people know what this word means?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by tinamarie1, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    I really am starting to think that manners don't exist anymore. Since we have moved from Louisiana to Virginia, I have wanted to volunteer at a couple of places. One Sunday here they ran a whole section of the paper listing organizations who need help. One was an animal rescue shelter, needing someone to come walk dogs, play with them, brush them, etc. whoo hoo, right up my alley. I have left 3 voice mails and sent 2 emails to this place, no one returned my calls or email. Finally, I sent an email to the director reminding them of that spread in the paper and I said, if you no longer need volunteers, please have the courtesy to tell me so, so that I may pursue other things. Well, whaddya know, she responded lickety split saying yes yes we need volunteers, please come to the shelter any time and we will get you set up.
    Another one was a teen pregnancy place. I have left several voice mails and no one is calling me back!
    Then this church we have been attending offers a full array of music lessons. I have left 4 voice mails for the lady in charge over the past week. She has not returned my calls. I just called the secretary and asked her why is she not having the courtesy to call me back?! She said, well mam she is very busy teaching. I said, well how the heck do you get students to come there if no one returns phone calls? All I want to know is what the charge for lessons is and if they have room for my difficult child. But no one has the answers except this one lady with no manners. So this lady who is sounding upset at me for being upset tells me that she will tell the director to be sure and check her voice mail. Oh, then she asks me if I have tried emailing her! I said, well do you think she would respond to an email..because she doesn't respond to phone messages? shesh
    I have previously worked 10+ years in customer service. I have a rule, I will call you back within the same day if you leave me a message. This is such a huge pet peeve of mine...
  2. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Mine too! And no, people do NOT know what manners or customer service is these days! Drives me batty!
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    It's our own fault.


    Woohoo! Look at the new thingamajig that just came out! I have GOT to have that.

    I personally (through no fault of anyone but myself) go into a state of panic if I have to call someone or, God forbid, leave my house. Email and these chat boards are the best things in the world that ever happened to a social recluse such as myself. Only exception? When I am in the play. Reason? I get to be somebody else.

    I am usually OK once I am out, or if calling, once I am on the phone. In fact, my obnoxious, dramatic side usually takes over (I know, stop the presses...)

    If I go into a business and am being ignored by someone on a personal call, I will theatrically lean on the counter and give a 15 second long audible sigh. If someone does not hold the door for me, I yell "Thank you!" to embarrass them.

    I have the most fun with stuck up yuppies. Once a woman tried to get in front of me in line at the grocery store. Just got in line right in front of me. I said "I had NO idea that we were doing this according to class..." And one time I came out of a store and there was a Benz parked about 1 inch away from mine. I got in on the passenger side and waited. When Mr. Yuppie came out, I asked him "did you park this all by yourself?"

    People make me cross.
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    As far as customer service at a department store or other organization, I think it's more about people just having to work any ol' place and not being happy in their position. It used to be that whatever job you had, you did your best, no matter what position you had, remember? I can't stand when I'm being rung up at a Walmart of Target and the cashier doesn't even have the decency to say hello or wish me a nice day. I always greet the cashiers everywhere I go. I say, "Good morning (or afternoon or Hi!). How are you today?" and I'm lucky if I get a grunt or even a nod in my direction. I just think that is so rude. Then, as I'm leaving, I usually will say something like, "Have a great day!" or, "Well I hope you get a break soon, hang in there". I even try to make some small talk - if the person seems receptive. It's as if we've lost all presence of social graces, which I find very sad. I like meeting new people and making some small talk while waiting in line or getting rung up. My kids always make fun of me for talking to strangers!

    There is a man at our DMV office who I always manage to get. The man is downright rude. I say, "Hello, how are you today?" and he doesn't respond in any way. The entire transaction is done in complete silence. If I have a specific question, he barely grunts out an answer. It is very disconcerting and disappointing. I worked at a 7-11 a million years ago and we knew just about every customer by name and we were expected to make small talk and be very welcoming. This one woman did her food shopping in 7-11 every week and she told me it was because we were so nice! How about that? Nevermind paying $9 for a tube of toothepaste! Haha.

    This is a perfect example of why we should all be doing our shopping (as much as possible) at the smaller mom & pop stores locally rather than at the big box department stores. It may cost a little more, but it's better for your town's economy and it's a nicer experience overall!
  5. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I consider manners to be a lost art.

    As most of you know I have two official difficult child's and one easy child/difficult child.

