Thursday, May 29, 2008

Why... Thank You!

Do you have rude drivers where you live? How about rude pedestrians? We've got 'em both and I'm guessing you do too.

I'm not talking about the jerk face that cuts in front of you at 65mph with no turn signal on, nor am I talking about the butt-for-brains that feels it's perfectly alright to saunter across the intersection when the light is in your favor.

No, today's snivel session is dedicated to arrogant humans everywhere that have forgotten a simple wave or a nod of the head can be an appropriate response to an act of kindness.

Pet peeve #1: Holding the door

I was taught that holding the door open for someone was, and still is, the right thing to do. Man or woman, boy or girl, young or old, it doesn't matter; everyone deserves the same courtesy. Apparently, there are those out there who feel it's their right to just blow through the door without so much as a hint of appreciation in their demeanor.

I certainly don't expect any big to-do, but even a simple grunt in my direction would be ok.

Pet peeve #2: Letting a driver merge in

This one really chaps my ass. You very likely have experienced this scenario. There you sit in a long line of cars waiting for the light to turn green, (hopefully you're not at a stop sign when this happens), when you notice a poor unfortunate sole trying to join the fray by turning right. Being the kind, considerate individual that you are, you motion to him or her and leave enough room for them to squeeze in. They inch forward and take the opening you've relinquished to them and then it happens...or should I say, then it doesn't happen. You get no hand wave, no glance from their rear view mirror,!

What the hell?

Is it any wonder why people continue to be more and more rude? After a while I think a fair amount of people get fed-up with this lack of response to their kindness and become less and less likely to offer up these simple little gestures of goodwill.

I for one am not going to buy into this pattern though. I will continue holding the door open for people even when they hurry past me while talking on their cell phone, totally oblivious to the rest of the world. I will also continue to let people into traffic even though the guy behind me will flail his arms wildly at the annoyance of having to wait an extra five seconds and even though the person merging in could seem to care less that someone gives a rip about them.

Why the soapbox moment about things that seem so trivial you ask? Are these two activities a big deal in the overall experience of life? Maybe they don't appear to be on the surface, but perhaps they somehow contribute to the underlying mood of people around us. Just little ways to either make somebodies day better or worse.

So the next time someone holds the door open for you, please say a simple "thanks", or the next time someone lets you into the flow of traffic, give them a little wave (with all your fingers up!).

If we fail to repay kindness with more kindness, then the next time around, we may not be so fortunate.


Dana said...

I am a door holder and a "Thank you" person when someone beats me there. I also have a 12-year old son who does the same. You hit two of my big pet-peeves with this one Jeff!

BTW, it's good to see you back!

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

These things get my goat too. Yep, you nailed them. I'll think a bit an bet I can add some more. Have a great day and thank you for posting this. :)

Jo said...

Ohhh you don't even want me to go there and get started. Mine is not even close to what you could call a pet peeve.... It would be more like an uncaged wildcat. I am sick to death of those butt wipes. Even if I am having a good day to begin with, one encounter with one of these inconsiderate boobs will definately start that last nerve of mine twitching.

You did good with this post. I would have to label it "Blog of the Day". Have a good one.

Desert Songbird said...

One of my pet peeves is a lack of manners. Whenever someone saunters through a door that is being held open by one of my children, I always say, "Why, thank you, sweetheart! Even if others don't appreciate your manners, I do!" The person who walked through without so much as a sideways glance at my child will inevitably get embarrassed and mutter a guilty, "Thank you" to my kid.

Leighann said...

These are two of my pet peeves as well! People have become very inconsiderate these days.

If I hold the door for someone and they don't respond I'll say "You're Welcome" loud enough so that anyone around will look in my direction. :)

And, I guess we could all be more like my husband, when someone makes him angry while driving he'll follow them until he can get right up next to them so he's SURE they see him flip them off!

Jeff B said...

Dana- Thank you for bringing up your son the right way! Good manners start at the home.

Sandee- I have a few more peeves along these lines too, but these two are my hot buttons right now.

Jo- "Inconsiderate boobs" I like it. Sometimes it's just the simple things that can get to us.

Songbird- I say something very similar to that too. Tends to be met with the same reaction.

I like the new avatar. Toes in the sand is always a good day!

Leighann- Remind me not to piss off your hubby!

I ususally get an "Oh...thank you." when I do what you do. It does kind of drive the point home with them.

Kimmie said...

Thank You Jeff!
RAOK...(Random Acts Of Kindness)!

I think this world is going mad...honestly, or they are on some type of "Nasty" Pills. I brought both of children up to be kind and courteous to people. My son is raising my 8 year old grandson the same way. He is a little sweetheart, always wanting to help.

What I like to do to really piss someone off who I have pissed off by letting a car or two in, is let about two or three more in. Hey, I'm not gonna be in a hurry if the person behind me is going to be an A-Hole by holding his horn down or doing the hand gesture crap. I am a "Type B"...can you tell? LOL!!!

I believe in always trying to help others, just like you and all your responses...what is wrong with taking a moment to show some really does matter, just like the saying says.

