What Happened to Common Courtesy?

"Rhodesian Cave Man" from Scientific...

Image by Wyoming_Jackrabbit via Flickr

I thought I had seen my share of rude and inappropriate behavior, but what I saw last evening puzzled and shocked me.  My husband and I decided to grab something quick to eat at the local McDonald’s, since we were trying to beat the time.  I was filling the cups with coke at the beverage dispensing machine, which is right across from the bathroom about 25 or 30 feet.  The coke dispenser is next to the water dispenser, and then the rest of the flavors.  I finished refilling one cup and set it aside to refill the next.  A woman who had finished eating, stood next to me, said excuse me, and proceeded to wash her hands in the drinking water dispenser (next to the coke) splattering all over and almost reaching my drink.  I was shocked, frozen in disbelieve at such inconsiderate and bizarre behavior.  It was not only rude, but also gross, and lazy on her part, since the bathroom was behind her – just a few steps.

What happened to common courtesy?  This was a grown up woman.  What happened to good manners?  Are they forgotten?  Are we becoming Neanderthal and uncivilized people living in a technological society?  Maybe some people may think about this post – what is the big deal?  And I say to that – yes, it is a big deal, and maybe that is the reason good manners at home and in public are forgotten – because we think of these things lightly and have become used to them as normal behavior.  Pardon me please, but there is nothing normal about washing your hands at the beverage dispensing machine using the water refill.

Well, all I can say is that I am still shocked, hence this post, and hope that one day, we start appreciating common courtesy and good manners in our daily living, and that future parents continue to make an effort to make time and teach their children basic acceptable social behavior and common courtesy – just so our species does not reverse to the glacial period and subdivides into the early Neanderthals, Cro-magnon, or Homo sapiens.  A little dose of good manners may save our species after all.