There’s a seemingly difficult area between different types of relationships between two (or more) people I would like to call ‘common courtesy’. Whether we are talking people in business, neighbors, complete strangers or even lovers is actually irrelevant, but the basic understanding that you need to consider someone else in your decision making is far more important than most people realize or even wish to acknowledge. I can think of a few common areas of my life where courtesy becomes very important.
I spend a great deal of time, like most people, in traffic. What I have observed all over the world (okay, some parts of the world) is how much time people spend on their phones whilst behind the wheel. It’s more so alarming in SA. It is as though there simply isn’t enough time to wait before we get to a complete standstill before we act on the urge to satisfy this incredible desire to respond now.
What I have found even more interesting is how you can get away with so much nonsense if the driver you’re offending/cutting off/not letting in even though they’ve been indicating/not moving quickly enough from a green traffic light is if that poor soul is on their phone at the time of being wronged. It’s fair to say many people struggle to concentrate fully on commanding a vehicle and fiddling with their device. I’ve seen near misses myself and I have to say – it’s pretty inconsiderate to be on your phone in traffic. I may find Bluetooth headsets quite ugly (so sad that I owned one nearly 10 years ago 😦 ), but they allow you to show some courtesy in paying attention to your surroundings a little bit better. It would be a damn shame to see life lost simply because you couldn’t wait to reply to that message that could have waited…
I’m a bedroom disk jockey (DJ) and with this hobby, seeing as I hardly get booked (boohoo 😦 ) means my neighbors have no choice but to be schooled into starting to like my particular taste in house music. I sometimes will have some friends over and of course there is actually never a time the allocated visitor parking lots are sufficient or conveniently located as such. That’s in fact one of my issues with sectional title housing. Firstly they cost as much as a standalone house (likely in a ‘cheaper’ area) and secondly these walls seem to be ever so thin, fam.
At some point we will all experience the baby that will absolutely never stop crying, the fighting couple (I say NO to domestic violence), the bass-bumping on max to test the new sound system guy next door, the lady preparing that extremely fragrant African dish, the braai smoke that is CONVENIENTLY blowing in through the tiny gap under your door to terrorize the hunger dwelling in you, the neighbor who got home slightly (read completely) inebriated and parked halfway into your allocated parking lane, the neighbor who very well knows you can see that they’re walking about butt naked in their apartment, but they don’t actually care about you, the angry neighbor who seems to not like you which obviously means they need to get laid to the old couple which call the security every single time they hear any form of noise coming out of what they have figured out to be your apartment.
These reasons and more are why I would prefer a full title deed house someday soon. I love people all in all, but I need my space to just be free, enjoy my house music, cook what I want, braai when I want to, be angry at my walls when I want to, and perhaps just be butt naked when I want to be.
I frankly think it’s very inconsiderate to set up a meeting for any time after 3pm on a Friday (can I get an amen). Once that meeting ends at 16:45 you now need to now go be nice and peaceful during Friday peak hour traffic? Talk about being tested.
How about that bastard who not only decided to use your clearly marked milk, but didn’t care to wipe the milk that spilled along the side of your milk container (load all the sadness in the world right at this here moment) so now not only do you seem like a pig, but a stingy pig 😦
The loud, inappropriate mobile phone ringtones? Oh man oh man… How about guy you want to spill a specially purchased bottle of English Blazer, read Doom, all over since it’s become apparent they conserve water by not showering? Because the dynamic of people in a business environment are so vast and wide I can recall that colleague that would be spraying some hair spray before their lunch time date, the one leaving spilling sugar granules all over the small kitchen counter without it seeming like a problem at all to the rest humankind to the 22 degree Celsius air conditioning settings that obviously don’t work for black people because we’d prefer 24, but 23 would be a fair compromise! Hahahahahahaha! So many things can be observed in a large office space.
A loud playing radio in a bank was my most recent ‘strange’ experience. I walk into ABSA bank at OR Tambo and since it’s pretty empty at the time 2 ladies behind the teller counters are playing music off a small radio. Audibly enough for me to obviously fail to ignore it. Now, I know black people are generally more comfortable around other black people, as can be expected with any racial group, but as soon as a while lad walked in? Radio off. I felt a notch disrespected as I wasn’t there to loiter. I mean… REALLY?
You know that friend that lies about being 5 minutes away when they’re actually just leaving their place that’s a good 30 minutes or more+ away from yours? Don’t be this person 😦 People respecting someone else’s time, and concern, really need to up their game. It actually is not fair to have someone unable to reach you simply because what you may have to say at the time was not convenient for you. I cannot tell you how easy it is to worry about someone else’s well-being if I care about that person. It’s also the reason why I am likely easy to reach on at least 2 mobile devices regardless of where I may be. It’s considerate to myself, in case one dies sooner than expected because nowhere to charge the damn thing, or I simply consider the next person that if for example one line is out of signal range the other one is and I can easily brief them on where I am and that everything is okay. How about her hair all over the sink, the unwashed dishes you left, shoes you left in the lounge the entire day… A little consideration goes a long way when it’s no longer just about you.
Be it your sister, parent/guardian, friend or partner – always try exercise some courtesy. It gives one an incredible peace of mind, and will also buy you one important thing money can’t really buy – trust. It’s a pity that each and every day, even when you avoid human interaction, common courtesy is clearly not second nature to many people. You know what’s cool? It’s something everyone can learn. Fantastic.
*Texts boss to say I’m running 5min late because ‘traffic’ when I know I actually overslept* 🙂