    The thing that cracks me up is when I remind them with "what do we say?", the number of people who tell me to leave them alone, it's "ok". Whaaaaat?!! Gimme a break, common courtesy is a definate must! :rolleyes:

    The way I've explained it is: I have no idea what my kids will do as an adult, but whatever they do, they'll do it politely. For example:

    <span style="color: #6666CC">They decide to rob a bank. The note will read as follows:

    "Excuse me for being any trouble, however there's a gun pointed at you, for which I apologize. Would you be so kind as to place all of the money in the bag and tie it closed, please!

    Thank you and have a wonderful day"

    They may be robbers, but they'll be POLITE robbers! :smile:

    Thank you for listening and have a nice day!

  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    :rofl: :rofl: Beth! Hahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
  7. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    "How was your day, dear?"

    "The NICEST robbers came into the store today. One held us at gunpoint while the other one cleaned out the safe. They were so polite. Before they left, I insisted on getting their mother's name so that I can send her a card. She must be so proud of those boys"
  8. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    I believe there has certainly been a decline in manners over the past few decades. Maybe in part due to high employment levels (in the US in recent decades, at least) meaning good help is harder to get.

    I have noticed a definite difference based more on location than size of the retailer. Rural and suburban "big box" retailers almost always have friendlier, more courteous people than the same businesses in densely populated urban centers.

    The rudest customer-service people I ever saw were in Washington, Difficult Child when I worked there. Counter help who merely stare at you and wait rather than saying "May I help you?" (or even "next!") were the rule. Smiles and pleasantries were rare. On the plus side, it really makes your day on the rare occasions when someone is courteous and friendly.

    My pet peeve is the grocery store, when they open a new checkout line and the person in line behind you, who just walked up after you've been in line for ten minutes, jumps over there. With five times the amount of groceries as you, of course. Makes me want to say, "Go right ahead, I'm sure your time is much more valuable than mine". :grrr:

    Another pet peeve is profanity. When did it become acceptable to use the f-word every other word? Half the time preceded by "mother". These people cheapen and coarsen the language. They have no way to express themselves with grace or subtlety. It's like if you have the radio turned all the way up all the time, you can't distinguish the beauty of softer passages. And on the occasions when a strong expression is needed, they have none. For example, my dad never cussed in front of me, and so the one and only time I did hear him use profanity I knew he was very, very upset. I wonder how much physical violence today is the result of people having no verbal outlet available because the words no longer have any shock value.
  9. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: nvts</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><span style="color: #6666CC">They decide to rob a bank. The note will read as follows:

    "Excuse me for being any trouble, however there's a gun pointed at you, for which I apologize. Would you be so kind as to place all of the money in the bag and tie it closed, please!

    Thank you and have a wonderful day"

    They may be robbers, but they'll be POLITE robbers! :smile:

    Thank you for listening and have a nice day!

    Beth </div></div>That was sort of the premise of "Fun with Dick and Jane". Hilarious movie. The recent remake with Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni (?) was as good as the original.
  10. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Big Bad Kitty</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If someone does not hold the door for me, I yell "Thank you!" to embarrass them.</div></div>I had the inverse experience the other day. I was walking up to a store with my hands full. The lady in front of me pulled the door open, walked through, and let it go so that it was swinging shut as I walked up. I caught it with my foot before it swung shut and cut me off. She must have thought I did it to embarass her, because she turned around and spat out "Sorry!" at me in the most sarcastic, hateful tone you can imagine.

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">And one time I came out of a store and there was a Benz parked about 1 inch away from mine. I got in on the passenger side and waited. When Mr. Yuppie came out, I asked him "did you park this all by yourself?"

    People make me cross. </div></div> :rofl:
  11. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Big Bad Kitty</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
    I have the most fun with stuck up yuppies. Once a woman tried to get in front of me in line at the grocery store. Just got in line right in front of me. I said "I had NO idea that we were doing this according to class..." </div></div>
    :rofl: :rofl:
    OMG Kitty........I can't stop laughing. I have to do this someday! I live in Dallas, where yuppies run amok. I can't stand it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have noticed lately that I am cross with everybody. I don't know what it is........but everyone bothers me. From the lady in the grocery store smacking her gum, to the lady at the bank who tells me I can't cash a certain check without 18 signatures. I have no patience in my old age. OR maybe it is because I am SO sick of putting up with difficult children rudeness I at least want to be able to walk out my door and be treated respectably.

