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Whatever Happened To Civility?  
User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 47
Posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1420 times:

You all know what I am talking about. No one is interested in participating in, listening to, or watching civilized discussion or debate. But let there be a quickly spiralling shouting match (which is pretty much what 'debate' is anyway nowadays) and you're sure to draw an audience. Look at Michael Moore, Howard Stern, and Tom Leykis, to name a few. You may or may not agree with them, but you have to admit that they all know how to draw a crowd. Why? Because thety are masters at hurling insults.

Now let's take a look at the workplace. Oh sure, everywhere you go, you are sure to hear a lot of (empty) rhetoric about how "we are team players". Are "Successories" still around? I know they were HUGE during the dotcom era of the late 1990's.

So here we have it....a bunch of so-called "team players". Yet how many people out there would NOT pass the blame onto someone else for ones own mistake if they thought they could get away with it? How many people will try and take the credit for a job well done that they did not do?

Moving on....how often do any of you talk to your neighbors? How many of you even know your neighbors?

Going to just about any retail or restaurant establishment. The staff just doesn't seem to care. Have to wait? Oh well. Got your order wrong? Too bad? (just as a side note, I'm doing something I once heard someone suggest... every time I eat out, I stick a dollar or two aside, and let it accumulate. Some day...who knows when this will be......when someone gives me really, REALLY awesome service, they will be awarded with the "jackpot tip" which I have been saving.) Everyone is so mechanical and indifferent.

Ever tried calling "customer service"? Everywhere you call. And I do mean everywhere, NOBODY just answers the phone anymore. Instead, you have to endure and navigate your way through a labyrinth of menu options, one after another after another, each one almost always landing you in a dead end, either telling you to check the website, or call another number.
Back to square one.

On the rare occasions that you actually do reach an actual persons extension, I'd bet my scrotum that 8 times oyt of 10, it goes right to voicemail. And probably 95 out of a hundred of those times, they are NOT away from their desk. They are sitting there, either ignoring the phone because they just don't feel like answering it. Or more likely, they simply turned the ringer off.



Road Rage anyone? People have driven their cars into each other at one mile an hour because heaven forbid....someone get in front of you.

People have gotten into fights, been shot, and arrested because someones lane change really rubbed them the wrong way.

Sooooooo many people complain of discrimination and persecution in the world today. But if what I see around me is a barometer of the world as a whole, people who have been (or think they have been) oppressed or victimized in some way tend to become practitioners of belittlement themselves once they realize that they are in some kind of position of power.



Now here's the real kicker:

If people don't like, or don't want anything to do with other people, then why must so many people have one or sometimes TWO cell phones, two land line numbers, half a dozen e-mail accounts, and a FAX number?

[Edited 2004-07-17 04:42:20]

38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4124 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1394 times:

Hmm...a very well thought-out post. I'll have to let that all simmer in my head for a while.


"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1393 times:

Well said. It's often remarked that society is getting ever more self-centered and many people have complete disregard for others.
Your post gives some excellent examples.

Another prime example with relevance to this site is the whining and complaining from people in the US for not being allowed to go into secure areas at airports without a boarding pass, or for not being allowed to take weapons on aircraft.
People (and especially in the US) think they have a godgiven (or insert your deity here) right to do whatever pleases them with total disregard for anyone else.

Yes, I talk to my neighbours when I meet them. Don't know all names (I've always been bad at names) but I know the faces.




I wish I were flying
User currently offlineIflyatldl From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1936 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1385 times:

Yeah, I have to agree with the above posts. I finally dropped having a cell because it just a big pain...period. Technology among other things, has come a long way. But, sometimes you just have to step back.  Big grin


Ah, Summer, Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox and Beer.....
User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8507 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1379 times:

1. Television
2. Government "education"
3. Reduced numbers of Christians in the US and declining respect for Christian teaching among non-Christians.


I can only type the above with respect to the United States. I can't say that with confidence about other countries.





User currently offlineMdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4124 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1372 times:

3. Reduced numbers of Christians in the US and declining respect for Christian teaching among non-Christians.

I was agreeing with you until I read that. What kind of narrowminded stuff is that? I'm not a Christian and I still live my life with civility and common decency. Am I somehow different because I am not a Christian? Or may it have occured to you that many of these so called "Christians" live their lives completely contradictory to the teachings of their faith? Don't give me the, "they aren't really Christian" cop-out. Christians like you who think that they are the only ones with morality and civility really need to get a reality check. Its about human nature and NOT religion.



"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
User currently offlineATL2CDG From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 296 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1363 times:

3. Reduced numbers of Christians in the US and declining respect for Christian teaching among non-Christians.

The next time I hear the Rev. Jerry Fawell and Pat Robertson blame 9/11 on homosexuals, atheists and liberals again, I'll remember with laughs this remark. I would revise this to say, "Reduced numbers of Christians practicing their faith in the privacy of their homes and churches and a declining respect for Christian teaching among Christians."

