Not a story, but more a question regarding door-holding etiquette and who owes what. I used to have this disagreement with an old boyfriend on a fairly regular basis, and was wondering if the admin and commenters could weigh in, out of curiosity for what the “right” answer is. My ex found it unacceptably rude if, after someone held a door open for him, they didn’t respond to his “Thank you” with “You’re welcome.” I was of the opinion that having already done you one favour by holding the door, the stranger is in the clear, so to speak, and owes you nothing. Especially if they respond in another way, like smiling or nodding or something. It seemed very demanding to me to insist that someone who has already do e something nice for you must then go through an extra little song and dance to keep their politeness from being rude. But my ex would grumble and huff about it later and insist that thanks deserve recognition, and by not responding “correctly” the door-holder was being rude and disrespectful. Who was in the right? 0726-14

If one goes through life expecting to be rewarded for good manners, I think the likelihood of chronic disappointment and disillusionment is highly probable.   We should behave in a kind, civil manner because it edifies the individual, it feels good, and there is the intrinsic satisfaction of doing something that contributes to the overall good.    Your ex has a fairly shallow and superficial reason for why he acts politely in society…when people respond the way he believes they should, he gets an immediate “reward” and if they do not, he grouses about it meaning he is, at least, ungracious.

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Feel Good Friday – Henri’s Boogie

by admin on July 25, 2014

We love music on Ehell.

Henri Herbert (piano player with The Jim Jones Revue) gives an impromptu performance at St Pancras International station, London.

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My local coffee house has a single restroom for the entire establishment, and a single restroom key, available in a cup by the cash register.

On this particular day, there were around a dozen people in line waiting for the bathroom. The bathroom door has a sign asking patrons to get the key from the cash register, but people were just holding the door for one another. The employees were swamped, and did not care.

I was in the middle of the line when I noticed a woman walk up towards the front of the line and hover. She had the bathroom key in her hand. The next time the bathroom door opened, she grabbed the door, and silently handed the key to the person she had just cut, before entering the restroom.
Note: The line was long enough to see from the cash register.

I’ve gone through this scenario a couple of times in my head, and just come up with more questions. Did possession of the key give her the right to cut the line? Should everyone in line have been passing the key, or waiting at the cash register for it to be returned?

What’s the appropriate thing to say to such a person? What if she had some disability or illness that required immediate use of the facilities? If she had such a condition, would etiquette require her to ask the people in line, or is it okay just to cut? If you feel desperate enough so that you must cut, wouldn’t an apology be due when you emerge?

My first impression would be to condemn line cutting of any form, because there is no way of knowing the condition of the people currently waiting in line. What do you think? 0723-14

Well, this is certainly an interesting dilemma!   My first thought is the line cutter is a legalist following the letter of the “law” as dictated by the restaurant signage.   Following the directions as outlined by the management is generally a good idea but in this case, the employees and management appear to be just fine with people standing in line and offering an open door to the bathroom to the next person.   A strict application of the restaurant policy would have meant each person obtains the key, unlocks the bathroom, does their business, returns the key to the cash register and the next person in line gets the key and so forth.   It’s awkward and unnecessary considering how many people were in need of the bathroom so the patrons have skipped the extra steps and graciously hold the door for the next person.

As for desperate need to use the bathroom due to medical issues, particularly if it means cutting in the line, it would be polite to actually ask those waiting if you can do this…pretty please!   To not ask presumes that your need is far more important and urgent than anyone else’s and selfishly presumes others are not in desperate need as well.

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This is both a submission and a request for advice, because I’ve not had much experience with situations like this, and I want to avoid making this any worse (also sorry for the long entry).

I recently went on a camping trip with my boyfriend, G. We were invited by our mutual good friends, married couple B and M (M and I describe ourselves as best friends). M has a friend, whom she reconnected with after a few years of little contact, named P, and he was also invited. I’ve hung out with M, B, and P before, and P has always been obnoxious. Arrogant, hostile, refuses to be wrong, and is still young enough to think that getting black-out drunk is a form of entertainment rather than embarrassment. We’re all about the same age (22-23, G is 25), but P and I have no similarities. Although I wasn’t fond of him, I didn’t want to monopolize M’s guest list, so I said I was ok with him being invited (M asked me because, I quote, “Some people don’t like him coming along”).

