My mum’s right this time ... good manners cost nothing

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How many of you have had that awful moment when you realise that you sound like your mother?

Phrases that you never thought you would find yourself saying just seem to trip off your tongue.

I’ve managed to avoid it for most of the last 50-odd years, but this week, on more than one occasion, I was found echoing my dear old mum as I remarked “good manners cost you nothing”.

Am I the only one who thinks you should use the words please and thank you as required? There are certainly days when it seems like it.

And, while I sometimes have to remind Jack to say those little words, he has an excuse – he’s only three! But it is the people who are older and should be wiser who really make my blood boil.

Take this morning, our receptionist was away from the desk for a while so the front door was locked. For some reason, all her calls were diverted to my phone which wasn’t a problem ... until I picked it up and my polite “Good morning, can I help you?” was met with a “Come and let me in, the door’s locked”.

Eh, excuse me? No please, thank you or even a ‘‘Would you possibly mind opening the door’’.

Well I’ve got good manners so I did open the door, albeit with bad grace. Especially since there was still no thank you – and, when I come to think about it, I’m sure he didn’t sign in which is another black mark for him.

People go on about the younger generation, but I’ve found it’s often those who are in the, well let’s say, slightly older age group, who have lost the ability to be polite.

The other week I was sitting in the car at traffic lights when I saw what had the potential to be quite a funny incident, if only the person responsible had shown a bit of courtesy.

Picture the scene, chap decked out in lycra running gear pounding along the pavement really looking every inch the experienced athlete. However, he also had his pet dog on the end of one of those extending leads. I’m never convinced that dogs really want to run alongside their owners while they take part in their hobby of running or cycling. Perhaps that pooch was hoping for a leisurely stroll rather than a frantic gallop.

But I digress. What took my breath away was the dog owner’s rudeness when he came up against a woman walking in the opposite direction and he went one way around her and the dog went the other. She was effectively tied up with the lead but instead of apologising, the arrogant so and so just yanked on the lead, pulled the dog around her and set off again apace.

No sorry, no nothing. What could have been turned into an amusing incident that the pair of them could have laughed over, left her disgruntled and me furious on her behalf. Yes, good manners cost nothing.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this week’s column.