Monday, 16 July 2012

Mind them

A while back, when I was working through working out my values (and writing several posts on the subject) I read one piece of advice that really resonated more than the rest. It was to pay attention to when something really upsets you. When something gets you really fired up and you just feel so wrong about it. Those moments when you get wound up about something are probably to do with your values. So whatever it is that's upset you and your sense of what's right, is probably the opposite to what you value. And today I experienced the perfect example of this in action. Several times in a row! And all at a service station in Stafford on the way up to Walney.
First of all, as we were coming out of the service station somebody barged through coming the other way ( ie coming in) so we had to step out of the way. I caught the door as it was closing behind her to walk through it myself, only to find three more people streaming through and I ended up holding the door for them before eventually getting out myself. There was then another door and again, the people coming in continued to do so forcing me and Alex to stand to one side and wait.
Not one of them said thank you. Which is one thing, but more to the point, am I missing something here? Are the unwritten rules on right of way in and out of doors different in Stafford? Doesn't everybody know that people coming out are invited to do so before people going in? Is that SO difficult a rule to follow?
I was still muttering about this when we got back to the car and probably still would be now, had I not then spotted something that horrified me even more. A bunch of blokes crammed themselves into some cruddy little car and looked about to set off. Then the front door opened again and to my utter disgust, horror and total disbelief, the ignorant, lazy nobhead in the front seat proceeded to empty a load of rubbish out of his footwell and onto the carpark. Crisp bag followed redbull can followed malt drink carton. It just kept coming and when they eventually drove off it just sat there, floating around the now empty space. There was a bin about 15 feet away.Ok it was raining, but surely those big blokes are hard enough to cope with a bit of rain for a few seconds? They had managed to get to and from the service station to stock up on lard after all.
Speechless. Insensed. Utterly flabbergasted. Shocked. Total disbelief.
I simply just cannot understand this behaviour. I am so far from understanding it that I find it hard to put into words why.
I mean, am I just an incredibly uptight poncey southerner with an outdated sense of loyalty to a bunch of arcane social rules and niceties? Or, do I just believe in common courtesy, decency, respect and manners?
Needless to say, whatever the answer, we struck gold with the whole value identification thing!
I don't think I'm alone. We were watching the Tour de France the other day which I have never done before and I was particularly drawn to how the whole thing pretty much seems to operate on a series of unwritten rules, gentlemanliness, manners and common courtesy. How very civilised. And on a day when the radio was full of chat about all the effing and blinding in football, how refreshing.
It really isn't difficult, if only society in general was as considerate and observing of the unwritten rules as the peloton.
I bet Bradley Wiggins doesn't barge threw doors the wrong way or throw rubbish out of his car. And I bet he always says thank you.

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