On Friday night, the first night of the camping trip, we’re sitting around the fire, and I was questioning P about his dog. I have never had dogs and although I volunteered with the Humane Society for almost 6 months, I really don’t know much about them. My question of why P’s dog is so small even though she is over three years old is met with the eloquent response, “She’s a small breed dog. What kind of f*cking question is that?” Now this is not the etiquette dilemma. This is just an example I am trying to provide to give you and other readers an idea of P’s general attitude. He was not like that because he was tired, or cold, or he didn’t get the amount of s’mores he wanted. That is the way he is. All the time. He was rude, unnecessarily sarcastic (I’m sarcastic quite often, but not downright mean), and insulting the whole night, and the next day.

P was also rude and insulting to B and M the whole weekend, who, due to P being unemployed, were allowing him to sleep on their couch while he was trying to find another job. I don’t blame P for needing assistance, especially in this economy, but he would make comments like “shut up”, or “no sh*t”, to the people who were helping him out, when they had no obligation.

But the actual incident was on Saturday evening. P and B had both purchased axes to chop wood, and decided that when they weren’t using them for their intended purpose, they would practice throwing them at this tree stump in our campsite (are you swooning from their impressive masculinity?! Me neither). M was preparing dessert and I was talking with her, so I didn’t see exactly what happened. But out of my peripheral I see G talking to B and P, and P advancing towards G. Suddenly G is holding his hand and screaming at P that he cut him. G was cut towards the outside of his hand, nothing serious damaged, but he did bleed quite a bit. Like running down his hand. The cut was about and inch and a half long, and a quarter inch deep at it’s deepest part. After M put a clean bandage on G, he tells me that P was “spinning” the axes, and cut his hand with one of them. P did offer to bandage G up, but G was so mad at the time that he refused, which I didn’t think was unreasonable. P’s apology was him looking at his own hand (because he had cut himself as well), and saying meekly, “Sorry, I didn’t mean for that to happen.”

G and I went for a walk because he was very upset, and he didn’t want to see P because he was afraid he might lose his temper. When we returned B, M, and P were sitting around the campfire talking about P and M’s time together in middle school. We were both upset that B and M had not said anything admonishing P at the time he cut G about how stupid and careless he had been, and that apparently that conversation had not occurred when we were gone. So G and I left. M helped me pack, and she and B assured us P was very sorry. But other than his feeble mumbling when M was bandaging G, he made no attempt to apologize further as he saw us packing up.

He then sent G a long apology text the next day. However, he said “sh*t happens”, in regards to hitting G with the axe, and then he went on to claim G overreacted by wanting to leave the trip and not wanting to see P again. I for one do not think it is “sh*t happens” when people play with weapons. P is ignorant if he doesn’t realize that rules such as “don’t play with guns” and “don’t run with scissors” were invented for a reason. “Sh*t happens” does not describe completely preventable accidents. He’s also ignorant of the fact that if his aim had been a little bit different, or if G had moved ever so slightly to the left or right, P could have caused serious, life-threatening damage to G. And guess who would have to pay those expensive hospital bills. He is also ignorant of the fact that the main reason G and I decided to leave was P cutting G with the axe was the last straw. P had been horrible the entire time we were there, making everyone uncomfortable, creating tension, and making jokes at everyone’s expense but his own. I, nor G, could take any more of him.

G and I are angry and disgusted with P, but we are upset with B and M. I am especially close with M, however neither of us feel like we are being treated like friends by either one of them. So my question is this; do I discontinue my friendship with B and M? Would that be overly dramatic and cause more problems? I really love M, I’ve been friends with her for so long, but I am beginning to think this is not a reciprocal relationship, and it might never be.

