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Petiquette Peeves: The Importance of Time Management and Respect

Photo by frankie cordoba on Unsplash

It is not uncommon for those of the Baby-Boomer or Silent Generations to frown upon people’s bad behavior, but it would seem that most of us now have, regardless of age, some pet peeves (which do not generally refer to four-legged, maybe furry animals) in common as they relate to people’s lack of manners. We are, after all, business people, and at times how we behave in our daily activities can be construed by those with whom we interact, to reflect our business acumen so it is wise to pay attention. Most of our pet peeves can be classified under respect for others, or lack thereof.

The nature of the business beast is that meetings must be held. They can be time-consuming and are sometimes essential, but sometimes not so much. Meeting coordinators should respect everyone’s time: they should have planned well, well in advance, and consistently act to start and end meetings on time and take care to keep the activity flow on track. For attendees, they must be on time and prepared with any reports or input requested and give full attention to the others in the meeting. It is great to have placed all active communication devices to off or at least to silent but is it enough if one continues to read and respond to emails and texts? Hoorah for the one-hour meeting – that is definitely respect for others and their time!

Do you work with a lot of other folks in a large or even a small office? If so it is important in those cases that one remember that the air conditioner and the heater are shared by all and just because one person feels hot or cold, does not mean everyone else does. Ask before making adjustments! However, the biggest offenders in a common workplace are messy kitchens and disorderly common workspaces. Kitchen problems include not cleaning up after oneself, dirty dishes in the sink, a mess in the microwave, old food rotting in the refrigerator, eating others food and last, but not least, microwaving fish for your meal. And on the subject of odors, too much perfume or aftershave lotion will really not make anyone smell better. In speaking of lack of respect for others, behavior that is responsible for any of the above conditions would certainly qualify!

While the above problems are pretty much targeted to specific events or areas, people’s pet peeves, when it comes to other’s manners, are quite ubiquitous. Sitting across a dining table from someone who picks their teeth with a toothpick, chews loudly, with the mouth open while trying to talk to you (as they dribble down the chin) can be quite disconcerting. For others, it might the person who continues to text while talking with them or those who are very annoyed at phones going off during church services, funerals and in movie theaters.  Some may resent those who just show up without an RSVP, refuse to return phone calls or will not respond to emails that are important to the business.

How do you feel when you see someone perch against or actually sit upon a table usually reserved for eating meals (especially yours) or about the mother who doesn’t bother to control their children in public places but would rather scream at, or just ignore them as if they were someone else’s? Would anyone enjoy sitting next to someone on public transportation (bus, train, plane) who has obviously not bathed in weeks or to the space hog who believes that his seat and yours belong to him? Do you recall times when you have followed someone into a building and they let the door slam in your face or the times when you have held the door open for others who whizzed on past you with not so much as an ah, yes or kiss my grits?

Respect for others is essential to coexistence (unless one assumes they are the only person on earth and everyone is there to serve them). For the most part, all of us were taught to say “please” and “thank you” so the next time you want something from someone remember “please” and the next time someone holds the door open for you or lets you go ahead of them in line (grocery or automobile lane) remember to say thank you or wave a “thanks,” it will make their day. And, speaking of driving, would it really hurt folks to use a turn signal to tell those behind that you plan to change lanes in front of them or plan to make a turn in advance of the actual turn, if ever? It is easy to show respect for others and to be respected by them if one just remembers the “Golden Rule,” but if anyone needs a reminder, or instructions, Champions School of Real Estate offers a dynamic Business Etiquette course. And, if any you feel so inclined, you can let me know your specific “Pet Peeve,” be it concerning manners or something else and we’ll see if anyone else can relate to that, or has been left with the urge to strangle!

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