You know how there are certain things that you would think are common, but really appear to be a dying breed? Common sense, for one, really not all that common, unfortunately. Knowing not to walk in front of a car, sadly also not common anymore. One of my neighbor’s kids decided it would be a fun game to stand in front of a car in the middle of the road. I mean, seriously? My parents would have kicked my butt if I had ever pulled a stunt like that. So I’ve compiled a list of common courtesies that may not be so common anymore, but that I feel, as a society, it can’t hurt us to get back to.
- Not going in to work sick. I feel like this is a no-brainer, but apparently it’s not. With how bad the flu has been this year, and how contagious it is, it’s seriously baffling to me that anyone would go in and put their coworkers, and subsequently their coworkers’ families at risk if they’re sick, but yet they do. So here’s a common courtesy: stay home if you’re sick. I get it, no one wants to use a sick day when they’re actually sick, but I can assure you, your boss and coworkers appreciate that over you coming in and infecting everyone that works there. You think you’re helping productivity? No, you’re hindering it, because others will need to call out or come in sick and not do anything, therefore, less work gets done. So please, please, don’t come to work sick. If you have the opportunity to work from home, do so, or just take a sick day and catch up on Netflix (I suggest Arrow, great show, lots of seasons).
- Opening the doors for others. I don’t care if you’re a man or woman, it’s just polite to hold the door for someone behind you or to grab it for someone who is your senior. Maybe I was just raised with old fashioned morals, but I still feel that way, and it absolutely baffles me when people let doors slam in other people’s faces. Especially if they’re a little older or trying to balance stuff in their arms. We aren’t octopuses, we can’t juggle everything and have an extra tentacle to grab the door.
- Shaking hands with new employees at work. Yeah, I’m shocked I have to write this too. But there was a coworker I had who decided that he would shake everyone’s hand but mine. Now, whether he was sexist or just thought I was below him, I’ll never know, but I do know that’s unacceptable. If someone new joins the team, you shake hands and introduce yourself. Same when you meet someone new literally anywhere. That’s how adulting works.
- Don’t be on your phone constantly while hanging out with someone. Again, do I really have to put this? Yes, yes I do. If someone has made time for you in their busy schedule, and yes, everyone has their own lives, you are not the only one that is busy, the least you can do is put your phone down for an hour or two and pay attention to that person. It drives me insane if I’m grabbing lunch with someone and they are having a whole other conversation on their phone. I get it, check it if you need to, but you don’t need to be watching cat videos the entire time, I wanted to catch up with you, not see the back of your phone.
- Don’t clap at movies. I hate to break this to you, but they can’t hear you. The actors are not actually on the screen, so you clapping at the end of a movie or during the middle, just annoys everyone who paid money for their tickets and wanted to watch the movie, not hear you clap every time the hot guy comes on the screen. We get it, he’s good looking, now hush.
- Get off your butt and clap after a live performance. On the flip side, make sure if you see a show live, theatre or any kind of performance, clap for the cast and crew. They worked hard to bring you that show, and the least you can do is clap for them spending hours entertaining you. That’s the beauty of live performance, you actually can clap there.
- Be polite to retail workers and restaurant servers. Yes, working there is part of their job, but that doesn’t mean they are your servant for the hour or two you are in there. They are still humans and deserve decency, and politeness. So smile, be polite, and don’t make their lives miserable just because you can.
- Let a person get in front of you while driving. I know, I know, some people do cut in front to skip the line, but there are people who truly do just get in the wrong lane and then need to hop over. So cut them some slack.
- If you see someone struggling with something, offer a helping hand. Whaaat? What is this madness? Yeah, I’m serious, if you see someone struggling, and it can be someone you know or a complete stranger, go offer to help them. If someone is juggling books and papers and drops something, go grab it real quick for them. Or grab a bag of theirs and help them carry things in (but I advise you do that more so for friends and neighbors, the other may get you pepper sprayed). Or grab something off the top shelf for someone who is struggling to reach it.
- Turn the volume down if someone is driving with you. Guess what, we know that when you keep cranking up the music, you don’t want to talk to us. And since we’re driving together, that’s a little rude. A bit of small talk goes a long way.
- If you say you’re going to attend something, actually show up. Of course, family emergencies, etc. do come up and that’s understandable, but if you have agreed to attend a party for someone or dinner with them, don’t cancel just because you no longer feel like it. This is especially true for weddings, if you say you’ll attend, show up. They’ve paid for your meal and your seat there that someone else could have had.
- Start things on time. On the flip side, if you’re hosting people over for an event or a party or a wedding, try to start it on time. Your guests have taken time and most likely spent money to attend, and keeping them waiting for hours is extremely rude. Of course, again, things do come up, and being a few minutes late is understandable, but always try to start things right on time.