The decline of "civility" is directly linked to an increase in cultural, social, racial and religious diversity and an ingrained intolerance of differences on the part of many parties. Religious fanaticism from many faiths and the refusal of parents to parent are secondary causes.

[Edited 2004-07-17 06:24:04]


Ignorantia juris neminem excusat.
User currently offlineAn-225 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 3950 posts, RR: 40
Reply 7, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1354 times:

Christianity has nothing to do with it, MD-90. Sorry to bust your bubble.

Alex.



Money does not bring you happiness. But it's better to cry in your own private limo than on a cold bus stop.
User currently onlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39858 posts, RR: 74
Reply 8, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1346 times:

Matt D:
I hear you man. What you have pointed out was the results of predatory capitalism. Huge corporations based thousands of miles away from your town that set up shop in your community drive ma & pa businesses out of business that's build up there reputation over generations based on quality customer service.
Why should WalMart give a rat's a$$ about how Matt D is treated when he comes in to shop? WalMart is so huge that your are expendable and there are millions of shoppers that will shop there because people in many towns across America have no other choice but to shop at WalMat.

What you have pointed out Matt D is the awful side-effects of a predatory capitalist Republican utopia. The large corporations are the pilots of our society and they don't give a $h!t about there under-paid employees and they certainly don't give a $h!t if you are served with a knowledgeable and courteous staff.
Buy your soda and pack of underwear and get the f--k out of there store! That's the mentality we have to deal with in most parts of America.
I am so glad that I live in San Francisco, a city that makes it almost impossible for $h!t box chains like WalMart to set up shop and run ma & pa stores out of business.

It's nice to go in to a small grocery store, coffee shop, record store or family owned restaurant and they know me on a first name basis. It's great to know I can walk in to my favorite restaurants and the waitress knows how I like my breast prepared or how I want my steak cooked. It's great to know that different grocery stores have totally different choices of beer, wine & cheese and other goods. It's great to live in a town wear I am on a first name basis with the guy at the deli, the butcher, bartenders, the lady at the cleaners or sex toys shop.

Thank God for the few remaining liberals that are fighting the big corporations that are trying to preserve and protect our communities.

I am only using WalMart as an example but this rule can apply to many othere faceless chains ware customer service should be a factor such as Chevy's, T.G.I. Fridays, Circut City, Best Buy, etc...



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21571 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1326 times:

Superfly, you are, as usual, right on.  Smile




7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1319 times:

Civility died back during the 1990s. And like Superfly said, the large corporations are behind it. Many of these large retail chains used to be very customer service oriented, and now if you go into most Home Depots or Wal-Marts, you're lucky if you can find an associate to help you if you need assistance. I have resigned myself to the fact that good customer service in the retail industry is rare. You have a lot of these chains that are now trying to incorporate better customer service into their stores and it seems so fake. And many of us of Generation X are to blame for that. The slacker and grunge style and attitude that started out in the early 1990s spread like wildfire. You've got 16 year olds with attitudes that 15 years ago would have gotten them fired from most jobs that hire teenagers. It is not uncommon now to see employees with visable tattoos and piercings at mainstream companies.

If people don't like, or don't want anything to do with other people, then why must so many people have one or sometimes TWO cell phones, two land line numbers, half a dozen e-mail accounts, and a FAX number?

I'm one of those with multiple e-mail accounts, and the main reason goes back to civility and manners. Spamming someone's e-mail account(s) is not very polite and proper. I have four e-mail accounts because the first one became a spammed wasteland, the second one eventually started to get spammed (and thankfully is getting less and less), and the last two are through my ISP, one of them is my address for handling most of my stuff (like travel bookings, online purchases, etc.), the other one I'm going to use for when I start sending my resumes out (it has a much more professional sounding email address than my other addresses). I quit having a cell phone about 8 months ago, as I went from working out in the field to working in my company's warehouse, so I had no need for a cell phone. I will be surprised if I get another one in the next few years. I was wasting my money with a cell phone, as I my cell phone usage was mimimum.


User currently offlineDelayedagain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1317 times:

In the UK, economic progress killed civility, which is why Margaret Thatcher is often held personally responsible for the breakdown of ''society'': before, in the 70's the country was on its knees economically, but there was a strong social fabric: no-one had much and everyone muddled through. The brits got back their economic strength and pride, but became soooooooo self-centred it's like everyone lives in their own private bubble: noisy neighbours, being barged into the gutter when walking down the street etc I still Q for a bus - I'm always last one on! Like patting your head and rubbing your tummy, the brits can't manage economic might and social grace at the same time.

