Tuesday, July 6, 2010 Another Word on Manners

I hope the holiday weekend brought everyone some joy, good times, good friends, good food and good manners.

You know how it is - when you have to put up with that certain family member, your friends spouse who you can't stand or a perfect stranger with no sense of personal space.

One day this weekend my husband and I found ourselves boating on Candlewood Lake. We've been out a few times with our friends on their boat. This time I noticed something new - as we passed other boats they'd wave (most of them) and my hosts would wave back. My husband quickly picked up on it, but I was still unsure.

Come on, this is Connecticut. We don't say hello to strangers. When walking on land we're sure to avoid eye contact at all costs - unless the person is walking a dog, then we give a smile and goofy "hello" to the furry four-legged stranger - as if the owner isn't even there. So why is it different on a boat?

I imagine, for a moment, that these people have money (at least enough to own a boat) and with that money must come manners. I quickly snap back to reality and remember that money and manners don't always go hand-in-hand.

I have worked in a few of the "richer" towns in lower Fairfield County. Darien, best known for its stepford wives and runaway rapists, has a very polite population. At least they did 10 years ago when I last served them. My theory is the old money comes with old school ways - manners are handed down generation to generation.

My time working in Greenwich was marred by total, complete assholes. "New Money" someone told me, "they're living paycheck to paycheck just like the rest of us." Their paychecks just tend to be bigger. Apparently the stress of living like this (it must be just awful having the mansions and the cars and the bling) causes them to treat everyone else in the world like dirt. Or less than dirt - like gum on the bottom of a designer shoe. I'd reference a certain brand but I have zero interest in designer shoes.

Now, working in Stamford... I don't know how to describe it. My hometown has grown tremendously over the past few decades. Corporate headquarters, major banks, constant construction, commuters - people have packed themselves in like sardines. Traffic sucks, going to the supermarket sucks, going to the beach sucks. It just sucks. But most of all THE PEOPLE SUCK.

I won't get into my time at the restaurant working as a server - I just would rather not remember it. I will also forgo stories about the bakery or the ice cream place. However, I must share with you this little ditty.

My husband works at a post office in the richer section of town. Every day he comes home with another horror story of how clueless and rude his customers are. They have taken his morning paper to stuff in their shipment (and you can bet he made them open the package, uncrumple the pages and give it back), he's been accused of stealing a credit card (the woman later apologized when she realized her maid had the card) and he's been nickle and dimed to the point when he's paid the cost of the stamp just to get them out of his face!

My husband don't take shit from no one.

I went to visit him at work once. I parked in the back and went to the entrance. They share the back door with a Subway - and as I was walking in I saw a woman coming out. I, of course, opened the door for her and she walked through and past me without any acknowledgement. So I loudly said, "YOU'RE WELCOME!"


Now, this is another one of those moments when I wish I'd done something more. Like yelled, swore, called her names and punched her in the fucking face.

"I'm not your fucking servant, lady! I'm a fellow human being. You're not any better than me. In fact, you're less than me, because I have manners enough to acknowledge the presence of someone else and to make their day that much better by opening the door for them in a gesture of kindness, community and camaraderie. We're all in this life together, bitch! Now say "thank you" before I kick you in the connie!"

What the fuck is wrong with people?

And this is not an isolated incident. This happens all the time - and it's about time that those of us with manners stood up for what was right and demanded respect.

Many moons ago at the train station in Fairfield (another town rich in money but apparently not manners) I witnessed three "grown women" belittle the guy selling tickets. They apparently didn't understand the train schedule (the exact times and dates printed in red ink apparently didn't register in their pea brains) and when the ticket seller informed them he didn't have time to explain it to them because he had a line of people needing to buy tickets for the train that was coming (during the Christmas rush with the times and dates clearly printed in red ink so a moron could understand) they got all snotty with him - like his job wasn't important, the other people in line weren't important and aren't we all far below them in status, us train takers.


I still wish I'd said something to them bitches - a fact that has propelled me to open my mouth on numerous occasions since then. But not enough. I need to do more.

So watch out you rude bastards. The Headbanging Hostess is out for blood - a pound of your rude flesh. Because if you think you're better than me you're wrong and I'll be more than happy to prove it.

Bang on, my peeps! And teach them fuckers a lesson!



Anonymous said...

LOL...Yeah, I remember when Ted visited here in Cleveland and then while he was living here, he would frequently comment on how friendly and polite people were and how different people were back home in CT from Cleveland folk. I remember him being amazed that people would hold a door for you or help you with your bags, help you find things in a store(even if they didn't work there), strike up a conversation with you while you waited in line...among many other things. I guess I am so used to it, I just thought that was normal everywhere. Until I had to be in Buffalo, NY on several occasions and when I had to be in Miami, FL briefly between flights to Coco Cay. Yeah, I guess I am pretty lucky here. Perhaps you would like to move here, too??? ;)

~Lisa :)

Headbanging Hostess said...

Yeah, it's a different world here in Fairfield County. Even if you just go upstate people are much nicer. Not sure what the cause is but it's really getting old...

We've wanted to move forever...one day. I'll put Cleveland on our list of possibilities.

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