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Do you think people are getting more rude?

PampChefJoy

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Jul 18, 2005
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This is sort of a general question and sort of not, because I am referring to people I deal with in my newsletter business BUT it's not directed at any one person here, (so please don't think this is directed at you). I've just noticed lately, with alot of email correspondence, that people seem to be more demanding, more quick to jump-the-gun... people don't ask NICELY anymore...

Is this because we as a society have gotten desensitized to email correspondence and think we can dump our manners the minute we sit behind an impersonal computer? Can I do something to change this, or head it off? Sometimes I feel like I'm in the firing line, and I wonder, because we're in this economy, are we to feel abused because we all need the business so we need to suck it up and accept it from our customers? I realize many people are under alot of stress, but sometimes I read these emails and I'm feel like I'm on the receiving end of a bad day....

Do you find with your customers that they're getting alot more demanding and snippy, especially via email?
 

NooraK

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Feb 6, 2008
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I'm sorry you're having to deal with that. I do see what you're saying, I can't say I've personally experienced much of it. I do think the impersonal nature of email tends to cause manners to be forgotten.
 

esavvymom

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Sep 8, 2008
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I think sometimes, when something is written in an email (or an online post), the tone in which the person intended or was thinking it- doesn't come through the email. Sometimes, we can perceive an attitude to be there that maybe really isn't.

BUT - there are still too many who DID intend the attitude, and I'm sorry you are dealing with those.
 

janetupnorth

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Jan 26, 2007
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I think people in general expect more, feel entitled to more, etc. Not just by e-mail, just in general.
 

Intrepid_Chef

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Nov 6, 2007
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I agree ... tone is not very well conveyed via e-mail. We forget to :) and all that.

I also agree that with the economy and the growing list of things on our to do list we tend to be short with one another.
 

cwinter474

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yes, more and more everyday!
 

Sheila

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That is one thing that I love about Japan, the customer service. The Japanese are generally very nice & polite. I've NEVER experienced customer service in the states like I see in Japan. Because people are not dealing with poor customer service in other parts of their life, they seem to really be in better moods and easier going here than I think they would be in the states. For the most part, I have easy to please customers but I do still get those rare exceptions to the rule who are super demanding and want me to jump through hoops to take care of them first.

I'm not one of your customers, but you are providing a specialized service so that probably makes some people think of you as being "hired help" which in turn could make them more demanding to try and get what they want right now. A lot of people can't see the WHOLE picture, they only see their end of a conversation and don't realize that along with their request or problem, that you might be dealing with 5 more (or even 100 more!). If there's one thing that I've learned in Japan, it's that Americans in general need to chill out and slow down. We (Americans) are so freaking high-strung sometimes!!! ;)

(((hugs))) I hope it gets better for you soon.
 

PampChefJoy

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Thanks everyone. I realize I was whining and I'm sorry. Of course, my job is to provide customer service to the best of my ability, and sometimes that means to take the bad with the good! I sometimes forget that many of my subscribers don't "know" me (from here) and so I am nameless and faceless to them, and they don't always see I'm a real person with several roles and responsibilities of my own that are tugging at me (literally sometimes TUGGING at me, lol).
 

esavvymom

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Sep 8, 2008
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I always tell my kids "I don't care how grumpy or tired you are, it's never an excuse for treating other people badly or without respect." It's a lesson they are slow to learn, but I wish others could learn it too! :)
 

Nanisu

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Sep 1, 2005
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  • #10
I think that everyone is so used to an instant society--microwave meals, TIVO, email, that impatience is definitely on the rise. I feel like telling people "geez, CHILL OUT" a lot more than I used to.
 

Porchechef

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Jun 13, 2009
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  • #11
I agree! When I send out emails- I try to reread before sending to make sure its not rude, etc. Sometimes I am in a hurry and forget to- I try not to do that.

Joy- you DO great!!! I love the newsletters, etc. :). You're a life-savior to most consultants!
 

PampChefJoy

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It's Twitter! It forces us to condense everything we want to say into 140 characters (or so)... I guess you throw please and thank you out the window when you have alot to say in 140 characters.

