Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Remember to Be Kind

It always amazes me how rude some people are. Perhaps it shouldn’t amaze me. Some say that rude is the norm and my Pollyanna view of the world is ridiculous at best. But I don’t live my life rudely and I don’t understand those who do. As a teacher, a mother, and a human being, I don’t feel rudeness is ever the way to go.

In childhood we are taught to say our “Please” and “Thank you”. Somewhere along the way, as adults, many have forgotten those simple yet heartfelt phrases.

Two encounters I had prompted today’s topic.

First, I was in the Target discount store inquiring about a toy I want Santa to bring my daughter. The women I asked tried to help me but the toy was unavailable. I thanked them for their help and they suggested I return on Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving when all stores, including Target, offer huge savings and deals to lure shoppers.

Typically I like to be finished with my shopping long before that red letter day. The ladies both dreaded the upcoming event as it was mandatory for all employees to work that day. While both insisted they liked their jobs and were happy to be employed, they relayed that the customers who descend on Black Friday were usually rude and unkind.

This angers me. In my past I have worked retail during holiday seasons (not only that season but through it). There is no reason to treat retail workers with rudeness and disdain. They are human beings with feelings, too. They are working during the holiday weekend to serve the consumers when they’d like to be home with family or out shopping for their own.

It is not their fault if an item is sold out or out of stock. For the most part these men and women are running on little to no sleep, have limited resources, and are reporting to work regardless of illness, family life, or anything else.

Try to smile, speak kindly, and keep your patience.

It is my belief that every person should have to work retail one holiday season so they could understand firsthand what it is like. People, I believe, would be far less rude and much more considerate.

The next incident that occurred had to do with the phone company. Over the weekend my road was finally surveyed for damage – we’ve had several utility poles down – and replaced the poles. When the crews first arrived my neighbor was livid – she didn’t want to see the phone company, she only wanted to see the power company.

My neighbor was gruff with the crews. I, on the other hand, offered them a restroom, a drink, or any other creature comfort they might need. My neighbor tried to change her demeanor in her embarrassment, but left for the house soon after.

The telephone crew declined my offer with a warm smile and set straight to work. I spoke with the manager of the team assembled and he relayed a tale from earlier in the week. No less than 12 women in a neighborhood surrounded him to “bitch him out”.

This annoys me.

Am I tired of living without power? Yes. Do I miss my internet/cable/and phones? Heck yeah!

But I understand my state has been through the wringer. Could they have come to us sooner? Perhaps, but yelling at the crew does nothing but take time away from their work. It doesn’t change anything. And, like the employees of Target, they are not the ones responsible for this mess.

I firmly believe if people started addressing others respectfully no matter their line of work life would improve. If a smile replaced a grimace, a kind word a negative one, and patience and understanding replaced irate anger then our world would be a nicer one.

I suppose I am a bit of a Pollyanna. But, I’ll tell you this, I genuinely treat people well. All people. And when I am upset about something I use sweet tone rather than an angry one.

If people just stopped and thought about the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – then this world would be infinitely better.

1 comment:

  1. What has happened to our society? Those screamin' people are miserable! What made them that way? We sure aren't in the days of yore when folks sat on their front porch in the evening and waved at people passing by. Lighten up people!