Wanting Ice Cream in Your Bowl

We like to help people who smile and are polite  more than they like to help people who are demanding and serious. It is our nature.

I was at a buffet by the scooped ice cream as a boy was trying to get the attention of the server so he could get some ice cream. “Hey Lady….Hey you…Hey, he was saying in a demanding voice.

The woman who naturally, wasn’t about to be ordered around by a twelve year old, pretended to be busy and hard of hearing. I stepped over to where the boy was and suggested to the boy that by saying please, thank you, and smiling, he was more likely to be helped, and more likely to get a little extra ice cream in the process. We all like a little more ice cream.

I politely called to the woman who could not ignore her two customers any longer. The little boy in a condescending tone  asked the server for ice cream. Of course he was rewarded with a bowl containing the absolute minimum amount of ice cream the server could defend as a serving if the need arose.

This kid is a little slow on the uptake I thought to myself. He missed the idea of using good manners gets you farther than not using good manners. The boy walked two steps away, turned to me, smiled, and said, “Thank you”. Go figure! I bet he gets it right next time.

There are always at least two levels of service when you are the public and need someone to help you. The first level of service is when it is the other person’s job to help you. You get the minimum they have to do for you and keep their job. People do not like to be taken for granted and unless tipped or paid excessively, people working with the public do not put up with bad behavior and poor manners. They will do their best to put you in your place, or make your experience less than it could be

The second level of service is the service you receive when you use your manners, and respect the person who’s job it is to help you. When this happens someone who’s job it is to help you, is now happy to help you, because the interaction is taken to a higher level.

I always strive for the second level of service, how about you?

Let’s Practice Healthy Public Restroom Behavior

Public Restroom - semi clean

Let’s keep our public toilets usable and open

I have been spun up about this subject for years now. It is one of those subjects the “Experts” say never to post. Seeing this is not a monetary blog, I am breaking the ‘rules’. I know if you are a normal male, it bugs you too.

In Public Restrooms, this is what some of us men and their male children do, thinking it is their right

Men and their children peeing on the toilet seats because they won’t lift the seats up.
Men and their children leaving their business in the bowl waiting for the next user

Men and their children who spray their waste around the toilet stall

Men and Boys who think plugging up toilets and flush flooding is funny

I am tired of Men and Boys, who like dogs, feel the need to territorially mark Public Restrooms with their bodily waste

I said it, its out in the open now. One of our darkest male secrets is something we would never do in our own home. A few of us Men have filthy habits. No thoughts of the privileges of a public bathroom because other Men and Boys are responsible restroom users, and do not make a mess.

Public Restrooms are not a right. Public Restrooms do not have cleaning crews waiting for us Men and Boys to trash their Restroom. Waiting in the back room waiting to rush in and clean up after us.

Public Restrooms are a courtesy of the business providing them. The business proving public restrooms can revoke the courtesy as they choose. It is easier than enforcing dress codes in their store. No explanation or reason needed.

For Men and Boys who make messes in public restrooms should  think about their actions. Your front porch, lawn, and rooms in your home are your personal territory. Mark them all you wish if you are the owner. Public Restrooms are not a space any rational male should want to claim as his. If you feel the urge to mark up a public restroom as your personal property, I suggest getting some help with your self esteem.

I do not want to go into a place of business and find the Public Restroom doors locked and a sign stating no public restrooms available. This is not generally a pleasant situation when it occurs. Let’s work on protecting this privilege some do not have.

Treat all public property as if it is your own property by taking care of it. It will help lower prices in the store. Have some respect for the people who have to clean up after you. Be courteous to them as they are to you, giving you a free relatively clean place to do your private business away from home.

Excuse Me, I’m Sorry

Excuse me, and I’m sorry have to be two of the most overworked phrases I hear when out and about around town. For example, I was walking towards a door yesterday and a Mother and her Teen Daughter where also approaching the door.

Of course the Mom, being a responsible Mom had taught her daughter manners. We arrived at the door an door almost together and the Teen Girl started to open the door and enter ahead of me. She remember her manners and stepped back saying, “I’m sorry”.

As I went to open the door the Teen stepped in front of it again as if to walk through. When the door opened she remembered her manners again and said, “Excuse me”. She then stepped back and we both allowed her Mother to go through the door first.

As we both meandered the aisles, I ran into the mom and daughter three more times. Three more times I heard the phrases, “I’m sorry, Excuse me”. After the third time, I thought that was a lot of sorry excuses jammed into ten or so minutes.

I know the young woman was trying to be polite, but it seems to me the words, Excuse me, and I’m Sorry are  a little more import an than words to be uttered in awkward social situations. Over use of these phrases to me is like the little boy who cried wolf. If your sorry and asking to be excused too many times in one day, when do those phrases carry any weight or meaning?

There seemed to be an excessive amount of I’m sorry, and excuse me’s this week as I found myself thinking about it as I brushed my teeth last night. Whatever happened to, Pardon me, after you, please go first, or some other kindly comment as it applies to the situation. Pardon me, is a lot more empowering and meaningful than excuse me.

Today I watched ‘Real Sports’, which is the only sports show I ever watch. They did a story about fan violence. A comment was made that 7,000 fans were removed form their seats and expelled from the stadium last year. Millions of fans attended the games however. All 350 NFL games, which works out to about 20 fans per game.

Twenty fans per game sounds like a real small number which it when the seating capacity of a stadium is tens of thousands of fans. What caught my ear was this was the number of fans asked to leave the stadium for bad behavior.

The segment on fan behavior added balance to my thinking about the over sorry, excused young woman. At her age, there is so much going on in her life as she is going through the transformation of child to adult. She has a lot of outside pressure on her, her Mom is probably not even aware of, let alone a complete stranger at a doorway, or being passed in the aisle.

After watching the clip on fan behavior and realizing how rude and inappropriate we have become as a society, I am happy the young woman is overly concerned with good manners even is she overuses the wrong phrases. One action producing an opposite reaction? Maybe.