I know you'll have your own ideas about south africans, but I can assure you for all our faults, we had good manners instilled into us from a very early age. Britain never fails to appal me on a daily basis.

I find Americans way, way more civilised and, although I've only visited as a tourist, much of what you have written above seems alien to me. Someone bumps into you in the street? an apology, always. Waiting in line in restaurants, taxi Q's, theme parks? always. Ask someone for help with directions? Approachable and friendly, always. in the UK, be thankful if you're not spat on.


User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1310 times:

Re: I know you'll have your own ideas about south africans, but I can assure you for all our faults, we had good manners instilled into us from a very early age

I'll second that - there may have been a lot wrong with South Africa years ago, and there are still problems, but by gum they teach their kids manners (Afrikaners especially) and as a result people are in general very polite and considerate, and customer service means something (except at Telkom, for some reason  Smile/happy/getting dizzy ).


User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 13, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1304 times:

Civility? I'd say that was lost some years back, although I'm having a bit of trouble trying to really determine when...

Was it when people started shooting others for petty things like (the already mentioned) changing lanes and annoying the person in front of whom you're getting into the lane?

Was it when - and when exactly did this happen - people from one political party started to consider those of one of the other parties almost as enemies?

Was it when the word "liberal" suddenly was converted into a curseword?

Was it when "conservative" got today's by-meaning of "not caring about anyone except oneself"?

Was it when big companies started looking at shareholder value and nothing else?

Or was it a combination of all the above?


Today we live in a strange situation with companies outsourcing jobs to other countries, creating tens, hundreds or thousands of unemployed people who, in turn, cannot afford to buy all the things they'd like to have anymore which leads to companies making a smaller profit (or even losing money), which then makes them move even more jobs into countries where these jobs will cost them less - and by that, starting the whole cycle anew.


Here in Germany there are two sentences that, while everyone makes fun of them, you still get to hear far too often: "Bedaure, nicht mein Tisch" and "Kollege kommt gleich!" - translated into "Sorry, not my table" (from waiters in a restaurant not reacting to you trying to order something) and "A colleague will be with you right away" (Why? You're not into working, or what???)


Maybe it'll get better again, but I guess I'm a pessimist in that regard...

Regards,
Frank

P.S.: JGPH1A, could you contact me by eMail (through my profile)? I have a small 1A-related question that's come up at work, and maybe you know the answer - or you know whom to ask... nothing serious, just a strange display that we've seen while accidentally entering a command from another system... Thanks in advance!!!



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8706 posts, RR: 43
Reply 14, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1290 times:

Wow, seems like I live in a bubble of civility... OK, so nobody at the supermarket knows me, but that's kind of normal, isn't it?

As for the rest, the fish shop owner knows my entire family by name and is always very friendly, however, she knows how to sell more to you than you asked for. But that's fine.

The haircutter (a small privately owned business) knows at least my father and me, and we're always treated well and get a good haircut.

The garage owner is a former student of my highschool, and my father was a teacher of his for some time. And yes, they're on a first-name basis and we've never had any trouble with the service delivered.

At work (did 10 months of civilian service right after highschool; look up "draft in Germany), almost everyone was on a first-name basis, and even though the vast majority of the employees were female, nobody had any serious problems with anyone. Of course, we gossiped every now and then, but what would you expect.

I think civility towards customers depends on whether you think your job is a pain or you like it. Being polite also takes some brains.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineJcs17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 39
Reply 15, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1285 times:

Honestly, I don't really care. If someone wants to treat me like shit, I'll be all too glad to return the favor. If you think customer service is 'bad' here (which I don't think it is), go to Europe and see how indifferent they are--you'd be surprised. And I know a few Europeans will definitely agree with me on that point. There will always be bad apples when it comes to rudeness and stuff like that, but most people will give you the time of day if you really need them to come through. Call me naive if you want, but you also have to remember Matty that you're living in So Cal--a place not exactly known for glowing hospitality.


America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12509 posts, RR: 46
Reply 16, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1277 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I can walk in to my favorite restaurants and the waitress knows how I like my breast prepared

I just sprayed my dinner all over my screen when I read that! My mind is boggling!  Big thumbs up



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineDerico From Argentina, joined Dec 1999, 4304 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1273 times:

What is civility?



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seriously, the answer is quite simple: money. Civility rich makes you not in the year 2004.

Controversy does. Barnes & Noble, the book industry, the cable networks, radio, and more would go poor or outright broke without hateful polarizing books from all ends of the political spectrum.

And political parties, though they would deny this, actually have secret ententes to rant about each other's 'evilness'... Why?

That increases $$$ donations.



My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
User currently offlineSeb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 11596 posts, RR: 15
Reply 18, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1271 times:

You want to know what happened to civilty? Two things: The CEO wants to keep paying nothing to the peons and people come in demanding stupid things.

