…because manners matter

I know winter is (hopefully) nearly over, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to point out some common courtesies for snow covered parking lots…so, adding on from our previous list

4. Visualize, people…we’ve all been in parking lots a million times – we certainly (should) know what enough space between cars looks like and we really really (should) know what too much space looks like.

That being said,

5. Please don’t park so close to my car that I brush up against the lovely layers of winter filth that have built up on the side of my car.

6. Please watch where your car is going in relation to me and the slush puddles.  No one likes to get sprayed.

So, don’t let the snow give you a brain freeze that causes you to forget your manners…because manners matter in every season.  It’s just how to be a human.

*We here at h2bah offer our deepest apologies for being absent recently in the blog world.  We’ve been busy – but that’s no excuse.  You matter enough to us that we must work harder at making time to post our musings on manners.

**If you are dissatisfied with the rate of postings, take action!  Be on the lookout for manners mishaps and send us a message – we’d love to feature your submission on h2bah.

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it’s true – i’m a janitor. well, i actually prefer the title “cleaning lady.” 3 mornings a week i wake up before the sun and clean. mostly i clean women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, on occasion i vacuum. but as a cleaning lady, i have a learned a thing or two about manners. allow me to share.

the first few are janitor to janitor manners:

1. if you finish it – re stock it. you see, we janitors push around a huge cart filled with supplies. it has glass cleaner, trash bags, rags, toilet paper refills etc. these carts have the ability to be handy, but if you use the last roll of toilet paper, put a new one on the cart!

2. empty the trash, means empty the trash. at the front of our carts is a little area for a trash bag. it is so great because then i don’t have to carry the trash around. the only downfall is that sometimes the stench of garbage is always under my nose. now, this is not a problem when it stays empty. but some of my fellow cleaning friends never empty it. 3 day old trash – gross.

now are are a few janitor to common man rules:

1. trash goes in the trash. one of my jobs when cleaning girls bathrooms is to empty “surprise boxes.” they are exactly what you think they are. some girls however, do not have very good trash skills and their “product” does not make its way into it’s special receptacle. therefore, i get to “go fishing” for it. nasty. kindly work on your aim.

2. if i am vacuuming the middle stair case, kindly pick another. thursday morning i vacuumed. as i was vacuuming the middle of three adjacent staircases, a young woman began walking up the middle one and gave me quite the look when i was standing in her way. oh i’m sorry, miss. i didn’t meant to get in your way. i also forgot that the other 2 staircases are inferior to this one.

anyways, there are more, but i don’t want to get lengthy. plus, i want to save some stories for further installments of this mini series.

next time you see a janitor, just smile. and if you are a janitor, do to your fellow cleaning persons as you would have them do to you. let’s be real, it’s just how to be a human.

even 7.year.olds know how.

Today’s post is a guest submission.  How cool that someone sent us their story about manners!  Yeah!  So, to be polite, I’ll say “thank you” and I won’t take the credit for this public service announcement.

The credit for today’s manners matter tip goes to a dear 7-year-old – she is just as precious as can be…I have many memories from growing-up that include her parents, they were our “out-the-back-door” neighbors.  Now they have two cute kiddies!  This is a girl after my (and my co-author’s) own heart – she knows about manners.  Here’s the story, straight from her mom (the story is in italics and my comments are in parenthesis and non-italics):

While trying to shovel yet another snow storm, a young next door neighbor, with a snow blower, came out to clear his driveway. During this time, our neighbor across the street, an older lady, who is a widow, was out clearing her driveway. My 7 year old asks to go help her, which she did (AWESOME). The neighbor with the snowblower NEVER approached her to see if she needed any help (way to go, that’s some initiative!). I went to help when I finished (nice, leading by example), and while there a wonderful neighbor stopped by with his truck and plow, and cleared her driveway. (He had been clearing her driveway “anonymously” up to this point. When she mentioned something about repaying him, his request was for her to pray for him :)) (Rock on!  Those random acts of kindness…)
My point being, that this young “wippersnapper” did not have the common sense or good grace (clearly not a H2BAH blog reader) to help out an elderly neighbor. To you and I – it’s a no brainer – common sense, being a good neighbor, good Christian, a decent human being. Thankfully my 7 year old has these qualities. Sadly, my next door neighbor does not. 😦

I’m oh so happy for this little 7-year-old and very proud of her!  She is growing into a person who doesn’t just think about herself, can see other people’s needs, and is committed to help…I think she’s got potential as a guest writer someday here on the bloggy-blog and maybe can take over when I (and my dear co-author) can no longer write…

So friends, it’s quite simple…take a lesson from this 7-year-old and help someone in your neighborhood.  Please, it’s just how to be a human.

