What happened to "Can I help you"

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Star*, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I guess you could say - I'm old skool, old fashioned or just old. But it seems to me today with so many things in our society common courtesy has disappeared.

    I try very hard each day to remember that someone, somewhere is suffering and so i try to treat that person with extra kindness. If I see someone coming out of a Walmart with a carton they can't POSSIBLY lift by themselves I offer to help - I get the oddest looks. If an elderly person drops something I'm not much better off to bend over - but I am better off - so I bend and pick it up. I have counted how many times in a grocery store I hear "Thank you, come again, or have a nice day." and it's rare.

    Or how about my recent favorite ? I'm headed INTO the CPA's office and there are 2 sets of double doors - Coming out are 2 young men. I open the set closest to me - and they 1st young man stood there and held the second door open and.....HIS BUDDY walked through and then sashayed around me. I looked at the friend holding the door and said "Hey man - ladies first." and he did the smack to the back of the head of his friend saying "Who raised you? Godzilla?" - amazing.

    And when I stand in line at the counter of a store - I no longer hear "May I help you?" I get "NEXT" belted out like I'm in a Chicago butcher shop with 100 people in a 12x12 store.

    I told my son who is a huge difficult child a long time ago -you can have not a dime to your name - but be polite and have more than most do. ALWAYS be polite. -And to most people despite being difficult child he has been. (pat on back)

    But what has happened to telling someone things that are nice? I have been doing it all my life so it isn't odd to me but watch the faces on some people when I say "Gosh Pink is really your color - or That's a pretty shirt, or What a sweet baby - Did I miss a memo? Is nice out of fashion? If so I dont' want to be IN fashion.

    And by the way - If you've made it this far - you are patient and beautiful! Have a lovely day.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    If you've made it this far - you are patient and beautiful!

    I am? Ooooh, thank you! LOL. :)

    Now for the other side of the coin ... Most of our clerks are taught to say "Have a good day," etc., but they're programmed, plastic robots who can't think for themselves. Gawd forbid the power should go out and they should have to hand write a credit card receipt, or do 5% tax in their heads!
    I ran errands this a.m. and one of the clerks, very, very young, looked me directly in the eye and asked, ever so earnestly, '"How is your day so far?"

    Now, given that I'm catching a cold, I have a son who's more closely related to a chimpanzee than a human, a daughter whose schedule changes every 15 seconds and it becomes my emergency, and a schizo computer she doesn't even know how to defrag so she has to work on MINE, a workaholic husband who doesn't notice if I'm wearing jeans, an evening gown, or am buck naked, and two dogs whose idea of a good time is breaking the baby latch on the door to the trash container and scattering trash all over the house, I could have given her an earful.
    But then I decided that today was pretty good ... the tornado missed our house the other day, the sun is out, and I have gas in my tank ... so I gritted my teeth and said, "Fine."
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I suggest ......

    You ditch the computer, hire someone over qualified for the store that has no tongue and can't ask you how your day is. Tell your daughter that if she can do her own schedule for one week without involving you - it will have perks (hand over gift card to jewelery store)

    Go get a Jane & tarzan outfit and grab hold of chimpanzee boy - stand in front of workaholic husband - and ask him if he's noticed ANYTHING unusual. Just for kicks yell out "And Daddy he TOOK my boot." (You'de have to see the Disney cartoon to know that)

    Sounds like your husband needs an "adjustment". Hugs -

    But very glad the tornado missed you...

    YOU HAVE A WHAT? FULL TANK OF GAS???? lol :greedy:
  4. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    That brings me to one of my regulars...she is a peach.

    First day I say, "Hi! How are you today?"

    She responds, "Who the f* are you to ask me that? That's my own business."


    I shut up. Well, when you have hundreds of people coming in each day you don't exactly remember their mode.

    Second day, I say they same thing. She went off on me like flies on cr@p.

    NOW...I know her face. I won't greet her or make eye contact. She must be a miserable person. Geez...I'm giving out free food. I'm not trying to sell her a time share.

