One of the by-products of living in the Nanny state, wherein self responsibility and the consequences of our actions have been eradicated by the state, is the general lack of manners that pervades society; manners after all indicate that we have empathy and respect for others, and that we are cognisant that our actions and words affect others.
Thus is is interesting to see the debate that has sprung up over an incident in Sainsbury's Crayford the other day, where a checkout lady refused to serve a customer (Jo Clarke) who was talking on her mobile phone. Sainsbury's, at the time, sent the customer a £10 voucher along with an apology. However, as sometimes happens with "small" incidents, the story has rather gained traction and the BBC has gained sight of a letter from Sainsbury's:
"It is clear this story has touched a nerve as the weight of comment shows.Seemingly the Sainsbury's worker told Ms Clarke that it was company policy not to serve people who were occupied with their mobile phones, but that was denied at the time by the company.
However, we are also pleased that this specific story is leading to a wider debate on politeness.......the discussion this has created leads us all to think twice before reaching for our mobile phones and to recognise the great job the many thousands of sales assistants working across retail do.."
I have a simple view on this, it is rude RUDE to talk on a mobile when interacting with another human being.
There is a certain type of person who seems to regard shop assistants, waiters etc etc as second class citizens who do not deserve to be treated with the same courtesy as others. At this point we can all come up with examples of rude sales staff, waiters etc. However, that does not mean we should tar all staff with the same brush.
Manners are there for all, whether you are royalty or someone who is down on their luck sleeping on a park bench. Treat people with the same courtesy and respect as you would wish to be treated yourself!
Miss Clarke's response to the furore:
"I think everybody’s been guilty of it (using a mobile at a checkout) sometime in their life – that’s how it is.”Well I haven't, have you?
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