Tuesday, March 25, 2008


"Lack of consideration of those who in any capacity serve you, is always an evidence of ill-breeding, as well as of inexcusable selfishness. Occasionally a so-called "lady" who has nothing whatever to do but drive uptown or downtown in her comfortable limousine, vents her irritability upon a sales woman at a crowded counter in a store, because she does not leave other customers and wait immediately upon her. Then, perhaps, when the article she asked for is not to be had, she complains to the floor-walker about the saleswoman's stupidity! Or having nothing that she can think of to occupy an empty hour on her hands, she demands that every sort of material be dragged down from the shelves until, discovering that it is at last time for her appointment, she yawns and leaves.
Of course, on the other hand, there is the genuinely lethargic saleswoman whose mind doesn't seem to register a single syllable that you have said to her; who, with complete indifference to you and your preferences, insists on showing what you distinctly say you do not want, and who caps the climax by drawling "They" are wearing it this season! Does that sort of saleswoman ever succeed in selling anything? Does anyone living buy anything because someone, who knows nothing, tells another who is often an expert, what an indiscriminating "They" may be doing? That kind of a saleswoman would try to tell Kreisler that "They" are not using violins this season!
There are always two sides to the case, of course, and it is a credit to the good manners that there is scarcely ever any friction in stores and shops of the first class. Salesmen and women are usually persons who are both patient and polite, and their customers are most often ladies in fact as well as "by courtesy." Between those before and those behind the counters, there has sprung up in many instances a relationship of mutual goodwill and friendliness. It is, in fact, only the woman who is afraid that someone may encroach upon her exceedingly insecure dignity, who shows neither courtesy nor consideration to any except those whom she considers it to her advantage to please. " ----Etiquette by Emily Post, 1922©

I love the way that Emily Post writes. She is smart and witty. I like her writing style as well.
I like the aspects of etiquette. The formality that is not longer shown today. The courtesy of helping someone, by opening the door, carrying their bag, in some cases just kind words. Blatant rudeness is more prevalent than ever. Etiquette has, for the most part, been tossed aside.
You will be hearing from Emily Post again. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Junk Diva said...

Common courtesy isn't so common anymore. I did enjoy your Emily Post article. Will look forward to more.

Inquiries said...

Diva: You are right. It is not so common. I am glad you liked the article. At least I know someone likes it as much as I do. :)

Course of Perfection said...

You're posting Post? I like. ;)

Bag Blog said...

"Posting Post" lol!

One of neighbors in NM (I'll give you the full description later 'cause she was "different") told me that her grandson's who were being home school just had no manners and she needed to teach them some "etti quit."

Buck said...

Yet another point on the line where our views intersect, Ashley. You posting Post (good one, CoP!) is a public service. Perhaps those who've never heard of her will be curious enough to seek her out and read more. I DO have Great Expectations, no? ;-)

BTW... Mom kept a copy of Emily in the family library. But that was back in the 50s. Nearly everyone did... at the time.

Inquiries said...

Buck: We do agree on several things.
I find etiquette fascinating. Protocol is fascinating too.
I am glad that I am not boring my readers by posting Post.

The Emily Post book I have was published in the 50s. I am always looking for newer or older ones.
The etiquette changes slightly with each one.

Becky said...

I've never really read Post, but my mother made sure we learned manners and courtesy! I'm attempting to pass that on to my son. I received a phone call yesterday and my son answered. When he brought me the phone, the first thing the caller said is, "He is sooo polite on the phone!" Yep, I was a proud mommy!

Inquiries said...

Becky: Good for you! Politeness is necessary. And phone manners are GREAT!