    The irony is that this is MY field. I have been in retail as a store manager for 15 years. I treat everyone as if they are king, customers and employees..........but I can't even walk 2 ft outside my door without having someone be outlandishly rude???? SERENITY NOW :laugh: !
  12. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I agree that manners and common courtesy are getting very rare. I may be one of the really old-fashioned ones, but I tried to teach my kids manners from the time they were babies. Some of the first words they said were "please" and "thank you"! And they wrote "thank you" notes for gifts from the time they were so little that they gripped the pencil while I moved their chubby little hands to write the words! And I taught my son to open doors for ladies and let them go first. At least they know what they're supposed to do!

    I am now 61 years old and where I work we have a large number of really young ones - age 20 and up. I'm far from "elderly" but I've had doors left to slam in my face and been almost trampled by some of them trying to beat me to the door, to say nothing about being almost run over in the parking lot! I've had to talk to some of them on the phone who are unbelievably rude. I've walked past groups of them and overheard conversations where every other word started with "F"! You'd think you were in a biker bar rather than a state office building! And it doesn't matter who is around! They don't care!

    And the phone thing ... we're one of the only places left with a real live operator, but her days are numbered! Other state offices all have voice mail and you're just wasting your breath! They screen their calls and most of them will never call you back. You just call over and over again until you catch them. And they have this recording that I just LOVE ... "I am either away from my desk or out of the office... " Well, what the heck does that mean? He might be in the bathroom or he might have gone on safari to Africa! You guess!
  13. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Donna</div><div class="ubbcode-body">And they have this recording that I just LOVE ... "I am either away from my desk or out of the office... " Well, what the heck does that mean? He might be in the bathroom or he might have gone on safari to Africa!</div></div>

  14. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    This kind of stuff is everywhere anymore. I hate going to the store anyway because people are either stupid and/or rude. I was there last week, had my cart off to the side of the aisle while I was looking at something on the other side. (very obvious what I was doing) Some woman just parked her cart right where I was looking and stood there checking soething out. And the holidy shopping season? OMG.......I don't even want to think about it.

    One of the ones that get me though is through job hunting. I'm sorry but how hard is it to send out a form letter to let someone know the position has been filled? I'll interview and never hear one word back even if I call and leave a message. (since no one answers their phones anymore). For every 10 places I apply or interview with, I might get one or two letters. If I'm really lucky. That's just bad business.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The biggest phone thing that bugs me is the 5 minute cutesy message"X&Y can't come to the phone right now because they are changing baby d (who is a REAL DOG, nut just and ugly kid, but a CANINE!!) and when..... "

    Do these people really think anyone wants to talk to them badly enough to listen to that crud for that long?? Or pay the fee for the cell phone minutes for hte message???

    I like my dad's cell phone message. "Don't leave a message. I won't call you back. I only have this thing for when I have an emergency."

    And he really won't call you back. (He does write messages down from the home phone machine, but only because my mom insists).

    by the way, I get at least 5 messages a day sent by machine. Not creditors, usually ends up being the health insurance co wanting to know if I want more of their brochures on whatever or if I ever intend to try medication A instead of medication B for my child's whatever.

    If a machine calls me I will not wait a minute, I will hang up. I don't call machines. Why should they call me?

    (In fact, I am kind of a phone grinch. Or so I am told.)

  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hmm, this could be another cultural thing - round here, the only people who say, "have a nice day!" work at McDonalds.

    Mind you, the checkout staff down under are generally polite and chatty. Not enough to let it slow them down, but they really are great.

    I tend to only use one of my crutches when I'm shopping, it also comes in handy angled diagonally across the trolley, to help me control the nose of the trolley with my stick, while my hands control the back end of the trolley. But we try to avoid taking bags from the supermarket - we keep a plastic box in the car for this purpose. I usually unload my trolley onto the conveyor, and as the checkout person scans the items I then reload my trolley. But one lovely lady comes round to my side of the counter, scans the items and packs the trolley for me. Of course I still need to load my car, but that's what kids are for!

    I'm also a bit of a freak on the phone, though. While husband would yell at telephone solicitors, I don't because I had to do the job once. But I still get annoyed with them, I usually say, "We're not interested, you're wasting your time, take our names off your list and move to the next name where you have more chance of success than with me." I know they need a certain call rate as well as a certain success rate. They usually go for that bait.
    We're getting a lot of call centres from India ringing us up and the one thing I hate is when my phone rings, I pick it up and HAVE TO WAIT for the person on the other end. If I get impatient and hang up, they call back until they get through. And when they DO get through, they take ages to get to the point. "Hello, Mrs Marg? How are you today, Mrs Marg?That'sgood (all one word, no pause for response). Well, Mrs Marg, the reason I am doing the ringing of you today is to make you this wonderful offer, Mrs Marg - now tell me, do you like to go on the holidays? because let me assure you, Mrs Marg, this offer is a once in a lifetime opportunity..." by this time I am asking, "Who do you work for? What are you trying to sell?"

