Thursday, 14 March 2013

Apps for Manners

You may remember a while back I spoke up to a group of teenagers in our local town when they used the word 'retard' in a particularly derogatory way. I don't like the word, never have and never will, and in that instance it was used as an insult towards disabled people. Not a great idea in front of a special needs mum whose sleeves are rolled up more often than not. So yesterday, there I was, in the town again when three girls, looking about seventeen years old, sauntered into a shop, pushed in front of me in the queue and dumped their items on the counter. I didn't say anything because I was still contemplating whether to get a packet of ginger-bread men. Two of the girls were tapping away on their touchscreen mobile phones whilst the other was digging around in her purse after being asked for £1.50. She slammed the money on the counter, never uttered a word then walked out. The other two girls stepped forward. I, meanwhile, still contemplating the ginger-bread men, watched as both girls continued tapping away on their phones, never uttered a word as they handed over the money, then also walked out of the shop. I looked at the assistant and she smiled sweetly then said, "can I help you?" as though it was the norm to use a mobile phone whilst being served in a shop. The fact that the words 'please' and 'thank you' don't seem to exist in the English language so far as those three girls were concerned didn't seem to matter one iota.

I shook my head in disgust. I was brought up to use my manners. I am bringing Amy up to use manners. Is there something so uncool about using manners these days? Do teenagers of a certain age think it's wrong to be polite, to look up from their mobile phone whilst someone is acknowledging them?

It isn't cool to act like a diva with no manners; it makes you look ridiculous. And it won't get you very far when the day comes for you to venture out into the big wide world of employment. You might know how to use an iPhone and how to download apps and get around Facebook's constant updates, but manners will always be needed in your future, even when iPhones have gone out of fashion.

And I never did get the ginger-bread men.

16 comments:

  1. I totally agree, I make sure my kids use please and thank you and when they don't say it I simply say... What was that? and they remember straight away otherwise I keep on repeating it until they do!

    They are only 3 and 6!

    M x

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  2. I also agree. I have had the experience of bad manners when employing someone to come and work with Nick (autism). She came once, then the next time she sent me a text to say she was sick... I never saw or heard from her ever again. It still makes me cross. So not cool.

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  3. You always tell it like it is :-) x

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  4. My children are always taught to use manners.They have friends who don't and i find it very hard. I have now resorted to actually saying something to their friends, i always have if they are in my house, but now i also find myself doing so if i am at their house and they are rude to their parents or impolite in any way. I don't care what the adults think. they are the child and i am not going to let them forget it.

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  5. I'm only 34, but kids these days disgust me too. I never knew manners to be something of the past; what's the harm in a simple 'please' and 'thank you' anyway? Like you said, you get further in the adult working world with manners, so these girls are definitely in for a rude awakening in the very near future. Shameful.

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  6. I so agree. It's a bug bearer of mine, and is one of the few things that makes me glad I don't ahve any. Though they'd have better manners if I did!

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  7. It's terrible isn't it. Although I must admit I've seen in the other way round as well. Shop assistants hardly speaking to the customers. I don't mind that people chat with their friends at work but I find it so rude when they carry on chatting and don't interact with the customers.

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  8. Oh, I never like it when things don't matter one iota!

    I think manners are very important. It's the way we relate to other people, so it says a lot about how we consider other people.

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  9. I read this blog post AGES ago, but it made an impression on me. Thought you might be interested.

    http://antiquemommy.com/2008/11/05/yes-it-really-is-at-the-top-of-my-priority-list/

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  10. I like to think that it is just a phase they were going through. Or am I being a Polyanna?

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  11. Totally agree. In some ways, mobile phones have a lot to do with it. Twice this week, whilst walking the dog on a very narrow stretch of pavement, someone has walked towards me with their head so buried in texting on their phone that they were not looking where they were going and I had to step onto the road for fear they would walk straight into me. Not only did they not say thank you, they didn't even look up and see I was there. Onwards they went still texting furiously!

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  12. I so agree with you Kathryn, the youth of today (not all of them) seem devoid of manners. Only yesterday MWM and I were queuing for a bus when about 10 students from the local college jumped on the bus, in front of the queue, when it arrived. Thankfully there were other students there who had been brought up properly and waited their turn.

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  13. It's the parenting...Uncaring parents make for uncaring kids...SO Sad!
    hughugs

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  14. I agree with you entirely.
    Manners don't seem to exist anymore. Yesterday I was getting on a bus when a woman much younger than me barged in front. I knew her and used to baby sit her. I was pretty disgusted as she didn't say anything either.She was engrossed with a screen.
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

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  15. I couldn't agree more! Manners are critical and I hope to teach my son that, too.

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  16. Glad it's not just me then! It is a shame that manners are no longer an essential.

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