Loved this post! Thanks Jeff...

CrazyCath said...

I am soooo with you on this one! Both of them But especially the door holding. It really REALLY annoys me when, not only is there no acknowledgment of my act of kindness (often clearly putting myself out as I stand holding shopping and child's hand) but then several people just follow through the open door as if it is my job to stand and hold it all day! I must confess on one or two occasions to letting the door just go...

katherine. said...

yes..I always say thank you to the person holding my door...and try and hold them for the person coming in behind me.

The driver thing...
well..MOST of the time I let other drivers in. And I always do the multiple finger wave when someone lets me merge.

However...sometimes..I confess...tourist driving makes me crazy. And I tend to honk at them when they stop in the middle of the road looking around. And I have been known to throw up my hands so the car in front of me can see me in the rearview when they do something really stupid.

I am going to have flyers made up which say. "GO HOME...come back when you learn how to drive"

Travis said...

I hold the door, and I say thank you to anyone who holds it open for me.

But one of my pet peeves is the yielding of right of way in a line of moving traffic. It often ends up making the traffic problem worse. I will acknowledge someone who yields to me, but I really would prefer they would move so the line of traffic can clear.

Jeff B said...

Kimmie- When you let more than one person in line you can see the mushroom cloud billowing from the explosion in the car behind.

Crazycath- Yep, I admit it, I've done that too. Enough is enough all ready!

Katherine- I didn't think about the tourist factor. I'll bet that's annoying.

We don't get a lot of that here. It's not like people drive around and stop to admire the rain to the left or the other rain to the right.

Have I mentioned that it's raining again (still) here!

Anonymous said...

Agree with you wholeheartedly on both the door and the driving thing, but I do find the drivers here in Oregon are a vast improvement over the ass-holes in the Bay Area in California. I've only been flipped off once since I moved here and . . . must confess, I deserved it. Another pet peeve of mine is when I am in a restaurant and I thank the server for whatever he or she has done and get the response, "No problem." I want to scream at them, "I don't expect that doing your job is a problem, that's what you get paid for, you idiot!" There, thanks, that made me feel better all under.


Jeff B said...

Travis- I know what you mean. Sometimes if people don't get a move on it can cause a bigger back up than it helps.

You reminded me of another peeve. When I'm waiting to turn left and a car pulles right in front of me (cross traffic) so I can't turn while they are waiting for the light to change. Sheesh.

Jeff B said...

Mom- Good old Santa Rosa. Where a red light meant three more people could go through. They definitely had some of the worst drivers.

Who flipped you off? I'll hunt them down like the dirty dogs that they are. Deserved or not, no one flips off my mom!

Ron said...


I totally and absolutely agree with you 100%!!!!

And I'm glad (however, not REALLY glad) to hear that this kind of behavior is in your area too. I was beginning to think that it was just a "city thing."

It chaps my ass too!

Big time!

And what really annoys me is the "not noticing" each other. Everyone looks as though their walking around like zombies with either a cell phone or an iPod stuck in their ears.

"Are these two activities a big deal in the overall experience of life?"

I think so...because they CONTRIBUTE to the overall experience of life!

OK...I'm finished bitching.

(ok...deep cleansing breath, Ron...let it go)

GREAT post, Jeff!

Rhea said...

Jeff, these bad manners exhibited by so many bother me too. I always hold doors open for people and wave at cars who let me in. (I also tell them thank you out loud, even though they can't hear me. Weird, I know)

Another big pet peeve is people who don't let you know they've received a gift or service from you with a thank you note. It doesn't have to be much...a call, an email, a letter. Something to let you know the time and energy you put into doing something for them was appreciated it.

Great post, Jeff and so good to hear from you again!

Jay said...

These two things drive me crazy too! I don't know why people can't even be half-way decent and say "thank you" at least give that appreciative head nod!

Is it just asking too much of people?

Roger said...

Driving would be awesome if it wasn't for other drivers. Thats right I am the only one that should be allowed to drive!

Jeff B said...

Ron- For a guy with a site by the name of "Vent" I think you did quite well to contain yourself here. But with that said, please feel free to let it all hang out.

You're right about the zombie look alike. I use a ear piece for my cell phone, but when I'm in a public place (store, restaurant...) I 99.9% of the time remember to take it out. Something about talking to a person with a cyborg implant sticking out of their head that is a bit un-natural.

Rhea- "When you care to send absolutely nothing." Could be the tag line for your pet peeve.

Jay- Heck, they could say, "Up yours!" to me. At least I'd know they noticed. I wish I knew wich ones were going to be so unapreciative before hand. At least then I could gear up for them.

Roger- Isn't it funny how we are convinced that we are the only perfect driver. Of course when I say "We" I mean "Me" !!!

Akelamalu said...

I am so with you on this Jeff. I have experienced all the things you mention. I work in a school and the thing that upsets me most is that the a lot of the kids don't have any manners, they barge past you through doors and just let them swing back into your face! Like you though I will still practice the manner my Mother & Father taught me.

