Reading this article may be hazardous to your etiquette health. The stories contained within are unbelievably rude. These are real events that people have posted around the web.
Proceed with caution – and with a good grasp on your own etiquette sanity!
Last summer, I was working as a waitress at a local restaurant. One day, I was serving a table with a mother and her little daughter. I brought the food out, and the little girl said, “Thank you.” The mother responded, “You don’t have to thank her, honey, that’s her job.”
A USA Today article described the “Waiter Rule” as a “window to the soul.” A person who is kind to you, but rude to wait staff is not a kind person. An unkind person – what a perfect description for this woman who would go out of her way to “correct” her daughter’s graciousness. This woman shows her true colors by actively encouraging rudeness!
I work in a convenience store. One Christmas Eve, we were absolutely packed, and the lines for the check-out were long. My co-worker started to ring-up one woman, but then, this woman said she had forgotten something. She asked to run and grab it. My co-worker agreed to wait for her, and the customer left.
Five minutes later, my co-worker was still waiting for the customer to return, and the line was really starting to back-up. My co-worker left the register to go find the woman…only to see her in the magazine aisle, casually flipping through a magazine. My co-worker politely asked if she needed help finding anything. The customer replied with a smug smile, “Well, you kept me waiting, so I decided to keep you waiting. Not very nice, is it?”
This level of self-entitlement is truly troubling. We have all had days where our own worries cause us to act as discourteous shadows of our normal selves. Is that acceptable? No. But is it forgivable? Yes, a bad day is not a representation of who were are. However, this story is not an example of discourtesy or momentary rudeness. This is manipulation and cattiness to an unbelievable level.
Celebrities aren’t exempt from being polite simply because of their stardom. Unfortunately, some of our biggest idols can turn out to be terrible etiquette role models.
Orlando Bloom once parked his motorcycle in the middle of the sidewalk in front of a menswear store in New York. He strolled into the store without a shirt on and yelled across the store trying to find his "bro." Bloom picked out clothes for several hours and when he checked out, asked for the "Orlando Bloom is wearing your shirt discount."
This is an example of the classic “Don’t you know who I am?” line that so many celebs like to throw around. If only these self-entitled stars could see how their rude actions speak louder than their A-List names.
I was grabbing lunch at a local deli. The guy before me had just checked-out and was waiting for the cashier to put his purchase in a bag. I told the cashier that I wanted about a half-pound of chicken strips. There weren’t many chicken strips left, but it weighed out to be a half-pound. The guy ahead of me looked at me, then back at the lady helping him. He stopped the cashier, and ordered a half-pound of chicken strips – just to deny me from getting them! I was rushed for lunch, so I just walked away, but the image of his smug, satisfied face wouldn’t leave my mind for the rest of the day.
This story is difficult for a normal, civilized mind to comprehend. Denying a total stranger lunch surpasses rude – it’s just cruel. It is so sad that this man had to ruin someone else’s day just to find satisfaction in his.
Before her wedding, I had a friend make specific Facebook requests for expensive gifts and then tag the people who she thought were most likely to buy them. She did this with about 6 big-ticket items. The posts were all like this: “Baking cookies with the soon-to-be-hubby! This would be so much easier with a KitchenAid mixer!” and then she’d list 15 or so people’s names. I just couldn’t believe her tackiness!
We’ve all heard the wrath that Bridezillas can wreak. Weddings are supposed to be celebrations of the newlyweds, but this doesn’t give them the right to throw common courtesy out the window. It is disappointing when the family and friends have their generosity taken advantage of by a greedy bride and groom.
I got dinner with my dad at a diner. The waitress hesitantly hands my dad the menu and asks, "Will you be able to pay for this meal?" My dad is a well-dressed, clean cut guy, so I don't even know why she would ask this. My
dad politely responds that we would be able to pay for our meal. Upon leaving, I asked my dad how he could stand being treated like that. He replied simply, "You can't control the actions of other people – only how you react to it."
Whether we personally experience etiquette horror stories like these (hopefully not!) or simply hear about them, it can be difficult to stay composed ourselves. We wanted to end with the wise words of this gracious dad, who reminds us that we have the power to decide how the actions of others affect us. Horrible tales like these are the best reminders of why etiquette and courtesy are so important.