Please use your manners, thank you

This is me in 1972 standing on the porch of our first house on W. 22nd Street in Lorain, Ohio.


Every year for Lent, I give up shopping which is one of my favorite activities.

Of course, I allow myself to shop for groceries but not for fun things like clothes and household decorations.

This year, I wasn’t able to keep my resolution for the entire 40 days. I slipped about three quarters of the way through and went to shop for new workout clothes.

Because I went to a discount store, like I usually do, I had an entire cart full of items. An entire cart full at a discount store costs around $100 while an entire cart at a high-end store can run several hundred dollars.

While I knew it was going to take me a long time to check out, I didn’t know it would take over 10 minutes. This was due to the fact the teenage boy who was waiting on me was checking his phone and texting while he was ringing me up. Obviously, what he was doing was not work-related, but he didn’t seem to mind.

On the other hand, I did. I was a little taken back by the situation.

It made me wonder why bad manners have become so acceptable in our society?

The worst is when you see two people playing with their phones while enjoying a meal together at a restaurant. When you are texting another person other than talking to the person you are with, aren’t you making that person feel invisible? I can understand if it’s a quick text to your babysitter, your child or your parent. But when you go back and forth with someone several times, that’s rude.

I’m not saying I have always have the greatest manners.

I’m just saying we should be more conscience of what we are doing and how we are treating other people.

On a “legitimate” shopping trip to the grocery store during Lent, I was surprised to see a sign on a cash register, clearly from management, reminding the cashier to: “Greet the customer, say please and thank you.”

Seriously? Do people have to be reminded to say “hi,” “please” and “thank you” to customers?

I thought that was common knowledge?

During my high school days when my step dad was part owner of a large Farm Market in the town I grew up in, I worked in every department in the store. I stocked the dairy coolers, worked in the meat department, garden center, made fruit baskets during Christmas and worked as a cashier. Whenever a customer had a complaint, I was reminded by my step dad – “The customer is always right.”

I’d hear someone yell at me in the deli and say, “I said I wanted my turkey shaved, not sliced thin,” and I would kindly bite my tongue, smile and get the order correct. Only once did I have a poor exchange with a customer — that was when I mistakenly told a man he had a cute grandson, only to find out it was his son.

When I was working the register and customers checked out in my line, I knew to greet them and thank them for shopping at the Farm Market. You want the customer to come back. You don’t want to be rude and have them leave with a bad feeling.

I had that bad feeling a few weeks ago when that cashier was preoccupied with their phone.

I’m not sure what the careless attitude can be blamed on — culture, parenting, lack of standards?

While I know I’m far from perfect, I do feel I have fairly good manners which my parents have instilled in me. From a young age, I was taught to say “yes mama,” “no mama,” “yes sir,” and “no sir.” While some people still say these things, it has become a little archaic. If you speak this way to someone, they sometimes look at you funny, like you just said a bad word.

Try it. You’ll see what I mean.

I’m not looking for perfection, I’m just hoping people will try a little harder.

It just makes the world a better place.

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