In the regular give and take throughout each day of our lives, we are all alternately service providers or service consumers. I’ve been noticing what can only be called a trend over the last several years. A serious lack of customer service, or more specifically, a lack of customer courtesy. Certainly there are plenty of people who are polite, but more and more the cashier ringing you out, the waitress serving your table and the guy selling you tires seems a bit sharper, maybe a little edgier. It begs the question –
Why are we being so rude to one another?
Today I might be your customer and tomorrow there’s a very good chance that you might be mine. Common courtesy, however, seems far less common than I remember it being in the not so distant past. Is it possible that we as a society have become more harsh toward one another? If so, what has contributed to such a shift in behavior?
A full 79% of Americans indicated in a recent poll that people are behaving more rudely in public. That high a percentage indicates that some of those people are also perpetrators of the rude behaviors they are complaining about! Rude can be anything from allowing your children to run wild and disturb other peoples peace to tailgating on the highway.
I remember sitting in a restaurant just at the beginning of what has become the universal and habitual use of cell phones. A man and a woman, obviously on a date, took a table across from where we sat. The gentleman began a conversation with a smile on his face. When suddenly, what has since become a familiar jingle shook the air. The woman never missed a beat. She smiled weakly and with a shrug of her bared shoulder ANSWERED THE PHONE! Right in the midst of her companions dialog, she began one completely separate from him on the little device in her hand. Their meal was served, and she continued to “chat” into the phone, rather than with the young man across from her. I give him credit. I would have gotten up without a word to her, and GONE HOME!
Since that incident cell phones seem to have become extensions of ourselves for most of us. People would rather text or email instead of talk. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve attempted to call someone, got no answer, but then I sent a text within 1 minute of hanging up and INSTANTLY received a text back! Why didn’t they answer the phone? Texting has become an incredibly dangerous activity WHILE OPERATING A MOVING VEHICLE.
Between Facebook, Twitter and the rest, online interaction has become a serious threat to personal contact. What is it about this style of social interactions that it appears to have changed our behavior so drastically? This Ghostblogger loves Social Media and as a content provider, believes strongly in its usefulness in our businesses. I do wonder though, if this tendency toward a harsher society has been exacerbated by these same sites? Are we less courteous publicly because we interact face to face so much less?
Take some time this week, won’t you,and look someone in the eye, smile and have a conversation!
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