Saturday, July 26, 2008

Common Sense, Some Good Manners

Random thoughts I hope you all put into practice:

1. Again, don't eat unpaid-for food in the grocery store. It's not your food yet, you're spreading germs, and just plain uncouth.

The free samples that the store distributes are fair game.

2. When you need to get past someone, say, "Excuse me." Do not just stand in front of them, or muster past, or physically touch or bump them. It's rude.

3. Road rage or parking rage is bad. And not worth it.

Twice last week, I saw one person who was waiting for "his" parking spot stop the car, get out and yell at the other driver who "stole" his spot. It was almost comical, really, for the passersby witnessing: Pissed-off guy was yelling at the woman who parked, "You're the devil! Bad things are going to happen to you because you're the devil!"

I can't imagine, however, it was too nice for her. (I've been on the receiving end of such a maniac, and it's actually a scary place to be.) When someone "wrongs" you in traffic, let it the fuck go. It's never worth it. You're getting upset over a parking spot? Or whatever, traffic-related? You're health, sanity, and psychic energy just are not worth all the rage and wasted energy it will cause you.

What was unbelievable about the Pissed Off Guy was he spent five minutes minimum (I watched) yelling at this poor woman, and, honestly, she was in the right. When you "wait" for a parking spot, the correct way to "claim" it (little that you can): you wait behind the car that's leaving, not in front of it, as this guy had done. He was wrong; she was right.

After yelling at "devil woman" for 5 minutes, and scaring her into leaving, Mr. Pissed Off Asshole parked in the spot for all of 60 seconds: he ran in to the dry cleaners, got his shirt, and left. Really? You couldn't have illegally parked for 60 seconds, Mr. Asshole?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Entering and Exiting a Restaurant

Chicago doesn't have year-round lovely weather, so it's a treat for us Windy Citiers to dine out at one of those lovely places with open french doors during the summer.

Now, let's make a key distinction here: french doors are actually more like big windows that happen to swing open when weather permits.

A door is the opening through which you enter and exit a room, house, or place of business.

When it's time to leave, lovely people, exit through the second one. How did you enter the restaurant? My guess is you didn't climb through the french doors, disturbing the nice people eating nearby. Exit through the regular door, same as you came in, and don't disturb the nice folks enjoying their meals.

To walk to the front of the restaurant, cut through tables, and then step out through the french doors is plain boorish and rude. Don't do it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Traveling Etiquette

Don't leave your manners at home when you travel.

I just had a lovely week in Seattle, and witnessed a few breaches of etiquette. Ahem:

1) Airline passengers littering the seats, floor, and everything in their radius with their detritus.

I realize that we're all mad at the airlines these days, but leaving a mess in your spot is: a) gross, b) disrespectful , and c) it looks disgusting. As I passed the vacated seats and saw black things (I have no idea what they were-- wrappers? food?) all over the floor and seats, along with various wrappers, crumbs, cheerios, water bottles, etc., all I could envision was the trashy people sitting in those seats. Yecch.

Keep it tidy, folks. You don't want others thinking you're trash, or the flight attendants calling you trash, now do you?

2) A nearly-screwed-then-helped passenger who couldn't say "thank you."

Waiting in security, a befuddled Auntie approached the guy who checks your ID, and proclaimed, "I've lost my driver's license!" An airport employee in uniform heard her, reached over and handed her her license; apparently, she dropped it on the floor. "Thanks," she said to the Airport Guy. "Don't thank me," he said, "thank this guy (points to regular man standing in TSA line). He's the one who found it and turned it in."

Regular guy waves at Auntie.

"Oh," she says.

Uh, jerko, the appropriate response here is: "Thank you, kind sir!" Hell, you don't even need the "kind sir." A simple "thanks" to the man who turned in your license, that thing without which you would be fucked, would do. Nope, she didn't say a word, just, "Oh."

When someone does something nice for you, fucking thank them.

And the rudest thing that happened on vacation:

Asshole Businessman Taking Up the Entire Business Center who popped off after I asked, "Excuse me, sir, do you have any idea how long you'll be on?" He bitched back with, "Uh, yeah, til I'm done," then proceeded to ask bitchy, sarcastic questions like, "Why, did I just ruin your week?" Bitchyman then told my husband to "control me," (ha! like you can control the Etiquette Bitch!), told me I was rude for asking how long he would use the computer (ha!) and then threatened my husband with bodily harm.

We left the hotel for much sweeter confines.

People, when staying at a hotel, since hotels these days provide 1 computer for about 200 people, it's not uncommon for someone to say, "Excuse me, do you have any idea how long you'll be?" Guess what -- it's not rude for them to ask. They're being courteous, and, probably like me, they're thinking they'll go do something else for an hour and leave you alone.