Culture or Bad Manners?

Some of my female readers will understand what I’m about to discuss today. Let me preface my story by saying that good manners are very important to me. In my work with children, along with teaching the alphabet and colours, I make it a point to teach them manners. Please, thank you, no thank you, and calling me by my proper title are all a part of their education. Good manners are a requirement, in my opinion, in a civilised society. Some may say that I’m overly polite, because I say ‘hello, goodbye and thank you’ to my bus driver. Call me crazy, but if this person is doing their job well, taking me to and fro safely, then a little common courtesy is no skin off my nose.

A little manners goes a long way....

A little manners goes a long way….

Now, I don’t like to perpetuate stereotypes, tho I do laugh at some of them. However, I am aware of the fact that there are definite cultural differences that do add some truth to various stereotypes.

This brings me to my story. I went this morning to get my nails done. The man and women who work there are from wherever most nail salon folks hail from. I got there early so I had to wait a bit for my nail guy to arrive. One of the ladies had me sit at his work station, which is where I was when my nail guy got there. He came in talking on the phone and walked past me, towards the back room to put some bags away. No problem with that; people need time to settle before they work.

Here’s where things fell apart: he came from the back room, still on the phone and sat down. He continued his conversation (on speaker, so I could hear it too, tho I couldn’t understand), while he looked for his tools to start working on my nails. He didn’t acknowledge me in any way, no “hi” or “good morning”, not even eye contact. After about 5 minutes of talking and prepping, he said, “Give me a minute”. That was it.

Someone else would have been outraged and said something. Being overly polite as I am, I don’t like to make a scene, so I just said, “Ok”. Yeh. So my question is: is this a cultural thing where he’s from, not making eye contact, or excusing yourself while on the phone, to the customer who’s waiting for you? Did I take it too personally? Or is he just ill-mannered?? Yes, I realize this is more than one question, so sorry, please excuse me!

It was a similar thing, a few days ago, when I went to the lab to have a test done. In between explaining to me what to do, the lab technician was texting, yes TEXTING. I was there seeking help for a serious health issue, and this chick was probably chatting about where she went for dinner last night, or what happened on Breaking Bad in the season finale.

Ok. So maybe it’s not a cultural thing, cuz the lab lady was of a different nationality than the nail guy. Not that cultural habits are excusable if they result in you treating people in a less than pleasant way. I dunno. Call me selfish, but I just like to have all of your attention if you’re providing a service that I’m paying for. Silly me. SMH.


About Bella

I've reached my 40's with a few battle scars, but I'm still in one piece so I guess that's something to be thankful for. Married for a long time...well, what passes for long compared to many of my other friends. Almost 20 years. 3 kids: a teen and two tweens. Heaven help me! There's a lot about me to know but I always think that others won't find me interesting, isn't that sad? Writing is my passion. It's an outlet; it's a way to filter my world and the experiences I have. Blogging was a foreign concept to me when it first came out. But I GET IT now. It's therapeutic to unload. It's fun to read about the experiences of others. This is my way of meeting and greeting, overcoming the obstacles of time and distance. My hope is that you will stop and read my blog. That you will enjoy what I have to say, and we can have a chat. You're welcome anytime!
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2 Responses to Culture or Bad Manners?

  1. BAD manners, AND poor job performance. I rarely get my nails done, but when i do, I don’t usually choose the “chain” salons in stores. I go to my local hair salon or to an independent esthetician. Maybe I’m old fashioned (after all I turned 40 recently- my teenage boys say I am!!!) but service professionals aren’t just paid for their direct service (be that hair, make up, nails etc) but also for the experience. If you’re not personable (regardless of culture) then, why are you in an industry serving people?
    Lab techs…well, they might not want to chat like your hairstylist, but they are health professionals- their job should require concentration for accuracy, AND…well…. a certain amount of bedside manner. She probably isn’t allowed to be texting at her job.

    I also say hello, please and thank you to everyone. I even went into the store to apologize to a Tim Horton’s Drive Thru worker yesterday because I accused him of having the wrong total, and then when I did the math myself while still in the parking lot, I realized he was correct- so I parked and went inside. Your main cultural stereotype might be the politeness of Canadian moms.

    • Bella says:

      That’s me all over…people make fun of us Canucks because we’re so polite, but I’m proud of it!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment 🙂

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