Bing Blog

Rudeness Police, part 2


Hi there. I’m in Vegas again, having flown here next to two lovely women in perfectly pressed pant suits who conversed with each other over the strategic plan of their real estate enterprise for TWO SOLID HOURS. Couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t read. Couldn’t even say anything to them like, “Please be quiet, I’m begging you,” because, well, they were just so NICE.

This put me in mind of the concept we explored yesterday, the one concerning the establishment of a Rudeness Police, hereinafter referred to, when I wish, as the RP. It seems to have touched a nerve with a lot of you, and although I haven’t really done this yet, I thought I would share the pet peeves of some of you that have been cordially annoyed enough at the behavior of your fellow citizens to commit yourself to writing.

Fern of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, a state far more polite than its reputation, I think, relates hers (warning -- some of these are pretty disgusting, although the fact that they even exist makes them worthy of RP note):

  1. Broken Snapple and/or bottles all over the street. I always hope the kids (or adults) who threw them will somehow run over them when they drive by.
  2. Emptied bottles of water now filled with urine — no joke (and I live in pretty upscale Bergen County).
  3. Used condoms tossed on the street. 
  4. Holding the door open for someone at a store or at the movie theatre and they walk through and don’t say “thank you.”
  5. People talking on the phone while they are sitting with me at lunch. (I don’t think I’m THAT boring.)

The tersely named "C" in Montclair, which is also in New Jersey for some reason, writes, "What about including loud eaters? Nothing is more disturbing than listening to the patron seated behind you shovel popcorn into their mouth like they haven’t eaten for days, while I sit there in agony secretly hoping they accidentally bite off their own fingers and choke - could we please add these people to your list? I for one think electronic dog collars are a great solution…perhaps we could up the ante by having repeat offenders sit in buckets of water while they watch the movie." C adds at the end, "By the way - you rock Stanley!" Thanks, C. Back at ya!

Peter, who could live nowhere but in New York, suggests that "The seats in theaters should be wired to submit shocks to people who start talking and being rude. I say we give them 15 seconds then freakin’ zap’em! Even better (If I were king), I’d issue electric collars like we do for dogs and when people’s bad behavior begins, send a current through them that’ll make’em think twice! Kudos to Regal. They’re on the right track." Personally, I think that’s a little excessive. As we assemble the RP, we should watch that we don’t simply punish people for every minor infraction. AB in Providence, for instance, relates that "while waiting for the bus, I saw a woman who sat in her car and let it IDLE for over ten minutes while she read the paper. Mind you it was a comfortable, dry 65 this morning so there was no need to leave the car running for heat or air conditioning. What a waste of gas… and oxygen." I agree, of course, since I spend a lot of time in California and am very green now. But I’m not sure environmental insensitivity should classify somebody as worthy of detainment. "It works both ways," says Philip of Smithtown, NY. "How about theater chains start having some respect for their paying patrons and eliminate the commercial advertisements before the movie. I think it is rather rude on the part of the theater chains to go in to a movie after having paid $8 or $9/ticket and be subjected to 5 to 10 minutes of advertisements. If I want advertisements, I can watch TV!" Now there’s a solution! Big screen! Your own couch! And TV, too! What a thrill!

26 Comments Add Comment

"Couldn’t sleep. Couldn’t read. Couldn’t even say anything to them like, “Please be quiet, I’m begging you,” because, well, they were just so NICE."

Easy, cheap solution: Earplugs

This gets me: People who walk out of a store onto a city street without looking if they will cross someone else's path. They typically get into the middle of the sidewalk, as if they were a slow car just entering the highway, and you have no choice but to swerve around them or slow to their crawl.
Why can't they have the decency to look left before walking onto the sidewalk. Traffic rules apply here folks!

Please tell my why it is expected (which I agree with and practice) that a man should hold a door for a lady, yet nearly every time a female goes out a door before I get to it, she doesn't hold it until I get there or even do the polite "door push" that makes sure it doesn't slam on my face right when I get to it. Any ideas?

My List

1 Leaving your shopping cart in the middle of the aisle so others have to move it to get around
2 Cutting in any line
3 Stopping to block traffic so you can talk to your friends(yes people really do this in Oakland).
4 Playing music at ridiculously loud levels.
5 Buzzing by dangeroulsy close to a bike rider to let them know you "own" the road in your car.