Ok – Starbucks is one of my favorite places of all time…love it!  Something about it just energizes me.  Three years ago I would not have felt this way, and I would never have dreamed I’d be in this postion regarding the Bucks.  See, I never wanted to be a “regular.”  I never wanted to be a customer who walked in and picked up the drink prepared for me because I got the same thing every time, never saying anything to anyone because I’m in and out and on my way.  First of all – what fun is that?!  Second, that’s not how to be a human…and I’m all about being human.

The baristas at Starbucks may get paid to make my drink, and I pay a pretty penny for said drink, but they are people, meant to be treated as such.  While I was in seminary, I frequented the same Bucks nearly the same time each week – that just happens because of the class schedule.  I tried each visit to talk to the baristas – find out about them, how their day was going, what they would do after work…you know, converse with them.  Lo and behold – as the days went by, I became a regular.  Ugh.  That’s so not what I wanted.  Until tonight – the moment I really truly accepted my regularity as a gift.

I walked into my regular Starbucks, with my good friend, and was so happily surprised to see my favorite barista – she’s the best.  Student at a local university – and cute as can be!  I was surprised to see her because I remember on my last visit she talked about studying abroad in the spring.  Well, despite the temperature and snow outside, for students its nearly spring.  I asked her if she was still planning to go, we had a lovely conversation about where life is taking her, then she asked about me.  We had a great chat (without holding up any customers, because that’s not polite) and I said I hoped to see her again before she left the States.  I left feeling great – and had a great drink in my hand.  My friend turned to me and said, “Was she your roommate or did she go to school with you?”  And at that moment I realized I was proud to be a regular…I responded, “Nope, I just know her from Starbucks.”

I want it to be my mission to talk to people who serve me – it may be your job to make me a drink at Starbucks, but I care about you.  I want you to know that you matter more to me than just making me a Grande-Extra Hot-Half Pump- Raspberry-Mocha…you matter to me because of who you are.

So folks, let’s make sure we at least thank people who serve us, try to get to know them.  You might be the brightest face they see all day, the only person who treats them like a person – the best part of their day.  Get to know people…it’s just how to be a human.

a fellow human.

friends a very happy thing happened this morning. i was checking out some of my very favorite blogs and realized that one of my favorite bloggers, Jenny Simmons, wrote about how to be a human. and boy oh boy did she have a good story to tell. you can read it HERE.

see, we are not the only ones who are losing faith in the human race. just the other day i was walking across campus to class. i was walking closely behind a young man – not breathing down his neck close, but close enough that he should’ve shown a bit of courtesy. we walked through a set of doors. he went first, i went second. as he proceeded through the door, i followed and guess what? the door came straight back at me, almost smacking me in the face! do you realize what happened? HE DIDN’T HOLD THE DOOR OPEN!!!

please note that this is not only rude because guys should be gentlemen and hold the door open, but it is also rude because we are human beings. i would’ve been equally as riled up had it been a young lady. it’s just polite to hold doors open.

so whether you have to smell hard boiled eggs, like jenny, or you get smacked in the face with a door, know that you are not alone in getting upset.

and to those of you who eat eggs in public and don’t hold doors open, we are talking to you – start using some manners!! it’s just how to be a human.

good manners are important.

Here’s a little inspiration.

I love lists.

Maybe it’s because I’m a first-born, maybe it’s because I’m Type-A, maybe it’s because I’m an ESTJ…i don’t know.

So, I was thinking, how about a list of common courtesies…I’ll start with these and as I think of more just start a new post where I left off.  Each post will be tagged so the posts can be categorized for easy viewing…see, I’m being kind and courteous, you’re welcome 🙂

Here it goes:

1. When someone is walking through the door behind you, hold it open for them.

2. Say “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.”

3. If you have trash, throw it in the trash can.

P.S. If you miss the trash can, try again.

Ok, that’s all for now, I know the list will grow.  Please people, manners matter…it’s just how to be a human.

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