    I once even had one of these call centre people constantly refer to me as "Mr or Mrs Marg" which was so fascinating it took me much longer to hang up on them.

    Generally they are either representing a company I don't deal with, or trying to sell me something I have no use for. Occasionally if I'm feeling really mean, I let them talk while I file my nails. I had one bloke who was very persistent, he wouldn't accept it when I said, "I'm not really interested in aluminium cladding," so I let him talk. I began to make "interested" noises and ask pertinent questions of the sort I KNEW he had the crib notes for, right on his sheet. I fed him plenty of rope. And finally, after he had talked for half an hour and finished with, "So when do you want to make an appointment for our consultant to come and see you?" I replied with, "I'm not sure, I'll have to ask the landlord first if he wants to put aluminium cladding on his all-brick house..."
    It was the only time I've ever had a telephone solicitor hang up on me.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2's methods are much more bizarre. Unlike me, she has a little girl voice. So she uses it to the hilt to say things like, "I'm not allowed to drink cola *giggle*" or "I'm in the house all by myself, I ate all the biscuits" or "I'm wearing new frilly pink socks, wanna see?"
    or any other random remark. She then claims she times the call to see how long before they hang up.

    Sometimes having a house full of difficult children can be useful. Let THEM answer the phone.

    Partly because we get a lot of these call centre calls, partly because I've had a few 'difficult customers' over the years, I do admit to having screened my calls. We did warn people that we would do this - well, we warned SOME people anyway - so most people would at least begin to leave a message. But now we have a phone system which automatically records a message or even a missed call if we happen to already be on the phone, so we can't screen any more (no way to listen in to see who it is). So now I get husband to answer the phone in the evenings, because I have a 'friend' who has turned into a real problem. I know, from talking to other people, that she rings people partly out of boredom but mostly because she's angry with someone and is hunting for ammunition to use against them. A very strange, very difficult person and I do not like dealing with her late at night right when I'm trying to get settled for bed. And she never takes no for an answer, nor will she get off the phone if I say, "I have to go now." If I actually say, "I have to go now, goodbye," and hang up, she will tell people I hung up on her very rudely. I know this because she says it about other people to me. so I avoid this. I HAVE had to invent a saucepan boiling over, a policeman at the door, another call coming in on my other phone - anything. I've also had to stop responding to her emails when she started to get really abusive.

    But overall, I use politeness. Not even sarcasm, nut pure politeness. If someone is rude to me, I smile and I'm polite in return. If they respond with more rudeness, I will respond sweetly but I might get a bit snippy, in a polite way. For example, there was a bloke at the garage. I can't remember exactly what he did, but it was unforgivable, something akin to emptying his ashtray all over my car (that wasn't it, but I really can't remember - I do remember being that outraged, however). I said something to him along the lines of, "Don't you feel guilty treating other people so badly?"
    And he replied with a very rude gesture and said, "Naah!" and turned and walked away. So I waved cheerily and said, "That's nice. YOUR MOTHER must be so proud of you."

    But generally I stay polite and friendly. Absolutely no references to the shallow end of the gene pool needing more lifeguards...

    I actually make a game of it with people I see on a regular basis. it began when I was a uni student and we had a technician in our chemistry lab who was positively terrifying. He was rude, he was terse, he had a face like a rusty barbed wire fence. Permanent scowl. Generally very mean, with no cause.
    So I made a bet with myself that by the end of the term I would get him to smile. I made an extra effort to be nice to him, to always be polite, to never react and to thank him when he handed out the equipment, however grudgingly he did so.
    And while I never got the smile I was working for, I found I wasn't so scared of him any more either, so I still won.

    I've done this a number of times since - I see someone who makes me uncomfortable and I make an effort to at least be polite. And unless I really begin to get bad vibes, I often find I've made a new friend. A few times I've actually defused a potentially nasty situation because the other person was expecting and gearing himself up for hostility, and by being friendly I was able to keep a situation calm. We had a thunderstorm once when we were at the church and a belligerent drunk came to shelter from the storm. Two other women were with me, including one who was a former battered wife - she got very hostile very quickly, went inside and shut the door. The man got very angry at this and was going to start smashing things, but I stayed and talked, offered him a coffee (which the other woman barricaded inside brought to me) and we just talked until the storm eased. By the time he left the man had apologised for frightening my friend, once I had explained why she had gone inside. "Nothing personal, but she's been badly hurt in the past and loud voices frighten her."

