Thursday, April 30, 2009

Just plain old "good manners"

I value good manners, for example. Every time I meet a kid who speaks clearly and looks me in the eye, who says "yes, sir" and "thank you" and "please" and "excuse me," I feel more hopeful about the country. I don't think I am alone in this. I can't legislate good manners. But I can encourage good manners whenever I'm addressing a group of young people.

The same goes for competence. Nothing brightens my day more than dealing with somebody, anybody, who takes pride in their work or goes the extra mile- an accountant, a plumber, a three-star general, the person on the other end of the phone who actually seems to want to solve your problem. My encounter with such competence seem more sporadic lately; I seem to spend more time looking for somebdoy in the store to help me or waiting for the delivery man to show. Other people must notice this; it makes us all cranky, and those of us in government, no less than in business, ignore such perceptions at their own peril.

An excerpt from the Audacity of Hope.
Presisent, Barack Obama


A.Smith said...

Gosh I hate incompetence. Especially willful incompetence. People who could solve your problem if they'd just try but because the answer doesn't just pop up in front of them they won't.

It's easy, in my job, to get that way and I've been guilty of it a time or two, but I sincerely try to help the people I come into contact with or at least make them feel like I'm doing all I can.

A Lady's Life said...

Life makes people put their worst foot forward.We are all guilty of it at one time or another, Do things we would not ordinarily do. What I dislike is kids thinking they have rights to bad language.
If they have rights at this age, then what will they do when they have real problems to contend with?
All the good feelings, the blooms that enlighten my heart and soul, die.. when I hear the music they are listening to,the words that comes out of their mouth, the holes they put in their bodies, the pictures they tattoo on thier skins. I ask myself every day.. why?
God gave them life as individuals. By doing these things, they all become the same.Don't they see this?

Strongblkwmn said...

I got on the elevator on my way home the other day and a young man held the door for me, asked me how my day was going, and said, "Have a nice day miss." when he got off of the elevator. I was so impressed and had to smile. It's kind of sad that I was so impressed because that should be the norm. Unfortunately, he's an exception to the rule in New York. I know it's probably different in the south.

I'm at work right now and feel like i'm surrounded by incompetence on a daily basis. I'm not in love with my job, but if i'm going to do it i'm going to be as efficient as possible. It's too bad others dont' feel the same way. Things would run much smoother.

SLC said...

Unfortunately I've come to expect incompetence and frustration; especially in instances regarding customer service.

Glad to say however that in my neighborhood I'm seeing glimmers of hope in some young males. Prayerfully their parents will not relinquish control to the devil and his hoard of thugs.

Stacye said...

I too look for the compentence in our younger genereation. I was taught to look each individual in the eye when speaking or listening. We couldn't address our elders without excusing ourselves and answering "yes" and "no" sir or ma'am. I too, Neicy must encourage our young people and teach them what we were taught...if we don't who will!

I have this favorite t-shirt and on it it says "FUTURE BILLIONAIRE" and last summer while in PA at a Bike Show (motorcycle) this older caucasion woman passed me and started laughing. I looked back at her and she said right to my face "Oh, you think so...Future Billionaire, NOT!" And I looked her right in the face and said:


I said it with a straight face, even tone and self assurance that took her completely by surprise, and her response was to turn and walk away. (no disrespect in my voice at all)

I said that to say that the young kids that were standing near my bike looked at me "Are you mad?" and I said "No and never will I allow anyone to tell me that I can't be what I put my mind to be and don't you either!" Did I mention that those kids were all caucasion and looked at an african american woman and saw self control and respect...for herself!

A Free Spirit Butterfly said...

I love all of your responses. I originally posted this because the service at most restaurants suck and believe it or not Chick fil A has the best customer serive I've ever come across. Second to that, in my opinion are cashiers at the grocery store. I've yet to have a bad experience there. I had such a pleasant conversation w/one lady that she shared a very touching story w/me and I went to the ATM and put some money in a card and gave it to her. She was so very touched and the hug that she gave me in return was worth every cent.

As for our youth, my mom taught me values and the still hold true to this day. I am almost 45 and wouldn't dare disrespect my mom. I'm still scared that she might punish me (LOL)

Now the incompetence at work is a separate post in itself.... I would love to work somewhere where my passions could take flight, but since I'm not, I commit myself to the task at hand. I just wish that "some" of the people that I work with would just simply do the same.

Love for a great evening and thanks for the visit.

Tea With Tiffany said...

Strong word! Very good..

Toia said...

I can stand incompetence either. It's hard to respond in a kind and soft manner when you are facing incompetence.

Some people fail to realize that it takes more energy to be disrespectful or ill-mannered to others than to be friendly and well mannered.

Great post!!

PAK ART said...

You know I work in a government job too. I'm fortunate though, because I'm in charge of the phone answering. My three staff members are all trained that we do not just answer questions, we are going to be that gov't employee who actually helps. Instead of just transferring to another dept, we wait and make sure our customer gets connected and even brief the next person so the customer doesn't have to explain it all again. I 100% believe in providing excellent customer service. I hate that there are so many who don't think it's important and just don't care.