Also, P clearly did not learn his lesson about waving sharp objects around unsuspecting people. Should G press assault charges (we are from Southern California), or would that make this situation any worse? Also, have I done anything wrong? And if so, how can I make it better? I appreciate any advice, thank you! 0722-14

Your intention were honorable and selfless when you lied to M about P coming to the camping trip.   But in this case, the hostess gave you a wide open door to comment on the inclusion of P on the camping trip making it clear that she knew some people would (and obviously have) preferred to not spend a precious weekend in P’s company.   So, you have confused your best friend who trusts that you are a person of your word and on that alone you need to have a heart to heart talk with her.

It’s hard to tell whether P is one of those people who acts hard, nasty and ugly because they are themselves miserable people with miserable lives  (people who routinely get rip snorting drunk are not intrinsically happy people, imo) or he’s just a diabolically evil person.  Since he is not a close friend of yours, I suggest avoiding him because he is not your responsibility to fix.   M and B may feel that obligation but they can deal with the consequences of having that association with P.  It appears that M is aware that other friends besides you are not particularly enamored of P so it’s not as if you are the oddball.

 

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Squirmy, Sexy Theater Patrons

by admin on July 21, 2014

I’m not sure how to handle the below situation, and thus, am requesting assistance.

I have season tickets to the theater here, and love nothing more than a Broadway show. This week, a Disney show was playing, and there were adorable little girls in their princess dresses on their absolute best behavior to come and watch the show. My issue was not with them. Directly in front of me was a woman, probably in her mid 30s, who was attending with her partner. Throughout the entire show, she was shifting from side to side, combing her long hair out with her fingers, whispering into her partners ear, leaning into the aisle- Thereby causing me to have to keep moving my head around hers to see the stage. I kept thinking that she was just trying to get comfortable, and if I did not say anything that it would finally stop, as no one could be that jittery. It never stopped, and shamefully, I just kept getting madder and madder, to the point that if I would have even tried to say something, I’m sure it would have spewed forth from my mouth like the words of the Sea Witch on stage. I hardly wanted to start a scene in front of the entire city, so I just bit my tongue. This went on for the entirety of the show- Every two minutes, I was leaning one way or the other to get around her. The family behind me (Who I apologized to during intermission) had to keep going around me as well- I just tried to slump down in my seat to lean out of their way and they put their tallest family member behind me.

So my question is- What do you say to a jittery patron who can’t sit still in a theater? At what point you actually say something? The tiny princesses were fine- But this grown adult was having a time of it. Any suggestions? 0714-14

You do what the following Ehell person did…..

I saw this article about the rudeness of theatre-goers and thought of Etiquette Hell:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/critics-ravage-broadway-audiences-2014-06-28

It reminded me of a recent experience my husband and I had at a theatre production.

A production of Les Miserables was running in our city. This emotional, heavy show is one of our favourites, and we were looking forward to enjoying it from our very pricey premium level seats in the middle of a row in the orchestra. In front of us sat a couple who were apparently throbbing with heated desire for each other. They couldn’t stop petting, stroking, and nuzzling one another through the entire first act. It was gross. At intermission, we tapped one of their shoulders to get their attention and told them what an “adorable couple” they were, but that their undulating bodies were extremely distracting. They seemed embarrassed, and apologized. The second half of the show was much better. They still squirmed and snuggled more than was appropriate at a theatre, but at least it wasn’t borderline foreplay anymore. 0716-14

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Your Cell Phone Is the Culprit, Not Your Waiter

July 17, 2014

A busy NYC restaurant kept getting bad reviews for slow service, so they hired a firm to investigate. When they compared footage from 2004 to footage from 2014, they made some pretty startling discoveries. I cannot copy the entire transcript here but the summary is that customers in 2014 are using cell phones in ways […]

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Faux Pregnancy Update

July 16, 2014

Faux Pregnancy OP here. Unfortunately the situation has gotten worse. My soon to be MIL bumped into me and my mother…at Target…in the baby aisle. So in her eyes this confirms that I’m going to produce a grandchild before Christmas. Never mind that I’ve been talking about how I’m so excited about nephew #3 since […]

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