I’d like to think of myself as a polite person. That may not come out in this blog on a regular basis, but despite my constant whining, complaining and tendency to nitpick things to the point of drawing blood – my parents raised me to be a kind, compassionate soul. I have a genuine concern for not offending people and for all people to be treated fairly and without partiality.
Do you need an example of my courteousness that often goes unrewarded and unnoticed?
Aggressive Motor Courtesy (ACM).
I tend to drive pretty aggressively, but also pretty courteously. I let people merge where they should, stop them from merging when they shouldn’t and generally avoid merges if at all possible. Instead of driving in a pack of 13 idiot drivers all going to the speed limit, I’ll speed up and clear the pack to drive alone a few MPH faster than I should. All in the name of being courteous to those stupid morons driving around me.
So what spikes this punch? Why am I going on and on about courtesy? I have had two simple incidents in the last week that have sparked an ember of questioning in my brain, and I am posing them to you, the loyal reader, for your input.
COURTESY EXAMPLE A – Holding a Door
I’m a big fan of holding a door open for someone – male or female. It gives me a sense of pride that I go out of my way to keep the door open for a random person. Of course, there’s always a quick mathematical computation needed to run in my head to determine if the door needs to be held or not, but I’ve not needed to use pen and paper for quite a while now to calculate the possibility. The equation in question is quite simple:
(Number of packages being held)(Distance from door)-(Speed of Person Walking) = Door Holding Quotient
Normally, I round up to give the person the very best chance for holdation. This is almost always greeted with a warm thank you and a quick sideways smile. Warms the darn cockles.
But here’s the problem – and this is where your opinions are needed. Should the person being let IN the door by me then let me go first in line? I always say yes and never once has it happened. The other morning I was at Dunkin’ Donuts at about 6:15am (don’t judge) and noticed a successful equation walking towards me. I dutifully held the door for her, she said thank you, and she then proceeded to walk into the empty shop and order in front of me. Don’t you think there should be something in the door holding rule book that as you are let in, you turn and say, “please go first”….? Again, I’ve never had this actually happen, but I’d be overjoyed if it did.
COURTESY EXAMPLE B – Office Bathing
Of course those are two words that should never go together. I am proud to say that one of the key life lessons my parents taught me is that you should bathe BEFORE you get to the office. While you think that makes obvious sense, imagine my surprise the other morning when I walked into the office bathroom and saw this:
Well, it looked ALMOST like this – except the guy was about 40 years older, much hairier and much uglier. He had his shirt off and it was hanging on the open handicapped toilet stall, and he was spraying his armpits like Orkin sprays for mosquitos. The funny thing was – he was definitely NOT well-toned and had nothing to be showing off in such a matter. He was completely ordinary in every way except that he obviously had not a single morsel of self-respect or humility – both qualities of which he should consider partaking of in a liberal manner.
So the next time my wife complains about my aggressive driving, just think of what she COULD have.