You Can’t Fix Rudeness

Whoever one is, and wherever one is, one is always in the wrong if one is rude. ~Maurice Baring, English man of letters (poems, novels, essays, war correspondence)

Dallas here.

While Mama is otherwise occupied, I thought I’d interrupt my afternoon snoozle for a few thoughts. I know you’ve missed hearing from me!

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That’s “Miss Debbie” to you

The South has a custom I wish the rest of our country would adopt.

Little children down south are taught from an early age to call adults “Mr.” or “Miss,” followed by the adult’s first name.

Think of it! Sam Jones becomes “Mr. Sam.” Stephanie Green becomes “Miss Stephanie.”

No more difficulties in knowing what to call your elders. It would even work for people in my generation, who aren’t prepared to call the adults in my parents’ generation by their first names, even when they insist on it!

Look, people marry, get divorced, take back their maiden names, marry again, etc.

That’s confusing enough for adults; why burden our kids with it?

One of my son’s little friends used to call me “Mrs. (my son’s name) Mom.”

A standard naming practice would eliminate that. Rarely do people change their first names, and those are the names the kids hear all the time anyway.

How many adults refer to the grocer on the corner as Mr. Malone or the dental hygienist as Mrs. McCoy?

No, it’s simply “Henry” or “Molly.”

Haven’t you cringed when you overheard the kids blurt out “Henry” or “Molly” while talking to those adults? Wouldn’t it be easier if they grew up referring to the grocer as “Mr. Henry” and the hygienist as “Miss Molly?”

I suspect the kids would adapt easily. After all, most day cares and preschools call their teachers and aides “Miss,” followed by a first name.

It’s only when they get into elementary school that they’re expected to keep up with Teacher’s marital status and last name.

Why should they have to?

And while we’re at it, let’s go whole hog and have our kids call adults “ma’am” and “sir” when speaking with them.

Doesn’t “yes, ma’am” or “no, sir” really sound better than “uh-huh” or “uh-uh?”

When My Favorite Domer was little, I tried to get him to do that. It sounded so charming when my niece and nephew, both native Southerners, did.

MFD picked it up fairly quickly, but dropped it just as fast when he didn’t hear any of his friends speaking like that.

Too bad.

Maybe he’ll pick it back up when he starts interviewing for jobs!


“No Problem” . . . “Here Ya Go”

Time for a little quiz, OK?

1) You’re clerking in a department store when a customer approaches and asks you to help her reach something hanging way up high. You do, she thanks you and you say, “No problem.”


Wrong! Your proper response is simply “You’re welcome.”

Thank you and You’re welcome — they just go together, y’know?

Same thing for flight attendants and waitresses. Customer asks for a refill, you provide it, he thanks you and what do you say?

“No problem.”

No problem? It better not be — that’s your job, isn’t it?

Let’s say it together — “You’re welcome.”

How about this one:

2) You’re a teller at a bank. A customer comes in, deposits a sum of money (doesn’t matter HOW much), and you complete the transaction by handing him a receipt and saying, “Here ya go.”


NO! This time, it’s “Thank you.”

Work with me here.

3) You’re a receptionist at a doctor’s office and you’re on the phone when a patient walks in. You ignore her until you’re finished with your call.


Of course not! Acknowledge her presence with a smile and a nod, complete your call as soon as possible, then apologize to the walk-in for making her wait.

Whatever happened to simple manners?

Who’s training employees these days?

Am I the only person bothered by stuff like this?

Admittedly, I’ve not worked in all of these service-type jobs, but common sense alone tells me it doesn’t cost anything to be nice to those you’re interacting with!

Fellow workers and the boss, to be sure, but especially paying customers, clients, patients, whatever.

C’mon, people, unemployment is pushing 10% nationwide (and in many states it’s 14%). Isn’t that a big enough pool that you don’t have to resort to hiring those who are crass, inept, complaining, and downright rude??