Say 'Please' And 'Thank You', You Ungrateful Monsters

No matter your mood, no matter the place, no matter who you're speaking to, you should always be saying these words.

Just say it.

It happens everywhere I go. I'll be standing in line at the grocery store, rolling though the drive-through at a fast food joint, or squeezing in at the bar, and someone will bark out their demands; receive service; then walk away, tight-lipped, acting as if they had just been greatly inconvenienced. No "please" when they ask for something. No "thank you" when they get it. I'm sick of it.

I was raised to always say "please" and "thank you", and I'm sure most people got that lesson at some point in their life -- either from their parents, or a crappy picture book, or Play School. But for whatever reason, people forget it when they get older. Somehow their training in the most basic of human pleasantries fails them and they begin to act like rude, entitled scum.

Sure, sometimes you get rushed or distracted and you don't have the time or mental capacity to utter out those words, but most of the time you do. You know you do. It takes, at most, about two seconds to say both "please" and "thank you", and it literally costs you nothing. All you need is the air to expel those simple niceties from your mouth, so just say it! Always.

And by always, I mean EVERY SINGLE TIME anything involves another person helping you out.

  • It doesn't matter if you're having the, like, worst day ever.
  • It doesn't matter if what they're doing is the job they get paid to do.
  • It doesn't matter if what they're doing is easy.
  • It doesn't matter if they are being rude while they help you.

People don't need to deserve you having manners. You should just have them. You're not above being kind because you've opened your wallet. You're not above treating people with respect because things aren't going your way. You're not above anybody.

People like you more when you're nice just because, and they respect it too, but there are also much bigger things at play here. Being a kind and courteous person can turn somebody's entire day around. And that can lead to even more kindness and positive experiences down the line for someone else. It spreads like the only virus you want to catch. Saying "please" and "thank you" is really all about empathy when you break it all down. Those simple words are the most basic form of expressing that important and powerful notion.

So please, I'm begging you, say these words as much as you can. There's nothing cool, or tough, or special about not saying them. Show some empathy, be kind just because, and try to break the chain of people being crappy to each other. It doesn't cost you anything, and it might make a bigger difference than you realise. Thank you.


Comments

    It happens everywhere I go.

    I wonder then, if it's an American thing?

    Everyone I know here in Australia, all the people I see order, or buy in shops, are polite.

    When travelling around the US, I got fantastic service and friendly chats from serving staff everywhere I went, just because, polite and egalitarian Aussie that I am, I said "please" and "thank you" and made eye contact with them.
    It seems that too many of the the locals had the idea that leaving a tip meant that they didn't have to treat their servers as people.

    Yeah, good manners should be one of the keystones of a decent civilisation. Unfortunately, most kids born in the last 10-20 years, weren't taught them and we are losing any form of polite interactions without them.

      I know plenty of people born in the last 10-20 years who have perfect manners. Most people i know from my era (90s) are the same. Most kids are taught manners. Its just the small minority of louder ones who arent.

        Maybe saying "most" is a bit strong but in my experience, I've come across a lot of kids in particular, that are completely lacking in the social graces. Let's split the difference though because as I mentioned in my comment, manners should be considered a cornerstone of a civilised society and schools should be paying more attention to kids with bad habits early on. Keep in mind, I'm comparing my experience with my era, way back in the late 50's early 60's to now.

        Unwilling to wait for this comment to be processed through moderation hell, so resubmitting separately.

        Last edited 12/06/17 8:30 am

        Maybe saying "most" is a bit strong but in my experience, I've come across a lot of kids in particular, that are completely lacking in the social graces. Let's split the difference though because as I mentioned in my comment, manners should be considered a cornerstone of a civilised society and schools should be paying more attention to kids with bad habits early on. Keep in mind, I'm comparing my experience with my era, way back in the late 50's early 60's to now.

    I agree about good manners, and my mantra as a parent and a teacher has been "NEVER be rude". However, many cultures regard transactions as business, and niceties are not relevant.
    For example, they will say to the greengrocer - "Give me one kilo of tomatoes". It's business, and that is the focus. They do not see it as necessary. Our Anglo culture is different and always expects the please and thankyou. But it doesn't follow that the cultures that do not, are being rude. Once it is explained to them, they get it, and will usually adapt.

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