Friday 22 April 2016


If there is one thing guaranteed indubitally and speedily to evoke my green ink reaction  it is what I perceive as the deterioration of manners. Once a week I staff the patients' enquiry desk at the out-patients' clinics in my local hospital. The clinics are busy and the flow of queries constant. I will have been at my desk only four minutes and be in process of answering a where-is-it query when another enquirer will cut across the extant exchange and demand information about something else. Without fail, each session, a young Doctor will stop at the desk, put her/his papers down, pick up the internal phone and make a call. That concluded, she/he will pick up that which was dumped down and move on. After several years of this I have recently taken to calling " you are welcome" after the offender. I have no way of knowing if this registers or not and, so far, I have received no complaints from Management.

Walking down the street close to any passing wall, inevitably, some strong young person will overtake on the wall side and then shoot in front of me in to a passing  shop. The other day I went for a simple procedure to a well-known London hospital. I was collected by a porter who was to take me upstairs to the day-patient unit. While waiting for the lift we were joined by a young man speaking on his telephone. When the lift arrived, he strode right passed me and straight in to the lift. I glared, well you would wouldn't you? Did he apologise? No, he did not. In revenge I placed myself in the middle of the lift so that it would be impossible for him to get out before me. Two young school girls were seated in the ' less able to stand' reserved seats on a crowded 'bus. They left a heavily pregnant and a rather old lady standing. As I reached my stop I asked them what school they went to. Dear Reader, I wrote to the Head Mistress and suggested there may a better way to promote her school. In reply came a postcard which more or less dismissed me as out of touch with reality. The examples are endless. Two little boys were rushing about with wooden swords in the waiting area of  my GP practice. The Mother was reading the paper. Eventually, the tried and tested Receptionist leaned out of her box and told them to sit down and keep quiet, this was not a playground. the Mother continued to read the paper. How did this all come about? I am by no means the only one to have noticed this phenomenon. What is it about current life that permits us to treat one another contemptuously and without considerstion? Why is it that my friends and acquaintances of all ages do agree that manners have just about ceased to exist and yet there is no sign of amelioration? Perhaps it is a subliminal fear that the world, as it is, may come to an end and us with it so 'self'  must be preserved and put first regardless. It would be good to know what you think. In the meantime, I must make sure what it is I have actually touched with my foot before I apologise to my black handbag thinking it is my black  cat. Bore da

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For every line of your blog I could give you another example of how manners have changed. I am quite old and very invisible so often threATENED WITH BEING OVERTURNED BY FAR YOUNGER PEOPLE WHO SIMPLY DONT REGISTER i AM THERE