Where have all the good manners gone?

Ever since the invention of cell phones, people have forgotten their manners, especially when ordering at a fast food restaurant. (Image created using Microsoft Word.) Photo credit: Rachelle Baird

“Where is the love?” is not just a line from a Black Eyed Peas song. It is a general question. What happened to being kind to others? It seems people have forgotten their manners.

In 2016, 53 per cent of female workers and 42 per cent of male workers experienced poor behaviour by customers, according to Stats Canada.

Manners should be taught at an early age; say please when something is wanted and thank you when it’s received. But if they are not taught, here is a quick lesson in kindness.

There are certain situations when manners seem to be forgotten, such as fast food customers who ignore cashiers and people who treat public transit like their living room.

Fast food workers are most often the ones on the receiving end of this poor behaviour.

A Statistics Canada screenshot of a chart displaying the types of poor behaviour in the workplace. Photo credit: Provided by Stats Canada

An example of poor behaviour is the customer who is on the phone while ordering their food or drink. The worker will try to take their order but the customer is too busy on the phone to engage with the worker.

As someone who has worked in the customer service industry for several years, I have witnessed this several times.

If the phone call is more important than ordering, the customer should step aside and let the next person order.

Fast food workers are often seen as robots who must make everything perfect. Heaven forbid they make a mistake.

Remember this the next time you are waiting in line for your coffee: fast food workers are normal human beings who can make mistakes, just like you.

If the order is wrong, do not take it out on the worker.

Remember, most orders are displayed on a screen in front of the cash register. Perhaps if the customer wasn’t so engaged in their phone, they would notice the mistake in advance.

Fast food workers often get called stupid just because they work in the industry. Those types of comments are wrong.

I have been called stupid more than once by angry customers just because of a mistake. I am so detached by now after being treated poorly that I just shrug it off.

But remember, I am like any other worker who needs a job to pay the bills.

Please be extra kind to my fellow fast food workers. They often work long hours on all major holidays, and are given minimal breaks, all for minimum wage.

So the next time you grab your coffee, please remember to put the phone away and engage. Smile. Say hello.

You can say hi to the bus driver too.

Public transit can be a good way to travel, you don’t have to worry about driving to your destination. You can just sit back and relax while someone else takes you where you need to go.

However, there are certain rules to follow when taking public transit.

Rules such as who the front seats are reserved for and where you should place your bag and what the proper volume levels are for your ear buds or private phone calls.

Front seats on buses and lower levels of the GO Train are reserved for the elderly, parents with strollers, and passengers with mobility issues. If you see someone who falls under these categories, kindly move to a different seat without having to be asked.

Empty seats are not for your bag, they are for a person. Unless your bag suddenly turns into a living form, kindly place your bag at your feet or on your lap.

Speaking of empty seats, do not stick your dirty feet on the seat across from you. Nobody should have to sit on a dirty seat.

Listening to music can make a long commute go faster but use headphones and keep the volume down. The entire bus or train doesn’t want to hear your music.

Speaking of loud volumes on public transit, when you are having a conversation either on the phone or with your friend, please use your indoor voice.

Lastly, please step aside and allow passengers to get off the bus or train before you start to board.

If these rules seem too hard to follow, there’s always the heel-toe express.

In conclusion, when customers and public transit riders remember their manners, it makes each day better for everyone.

If all took Ellen Degeneres’ advice: “Be kind to one another,” the world would be a better place to live in.