I have two examples of rudeness. One which I see all the time is men talking on their cell phones while in the bathroom. I always make sure to flush the toilet several times.

The other is when people take a cell phone call in the middle of a discussion. Several years ago, we were at a meeting for a Fortune 25 company. We were in the boardroom when one of the VPs asked the CIO a question. Just as the CIO started to answer, the VP's phone rang and he took the call. We were all shocked.

Mr. Bing,

Thank you so much for starting this conversation! I have had the unfortunate experience of having to stand up and walk to an adjoining table in a restaurant to tell people I did not appreciate their children doing laps thru the restaurant while my companion and I were trying to enjoy a nice meal out. Children today are out of control! I am only 43, what decade did proper restaurant behavior go out the window?? I didn't move when I got taken out to eat, it was such a big deal. People, please, get a babysitter, or eat at the playground.

My biggest pet peeve is people who utilize handicapped parking spaces without permits because they'll "only be a minute". That minute may be when a real handicapped person needs that parking spot. Or the people who use the nearest handicapped spots to idle with their SO while waiting for the commuter train, even though there's a perfectly good train station with heat and AC to keep you out of the weather. If you need a few more minutes to snog with your sweetie, get up earlier and do it at home and leave the HC spots for those who need them. Yep, I'm one of them. I don't use my cane because it looks cool, despite how non-gray-haired and un-handicapped I might look. You don't have to be old and gray to have a physical infirmity. The elderly are actually the rudest about this, giving me dirty looks and even threatening me for parking legally in handicapped spots. Sad world when even little old ladies are rude to a handicapped person.

I would add another instance of rudeness where while driving you yield the right of way when you actually have it and the other driver goes by without a wave with their nose up in the air. It's as if it was owed to them or something. An amazingly selfish society we have begot. And what about people who don't flush public toilets? Did their mommies follow them around flushing the toilet for them?

Line Budders

Seriously guy, don't you think I see you sliding up from the side.

You really believe that your time is more important then my time; so much so that you think I'll recognize the fact and let you go ahead of me and all these other people, because you are just that special.

Sorry guy, your holy glow isn't quite so holy today. The two guys in front of me haven't been overwhelmed by your presence either. We all close ranks.

Get to the back of the line.

Real Estate Investors

Not so much rude as just plain annoying.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, stop talking about how much money you've made flipping condos.

For the love of God - please.

OK fantastic stuff, but really what is failed to be mentioned here is the fact that you people complaining about the rudeness, probably have a kid that you raised this way. Welcome to the new age of entitlment, where kids walk 4 or 5 abreast down the street and don't move for cars. I want a Tazer installed in my Car so I can shock these self entitlists in the rump.

Rudeness: I hold the door open and some prima donna broad does not say thank you: Solution and it really works, I loudly say "you are welcome". People who barge into the front of a line. I ask, "are you someone important?" and to shoppers at supermarket who say "I am in a hurry" I ask "gee is your time more valuable than mine? Of course I work in India and rudeness is everywhere.

Not sure if it really counts in this category, but I can tell you, buying a DVD for $20, turning it on and then NOT being able to select the menu command to skip the "coming attractions" drives my crazy. At the very least, they ought to be programmed such that as soon as opening day comes and goes, the "NOT PERMITTED" part of the embedded programming self destructs. Kids movies are the worst. If have to watch the previews for Barney´s other films again, I may decapitate the lovable purple blob!

funny this came up now. i work in a big office partitioned by cubicles. there is a lady that feels it is alright to carry on conversations in a very loud manner over her cell phone in her cubicle. yesterday, she even went on for over an hour with her divorce lawyer about her upcoming divorce. worst part is she is 5 ft from a door to the outside where she can carry on as loud as she pleases. however being in the area of math/sciences i come across alot of interesting/annoying characters like this.

I loathe people who get into Express lines at the supermarket with more than the maximum "allowed" AND with coupons that go-with each of those items exceeds the concept of Express. Ten identical items that need to be rung in separately do NOT count as one item. And, saying that "I don't believe in Express lines" doesn't excuse you, either. I DO!!

Rudeness is rampant, leading to rage and other uncivilities.

