Monday, 3 October 2011

Manners Maketh Man

I am getting seriously OLD but there is one thing that gets me seriously all hot and bothered and that’s manners. Bad manners. For manners maketh man.
I’m not saying you have to hand write thank you letters, an e-mail or a telephone call will suffice, nor am I saying that men should walk on the outside of the pavement when escorting ladies but in general one should be a little more thoughtful and basically polite.
I have a lad who comes to the house and helps in the garden and helps with the chickens at weekends. Or at least it was meant to be every Sunday then that changed and it was whenever he could make it.
Now I don’t need this lad, I can do the work on my own quite happily. I pay the lad, because it’s only fair.  I or Charlie have to stay with him while he works because he’s only 15. We don’t mind unduly. He also scores this occasional day against his Duke of Edinburgh award.
Now the other weekend he was meant to turn up but he didn’t. There was no telephone call to say what was happening. It’s not the first time this has happened. I am obviously meant to know through telepathy when he cannot make it. I did talk to him about it saying we needed to know when he is and isn’t able to work for us and we tell him when we can’t make a day. It made no difference. He did turn up the following week and asked me for a write up re his DoE. I forgot but was reminded in a very terse call whereby I didn’t even get the pleasantries.
It sort of went like this:
Ring ring
Hello, this is Tattie Weasle...
It’s Carter here. I haven’t had my DoE stuff
Oh right errm yes I’ll do that now.
Rings off
I was majorly pissed off.
It would have been nice to have a chat more along the lines of:
Ring Ring
Hello, this is Tattie Weasle
Oh Hello Mrs Weasle. Its Carter here…
Oh! Hello Carter, how are you?
I’m fine, thank you Mrs Weasle and yourself?
I’m very well Carter. What can I do for you?
Mrs Weasle you very kindly said you’d do my DoE write up for me I may have given you the wrong e-mail address.
Oh Carter I am terribly sorry of course I’ll do that straight away. I do hope that it won’t cause any problems.
Not at all Mrs Weasle. Thank you so much I really appreciate it. Good bye
Goodbye Carter.
I would have felt very happy and would have written a great long spiel putting as much good spin on as possible. As it was I wrote a three line message and hoped that it was enough.
Needless to say I have not heard a word since and although expected on Sunday he didn’t turn up. Dear Charlie was furious and said we should not have to wait around for him and then added it was better he didn’t work here at all.
And I am in agreement.
It may seem harsh but the lad is 15 years old. He needs to get some manners or else he’s going to find that he ain't going to get very far in this world and people won’t want to do things for him in the future. I know I will be very reticent. Because he’s been unreliable, unmannerly and a pain in the neck to be frank by not telling us when he is and isn’t going to turn up. I don’t think I am asking too much. Just basic manners.
Or am I just getting old?


Crystal Jigsaw said...

I totally agree. Our lambing assistant had the manners of an angel until it came to her wants and needs. At 20 years old and living with one of the most eligible bachelors in the area, she obviously thinks manners aren't needed. She doesn't need to earn money but we gave her the opportunity to because she wanted to work. Then she started cleaning for me and to be quite frank, turned into the rudest 20 year old I'd ever met.

I think teenagers are quite different to how they used to be, getting old or not Tattie. I think we're about the same age (I'm 41) and definitely agree that basic good manners go a long way. It's not surprising the country is struggling with unemployment when these youngsters act the way they do. Who the hell wants to employ someone like that?!

CJ xx

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

At the very least your gardening lad needs to be a bit brighter about getting what he wants , let alone about getting on with people !

mrsnesbitt said...

Oh I can quite relate to this - I worked in our local primary school for many years - over time the pupils got to know a bit of our love of animals, land, etc etc. We have had some ask for work from time to time. A few months ago one ex-pupil asked me if I knew of any farm work in our village. I said I knew of none but there was an opportunity to do some paid work for us. He did a couple of days - with me collecting him etc. Last week he textd me to see if there was any work - not at the weekend but on Monday. I pointed out I have no transport at the moment - he would have to come on his bike - the 1 mile!!! 10am arranged and agreed. Monday 10am - nothing 11am - nothing. I textd "I assume you are not coming" Response "Running late am coming" "OK" Next text "Am setting off now" "OK" Next response "I will not be coming today I have fallen off my bike!" Response "OK" No - he wont be coming anymore!!!

elizabethm said...

I agree with you totally Tattie. I am pretty sure that some part of my children's progress in life was down less to academic prowess than to the fact that they all have really nice manners!

Marcheline said...

No, you are not wrong. However, you need to sit down with him (next time he deigns to appear) and tell him exactly what you said here. Not the whole thing, just this part:

"He needs to get some manners or else he’s going to find that he ain't going to get very far in this world and people won’t want to do things for him in the future."

His parents are obviously not telling him what he needs to know, and perhaps hearing it from a third party adult, speaking to him as an adult, will make him sit up and take notice. Even if he doesn't shape up right away, I guarantee your words will come back to him in future.

Joanne said...

I just read a tweet on ExpatMum's blog: In response to 50 is the new 30 someone's mother responded 20 is the new 10. I guess that leaves 15 in the hole. So sad.

mum in meltdown said...

You are so right!! I'm a firm believer that manners do not cost anything and will get you a long way in life!! I always try and treat people how I would want to be treated. I would hate it if my booys grew up and were blatently rude like that!

Spencer Park said...

I'm not sure that it's an age thing. I think there are rude older people just as there are rude younger people.

Your suggested script was far more along the lines that I would have taken the conversation!

Rob-bear said...

Not sure exactly what it is, but once you commit yourself you need to follow through. It's a matter of "can you be trusted?" If I cannot trust you, why would I want to have you working for or with me?
Pretty simple, I think.
Old school or not, there has to be an element of trust in every relationship.

Suburbia said...

Shame his D of E can't have a manners module!

Go on you know you want to...


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