting to stand and exit. He does not slow down or acknowledge his victim. I look at crushed-foot man sympathetically.

Situation 4: Line in airport restroom. 70-something woman in front of me mowed down by 30-something woman exiting stall with cell-phone glued to ear who does not slow down, but rather glares at 70-something woman for having the audacity to occupy space. I apologize loudly on behalf of all persons who are offended by rude behavior. Cell-phone woman rolls her eyes and click-clacks away.

From the people who dead-stop to chat at the bottom of the escalator to those whose entire private lives are broadcast via their overly loud public cell-phone conversations I say STOP!

Simple civility is called for. Are we so preoccupied with our own self-importance that we have forgotten we occupy this Earth with other humans? Have we become so used to inferior service in the marketplace that we undervalue our own service interactions with others?

Let me tell you this: I was once cut off in traffic by someone who then glared at me and saluted in the traditional one-finger manner. Twenty minutes later she walked into my office for an interview. She did not get the job.

Do me a favor please? Practice civility each day. Hold a door, step out of the way, lower your voice, be aware of your surroundings and respect other people's space. Say "excuse me" "thank you" "please".

And stop hitting my head with your luggage. Please?

Thank you.


  1. Wow - the sad thing is that I'm not surprised. The last time I flew I sat next to a woman who proceeded to unwrap and eat a tuna sandwich even before we took off (she couldn't have eaten it in the airport?...also, it was around 10am) and I was stuck on a 3 hour flight on a plane that smelled like tuna and couldn't get the smell out of my nostrils for several hours following. I remember thinking that air travel has turned into the equivalent of riding a Greyhound bus.

  2. lol, good point: First rule of air travel - hold the onions and tuna please!


Thanks for commenting, follow us on Twitter @OPCGal

Click Here