Etiquette and decency pushed aside…again

Mike Davies, Editor-in-chief  Ω

I sometimes wonder if etiquette and decency are still around.

If they are, they should definitely be on the endangered species list — if one exsits for behaviour.

I was at a local grocery store a while ago and there was a gentleman in between the two sets of doors, staring bewilderingly at the map of Kamloops while I was on my way out.

“What ya lookin’ for, friend,” I asked.

He seemed genuinely surprised that a stranger would even ask him if he needed help, looked at me with amazement on his face and replied, “I don’t know — like an Olive Garden or something? Somewhere we can get some pasta.”

“No Olive Garden. Boston’s Pizza, though.”

“Good enough,” he said, and I went on to direct him to the restaurant.

It only took a minute out of my day, but maybe saved him an hour — maybe more depending on how long he would have kept staring at the useless map in the entryway of the grocery store.

It was his surprised manner and genuine gratitude that caught me off guard.
So I got to thinking — is being a decent human so rare these days that people are actually surprised when they come across it?

Apparently so, because I was at an office supply store the other day — about a week after I’d begun thinking about this — and I was awaiting its opening at 10 a.m.

A few people had lined up behind me to do the same, and we were looking at each other like “any minute now.”

I’d just gotten off a bus, and was hoping to run in and pick up my print order and get back on the bus when it returned on its way back towards downtown, so I only had a couple minutes to spare. The wait would be an hour if I missed it.

I assume you know where this is going, so I won’t launch into my diatribe about how a woman pushed by me as the doors opened and went up to the print shop counter demanding whiteout and looking through her purse for her credit card to load up her self-serve copy card while I continued to wait to be handed my pre-paid order.

She couldn’t have known I was in a hurry to get back to my bus, obviously, but she certainly knew I was waiting at the front door of the store before she climbed out of her Mercedes in the parking lot.

Some people’s time is more valuable than other’s I guess.

Maybe I should reconsider how valuable my time is, but I think I’d rather be decent.


  1. Love of Eating Sep. 27, 2011