Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Death of Courtesy Will Affect Us All

The death of courtesy will affect us all. I listened to the news of the last few days as they related the story of the flight attendant deploying the emergency slide on a Jet Blue plane basically giving new meaning to the old song, "Take this job and shove it, I ain't workin here no more."
As reported this flight attendant was making an attempt to assist a passenger as she struggled to get her luggage into the overhead bin.
For reasons that are yet unclear it would seem that somehow she clocked him on the head with either the door of the overhead bin or her luggage (depends on which account you read)in anger. She did not offer apology in fact refused to apologize to the flight attendant. This incident, coupled with God knows how many other episodes of this ilk, over a long career in the service industry evidently pushed him over the edge. It is possible he could get a seven year prison sentence for the tenor of his response so this really could be impactful on this airline workers life.

My husband and I purchased our Asheville Bed and Breakfast some 11 years ago. I can tell you that the vast majority of our guests have been the source of much joy to our hearts. We have made many close friends of guests and have deeply enjoyed and benefited from our guest encounters during that time. I can also tell you that there have been blessedly few that would try and patience of God. Their terse, angry personas are dedicated to the entitlement program which is their agenda all day every day. Despite all that is routinely done At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn to ensure guest comfort, quality of stay and excellence of delivery, the attitude is sour. It makes one wonder why these folks, clearly not receptive or gaining enjoyment from contact with others in other than the most dismissive, angry, rude and generally hateful manners, would seek out such intimate accommodations.

Just yesterday I had an innkeeper friend in another area of town relate a guest story in which her employee called a guest that was to be arriving at her Asheville Bed and Breakfast on that day. Her call was to confirm that all was proceeding well in his journey and also to provide current weather in our area and road conditions that might affect guest travel. It was a call of courtesy. His response to her enquiry about his estimated time of arrival was something very much like, "You'll see me when you see me and not a minute before." Clearly, he was purposefully being rude, abrasive, demeaning and unkind. It was not accidental but purposeful. Why? What would give any of us, regardless of our station, economic status or any other status, a reason valid enough to respond to another person in that manner totally unprovoked.
We need to address that issue in our daily lives. We need to deal with frustration, anger, depression and just the toll of daily living in more civilized terms. We need to see those around us as "fellow travelers" and be in awareness that each of us, all of us, are dealing with many different things on each day we live. Sometimes we are dealing with them well and sometimes not. We need to realize that we are not machines and that even in this high tech, everything right now this very minute world, that we still owe each other basic courtesy. We do not own one another. Though we are paying for whatever service is being rendered to us this does not issue us a license to abuse each other. It is simply wrong to exploit the fact that any of us need a job to earn a living and have to work as a vehicle to deploy behaviors that should embarrass us. We need to learn to be embarrassed again because this behavior is going to give a new and likely very unfortunate twist to our society at large. It isn't going to be pretty.

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

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