Sunday, October 13, 2013

The New Age Manners - Part II

This is a sequel to an article I wrote for a newspaper many moons ago when I perceived a new set of manners creeping into our society. At that time I was more worried about how the youngsters of the day (some 15 years ago was it?) would misbehave in a social setting. They would not do their namaskarams and pranaams, would not wait for the elders to do their thing and generally make an embarrassment of themselves and their families. But now all that is not relevant. Now we do not have anything called a social setting unless its on the web.

Anyway I am now subject to many new age manners these days. I have listed some. You can add some more.

1) Do not acknowledge the other person, even if he or she is a known person. Walk past. Ignore so pointedly that the other person starts wondering if he / she saw a ghost..

2) Rush ahead in the queues (old one in India), for seats, for tickets, for ATMs, for parking, in traffic, for everything. The motto - whatever happens, I will go first even if I mess it all up. If anyone complains give them the middle finger.

3) Never serve with a smile. If anyone speaks with a smile, look at them angrily, sullenly. Don't waste your smiles.Speak in first person or abusive tone even if the other person is an elder, a woman. Who cares.

4) Do not reply to phone calls or sms's. Reply only to those you have some work with. All else to be ignored pointedly. Even if you happen to be on facebook at the same time and the other person knows you are on fb! (friend of mine had this experience recently.) But if you have some work, send a million sms's and call five million times in one hour.

5) Barge into conversations. Me first. You can stop and continue later. On the flip side, speak on for long hours on the phone even if customers are waiting for you and dying of hunger outside. Bank clerks, watchmen, receptionists etc do this wonderfully as do many seniors.

6) Never use words like please, thank you or sorry. Or even good bye for that matter. My job is done.

7) Never stand up for the elderly, the female of the sex, children and offer them your seat. Instead fight with them. I've seen a man shouting and fighting in the loudest, most offensive manner, with a woman who had a child in her arms, just because she did not give him her place in the queue so he could stand with his friends!

8) Do not offer apologies for talking loudly in public places, for speaking on the phone in movie theatres, concerts, for making love to ATMs when millions are waiting outside, for dirtying the place, for occupying others places, for being offensively loud etc. If anyone protests, fight, abuse and beat up. Also lie shamelessly in the phone that you are away in some other place when everyone can see you are watching a movie.

9) Do not pay attention when someone is speaking to you and instead look deep into your gadgets and nod cursorily once in a while. I have had a publisher do that to me after I went all the way to meet him.

10) Do not have the grace to acknowledge a compliment, a smile. That is taken for granted, what next?

I long for something hard and blunt on such occasions and a provision in the law that allows me to use that until certain corrections are made in these behaviors.


Rajendra said...

Welcome to the New Age..makes you long for old age, and exit from any age.

Harimohan said...

Joining them might be a great stress buster too Raja. Just to make them feel what we feel and also enjoy the liberating moment.