When I was a child I heard a litany of instructions on manners:
- Stand up when an adult enters the room.
- Take off your hat indoors.
- Keep your elbows off the table.
- Chew with your mouth closed.
- Say “please” and “thank you.”
Sadly, a great many of these are disappearing, or have vanished completely. Thanks, boomers. You were so determined to rewrite the rules, you threw away everything, including things of great importance.
Proper manners are one such thing, they are the grease in the cogs of polite society. Getting rid of them would be for the good, thought the hippie douchebags.
- “They’re not important.”
- “They don’t mean anything.”
- “They won’t be missed.”
When I was in high school/university I recall reading about courses in manners for boomer slobs who wanted to get promoted. It turned out that good manners were not a nicety, they were necessary to get into the highest levels of business and society.
The wealthy never rejected manners, and they expect you have them if you want to be in their groups.
It’s not just at the top, though.
I was at Home Depot a couple of weeks ago and there a guy at the customer service desk said, “It’s bullshit.” He wasn’t angry, or abusing the clerk, he was simply using the language our debased culture taught him was acceptable, yet everyone within earshot cringed. They didn’t like hearing foul language in public.
When my company royally screwed me over I dropped a couple F-bombs, in a private conversation with my boss. In my annual review that year, he referred back to that to lower one of my KPI scores.