Seriously, though... it just dawned on me... I am a lot shorter in my responses when I am replying on my cell phone. I hate typing on the tiny keyboard... but if I am replying at work, I have to be quick and short about it. (We don't have access to email sites on our work computers - they're all blocked) I wonder if our language is being reduced to abbreviations, emoticons, and the hope that our point gets across without being misinterpreted... <sigh>
 

pampered.chris

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Jan 11, 2008
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  • #13
I agree about peoples reactions and demands via email and text. Both of which are horrible ways to express anything and have it come across even close to how it was intended. I have had more than my share recently of being "attacked" or having people treat me rude via email, then when you say that you would like to stop all email with them until you can meet face to face to talk things out I get a "I don't know what you mean at all." Seriously!
It is tough to deal with people via email and especially texting. Takes away from everything.
 

susanr613

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Oct 18, 2007
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it's kind of interesting that you posted this after 3 episodes of live rudeness from people who are in the public eye. i think overall we have become a less caring, more casual society, and e-mail/twitter have made it worse because both are rather impersonal or terse forms of communication. also keep in mind the sarcasm and disrespect most TV characters show each other - it's considered cool to be flip and put down others.

it's a shame.

joy, i think you do a great job with your newsletters and i am sorry that you catch flack.
 

gingertannery

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Apr 7, 2008
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  • #15
Times are a changing...we are all going through tough times.. and it is still no excuse.. but people are being very rude and selfish these days.. It is very disheartening.. I still try to spread the love and smiles... harder now when it is not returned... I am also dealing with everyone hit by the hurricane here in Houston...(one year ago) crabby patties everywhere!!! lol You are always so sweet and upbeat!!!!!!! Continue to be that way... I do agree it is hard to tell the feeling of the comments when typed!! So do not take it personally (hard at times!!!) Everyone loves you here!! And appreciates your contributions!!! I might even be tempted to write back and ask if they are mad at you... - depending on what they wrote.. you may be surprised to hear they are not and not aware of "tude" they are producing. But there are lots of "tudes" these days..
 

Shawnna

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Feb 2, 2005
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  • #16
As someone who works in the public every day...my husband and I own a restaurant and catering business...I can tell you that people are very rude these days. People are very demanding and sometimes very hateful to my wait staff. And to be honest the people who you see regularly...every day...are the worst. We live in a "microwave society" everyone wants it now. As a restaurant owner...well even before...I am very careful to be patient with other restaurant personnel. I cannot believe how mean people can be. But, its not just in my business, its everywhere. I like to "people watch" and I am appalled at what I see these days. And also, some people can't be pleased. No matter what you do they will complain...you learn very quickly who they are.
 

scottcooks

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Jul 7, 2005
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  • #17
So -- change it!

I make it a point every time I write a check, or while my debit card is waiting for "approval" or when I hand a clerk my credit card, to ask...
'so how is your day going?' Occasionally you get dumped-on, but mostly people appreciate those few moments of reprieve you offer in a long line of customers
...at the bank
...at the store
...at the grocery
...at the drycleaner

I am a teacher - and know I can affect the "weather" in my classroom daily. After 40 some years of life, I'm realizing I can affect other people with my tone, my expression and my time.

That is just the problem with our texting, e-ming, instant grat society... no tone, no expression, no time.

If you haven't seen it yet, remember this:
email is a tool for Information, not for Communication. Particularly with anything negative or emotionally loaded, Pick Up The Phone! With PC, ours is definitely a Relationship business. Write Thank You Cards!! Do you know how many personally-addressed pieces of mail people receive in a week? 1 or 2. Wouldn't you like to stand out in a great way?

About 10 years ago at a workshop, a leader asked what travels faster, good or bad? 'Suzy was arrested for drugs' gets told to about 10 people. As human beings, we like the self-importance, the vicarious thrill and sense of power "telling" bad news brings. By contrast, 'Suzy won a radio contest' gets told to about 3 people. (and there are 3 PC consultants in the corner arguing that Suzy should have been on the phone or coaching hosts not calling some radio station, right?!! ;-) ) We don't feel the importance or get the power rush telling others of Suzy's good fortune that we do in telling about bad.

To me, it's simple - to be good, you have to connect about 3 times better; you have to commit that you're going to do what's right. To put it another way... GRIT is a part of inteGRITy.

Bloom where you are planted; Be the change you seek!

PS - Love 'ya, Joy!
 

AJPratt

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Oct 11, 2005
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  • #18
I do think people are being more quick to jump the gun.

I am not a "let it go" sort of person. I like to address things. Some of the things I get via email, I will call the person and it turns out what they meant isn't anywhere near what they wrote in the email. People aren't paying attention for one; and for another have no idea how the email is going to translate. I agree with Soctt, email is for information.

And, like my Nana said, "There is NO excuse for bad manners."
 

BethCooks4U

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Jan 21, 2005
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  • #19
I agree with what has been said so far here and it spills out in all areas. Drivers seem to be the worse and most dangerous. I don't know how often I've been cut off and then gotten signals from the other driver that it was MY fault even though I'm driving 5-9 miles over the limit in the middle lane... People cut in to take a parking spot you've been waiting for. They take the whole aisle in the grocery store and act like you are rude if you say "excuse me" (without an attitude) to get by or if you are looking for something (and NOT taking up the aisle) and they want something there they rudely push in your way to get what they want acting like you had a lot of nerve to be in their way. I feel like it's never my turn sometimes. Clerks at stores don't even look up or greet the customer and act like you have inconvenienced them by buying at their store. It goes on and on. People act like they are the only important person and are entitled to do what they want.

