(Not so) Common Courtesy

This is a random musing, in this case it comes from a job interview that I went to yesterday.  I just graduated with my B.A. in Psychology and I’m still looking for a full time job, although at the moment I’m working part time at a bowling alley and reading an awful lot.

Anyway, to the issue of courtesy.  The interview that I went to yesterday was the second part of the interviewing process at the company I applied to.  The first part was Monday in their office where I spoke to a manager briefly, and the second part was yesterday where I observed one of their salesmen on a typical day that they go through.

At the end of the day yesterday, they offered me a position with the company.  However, I wanted to have a chance to think about it as there were some concerns that I had about the position.  I told them this and I told them that I would get back to them the next day.  They said that was fine, but they wanted to hear from me by about 5 today.

Earlier this morning, around 10 or so, I sent them an email thanking them for the job offer but saying that I wasn’t interesting in the position.  I think that my email was civil and professional sounding even though I declined the job.  He never emailed me back.

A lot of people might not think much of this, but I was a little bothered by it.  I wanted to make sure that they did receive my answer so that they didn’t think I was just blowing them off.  Several hours later, I called the office to see if the manager had received my email.  He said he did and that he understood my position but felt that the email was fairly concise and didn’t require a response.  It would have taken him about 30 seconds to respond to my email, but he didn’t.  Although I wasn’t going to accept the position anyway, this kind of behavior would be enough to scare me away from the company in general.  Obviously because I didn’t want the job I didn’t matter anymore to them.  That is not a company that I would want to work for, especially when it would take less than a minute to acknowledge my email.

We always hear the phrase “Common Courtesy” but the fact is that in the super-fast world that we live in today, it doesn’t exist anymore to the extent that it used to.  Another similar thing that irritates me is when people call the bowling alley that I work at.  I would answer all of their questions, and then when they were done talking to me, they would just hang up.  How long does it take to say “goodbye” before you hang up a phone?

I’m sure that a lot of my attitude towards these issues comes in part from working with the public.  I’ve seen hundreds if not thousands of people who were completely rude to myself and my employees.  I’ve also seen many very nice people.  Unfortunately, the rude people far outnumber the nice people.

I understand that many things tend to move very fast these days.  (That sentence makes me sound really old, I swear I’m only 26.)  I tend to get irritated by people who act like immature little children.  It’s obnoxious and rude, and one of the simplest ways to seem more mature is to simply be polite.  It’s not that hard, and everyone you meet will think more highly of you for being polite.

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