Friday, June 4, 2010

Manners

Dr. Grumpy has a good example of people who weren't raised right.  Another doctor noticed him cleaning up a mess caused by an exploding can of soda, and said that he should leave that for "drudges".

People who think that their education, position, breeding, or income exempts them from good manners or remembering the need to treat all people with equal respect get under my skin.

I came from pretty low on the socio-economic scale.  My family skipped right across the bottom of the lower-middle class scale during good times, and dipped lower multiple times while I was growing up.  I've done some really ugly things to earn my daily bread and to provide for my family.  I don't even blink when I have to mow, paint, wash, mop, or build something.  I don't enjoy it, but I don't think of it as something beneath me.

It was only in the last year that as a systems administrator I acquiesced and let technicians install or deinstall hardware for me.  Not that I don't think the techs can do it well (they do it better and faster than I do), but that I didn't think it was necessary for someone else to do the job for me.

Several people I know who came up like I did have the opposite reaction.  Kind of an "I don't have to do that anymore, so I refuse to".  If that's your attitude, so be it.  Most of them who are like that at least show respect for the guy cleaning the men's room. 

Some of the people I know, as my grandmother used to say, came from the lace-curtain side of town.  They were fortunate enough to grow up with money, attended really good schools, and came into the work force with the skills and background that kept them out of the drudge-work market entirely.  Nothing against them, they just come from a different socio-economic viewpoint than I do.

A lot of them grew up with manners.  Even though they have never had to mow their own yard or clean their own house, they aren't above doing the dishes or running a lawnmower when it's necessary.  Even if they pay a house keeper or lawn service, they don't look down on the people they pay to do it.

It's the people, no matter how they grew up, who not only refuse to do their own chores, but look down upon those who do it for them that make my teeth itch.  These people need to be issued a Mark I Shit Shovel and pointed towards a cow barn for a couple of months to learn some skills and humility. 

I don't care if you came up from the street or were to the manor born, no work is beneath you, and no-one who works for their living is worthy of your contempt. 

3 comments:

ShortWoman said...

Amen.

First, I've been a boss. And variations on "that's not my job" are an express lane to the unemployment office.

Second, when you are the boss and you set an example of pitching in and doing what needs to be done -- even if it's cleaning the toilet while wearing a suit -- your people will be less likely to think you're an [insert pejorative here] and more likely to pitch in themselves.

ZerCool said...

A-f'ing-men.

I grew up being taught that hard work is always worthy of respect, that I am no better or worse than anyone else, and that no job is beneath me.

Household chores were my job too. No biggie. I spent a summer during college working maintenance at a youth camp. I'm sure you know how much of a mess of a bathroom a couple of kids can make. Now multiply by a hundred and spread it through about thirty bathrooms. It made for some long mornings... but that was the job.

Since then, in all my jobs, the *only* bosses who pitched in to help were when I sold cars. Snowy day? We were ALL out there clearing cars, moving cars for plowing, and moving them back. Salesmen, managers, and the owner.

Ever since then, my managers haven't had the knowledge to do my job... Just to tell me how I'm doing it wrong. ;-)

Christina LMT said...

Excellent point, DaddyBear. I follow the Golden Rule and treat people the way I'd like to be treated: with respect.

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