  5. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Star, I think sometimes people have their own situations going on and they can forget common curteousy. Sometimes. I do wonder how many times I was preoccupied with difficult child business and was not my optimum out there in the real world because I was thinking or over thinking about "stuff." However, I can say that almost always, if not always, I practice common politeness/decency. This is where I have some issues. I am working with a person at the moment that is clueless when it comes to boundaries and it has been very tough on me. I also have trouble with folks who you might patronize who are impolite. I go to a dry cleaner and there is a lady there sometimes who never says a word, frowns and is totally unhelpful. I only complain when it goes so over the top that I would clearly make a decision to go elsewhere. Years ago, there were Public Relations and Customer Relations for every business. Nowadays, this is considered a luxury. BUT SOMEONE should reconsider this...'cause if we have to pick and chose where we are going to spend our money, I for one am going to spend it where folks are nice. (Sorry about the big 'ol speech. LOL!)
  6. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    You make me feel beautiful, thank you :bigsmile:

    I am so with you on this one. I was just in conversation with an elderly lady while waiting in line the other day, and we commented on this, how people are just not as polite anymore. That I have seen 20ish guys sitting on the crowded bus while elderly women with bags stand (I got up and gave her my seat). I wondered how they were raised. And when getting my hair cut (at one of the walk-in no appointment type places), a guy walked in and was told there was a lineup and wait of about an hour or more. He got very rude, and the hairdresser told me it happens a lot. What happened to being nice to people? Hey, and this is coming from polite Canada LOL.

    If anything I do influences my kids, it's that they'll be polite and nice to people. Rudeness is my big pet peeve (spitting is biggest and that's essentially disgusting rudeness). My kids have even said thank you to me :laughing:
  7. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Oh, I agree....it has changed SO MUCH!!! Being on the other side for 13 years dealing with every type of person that NEEDED their drugs that day.....it was very hard sometimes to bite my tongue, keep a smile on my face, but I did the best I could & occasionally let things slip when people were just TOO nasty! But, 99% of the time I made sure to ask "may I help you?", "how are you today" & finish with a "have a wonderful afternoon" or "I hope you start feeling better soon". I sure as heck don't hear that on this side at all!!! I'm constantly, as the customer/patient, being the one who wishes the person a good afternoon/evening! My husband started opening my car door for me 20 years ago when we started dating & still does to this day...he ALWAYS opens the door for me & expects me to stand at the door if I beat him to it. We have stopped many times to help people that could use an extra hand. We have raised easy child to hold doors open for everyone that's following behind (he's only been left outside by accident once....too many people piling in....lost him for a few there). I don't even hear excuse me anymore when people ram into my grocery cart or bump into me in lines......STILL always ME saying "I'm sorry" or "excuse me" even though I was the one that was hit. I suppose I am proud of myself for not being the pi$$y hateful person on the other end of the phone & being the one that surprises them by telling them to have a wonderful day after they were being rude to me. I will admit though....if someone really gets under my skin being rude, I can't always "hold back" especially those ones I mentioned that look at me like I jumped in front of their grocery cart & said "please run into me". I still say "excuse me" & they give the big "grunt".....my mouth normally runs a bit then. Can't help it after I tried to be polite for something I didn't do...I let 'em know!

    You are patient & beautiful too.....I hope you have a WONDERFUL afternoon!
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    You've hit on a major pet peeve of mine.

    The one thing I demanded of my kids was correct manners and politeness at all times. And since I'd decided to do it, I did my utter best to teach by example.

    My kids will bend over backward to help someone, greet someone. My son holds doors open for females, my daughters will stand in front of a door if there is a nearby male and wait for it to be opened for them. Why? Because for them it's been the normal routine. They watched dear ol' Mom and Dad do it their whole lives.

    LOL husband and I have been married 25 yrs this august. Do you know he still opens doors for me? (including the car door) He still will pull out my chair at a restaurant. He pumps my gas. Not because I don't know how, but because I expect it of him. lol

    In stores after I've checked out at the counter I always leave with a "Have a nice day" whether the cashier has thought to do the same or not. I do the same on the phone. Usually when it has slipped someone's mind to do so when they hear me say it they do a quick correction and wish me one too. I had a cashier last night tell me Thank You for thinking about how her evening might go! And she really meant it.

    Most of my kids peers behave (and this has been throughout all their growing up) like they haven't a clue what politeness and manners are. But in this house it is expected, and even if you are a guest it is required.

