Today, a young woman, whose age and identity I will protect (let’s just say she was old enough to know better), texted on her smart phone throughout our entire encounter. Unless she was negotiating peace in Syria, I found this rude and unnecessary. Let me just clarify my role in this encounter: today I worked as a physician assistant at a walk-in clinic. I was there to help her. She might have needed Miss Manners’ help, but I don’t think she was very interested in mine.
She came into the clinic, complaining of various ailments, seeking a prescription for an antibiotic she was sure she needed. (She did not.) I felt like I was intruding on her personal space, even though technically, she had walked into mine. But let me tell you, my iPhone was tucked away in my purse. My momma raised me right. Her manners, or complete lack thereof, reinforced my suspicion that some children are indeed raised by wolves. But that seems unfair to wolves.
When did it become socially acceptable to stop abruptly mid-conversation and begin a totally unrelated conversation? Because isn’t that what texting really is? Carrying on a conversation? And to text, don’t you completely ignore the person sitting in front of you? The person taking your order or ringing up your grocery bill or swabbing your throat to test for strep? Seriously?
I think it’s time for bed, because almost certainly, there’s more to come tomorrow.
In closing, if this silly post makes one person pocket her smart phone tomorrow and actually look the checkout guy in the eye, maybe even ask about his day or say thank you, then my time on this earth will have meant something. Or at least my time on the couch this evening.
Where do you see room for improvement in our day-to-day dealings with each other? How would you like to see people be kinder, more considerate, more gracious?
Let’s make manners cool again. One by one, we can do it. Seriously.