Cornwall ON – Courtesy. I know; we all think we’re courteous, but are we really? Is it a dying thing? Do you ever hold the door open for someone? Do you have let someone ahead of you in line or give up your seat?
Do you drive courteously? Do you treat your co-workers or clients courteously? Do you really know what the term means?
excellence of manners or social conduct; polite behavior.
a courteous, respectful, or considerate act or expression.
indulgence, consent, or acquiescence: a “colonel” bycourtesy rather than by right.
So I’m in a doctor’s waiting room yesterday; never a good thing as we were looking at a near two hour wait. Small room, eight chairs plus a few outside. One gentleman has his six year old son with him. Now you never know why someone is at a doctor, but it’s usually not a joyous occasion. It can be something banal, or you could be sitting next to someone dying of cancer.
The typical background music was on in the background and this gentleman pulls out a notebook computer and starts playing a kids movie for his son….loudly…which means if you were quietly reading a magazine it just became a lot harder. If you were listening to those Christopher Cross magic hits of the 70’s in the background you couldn’t do any more brain damage as you were bombarded by screaming fish or penguins.
A few people went out into the hall to escape. I went back to my magazine because I’m a very tolerant type of person; just ask our local Chamber of Commerce President and Executive director 🙂
But finally two gentlemen very politely asked the dad if he didn’t have headphones for Junior or if perhaps he could actually lower the volume as they all had long waits?
Dad was offended. He suggested they explain this to his six year old son.
I hid in my magazine hoping that a scrap didn’t break out especially since I didn’t have ME2 my trusty camera to capture it.
Dad and jr were the next patient called and the two gentleman sat down and we chatted about courtesy. Actually the six year old was the most polite of all those involved. I sometimes think children are born with a full set of understandings that we in society manage to muck up before they hit retention centres, the wrong drugs, or really bad hip hop music.
But I digress…They felt put on the spot by the dad. All they wanted was to just wait in peace for the doctor. Of course the dad did too; and he was watching the movie with his son so a pair of head phones probably would’ve left him out of the movie. And it was kinda considerate that he brought something to keep jr busy, but again.
Courtesy. Could this have been handled better? Absolutely. Same in every day happenings in business, school and all around us. You’re driving down a busy street; in a rush to get somewhere; with your turn flasher on. An approaching car is in the distance, but like a good driver you wait when you could’ve safely turned because they didn’t signal that they were going to turn right so you could turn left.
The light turns red and you’re late for your appointment. I know it’s not the end of the world, but these things add up.
You stop at the grocery store to pick up a jar of olives for Martini’s at your friends as it’s been a horrible day of people that are plain not courteous. You go to the fast line only to be stuck with someone with 27 items in their basket in the 8 item lane who sill won’t let you and single jar of olives go through.
Courtesy and manners. They could change the world one gesture at a time. You can post your horror stories below.