Common Courtesy

Perhaps it’s because I am in a service-based business, or perhaps it’s because I’ve noticed an abundance of discourteous behavior lately, but I’ve been thinking a lot about consideration and respect.

I deal with clients and vendors on a daily basis. And, while I’m often busy, or sometimes in a bad mood, I try very hard to be courteous and considerate to everyone I come in contact with.

First, it makes good business sense. Let’s face it: no one wants to do business with someone who is impolite or unaccommodating. And at the same time, having a good, friendly relationship with everyone you work for or with, just makes the job easier.

Second is the old adage: Do unto others… You know the gist. Treat people as you would like to be treated. Yes, we are all busy, and we all have bad days from time to time. But, it really takes very little effort to “do the right thing.”

And I believe common courtesy has really gone the way of the dinosaur. It’s not only important in business, but in our personal lives too. Think about how many times a person won’t bother to hold the door open for you. Or, my personal pet peeve, how many abandoned shopping carts are just strewn about the parking lot at the supermarket. It always amazes me that people don’t seem to want to take a few extra seconds and those few extra steps to put the cart in the cart return. It’s just common courtesy. Those few extra seconds can save the time of the poor person whose job it is to collect the carts. It can also save the aggravation of someone who had their car door dinged by a stray cart that rolled into them.

I’ve had people bump into me without excusing themselves, or even acknowledging that it happened. Have we become so self-absorbed that we don’t even notice that we’ve plowed into another human being?

Maybe it’s just me… But I think if we all stop and look around us, we’ll notice little things we can all do that will make circumstances easier for everyone around us, which can only help ourselves in the long run.

Jun 17, 2009

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