Etiquette, or “the rules indicating a polite and proper way to behave,” seem to be abandoned lately. Recently, I have encountered more rude behavior than ever. While the intent of said behavior may not be malicious, oblivious rudeness is still defined as rude.
The guy that didn’t notice the 8 long lines in perfect rows at Whole Foods and just blithely pranced up to the next available counter with his groceries. The people that stand in the middle of the street, the aisle or the subway car when you are trying to get by and don’t respond to “excuse me.” The dirty towels on the locker room bench that someone else has to move to sit down. The list goes on endlessly. The GOP staffer who took to the internet to critique the Obama girl’s attire and call them “bar sluts”,because they don’t approve of their father’s political party put me over the edge, although I’m sure they got a talking to for the teenage “side eye.”
This isn’t about extending your pinkie when sipping tea, or wearing white gloves in public. This is general consideration for the other people inhabiting this planet. Here are a few of the modern faux pas that really get my blood boiling:
1. Lack of concern for other’s personal space. This could involve anything from sitting on the subway with your legs wide open, taking up 3 seats, riding with tons of luggage at rush hour, or leaving your coat and bags on the floor of a very crowded fitness studio so that there isn’t room for the humans to work out with out tripping over it.
2. Taking more than you need, and leaving nothing behind for the others. This one refers to those taking 3 sets of weights at the gym and leaving them idle in front of them while others have none to use. Or staking your claim on lots of seats, or equipment while others stand around uncomfortably. Didn’t your mother teach you to share your toys?
3. Talking loudly on your cell phone where others can hear you and might not want to. Making the barista or counter clerk wait while you talk to someone else, and everyone in the line behind you is seething. The cell phone is a tool for convenience, not so that you can blab loudly wherever, whenever you please. This means restaurants, stores, public transportation and anywhere else people don’t want to listen to you.
4. People who text and walk, or stop in the middle of a busy area to text so that people can’t get around them is another pet peeve. It’s also dangerous. Shout out to the woman who walked through the red light at a crowded crosswalk and caused me to fall off my bike. She didn’t even notice I was there before she waltzed in front of me in grossed in her text, or after I was down on the ground.
5. People who get up as movies, performances and classes are ending to get out of the room before everyone else. I get the “beat the crowds” mentality, but leaving an exercise class 2 minutes early and getting in the way of those who are stretching is rude. But not quite as rude as getting up at the end of a performance so that those still politely seated can’t see the stage anymore. In a live situation, it is insulting to the performers as well, even if you think they can’t see you. Just. Sit. Still. Until it’s over.
Well, those are the ones at the top of my list. What are your social etiquette pet peeves? Share them in the comments.
photo: Glasshouse Images
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