Why should I be motivated to remake a new hamburger without lettuce when I am being paid $7.50 an hour with no benefits AND being called every name in the book. Over lettuce the customer could have take off themself! Oh, but that would have not given them the same satisfaction as using every profane word invented and right in front of their kids.

I know I am expendable to chains like K-Mart and Wal-Mart but I still refuse to shop there. I know I am doing right. I also know I am doing right by, if I do have a problem, stating it as clearly and calmly as possible without the use of profanity.

Here is a crazy idea: The next time you go out, remind yourself of all the stuff these workers have to endure and that their pay and benefits package is way less than anything you could ever dream of. Treat them with a little kindness.

You get what you give.

GO CANUCKS!!



Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineDerico From Argentina, joined Dec 1999, 4304 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1251 times:

Damn you, Seb146!

Now I'll have to crawl around a closet looking for that one hit wonder by the New Radicals.  Smile

'The world is going to pull through,
Don't give up,
you've got a reason to live,
can't forget,
'We only get what we give'...



My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8507 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1233 times:

Anyone who blames the decline in civility on "economic progress" or those big evil corporations is either ignorant or dishonest or both.

Civility has nothing to do with any politics or any business. Civility is practiced by people, by INDIVIDUALS. Not "society" or some artificial construct.

The decline of the family is probably the biggest reason.


User currently offlineMdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4124 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1206 times:

Call me naive if you want, but you also have to remember Matty that you're living in So Cal--a place not exactly known for glowing hospitality.

I think the areas not known for hospitality are the Beverly Hills/West LA area. People in areas like OC and Riverside are definitely much more hospitable. Being filthy rich tends to make people into assholes.



"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 47
Reply 22, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1202 times:

People in areas like OC and Riverside are definitely much more hospitable.

What the hell are you smoking bro?

OC, from about Irvine south to the San Diego County border is filled with some of the whiniest, bitchiest, and walking-on-water, my-shit-don't-stink people in the world.

Riverside (where I live) is not so much snotty as it is clueless. It's really a stretch to say that they are hospitable here.


User currently offlineMdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4124 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1197 times:

Yeah, I agree with the South OC sentiment. South of Irvine is all like LA. People in places like Fullerton/Anaheim/Cypress are definitely nicer.

Where in Riverside are you? I'm in Corona. You are right too about people here being clueless, but I think overall, people are polite. I don't usually notice the same prick-like behavior that I get from people in Beverly Hills. Some of the people there are beyond rude.

[Edited 2004-07-18 02:29:33]


"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
User currently offlineMatt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 47
Reply 24, posted (10 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1179 times:

Not far from Corona just off the 91.

25 Post contains images Mdsh00 : At Home Gardens?
26 Matt D : Ah...... no.... the major streets in my neck of the woods are La Sierra, Magnolia, Tyler, and Indiana.
27 Post contains images Superfly : MD-90: Once again is completly off the mark and incorrect. Men are still being dragged to the altar, women are still being pressured in to marriage an
28 Matt D : Well I happen to agree with you Superfly. I do take solace though in knowing that I probably have the greatest concentration of reel to reel tapes and
29 Matt D : I would also like to add that not all Christians are stoning gays, just like not all gays are drag queens. Every segment of society has it's share of
30 Post contains images Mdsh00 : Supafly: I don't know about Westwood. After spending my 4 years of college there, I feel that Westwood doesn't have the flair of a college town that i
31 Post contains images NKP S2 : Alot of the more "agressively" Christian people I work with are the nicest people in the world....as long as everything goes their way. I still see th
32 Post contains images Superfly : Matt D & Mdsh00: Sorry to hear about Westwood and that's why I put "maybe" in front of it. I've had some good times in San Dimas and I almost moved th
33 Sccutler : Folks: Sorry I did not jump in earlier, as this is a topic that is close to my heart. Bottom line for me is this: you get what you give (noted by Seb)
34 Post contains images Superfly : Sccutler: Thanks for the kind words. Your son is very fourtunate to have two wonderful parents. I really didn't want to inject politics in to this thr
35 An-225 : I definitely agree with both Superfly and Sccutler on this issue. I prefer eating at a local restaurant rather than McDonald's, I prefer to drink at m
36 Post contains images Superfly : An-225: a kid threw a temper tantrum right in front of everyone. He rolled around and hit the floor with his fists. He was louder than a FedEx 727 Did
37 Sccutler : Besides, 'Fly prefers the butt to the boob every time (another example of good judgment). P.S. Oh! Canada!
38 Post contains images Vaporlock : Sccutler, you are absolutely correct!!!! I think he should change his username to ASSMAN!!! Just kidding Mr. Fly! Phyllis
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