Mel said...

<--lives with the overly polite Brit who thanks the cashier for taking his money

I still think that's a hoot!

I was raised well with a two by four.
I had no problem wielding that same two by four with the two kiddos in my life.

Please, thank you, I appreciate your kindness.....

buffalodickdy said...

I have held doors open so long I felt I was the doorman- for all the people that streamed through...
Letting someone merge, or leaving an intersection not blocked is just good driving sense... When I'm going to let someone in, I point right at them and hand motion the merge- they always understand, and wave back..

The Middle Child said...

A young boy of about 10 held the door open for me the other day at the laundromat as I was struggling with my basket. Not only did I thank him but I told him mother what a little gentleman she was raising.

As far as letting cars in... I always give a wave of thanks, and I let people into traffic when I can. You are right though, people are becoming so rude.

the teach said...

Jeff, yeah, it's real important to pay kindnesses forward! These little trivial things can make you pissed off for the rest of the day! :D

Bond said...

Did I write this?

I have a rule that, if I am going through a door and I see someone coming and if I do not wait the door will close with them within 5 feet, I stay and hold the door and also tell them no rush...

man or woman, it does not matter.

As far as the merging peeves me when someone comes up all the way on the left and tries to cut in at the last moment...these people I will NOT let them in...

I waited in the did all the other people, you should have to wait also.

I always say thank you verbally or with the hand wave when someone is courteous to me...I expect the same

Real Live Lesbian said...

I'm right there with ya, Jeff!

What's the big deal about a little thank you wave? Just throw it up!

I'm the girl waving at the asshats that honk while I'm letting someone in. :)

Jeff B said...

Akelamalu- Makes me want to flick their little ears as they walk past!

Mel- I like your no nonsense approach to child raising.

Buffalo- Consider yourself lucky. I've done the wave them in motions too, but have had the cold shoulder treatment anyway. That's the ones that get to me.

Middle Child- That's nice that you took the time to mention it to his mom. That will instill his willingness to do it again.

Teach- I'm a firm believer in "pay it forward".

Bond- Sounds like were on paralell lines. Those jokers tring to zip in to get that one more car ahead really irk me too.

Real LL- Waving back at them is so much more affective than flipping them off. It just highlights what butt-heads they are.

Odat said...

We only have polite drivers and everyone holds the door open and says thank you in NYC!!!!!!!!!!
OMG This is my same pet peeve. When I worked in the city NOT ONE person held doors open anymore. so much so they would go in ahead of you and let the door slam right in your face. WTF? I always held the door open for someone behind me. I love being sweet to those who are rude. The problem is they don't know their being rude. They weren't taught this. What they know is that the world owes them. Such a shame isn't it. ok..enuf from me...I'll come back some other day about the traffic stuff.

Marilyn said...

Every time a man goes out of his way to hold the door open for me, it makes my day. When a woman holds the door open I am apreciative also, but I feel especially warm and fuzzy when a man does it in a gallant way... possibly because it happens so seldom.

CrystalChick said...

I try to hold the door for someone even if I have to do it with my elbow because of full hands. Most times I get a nod or thank you but of course there will always be people who don't appreciate anything. We try to teach our son to do this too. He can be a bit shy, but is usually very kind.
I try to let cars in, altho in some areas of NJ you sometimes have to be aggessive or you'll never get anywhere. LOL
And I'm a 'bless you' person if someone sneezes. Even if they can't hear me say it.

Hope you and your family have a nice weekend. :)

Sandi McBride said...

Uh huh, it's just payback for making rude comments about British Cooking...yes, I did it, I said British and Cooking in the same sentence, in fact in the same breath, so "blahhhhhhh" lol....great post, and I agree with you, but I had to stop waving with one finger cause my G'Daughter picked up on it...what's a girl to do? Grin and bear it? I suppose...till something better happens along!

Anndi said...

I'm always mindful of my manners... I have a 10 year old watching.

Jeff B said...

Odat- That's right, you live in the land of "peace on earth and goodwill towards men." And you're welcome to pull your soapbox next to mine anytime.

Marilyn- Let's hope that shivelry doesn't completely dye away.

Crystalchick- Thanks for teaching your son this simple but important gesture.

Sandi- Arrrgh, you did it again! Yeah, that one finger wave can be a bad thing when impressionable eyes are watching.

Anndi- Missed you darling! As I commented to Sandi, watchfull eyes don't miss a thing.

jennifer said...

Yea!! I've done something right! I say Thank You for door holding... a big friendly southern thank you as a matter of fact. The kind of thank you's that make folks want to hold the door for me on my way back out.

OK, too much, but I do say thank you.

And I am a top notch waver. I even add a smile!!

I am polite to the point of groveling.


nitebyrd said...

Don't even get me started on the rude, clueless drivers in Florida! And the sullen, nasty store clerks, the apathetic waitpeople, the obnoxious customer "service" staff ... I could write a book. Yes, these are things that just irk me to no end.

Common courtesy is free. More people should get some.