Speaking of rudeness, how about sitting between two rather large people on an airplane, one of them snoring on my shoulder, the other clipping his fingernails midflight and managing to hit me in the forehead with one of them? Needless to say, I was a much smaller person and did not want to start a brawl, however it crossed my mind!

Some pet peeves:

* Please, Thank You, and Excuse Me. How many times don't you hear it?

* Car Horns as soon as the traffic light changes. What's the rush?

* Not taking your turn at a 4-way stop.

* Blocking the box at a traffic light.

How about this>>>someone's tailing your car's but very close and clearly there in a another world, while being in their cell phone. You move over and maybe get behind them to show them it "wasn't cool" what they did...then all of a sudden, that person is freaking out because you're tailing them and they obviously still don't realize that they did it to you first. People must start to be more aware of their environments when talking on the phone while driving.

Here's another one I'm sure the entire U.S. can understand>>>In Ga, it is state law for 18-wheelers to stay in the 2 far right lanes at all times. However, trucks moving through GA are constantly harassing, tail-gating, and scaring tons of drivers on the highways. Driving in any lane they choose, riding someone's tail until they move over and get out of the trucker's way. This is getting very dangerous. The truckers might be on the road more than most of us but they Do Not own the road. Perhaps, these trucking companies should stop giving bonus incentives for the truckers to arrive early and maybe then they'll take their time and stop scaring so many drivers.

How about when people block the entire aisle in the grocery store with their cart and then act like they cannot see you out of their peripheral vision standing there waiting for them to move? No please, take all of your time making such an important decision as whether to buy regular or double-stuffed Oreos while you make everyone else wait. And then when you clear your throat or say, excuse me to get by, they don't even offer a "sorry" but instead give you a look like how dare you make me move for you? In another grocery store incident, the meat cart was in the middle of the aisle and I was waiting for a shopper to pass by the open side (the shopper by the way, took all of their sweet time scanning the sausages as I stood waiting) when another man came up from the other side and went through behind him. Wasn't taking turns one of the first things we were taught in kindgergarten (not to mention the ladies first courtesy was completely ignored here)?

my pet peeve is people who talk loudly on public transportation. every morning and evening i have to deal with someone practically yelling about their car being in the shop, their new lip gloss, or their baby daddy. i don't have a problem with people conversing, but if i'm several rows away and i can still hear everything you say, YOU ARE BEING TOO LOUD!

demanding patrons that don't tip (well or at all) in either restaurants or spas should absolutely be subject to some form of public humiliation. you know, just as they tortured the waiter, massage therapist or any other person who relies on tips as salary. people can be simply horrid to their fellow human beings. don't they know that part or all of that person's salary lies with the discretion of the jerk to whom they just gave their heart and soul? and, guess what, celebrities are the worst offenders. perhaps their names should be made public for all of their friends, families and colleagues to view. oh yeah, and make them publicly declare why they stiffed that person.

Here's my list:
1. The people who drive around with their stereo systems turned up so loud that you can't hear your own music playing in your car. If I wanted to hear your music don't you think I'd be listening to it in my own car?
2. People who don't even acknowledge the cashier or talk on the phone while checking out. A how are you, or hello…. is that to much to ask? Get off the darn phone!!!!
3. Cranky customer service people i.e. cable companies!!! When I call on the phone to speak to a customer serice agent more often than not they are rude, cranky, and not interested in helping out in the least. What ever happened to excellent customer service and valuing the customer?

Keep up the blogging! I always enjoy reading.

I'm a stock broker in Texas and work for a LARGE brokerage firm.I tech an adult education class at night on the basics of investing along with another broker. We each cover 2 different topics per class. Last year the other broker actually clipped his fingernails into a waste basket while I was speaking! First he dragged a metal waste basket accross the floor to have it between his legs. The scratching sound pulled everyone's attention from me (the instructor) to him (the clipper). You could hear each clip (Click, Click, Click) and occassionally a fingernail would go "Cling" as it hit the metal wall of the waste basket.
I let it go because he's from Louisiana and didn't know any better.

People that bring small children to movies that are inappropriate. I did participate in a really effective protest on this. A guy came into the theater with a toddler, and this was a 3-1/2 hour movie. He sat in the far right side of the theatre. The entire audience, every single one, got up and moved as far to the left as possible. He got the message evidently because he left and didn't come back. It was great!