I have an attitude problem. This isn’t a secret. And no, it’s not my mother’s fault either. She did the best she could, but sometimes kids just pop out sassy and there’s nothing you can do. (Sorry Tina, love you)
I’ve tried to control it, really I have. I go in to work or walk around campus with a mindset of positivity. Or a new school year starts and I think, “I’m going to be super nice to everyone this year!”
But then something happens. Not even something big. Maybe it’s something someone says, or maybe a customer has piss-poor manners, and then all my efforts to suck less fly out the window, and the RBF returns.
However, despite my impermeable sass and inability to keep my opinions to myself, I still fall in to the category of “passably decent.” And you can too!
Since my mother is amazing, even though she could not tame my attitude, she did teach me basic human decency.
Looking around, it seems we could all use a few reminders.
3 EASY STEPS TO BEING AN OKAY HUMAN
- Your P’s and Q’s. This is basic. You ask for something, you say please. You receive something, you say thank you. This means your Starbucks (can I have a pumpkin spice latte, PLEASE?). This means after someone asks if you want fries with that (yes PLEASE). This means when you receive your paper back from a teacher, even if you failed, cause that’s a you-problem (THANK YOU). The fact that I even need to say this one is repugnant, hence why it’s first.
- Simple etiquette. Unless you were forced into Cotillion like me (or maybe you went on purpose, I don’t know your life), you may not be primed on the utmost important rules of polite society. Plus, what you do behind closed doors or with your friends is all you. But out in public, there’s a way to act, and it takes very little of your time or energy. Seriously.
- Chew with your mouth closed. If I wanted to see what you were eating all mashed up, I’d stick my finger down your throat.
- Ostentatious burping. My brother, Joseph, and I have a thing we do where if one of us burps, we’ll yell out a number, 1-10, on the quality of said burp. But this is something we do at home, and with each other. NOT WHEN YOU’RE OUT IN THE WORLD AND PEOPLE CAN HEAR YOU. IT’S JUST BASIC MANNERS. A customer actually burped so atrociously the other day as I was walking by him, I couldn’t help but look at him and murmur, “well that was charming…” Whoops.
- Opening/holding doors. No, not just for women. For people with their hands full. For people who are walking in right behind you. For people who are with a large group. It’s just nice. And unless you don’t have arms, it’s really not that much of a burden on you, so just do it.
- Treating people like human beings. This is so important, and it’s hardly done anymore. I’m going to say something, and it’s going to be news to some of you: you are not any better than someone because you make more money than them. Everyone gets basic human respect, period. Your cashier. Your janitor. Your neighbor. Your barista. Just because someone is below you POSITIONALLY does not mean they are below you IN GENERAL.
Hope this helps. And remember, if this sounds like too much to ask, you might just be a bigger _____ than I am.
(PS Also don’t be the jerk who comes in to a restaurant 10 minutes before closing because we have already cleaned up, and we do hate you. But that is more personal than general.)