Rules of Etiquette for the Average Joe

So I got to thinking about things that bug me…which made me think of amusing ways to portray them… which led me to wonder if other people felt this way…which is good because I needed to blog and needed some inspiration.  So, it wasn’t long before I had a list…which is necessary to add a bit of substance to the entry so you don’t don’t read one or two things and say…’Yeah, I hate that too…kinda funny…but should have been longer.”  Anyway, I digress…

I know there are huge lists of rules about etiquette.  Everything from table manners to how many people have to be seated and have their food in front of them before it is okay to start eating and such…  I probably don’t do a lot of those correctly, but since I don’t often dine or rub shoulders with high society, it isn’t a big deal.  So, if the Queen calls and wants to have tea, I will probably be in trouble… :).

Here is a big one for me… I call it the Bus/Elevator/Subway Principle.  It is fairly simple.  Before you get on the B/E/S, wait until the people exiting have exited.  This will not only provide you with more space once you board, it is just common, freaking, courtesy!  Yet, every time I ride one of these that is the least bit crowded, people seem to have no knowledge of this rule.  They are too caught up in their own agenda to do it right.  Makes me want to smack people…but then I would be viewed as discourteous…or dangerous 😉

While we are talking about doors…I will happily hold the door for someone if I know they are entering or exiting a building or area behind me or if they are exiting and I am entering.  What kills me are the people who don’t acknowledge the fact that you held the door or don’t take it themselves to hold it for the person behind them.  Many are happy to exit, one after another, while I hold the door.  After about the third or fourth person, I usually let the door go… This to me is just out of order.  If I were wearing a uniform that made me look like a doorman, I would understand.  I just wonder where these people grew up…  Note:  Most people catch the door with a body part to avoid being wiped out by the door and look at me angrily.  Oh well.  For those of you out there who smile and say ‘Thank You’, you make me happy.

Another one… I call this the Supermarket Test and I find myself thinking about this when I am interviewing someone.  It is simply asking yourself the question… ‘If I saw this person in the supermarket would I avoid their aisle or would I feel comfortable talking to them?’  If you find yourself thinking that you would steer clear of their aisle, you probably shouldn’t be hiring them.  The only thing that overrides this sometimes is if they are super capable or super brilliant and you are the only person who feels this way.

Another big one centers around Facebook.  I talked a bit in one of my earlier entries about the politics surrounding the social networking obsession and how they have gotten a bit out of control (at least I think I did…if not I am sure I will again at some point).  It is very easy to ‘collect’ friends on Facebook.  It is usually decidedly harder to delete them from your list.  I guess my viewpoint on this is to start by determining if they are really a ‘friend’ or just an ‘acquaintance’.  Some friends you keep on Facebook because they are in your inner circle…you would not hesitate to reach out to these people at any time for any reason.  Some you keep because you share a common interest…for me some of these are Polynesian Tattoos or people that I went to High School with because I may need to contact them at some point for a reunion.  Some are co-workers that you see every day at work.  Still others are family and that is its own box of snakes.  South Park did a really humorous take on this topic that you can find here.  Sorry for the commercial but it was the best copy I could find 🙂  Anyway, the point is that I find myself periodically pruning my Facebook Friends List.  If I think that I will probably never talk to the person again or that they will probably never reach out to me I will delete them.  Other reasons for deleting them are because I think that they are just collecting friends because they have some other agenda like advertising or selling you something.  Still others are because we have had a falling out and I don’t care to have them as friends anymore.  Whatever the reason, their deletion might go unnoticed and be no big deal or they might notice it and have hard feelings.  When you think about it, this is all pretty silly.  The people in your life who you care about are those that you will contact outside of Facebook…via phone…Skype…or God forbid, in person!  If people used Facebook as a communication device or a way to tell people about their lives it would be one thing.  Far too many use it as the basis for their relationships.  This and all the ‘etiquette’ surrounding it makes me wonder sometimes why I bother….

Anyway, these are just a few off the top of my head.  I have short patience for people who can’t be bothered or who have no clue about how to be polite.  Now to see how many of my Facebook Friends pass the Supermarket Test 😉

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