    We've been working on poor sister in law for several years now. I consider him a work in progress as when he first started dating easy child he didn't have a clue. He's come a LONG way. lol Actually he was so bad at first he had to be coached for the first family holiday meal. :faint: Poor kid. And he comes from a good family. But I've noticed his Mom is that way, although her parents aren't.

    Most of the time I try not to let it get to me. But it does tend to grate heavily on the nerves.
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I am so with you. If clerks do say "may I help you?" or "have a nice day" or "how are you today?" its so....programmed. They don't care.

    Or the majority don't, it seems.

    I was raised in the middle of nowhere and part of my family are Mennonites, so...my family kinda forged its own. COMMON etiquette was not something we were taught, so I tend to be a social faux pas...but I try, and I have taught the kids to say please and thank you, despite how odd they, too, may be.

    My wee difficult child...when he was first talking and even before he noticed other humans inhabited this planet...thanked the automatic door openers in stores... Each time and every time... Maybe I did something right.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    LOL, Star. LOVE the suggestions! :)
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Abbey, WHO is this you're talking about? Someone at work? Home? Grocery store? Egads.
    I love your avatar, LOL!
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    If anything I do influences my kids, it's that they'll be polite and nice to people. Rudeness is my big pet peeve (spitting is biggest and that's essentially disgusting rudeness). My kids have even said thank you to me

    Ditto. :)
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Okay, just had to throw in something that happened at the bank the other day.
    The clerk couldn't care less, but was programmed to say, "How are you today?"
    Instead of saying "Fine, thank you, and you?" I just said "Hi."

    Turns out he was listening. He chuckled.

    I'm still chuckling. But not high. Darn.
  14. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    This is a pet peeve of mine as well.

    After ten years in retail management, I automatically go into "manager mode", as my family says, and working on customer service skills when we're shopping. For example, when leaving the checkout, I have been known to tell the cashier, "You're supposed to say thank you." I have explained how to run a credit card through the register to a cashier who was very obviously on her own for the first time. And I have told strangers in stores to pick up after themselves, because "minimum wage is not enough money to be picking up after YOU."

    That said...I always say thank you to anyone who opens the door for me (thrilled a little guy when I said "Thank you, sir"...his mom did the right thing!), and have taught Miss KT to help out in these small ways that are so important. But I have to agree, as a society we are getting ruder and more self-centered, and I have to wonder where we will end up if this continues.
  15. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Huge pet peeve!!! Thank You!!!
    I will grab both of my little girls and turn their little butts around, say to them... "What do you need to say?" If they ever forget to say, Thank you, please, yes, your welcome or any other polite thing to any one... ADULTS especially.
    I go out of my way, even if someone is rude to me to say, Thank you or Your Welcome!!! Just to make the point stick.
    I dislike rude attitudes.
    When ever I am rude. I feel so bad afterwards, it doesn't happen very often, I know when it does, I have guilt for the rest of the day!!! I think about it...

    You are lovely as well Star... (I wanted to say now go F' your self but I just couldn't bring my self to say/type it) so I did any way!!! LOL

    Now I will go all night feeling guilty....
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    I've been sick last 3 days. I missed 2 days of work and I'm not cranky but....

    I'm in a store - and the aisle is narrow. But as you are walking - someone gets in the same aisle and just STEAMROLLS their way past you. I don't get it - can't they wait - WHAT was so bloody important that they couldn't step aside and allow me to pass?

    This happened three times - upon the third time in the same store - I began hacking and hacking and coughing like a lung was going to pop out - and you know what? PEOPLE MOVED and let me go first. I'm so tired of always stepping back to allow others into a space that I was occupying ONLY ONLY ONLY to think they are going to pass by and nope - they stand right where I was - and just stand.

    I believe I shall eat cabbage before I go shopping next time - Bombs away.

    OH and Toto dahling - I used vanilla - no chocolate with sprinkles - to Frost Myself. I'm a sugar sweet little cup cake - but thanks for the FFFFffffffrosting. :sheepish:
  17. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I avoid shopping on fridays and saturdays if I can help it. Our stores turn into nightmares as far as people and their shopping carts go. They stand in your way, knowing you'd like to pass, they zoom out in front of you so it's short of a miracle you don't slam into them, they back into you, and on and on.