    Of course, we never saw the man again - there was no miraculous conversion and "I'll turn away from the demon drink" type of moment - but if nothing else my friend felt safer.

    I knew I was fairly safe - if he had started bashing me, the women inside would have called the cops. I was sure he wouldn't, though, if I gave him no reason.

    A lot of people are like dogs - they can smell the fear on you and will resent it. If you can send a different message other than fear; a more pleasant, polite message - you will generally get on much better.

    Mind you, this does not apply to males. Women can get away with far more than men. Especially cripples, like me. What man wants the glory of beating up a middle-aged crippled woman? This allowed me to break up a fight a few weeks ago. Two men just getting to the shoving and pummelling phase, so I shouted at them, "Do you mind? There are women and children present," and these men actually began to APOLOGISE and justify themselves. After we went inside I turned to difficult child 3 and said, "Don't you ever do what I just did."

    Maybe I DO have more freedom than most.

  17. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    well shopping is a whole nuther boat load of "aggggggggggg"'s for me. Don't you just love it when you go shopping somewhere and the cashier doesn't say "thank you have a nice day" or how about just "thank you". YOU are the one thanking them instead?! How is it that I am thanking you? Thanking you for doing your job and ringing me up?
    I must be really old or something. I remember in high school when I worked at Walmart, we had to go through training and if we didn't say "hello how are you today?" and "thank you Mrs. X *had to say their name with the thank you* if we got a check or debit/ credit card", we would get written up if we didn't do this. where have things changed so much? are people no longer looking for jobs so these places have to hire heathens that don't speak?
    Oh i hate it when you ask someone a question in a store and their answer is "I dunno"...ummm yeah, could you possibly walk 2 feet and find out the answer? Or how about ask the manager?
    I don't get it.
  18. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Oh Marg, you hit a whole new REALM when you touched on telemarketers.

    I'm sorry, I have absolutely no tolerance. None whatsoever. I have more fun with them...

    I answer the phone "hello". Let them do their spiel. Then I say "No comprende Ingles.

    Or I tell them "hang on one second", lay the phone down, and don't come back. Ever.

    Or I start telling them about my day. Valley girl style. "Like he was SO getting on my last nerve, you know, and omigod, it was like gag me with a spoon, so like I told Morgan and SHE was out buying the CUTEST new shoes..."

    Eventually they will have a Spanish speaking telemarketer call me from the first company. To which I ask "Sprechen Sie Deutcsh?"

    Don't even get me started on what I do if a bill collector calls. Not that I ever had a bill collector call, or anything.
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So sorry. And so embarrassing, since I live in VA, too.
    However, to add to your rant, I was born and raised in MN and everytime I fly "home," I love going shopping, out to eat, and even making calls to svc companies because they are so efficient and polite!!! It is so nice!
  20. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    I love the responses to telemarketers. The one who read "Mr. and Mrs. Marg" straight off the sheet is a classic.

    I have some sympathy (but not a lot) 'cause I know what a cruddy job it is and how ugly people can get. My wife and difficult child did this once each (wife before I met her) and lasted respectively two hours and four hours. On the other hand telemarketers do know that the job, by its very nature, is intrusive and the ones who stick with it just don't care.

    I just interrupt the spiel and say "Thank you, I'm not interested" and then hang up. Yes, it is rude to interrupt and then hang up while they're talking, but it's better than both of us wasting our time. I tried actually explaining that the caller would have better luck with someone else a few times before and somehow managed to wind up with the really persistent ones who would insist that I hear them out (probably had a supervisor listening in). I have used "you'll need to speak to the landlord" to cut off calls about siding (that's cladding, Marg) before. (Why is siding sold this way so often?) When it gets to the point that the caller repeatedly demands to know why I'm not interested (implying that I'm just really obtuse) then I have to hang up on them anyway.

    Oh, by the way, wife and difficult child are both now even more to the point. They just hang up.

    What is the status of do-not-call list legislation in the US? Anybody know? Can you tell a telemarketer to remove you from their call list and report them if they call back again? Can companies be prosecuted for selling phone numbers without the owner's permission?