The cause? I think it's lots of things. Cell phones, email, internet... lots of things keep people from knowing how to interact with real people around them.


We can work at changing things though. I smile at those inconsiderate drivers. I ask the clerk how their day is or say have a nice day or something to try to lift their mood (some sneer some appreciate the effort). I wait or move. I say I'm sorry even when it's obviously the other person's issue.

I think it's everyone responsibility to consider what our facial expression is - that affects those around us - as well as how our actions and what we type might be interpreted. We all have stuff going on in our lives and so do the other drivers, the clerks and those we email.
 
J

Judybabe

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  • #20
Joy, maybe that's an article or tip you can present. I bet many people are not aware of how they sound or should I say how they are being presented thru online correspondence.

As a society we have morphed into texts, typing, websites and emails to keep in touch with friends and family. Many don't have the spelling skills or grammer skills to present themselves properly inside a sentence's structure. If u gt 5m cl me @ wk.
 

susanr613

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Oct 18, 2007
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  • #21
now i'm thinking to write Home Office and suggest they put together a training on this....
 

janetupnorth

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Good idea Susan. Customer service training is always good and also how not to let it hurt your ego or discourage you when you run across this...
 

susanr613

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Thanks Janet. HO provides great training on live situations or situations which are driven by the consultant. I'll post when I get a repsonse from my friend at HO.
 

pampcheflisa

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Jan 11, 2008
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  • #24
I agree with what has been said so far here and it spills out in all areas. Drivers seem to be the worse and most dangerous. I don't know how often I've been cut off and then gotten signals from the other driver that it was MY fault even though I'm driving 5-9 miles over the limit in the middle lane... People cut in to take a parking spot you've been waiting for. They take the whole aisle in the grocery store and act like you are rude if you say "excuse me" (without an attitude) to get by or if you are looking for something (and NOT taking up the aisle) and they want something there they rudely push in your way to get what they want acting like you had a lot of nerve to be in their way. I feel like it's never my turn sometimes. Clerks at stores don't even look up or greet the customer and act like you have inconvenienced them by buying at their store. It goes on and on. People act like they are the only important person and are entitled to do what they want.

The cause? I think it's lots of things. Cell phones, email, internet... lots of things keep people from knowing how to interact with real people around them.

I agree completely with this, Beth. The radio station that I listen to calls it: "being the star in your own movie". In general, a lot of people have this sense of entitlement, like they deserve to be treated with importance. Being the "star" of their personal movie, they have no regard for anyone else.
It's sad really. I'm trying so hard to teach my kids the importance of good manners, and really, what examples do they have? It's not like they see examples on a daily basis (well, except from us).
One big problem I have is what happened to customer service (in general)?? I waited tables for 7 years and if I treated my customers the way I've seen the last few years.......oh my gosh ~ I wouldn't have even done that! And, the best part is they expect a big tip, or kudos, etc. Sense of entitlement.
I guess this topic can go around and around, huh?
 

susanr613

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  • #25
Here's the reply I got from my friend in HO:

"Good idea! We've talked about soft skill training, but other topics (e.g., bookings, recruiting) seem to be more of a priority. I'll mention this to Doreen though." (Doreen is her boss)

I wrote back that PC already offers tons of training in sales/booking/recruiting.

We shall see.....
 

pampered1224

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Apr 13, 2004
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  • #26
I want to ask a question here. Not to be personal but how many of you grew up in the NON tech age? I really truely believe this too has had a major effect on these attitutes. Many people to the mid to late twenties grew up with computers, hand held games, cell phones and all this other techno stuff that made personal contact obsolete. They out communicate any of us who had to sit down with the phone - that long cord still kept it impossible to do too many things at one time - or we actually had too and - God forbid anyone under 30 would even think to do this, write a letter! More techno communication but much more isolation from socializing. One on one taught us all over 30 or maybe it is now over 40 how to relate to people. I don't think the techno junkies even know how so...
 

chefann

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Nov 4, 2005
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  • #27
I agree completely with this, Beth. The radio station that I listen to calls it: "being the star in your own movie". In general, a lot of people have this sense of entitlement, like they deserve to be treated with importance. Being the "star" of their personal movie, they have no regard for anyone else.
I was thinking about this today, and realized that much can also be traced to the proliferation of reality TV, too. The people who those shows focus on (not necessarily the shows that require skill or talent), are the troublemakers and egocentrics. They get the most screen time. People see that and think that it pays to be rude.
 

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