Manners Used To Be The Rule Now It Seems They Are The Exception

I really hated typing that title. Maybe it is just me, maybe I am the only one who mourns the loss of manners. Perhaps it isn’t a loss of manners it is instead the absence of manners. Either way for me it seems like a personal loss. In the last two days I have had two conversations and it just reiterated the absence/loss of manners.

Yesterday I was talking to James Ryan Owner and Chief Development Officer at Lotus Development. James is a business coach – check out his website at Our discussion was primarily regarding the lack of follow through from job seekers. This is a blog all on its own, but at one point he had stated that of six people that responded to a tweet he sent out only one followed up. I mentioned something about manners and he said that he hadn’t thought of it that way, but it would have been nice.

Late yesterday I received a call while I was on a conference call. I emailed the caller and told her that I was on the other line and would call her back. Once I hung up from my conference call I got another call which triggered several other events and by the time I sat down it was 9:00pm. The next thing I knew I woke up this morning on the couch with four dogs. The oldest doesn’t cuddle and she was glaring at me from the chair across the room.

I emailed her this morning and explained the situation. She responded that she knew I was busy and it was okay. I emailed her back and told her busy or not it was rude and I apologize. Her response surprised me. She literally said “Wow…Thanks! I’ve never had someone apologize or say it was rude.” Now, I emailed her because she is working and I do not want to interrupt her day otherwise I would have called.

I don’t think that I am in any way better than anyone else because I have this fixation with manners. Personally, I grew up with wonderful examples in my life and that helped form my behavior and thinking. Some are not so lucky, some people were never taught manners unfortunately and others, well I think some people just don’t give a damn.

My grandmother was the essence of a lady. She was intelligent, head strong, independent, loving, worldly, classy, nurturing, tough and had a shoe collection to die for! She was beautiful and carried herself with class and dignity. She could walk in a room and her presence drew admiring looks and positive attention from all. She set the bar for me in representing a real woman. I miss her to no end.

At her funeral a friend of hers who had known my grandmother for decades told me that one thing that struck her about my grandmother is she never heard her utter a negative word about another human being ever. My grandmother had a sharp wit and keen sense of humor, she had it in her; but she chose not to utilize it.

My grandmother had impeccable manners and as I wanted to be like her I emulated her to the best of my ability. My parents were wonderful examples. From my mom and dad I learned the value and appreciation of employing manners to your partner, family and friends. They were best friends and partners in crime. They treated each other with the utmost respect and never failed to use manners in their interactions. I remember growing up hearing lots of “please” and “thank you” and appreciation. We may not have had a lot but I was rich in learning the value of how to treat ones you love.

Doesn’t it make you feel better or just make your moment when someone uses manners? When someone holds the door open, when they send a follow up thank you, when they take that small extra step – doesn’t it make you smile just for a moment? I know it does for me and it’s not something that I immediately say, “Oh, they used manners”.

So if it does help make your day, why wouldn’t you do the same for someone else? It really does not take but a moment to do; however we get so lost in the business of our day that it is the one area that suffers. If you are going to carve out a few minutes today to do something, try taking a few seconds to use your manners. The results will be positive – I will bet dollars to donuts.

Apparently it is time to pay attention to one of the puppies as he just brought me a toy. Actually he dumped it in my lap and then plopped his head right next to it. And of course, I thanked him for giving me his toy.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Coach & Strategist
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.

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