Common courtesy no longer common

The man in front of me at the supermarket checkout had a scarf loosely round his lower face and was ranting at the woman serving him about the requirement to wear a mask.

She responded with commendable restraint, he continued to rant, paid for his groceries and stalked out, still ranting.

I congratulated her on her response. She replied that the man’s ranting was mild compared with some of the behaviour she’d had to face.

Media reports back that up with stories workers in a variety of customer-facing roles having to deal with verbal, and sometimes physical, abuse from people who either don’t know, or don’t care that the people serving them don’t make the rules and even if they’d did, abuse is inappropriate.

I share the frustration people have about wearing masks. They’re uncomfortable  enough when the weather is cool, far worse when it’s hot. I also hate the way it’s hard to read people’s faces when masked and harder to recognise people I know.

But customers have to wear them only when in shops, the staff have to wear them all day.

And whether or not you think masks have a role to play in protecting the wearer, and others, from  Covid-19, the requirement to wear them is not the rule of people serving us in shops.

Common courtesy should stop people from taking their frustration out on shop staff, and probably would have in the past, but courtesy is no longer so common.

Please, thank you and excuse me are absent from many people’s vocabularies. Holding doors for people with walking sticks, prams or wheel chairs isn’t’ second nature to many; and other aspects of good manners and consideration for others that used to be normal behaviour, appear to be foreign concepts to them.

And  far too often doing as you would be done by has been replaced by doing what you feel like, with no heed of the impact it would have on other people.


2 Responses to Common courtesy no longer common

  1. Heather Adam says:

    Well said. One has to wonder what life at home is like for some of these people. Or, is it just that they have never been taught to consider others ?


  2. Lucia Maria says:

    Totally agree. It’s not the fault of the minimum wage person at the checkout that we have these rules.

    Personally am against mask wearing, but will do so while in a supermarket. BTW, cloth mask have been deemed completely useless, now. Don’t think NZ has caught up to this yet.

    Funny aside: My husband totally forgot to wear his in our local supermarket recently. No one said anything. He didn’t realise until he was packing the groceries into the car afterwards!

    Noticed a few men posting online that the same thing had happened to them. Must be summer.


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