Please and Thank You
I have come to believe that I am more polite than most of America, and it has left me quite an angry person.
Here is a phone call I received a few days back that continues to bother me. Picture the voice on the other end as snooty, rude and, well, Valley Girl-esque:
Me: Who am I speaking with?
Girl: Someone called me with this number.
Me: No, I don't think I called you. Sorry.
Girl: No, someone called me with this number. It's on my phone.
Me: I'm sorry. I don't know, but I didn't call you.
Girl: But it's on my phone.
Me: I. did. not. call. you.
Girl: (groan then hangs up)
And here is how the phone call should have gone:
Girl: Hi, this is (insert bleep*'s name here). I got a missed call from this number.
Me: No, I don't think I called you.
Girl: Oh, that's strange. Okay, sorry to bother you. Bye.
Me: Sure, no problem. Bye.
Here is a list of things I wish everyone did on a daily basis. The world would be a better and less angry place:
- Always say, "please" and "thank you".
- Say, "Excuse me" when you bump into someone, need to get by someone, or cross in front of someone in the store.
- Yield to others while you're driving.
- Wave your hand at someone to thank them for letting you into their lane.
- Wave your hand at someone to thank them for letting you walk in front of them if you are a pedestrian. This is also for safety reasons so that they know you are walking in front of them.
- If someone asks you how you are doing, ask back. Or, better yet, ask first.
- When speaking to a salesperson or attendant on the phone, try to remember their name. Then thank them by their name when you are about to end the call. You can also thank anyone with a name tag by their name (ie. waitress, cashier, mechanic).
- Always hold the door for someone walking behind you.
- When you enter or leave someone's home, greet the hosts and later thank them for having you over.
- Ask if the host needs help with cooking or cleaning.
- Don't ignore the salesperson who greets you at the door. The correct response to "Welcome to ____" is a smile and "thank you." The correct response to "Have a nice day" is a smile and, "Thank you. You too."
I try to do good deeds whenever I'm out.
Scenario 1: I was strolling Joann's, armed with a 40% off coupon. I could hear a girl with her mom arguing in the next aisle. They were trying to figure out what to do for a project due the next morning. I heard that they were having trouble finding music note stickers and the girl was shouting and screaming at her mother and was just all around awful. I ended up finding the stickers for them and handed the mother the coupon.
Scenario 2: I saw an older woman (Susan) with her mom (Beatrice) at Target. Susan had a cast
on and was in a power wheelchair. Beatrice suddenly became really unstable and shaky and had to hold onto the wheelchair for stability. I rushed over and asked if she was okay. She could barely stand. Long story short, I find out that these women did not have a car, but relied on the community dial-a-ride. In an effort to get them home as soon as possible, I drove both of them home, helped them inside their house, and brought in their groceries. I also left my phone number in case they ever needed anything.
Scenario 3: Now, this one was an epic fail. I was outside the Chinese school I worked at, waiting for my ride. I saw a woman driving away with her trunk open. I tried waving her down to let her know that her trunk was open. She stopped the car and I closed the trunk for her...only to see her son running after the car with his giant rolling backpack. She had to pop open the trunk again to let him throw it in. I walked away in shame.
The point of all this is that it is not difficult to be a kind person. So please do something nice today. You can bring a little bit of happiness to a person's life. Thank you.