Today’s blog is about respect and common courtesy. In the words of Vince Lombardi, “What the hell is going on out there?” Is it just me or does it seem like simple, basic rules of etiquette are relics of the past? Yesterday, I was treated in the most disrespectful, condescending manner of my life, and while I somehow managed to maintain my composure and not blow up in response, I was so angry after we hung up the phone that it took me a good ten minutes to compose myself enough to enter the classroom. I was so angry I was literally crying, that kind of angry.
It’s one thing to have a difference of opinion or to have to tell someone something disappointing. Hell, I have to do it every semester in school with failing students, but there is no excuse for being condescending and pompous in the process. There’s no reason for arrogance and dismissiveness. Tone of voice and word choice are important, and in professional arenas, it’s not unreasonable to expect a person to behave as a professional. Part of professionalism is showing respect to customers and clients, no matter the circumstances. Respect doesn’t mean ass-kissing. It means showing consideration for and recognizing the other person’s rights as an individual.
I wrote the other day about Coach Brumley Greene humiliating me during a scrimmage, but I can also tell you that off the field that man has always treated me with utmost respect. There’s a clear difference between a coach trying to motivate a player and a customer service provider showing contempt for a customer. Have we just lost this concept in our society? Am I a dinosaur who needs to adapt to the new norms of our culture? I don’t know anymore, but what I do know is that what happened to me yesterday is not an isolated incident, and I’m not the only one who has noticed an erosion of etiquette in our society.
Please, share your own experiences or opinions on this subject. I’m curious to know what you think.