About Me

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I'm a life-long New Englander, father of 4 challenging kids (I know: I'm supposed to say "wonderful", but while that'd be true, technically speaking, it'd also be misleading), and fortunate husband to my favorite wife of more than 20 years. I've got over 20 years experience breaking things as a test engineer, quality engineer, reliability engineer, and most recently (and most enjoyably) a Product Safety / EMC Compliance Engineer. In the photo, I'm on the left.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Where'd the Manners Go?

I've long been bothered by the fact that more than 9 out of 10 times that I let a driver into the lane ahead of me, they don't have the courtesy to wave a simple "thanks". Where are the manners?

The other night the wife and I stepped out to dinner; we chose the Cheesecake Factory. As we were trying to go into the restaurant, there was a fair-sized group of folks coming out. I held the door for them. The first lady looked up at me, smiled, and said "Thank you." She was a kind lady, by the smile in her eyes; she kind of reminded me of the chubby maid in "The Help", but older.

After this lady came a string of what looked like her family...four kids or so and at least one toddler-sized grandchild. Not one of them said 'thanks'. Not one of them looked up and acknowledged that someone was holding the door for them. Just walked on by as they please.

Where are the manners? Somehow it seems that they managed to stop short at my generation. My own kids have manners (or ELSE), and there are plenty to be had amongst the children of our friends, but for the most part, I don't see them in the stores, in the malls, cinemas, highways, or most any other place where people are strangers.

It's like folks think that saying "thank you" or "please" will cause sudden heart attack or something. It really doesn't cost anything, and can make someone's day. It's easy.

Or is it just in my area?


  1. I find just the opposite. We Canadians are thank you freaks. I go into the bank and someone holds a door, "thank you very much" I am now at the next set of doors so I open and hold the door "thank you very much". It goes on and on. Now true, I don't deal with very many youngsters so I can't speak for all of them, but the ones I have run into have been great "thank youers".

    1. A-ya; you Canadians are known around the world for that. Down here in dummy land...not so much (it seems).

  2. And it is a touch patchy in Oz as well. Last year we needed to call for an ambulance. Not only were they prompt, polite and helpful but the next day one of them dropped in on my partner in hospital to see how he was. I thought that was amazing and sent a thank you card. And got a thank you for thanking us letter in response. Apparently very few people do think to thank the paramedics. (I didn't however send a thank you for thanking me for thanking you card.)

  3. I was just talking to my friend about this. People in this town walk around with a sense of entitlement. They feel they deserve to be waited on hand and foot. Every once in a great while, I actually get a thanks, but the shock prevents me from responding.

  4. It's mixed around here. A lot of our generation don't say anything, and then the other day a youngun I know stopped by to apologize for not saying thank you for something a month ago. In general, I think we Yanks have lost manners altogether. But there are still some of us who observe them. The last time I was at the Holyoke Mall I couldn't believe how rude people were. Except for one guy my age who held the door as I gimped through. When I thanked him his face lit up like Christmas. Was that you? ;) Thank you for bringing this up!

    1. Wasn't me! Never been to the Holyoke mall. Could have been some long-lost relative though...what he the ugliest thing you ever laid eyes upon? :)

      Overall it's irritating, but as they say: you can't control others...all you can do is control yourself.

  5. No, there is no courtesy here in the Nation's Capitol either ... but it is the Nation's Capitol and our leadership has long given up being thankful for anything.

    Sometimes, just to be difficult I will say "Your welcome" to people who should have said thanks and didn't! Usually they don't even recognize that action - so involved they are in what is important only to them.

    It is a problem.