Have you noticed how respect and politeness in shops, restaurants and in other walks of life has disappeared these days?
I was in a restaurant with my wife in the northern part of the city last week and we were called ‘you guys’!
‘Would you guys like to order now?’ we were asked. And, when sat down: ‘Would you guys like any drinks?’
When I reprimanded the girl, I was looked at as if I was something she had trodden in. We decided to leave.
Another word which is now used more and more is ‘mate.’ I have walked into a police station in this city and been asked ‘Yes, mate. Can I help you?’
I looked behind me as I thought the officer was talking to someone else. A similar thing happened when I was stopped for speeding at gone midnight on the old A3 at Widley.
This young traffic cop asked for my papers, then started calling me Robert.
‘Excuse me’ I asked.
‘Do you know me personally?’
‘No’ he replied.
‘Then it’s Mister Hind to you officer, thank you’ I said.
He then proceeded to give me a ticket for £60 and three points. Lovely.
Shops are no better. The amount of times I walk out of shops after being referred to as mate. When I reply ‘I’m not your mate’, they look at me aghast as I turn to head towards the door. No wonder I shop in Chichester.
I see people every day and on first meeting them I would not dream of calling them anything other than sir or mister. If they tell me to call them by their Christian names, all well and good.
On the subject of Christian names, have you had a cold call lately on the phone? I had one recently. It went like this.
‘Can I speak to Robert?’
‘Who are you then?’
‘Is that Robert?’
‘Where did you get this ex-directory number from?’
‘Is that Robert?’
‘No such person’
‘I want to speak to Robert.’
I am sorry to say that many restaurant and shop staff might be trained in how to serve their goods, although that is arguable at times. But they are definitely not trained in the art of talking to customers.
Please don’t think I’m an arrogant old so-and-so. It’s just that I like to think I talk to people in the way I would like to be talked to. Take note ‘you guys’.