This is one of those posts that has nothing to do with running…
I was thinking about etiquette and manners today at work when I had a woman charge onto the elevator while I was trying to get off (the elevator). I was also thinking if the bathroom and kitchen in our office are indicators of how people treat their homes, I hope they never invite me over. Finally I was thinking we may need to take a look at some manners and/or points of etiquette. A couple came to mind on my way home.
‘Manners’ is a term usually preceded by the word good or bad to indicate whether or not a behavior is socially acceptable.
1. Oh, elbow room, elbow room, got to, got to get us some elbow room: Why can’t I put my elbows on the table? I have a table for 6 people and 90% of the time I only have 3 people sitting at it. We could all put our elbows on the table and not disturb anyone. So if there is plenty of room, what is the problem? Cramped 6 deep around a 4 person table? I get it. No elbows on the table. If you have the room, then I say enjoy it. I’m not rude, I am comfortable. This made more sense on Little House on the Prairie when all the Ingalls were squished around a small table.
2. Respect your Elders: Respect based solely on age is dumb. If you are a 50 year old ass-clown, why should I respect you just because you are my “elder”? I’m 43. Is a 44 year old my elder? You want my respect? Earn it. It should not be granted because you were able to survive more years on the planet. I reserve the right to decide who I respect.
3. Bless you, gesundheit, Alhamdulillah, bai sui, bud zdorov: All the things we say to each other when we sneeze. Coughing will get you nothing except some sideways glances from your coworkers who think you should have stayed home. I say it all of the time to people I know and strangers in the store. I think we should just hope people cover their noses and mouths. If they do maybe we should just say “thanks”. Let us replace the niceties with a simple “Thanks for not spraying me”.
Here is a quick interesting sneeze article: http://people.howstuffworks.com/sneezing.htm
4. Hold the door: I am OK with holding the door for others. Hold it if they are nearby. Hold it if they have heavy items or their arms are full. I have a 10 second rule for holding doors. If you are within 10 seconds of reaching the door, I will wait. I don’t actually count the seconds so my apologies to the 8-9 second folks I have neglected. My gripe is the people that don’t acknowledge the act. I am not a professional door holder and I don’t live to hold a door open for you. If you don’t share a “thank you” you may get a “you’re welcome” or “bless you” (in Baltimore it is the way people pretend to be kind while meaning F*** You). I had a woman at work claim I purposely let a door close in her face (long story). To her I say “BLESS you”.
5. Forks to the left of me, jokers to the right: A fork, a spoon, and a knife (maybe 2 knives) is all I need. I don’t need specialized tools placed in specific places to enjoy my meal. Does anyone actually give a crap which side of the plate the salad fork is on? If you care about if I have my settings properly prepared then go eat somewhere else. I enjoy the food and companionship to the positioning of the butter knife.
Are you interesting in the intricacies of the place setting world? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_setting