Common courtesies that apparently aren't so common

So, at Chez Pipers we needed a plumber today to come unclog a drain under the sink. (I put too many potato skins down the garbeurator. Mea culpa.)

As I opened up the doors to the area under the sink, I noticed that the garbage was pretty full, and said: “Here, I’ll just move that for you.”

Plumber guy gave me a funny look. I looked back at him.

He said: “All the years I’ve been doing this, you’re the first to move the garbage out of the way.”

I said, “I would have thought that’s just common courtesy?”

He said “Nope. Normally, I’m working under the sink with my face six inches away from a can full of smelly garbage.”

So, what common courtesies do you find aren’t so common?

Really? I don’t keep my garbage under the sink, but if the plumber is coming for the garbage disposal, I empty out the entire cupboard before he arrives.

Letting visibly pregnant women cut in line at the bathroom. I always ask anyone still behind me - “do you mind if she cuts” and either out of shame or courtesy, they always agree. But it seems to shock the pregnant woman (and frequently the women in line tell me its a “good idea and they’d never thought of it.”) By the third trimester, most women have to pee every four minutes, leak all the time, and standing in line is just HARD - and frankly its a courtesy most women will want at SOME point in their lives.

Also, if someone is coming though a door with a stroller, I’ll go out of my way to help by holding the door open for them. ESPECIALLY if in addition to the stroller there is a toddler involved who isn’t in the stroller. That is a juggling act I never appreciated doing (and I avoided using the handicapped button with the toddler, because I didn’t want him to start pushing those buttons for his own enjoyment or ease).

My Mom used to clean for the cleaning lady when she was older & had one.

My Mum does that, must a be a generational thing. The cleaning lady seems to spend most of the morning drinking tea.

Letting people with only two or three items get in front of us at the check out line.

Letting the tradesmen know the location of the bathroom, the ladder, the water and the glasses and that they’re welcome to any of them.

People throwing away their own garbage after eating in a food court or cafeteria.

Smokers actually using outdoor ashtrays instead of throwing their butts on the ground.

And don’t get me started on the various habits of some public cellphone users…

Putting used gum in the trash.

Picking up after the dog while walking it.

I went to a fairly posh all girls’ school, where I was taught:

  1. Not to eat food in public (unless in a food eating establishment, obviously), so, no stuffing a sandwich down my neck on the bus, and

  2. When sharing a cheeseboard, not to cut off the pointy end and eat it yourself as this is the best bit - instead, take a slice down the long edge.

Turns out, I’m about the only person who follows these rules.

The vast majority of people where I live return their shopping carts to the store, or to the cart island in the parking lot. The handful of morons who don’t do this is baffling to me.

So, you save yourself what 2 minutes by leaving your cart in the middle of the parking lot, or pushing it onto the median? Assholes.

Store employees thanking the customer. I always say “thanks” at the end of the transaction, to which they usually respond “no problem”. And I walk away asking myself, ‘why did I say thank you, when I’m giving them my business? They should be thanking me’. But then, there I am, saying “thank you” next time and every time.

I don’t understand SanVito’s cheese thing. How is the pointy end the best part? Doesn’t it all taste like cheese?

I live about a ten minute walk from the grocery store. Really close. Anyway, there is a cart from it, on my street, just abandoned on the corner. Really? Not only did you steal the cart - and it is stealing! - you just left it for someone else to clean up.

The pointy end is actually the middle of the cheese (pic of cheese wheel), where the flavour is more intense and the texture is creamier. So taking the pointy end, you’re helping yourself to the best bit.

I always clean up my apartment before my cleaning lady comes! Then again, I have been very messy my whole life (I once got seriously told off by the management at a previous apartment I lived in for being such a pig - that’s when I started getting cleaning ladies). I get things tidied enough that it is not embarrassing to have else present in my apartment and then I let my cleaning lady finish it.

“Clean up” is different than “Clean”, thought, right? You mean you pick up for her?

That’s definitely what I do. I don’t want them wasting time picking up stuff to be able to vacuum. I don’t want them doing dishes so they can clean the sink and counter. I always make sure everything is picked up and all dishes are done on cleaning day.

I stand up when a woman enters the room. Lately, I’ve gotten strange looks for doing that, but it’s how I was raised. I also hold the door open and let people in before me.

Well, we could dig up that thread on scooting over to make room in a movie theater…

I don’t keep my garbage under the sink either because my dog can open cabinet doors. I had to put those child safety latches on all my cabinets and drawers that are within her reach. So I keep the garbage in the laundry room (just off the kitchen), behind a baby gate. The kitty litter lives in there too, so the dog doesn’t dig through it for the crunchy kitty granola treats. (Bleargh.)

I would say: being aware of your surroundings in public. For example, you see an old friend in a store. The courteous thing to do would be to pull your cart out of the way and stand in a low-traffic area to have your conversation. Most people just stop wherever they are with no thought to blocking the path or corridor or whatever from other people.

This applies to people who stop the second they get off an escalator or elevator (with people behind them also wanting to get through), people in cars that stop in the street to converse (I hate this), and any other situation where a teeny bit of self-awareness would go a long fucking way.

This just happened to me yesterday! I don’t understand this. And then they get mad at YOU when you honk, even just a light tap, to let them know you need to go by.

Apologize when you’re in the wrong. And mean it.

The other day I was one of those woolgathering in the grocery aisle while I stared at the shelves (trying to remember if I needed crackers or not or something equally stupid). I realized that I was totally in the way when a woman irritatedly cleared her throat just before asking to get by.

I pulled my cart over saying “oh I’m so sorry, here I am taking up the whole aisle for no good reason. Where is my brain today?” She looked at me like I was speaking another language for a moment, then went from scowling to smiling, and said “oh honey it’s ok, I’m really not in such a hurry” and went off smiling.