Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tired of the Mannerless Masses

As a child, I was taught right from wrong, a respect for my elders, and to treat others as I would like to be treated.  Being pregnant has proven to be quite a social experiment, illustrating the general lack of etiquette in many of the people I encounter in public.

I work part time in a bookstore, so I deal with the public on a regular basis.  I am absolutely amazed and disgusted by how rude and thoughtless people are nowadays.  And it's not just me - I've had this discussion with others.  I just can't believe how often I find myself, at eight-and-a-half months pregnant, holding the door for people (inadvertently, as they bust through the door towards me), moving out of other people's way, or stopping for a car to pass as I walk across a parking lot.  I'm not infirm, nor do I wish to have any 'special' treatment because I'm pregnant, I just wish common courtesy still existed.  The capper occurred yesterday, when my husband and I stopped at Jim's on South Street for, what would be, my first ever Philly cheese steak.

I'll preface this by stating that I've been going to a pregnancy chiropractor for about a month now, with excellent results.  She happened to be on vacation this past week and I was unable to get adjusted as I usually do.  Thus, my back has been hanging on by a thread since Friday, making standing, sitting, or walking for long periods of time extremely painful until my adjustment tomorrow.

So, Sean and I decided to head into town to grab some lunch, taking advantage of the lack of traffic due to the majority of people being 'down the shore' for the holiday.  Never having had a cheese steak, Sean decided to take me to Jim's.  When we arrived,  the line extended out the door and around the corner in the 95 degree heat (apparently we weren't the only ones with this idea).  After about a half hour of standing in line, my back was killing me, so I decided to head upstairs to grab a table, as we were close to being able to order.  I made my way through people and headed towards the stairs, only to be told by an employee that I was not allowed upstairs without food.  I repeated his statement to him, and he affirmed.  I went back to my husband at the head of the line, in clear view of the employee, told him I was not allowed upstairs and get the keys to the car so that I could have a seat and wait.  Once I got to the car I broke into tears.  It truly was the straw that broke the camel's back.  I've had enough of inconsiderate people.

A couple of days ago, I had a customer come into the store with her young daughter, and was witness to her  being 'forced' to hold the door for a woman as she burst through the door without even a 'thank you'.  Seeing that I witnessed the event, the woman came right up to me and started a discussion about how rude people seem to be nowadays.  As I said earlier, it's not just me.  Please know I'm not writing this to complain, I merely want to share my observations, and hopefully hear that of others.

I really began to notice this 'dip' in manners and consideration with the rise of cell phone culture.  More and more people are attached to their phones, oblivious to their surroundings.  Too often, I almost trip over people or hit them when driving because they are preoccupied with their phones.  I tend to believe there is a correlation between cell phone etiquette and general manners.  This is not to say that I've not had anyone be polite or courteous to me while pregnant, I have, but I have had more rude and inconsiderate encounters than positive ones.  It really disappoints me and makes me lose faith in the kindness of the general populace.  I would love it if my experience is a complete anomaly, but am really interested to hear from others about this issue...  

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