    Couple of weeks back I did go shopping with Darrin. An exhausting event in itself. lol Not that he misbehaves, but is overly helpful and I'm not used to it anymore. While in the store Darrin is required to hold on to the side of the shopping cart at all times. I lost count of how many times he was nearly squashed or run over by other people and their carts! Each time he'd politely say "excuse me" and get a startled look in response. Except for elderly shoppers who made a huge deal over what a polite and well mannered young man he is. easy child is following in my footsteps as is Nichole with Aubrey.

    OH, and items on the TOP shelves!!! How many times have I come across someone in the electric carts or an elderly customer needing to get something off the top shelf and other shoppers ignoring them??? WTF? I'm not even 5 feet tall, reaching the top shelf is a challenge for me, but I still go out of my way to reach something someone might need. (I climb the shelves, a trick I learned working retail lol) For pete's sake it takes maybe a sec of your time but can mean a world of difference to the person you're helping.
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Abbey, that very rude customer - it can be very confronting. I used to see them as a challenge. We had a technician like that when I was an uni, he was so incredibly sour that he intimidated all the students. You would go to his window to ask for some vital equipment and he would act like you were trying to cheat him out of something.

    So from that point on, I began to play a game - whenever I met someone like that on a regular basis, instead of letting intimidation drive me away, I would make an effort to win them over. My ambition was to raise a smile on their face. It's not always easy, but over the years I have met some very interesting people who I would never have talked to, if I had let fear or anger keep me at a distance. Knowing that person was likely to come my way again - I would often be better prepared next time, perhaps with something like, "I hope your day is a good one for you." And if I anticipate them getting huffy with me about DARING to enquire, I would prepare, "I like people and I care about them. I feel sad when other people are sad."
    If they say, "You must be a very mixed up person," or other insult, I just agree with them. "Yep. Maybe. But it's who I am."

    A woman on the checkout in out supermarket is sour like t his. For a long time I avoided using her checkout, but I've had no choice a few times lately, and I played my game - and found she can be quite friendly. her outlook on life is generally sour, but she works three jobs and so does her husband, just to pay the bills. I said to her, "You need to relax on the weekend," and she said, "I can't. I'm spending my weekends, as usual, cleaning a large office block."

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 meets some interesting people. She avoids the "Have a nice day" because in Australia it's often viewed as false, but there are other, more genuine-sounding, things to say. The staff at our local butcher are always friendly. They greet us by name (as soon as they get to know our names) and often help by carrying our parcels to the car, even if its several blocks away.

    People can be polite and friendly, but sometimes we do have to remind them how.

  19. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    The one that bugs me so much- people bumping into me and not saying "excuse me".

    I have instilled in difficult child to say "thank you", "your welcome", etc., but I'm a little behind in making sure he opens doors for me or other women- there is a reason- two years of feeling like I have to make sure he's in front of me and not "disappearing". LOL
  20. VickiL

    VickiL New Member

    Yep, one of my big pet peeves, too! Having been in the workforce for over 30 years, a lot of my early jobs were in customer service in one way or another. Day in, day out I would listen to people complain, call me names, complain some more and I HAD to be polite, charming, understanding and know that the customer is always right. It was tough on more days than I can remember, but it taught me that it is so important to take the time to be polite and respectful. And I can honestly say that even with all of the crud that Justin has put me through and dealing with Alex being a typical teen now, they both open doors for people, they are out of practice with 'Mam and Sir, but I am not with either of them on a daily basis any more.

    However, this thread has taken me back to one cold, snowy winter day and Alex and I had to go to Walgreen's for something. We parked in front and noticed that the snow plow had pushed all of the snow up to the walkway in a big pile all around the handicapped parking spot. We get out of the car and I start to go into the store and turn around to see Alex holding an elderly lady's arm, helping her over the snow. I will never forget how proud of him I was that day. He also told me about one boy at his middle school that was handicapped in some way that made it hard for him to walk up stairs holding all of his books, so Alex just took them from him and helped him every day at the same time walk up the stairs to his next class. He truly is my angel! And I wish that politeness would come back in "fashion". I miss it so!