A few days ago I was driving to work and had the misfortune of being tailgated by a jerk. She drove her a big, black SUV so closely to my car that I’m sure it must have looked like I was giving her tow. It’s not like I was driving slowly either as I was racing to work at about 15km/h over the speed limit myself. Finally, THANKFULLY, the road split into two lanes and she raced past me. Unfortunately, she also raced past a stopped school bus that was picking up children in front of us. Our traffic laws dictate that that you must stop behind the bus until all children have boarded…but I guess the law didn’t apply to her! Needless to say, it was a pretty crappy way to start the day.
It got me thinking about everyday rude behaviour that we have all seemed to have gotten used to. I am guilty myself of constantly being late (I hate that about myself) and interrupting others. The latter I chalk up to growing up in a household of big personalities and you had to be loud and interrupt in order to be heard (I know, no excuse). Our family dinners are deafening, raucous affairs that we love…but I’m not so sure others would!
As part of the “Dominique Self-Improvement Plan”, I’m working hard on curbing these two offensive behaviours. I now add 30 minutes to my “getting ready routine” in order to arrive on time, and I try very hard to listen to others and not interrupt. I think it’s working, although my poor friends may disagree. Here is my list of jerk behaviours that I tend to see more and more often as time goes by…
I find littering isn’t so much of a problem where I live. People in our city are proud of it and it is a fact that the city’s residents are very in tune to the surrounding environment and keeping it pristine. That very same lady though who tailgated me so closely also threw a chocolate bar wrapper out of her car window. It came across as careless, disgusting and slovenly. Littering is dangerous to the environment, breeds vermin and disease and there is no faster way to announce to the world that you are a pig. Major pet peeve: throwing cigarette butts out of car windows too. Stop. Just STOP.
Being late. Sigh. I am ALWAYS LATE. I hate it. My life seems to be one giant stress-y race to get from point A to point B and you know what? It’s completely 100% my fault. No – I didn’t need to throw in a load of laundry before leaving the house. No – I didn’t need to watch another five minutes of Real Housewives of Atlanta to see if Nene kicked Claudia’s a$$. No – I didn’t need to tear apart the house looking for that blue eyeliner I swear I bought last year. Tardiness is disrespectful. I don’t want my friends and family to feel like I don’t care about them or their own schedules. Set your clock a few minutes ahead or just accept the fact that it takes you two hours to get ready, not 30 minutes!
Stop. Breathe. Listen. Listen to what people have to say. Don’t stare at them thinking about wishing they’d stop talking so you can make your own point. You are not the centre of the universe. It’s disruptive to the flow of conversation too. People who interrupt will often turn the conversation in other direction and leave the interruptee hanging. Not cool.
A few tips to stop? Think about actually keeping your mouth shut! Write “SU” (shut up) on your hand. Tell your friends to point out every time you interrupt, or have one of them say “Let her finish…” when you’ve interrupted. Trust me, it helps!
Constantly on Your Cell Phone
Another one I am very guilty of. When you are out with a group of people, you want to be engaged! Don’t get distracted by your phone. If you are constantly texting, emailing or scrolling instagram while with your buddies, it sends the message that you don’t care to be in their company, that you have more important things to do. And we all know that looking at Kim Kardashian’s instagram to see what she isn’t wearing that day is not license to ignore your pals.
I know you’re in a rush, I know you are late, but hold the door open for the person behind you. Come on. It takes two, maybe three seconds. Worst of all, don’t look them in the eye then proceed through the doorway without holding the door open. RUDE.
Ewwww. This is a biggie for me. I find it SHOCKING when I see another person in a public washroom exit their stall and then proceed on out of there without washing their hands. These offenders are the reason colds and the flu spread like wild fire, not to mention nasty noroviruses (Norwalk Virus) that can level you for a week. It’s just gross. This extends to not brushing your teeth, showering once in a blue moon, and blowing your nose without a tissue. Yes, I’ve seen it. Yes, I’m traumatized.
Cover Your Mouth
Cover your mouth when you cough or yawn. Sneeze into the crook of your arm. I don’t want to see how many teeth you have, and I don’t want to be showered with a spray of potential cold/flu-laden saliva. Disgusting. Can you tell I work in public health? LOL!
Ahhh yes. Manspreading. The act of sitting on a bus or train and spreading your legs as wide as possible in order to take up two seats because you don’t care about anyone but yourself. STOP IT. Manspreading applies to the ladies too. Your purse does not need its own seat. And don’t give me that designer bag crap either. I watched a lady on the bus get mad at another because the seat hog’s Vuitton had it’s own seat. When the Vuitton-owner balked at moving it, the other lady said to her in a big, bold voice: “Maybe you shouldn’t have bought that bag. Maybe you should have taken the money and bought a car instead!”. OUCH. Mental note: never bring designer handbags on buses.
Bad Table Manners
Don’t hold your knife and fork like a shovel. Put your phone away. Chew with your mouth closed. Don’t belch at the table – no, it is not a compliment to the chef. Don’t talk with your mouth full. Don’t use your fingers as utensils. Don’t pick your teeth at the table. Don’t ask the chef or your host for ketchup or salt to drown your dish in. They took the time to make you a nice meal, don’t alter it in such a bush league fashion. Instead…
- Always place your napkin on your lap when dining out at more formal restaurants. Keep it on your lap (except when using it) until your party is ready to leave the table.
- Wait to begin eating until everyone at your table has been served, unless the fellow diner who’s waiting for their meal insists you begin.
- Compliment the chef!
Personal Grooming in Public
On a recent flight, the lady next to me filed and buffed her nails for 45 minutes. We breathed in her nail dust for 45 minutes. Thankfully, the man on her other side asked her to stop. Don’t clip your nails in public, don’t pick your teeth in public and most importantly, don’t take a poo on the bus in front of everyone. Yes, I saw this first hand and no, I have never set foot on a bus again. Anything to add to the list?? Let me know!