Straight Talk: Good manners cost nothing

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IT’S not difficult to remember our manners in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day routine. Yet so many of us do.

In the last week alone I’ve seen extreme examples of both sides of the coin and it got me thinking about how much we value the services we come across daily.

Last week, I had to head over to Northampton to complete another part of my training.

I was staying overnight in a hotel where I had breakfast and an evening meal included in my package.

However, there was a mix-up as I checked in - nothing major and it was easily solved.

The next day as a colleague checked in, the receptionist remembered me and apologised profusely for the muddle the day before. As if the apology hadn’t been enough, she booked us a table in the restaurant and included free drinks.

She didn’t have to and she certainly hadn’t been instructed to do so, but the gesture was very kind.

Sadly, this courtesy was not extended by fellow guests, especially when it came to the breakfast buffet.

After waiting patiently for a full toaster to pop up, I found myself in a toast tug-of-war with a woman who appeared out of nowhere to claim I had stolen her toast.

But rather than saying politely, she simply snatched it out of my hand, made a rude comment and stomped off to her table. What an angry way to start the day!

While in Northampton I also had to make an emergency dash to an Apple store when my iPhone appeared to have a fault. The staff were well within their rights to tell me ‘tough luck’ when I was 25 minutes late for my appointment.

However, several staff went out of their way to accommodate me and within 20 minutes I was happily on my way.

Get on the roads in Lincolnshire and you are dealing with a whole different kettle of fish.

This weekend alone I have seen drivers rant and rave at each other for incidents which come down to simple driver errors.

I was sitting at a traffic light coming out of a supermarket, when, from the timing of the lights, I can only assume the oncoming car tried his luck going through an amber light.

In the mean time, our line of traffic started moving and the driver of the car in front hit their horn.

The oncoming driver’s response? A two-fingered salute, outraged that anyone would dare to imply that they were at fault.

It shouldn’t matter whether you’re dealing with a business or a passer-by in the street.

Manners don’t cost a thing; and you never know when you might need that person to give you a helping hand.