I think you can tell more about a person in the little things than in the big, sweeping gestures. To get to the bottom of someone’s way of thinking, how they were raised and how they respect other people, you have to ignore the premeditated stuff and look at the things they don’t really think about: their manners, habits, how they deal with strangers. And there are few things that someone can do (or not do) that will color my judgment of that person, if not forever, then for the foreseeable future. Here are my dealbreakers:
- Putting your feet up at the dinner table. In a restaurant– In a swanky restaurant in a hotel, I saw a woman with her foot on her chair, under her other leg. But nothing still tops the woman I saw in a restaurant in a mall who had both her BARE feet on her seat, in an Indian-sit position. At home, I put one foot on the chair (under my other leg) at most. If I pulled the Indian-sit stunt, my mom would smack me. It’s just downright gross to that in a public place. The other diners do not need to see your bare foot staring back at them while they’re enjoying their meals. The person who will be sitting in that same seat after you deserves a clean seat that wasn’t touched by a stranger’s feet or shoe. So please, put your foot/feet down. Basic etiquette demands it. Nay, basic HYGIENE requires it. Yuck.
- Not giving your seat up for pregnant ladies– I was on my way home on the MRT last night and boarded the train with a woman who looked around 5 to 6 months pregnant. And NO ONE gave up their seat for her. She had to stand from Ayala to Ortigas, until a woman who was seated had to get off at Ortigas. It didn’t seem like she minded, as she was happily chatting and laughing with two friends who were with her, but I did. I think it is a mark of basic kindness and consideration to give up your comfort for a person who is carrying another person inside of them. Not to toot my own horn, but I give up my seat (when I am lucky enough to get one) when I see a pregnant woman standing. I’m going to be honest here, I’d much rather that someone offered up their seat before I have to. I am not happy about the prospect of having to stand with my heavy laptop in a crowded train after a long day of work. But a pregnant woman’s burden is obviously more important than mine. Plus, I get to put down my load once I get to the car. The pregnant lady? Not so much.
- Cutting in line– Nothing pisses me off more than this. I’ve been known to actually go up to someone who cut in line and tell them, “Miss, the end of the line is there (pointing). You’re cutting in line.” It’s amazing to me how some people cannot be bothered or are scared to do this. I guess they figure it’s just one person, and it really won’t make a difference? I suppose that’s true at that instance, but if you take into account all the people who do this, then it’s a big, thing, no? And the reason this offense is particularly grating for me is that it shows an utter lack of respect for the other 15/43/242 people in line. There’s an insinuation that the perpetrator’s time is more valuable than others’, that his/her needs deserve to be met first, that the basic principles of queuing do not apply to them, that they are above the rules. But let me break it down for you. If you can’t be bothered to line up to board a plane, then fly enough miles to get special frequent flyer status. If you can’t wait for your turn at McDonald’s then go to a restaurant where a waiter will cater to your needs right away. If you don’t have three hours to have your driver’s license renewed, then wake up at the butt crack of dawn and get to the LTO first. If you want to get in the classes with the best professors, then volunteer as a registration assistant next semester. If you can’t do any of that, then shut up and go to the back of the line, bitch.
Yeah. As you can see, this really gets me going.
So what are your dealbreakers? Let me know in the comments, so I know how NOT to piss you off. 😉