Last week I looked at common courtesy and questioned how uncommon common courtesy appears to be in our daily lives.
This week after a traumatic experience at TJ Maxx, I am looking at etiquette. So first we need to re-visit the working definition of etiquette, “the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group”. Which to me begs the question, what is polite?
So I go back to Webster’s for a definition of polite, “having or showing behavior that is respectful and considerate of other people”.
Picture this: the line to check out in the Santa Monica TJ Maxx on a Sunday morning had 2 people, two. Actually, one was at the cashier and one was standing in line. There is a product that I purchase when I can find it and for some reason it is always at the cashier’s area, not in the store itself.
You don’t want to stand in line if the product is not going to be at the cashier’s when you get there. So you have to do some reconnaissance before you stand in line to see if it is there.
I walked past the ONE person standing in line who was talking loudly on her phone. I thought I politely said to her, “I am not cutting in line, I am looking for something’. I thought that was polite. I really did.
She, all 6’2” of her, started screaming at me to say EXCUSE ME. She starts a diatribe about the correct etiquette is to say EXCUSE ME. This from a woman who thought it was polite to make anyone within 30 feet hear her conversation?
If polite behavior is to be respectful and considerate of other people, I thought I was being polite. I thought I was considerate to assure her that I was not cutting in line. Etiquette lesson from a woman who thought it was polite to make anyone within 30 feet hear her conversation?
I am not a huge fan of California to begin with, now even less so. I thought I was being considerate. Who gets to decide?