I hate that people don’t show each other respect. What ever happened to common courtesies like returning phone calls or even emails?
It’s not unusual in my profession to wait days for calls or emails to be returned or to have to ring and ring again. The reason is obvious, I am the journalist and i want something out of you the inerviewee. Therefore it is accepted that I am the groveller not the grovellee. I am naturally on the back foot. And if I do want to have your time then the onus is on me to get hold of you. Fair enough. But in daily interactions based on equality the groveller/ grovellee situation doesn’t work. I know friends who only ever wait for you to contact them, or people who are “too busy” to return calls – as if we aren’t all busy.
In my view it is courteous and respectful to drop someone a one-line email saying, too busy to write now, will get to you by the end of the week; or leave that message on the mobile. It is easy enough for the busiest of us to set time aside each day just to show respect. It is about acknowledging others and making them feel seen and heard even if we don’t want to deal with the issue they are contacting us about.
It makes people feel like they are invisible if we leave them dangling, This one really makes me mad. What about you?
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I live in Darwin and was recently invited to attend a job interview with one of the local councils. It took me 2 days to travel there, have the interview and travel back. I never heard another word from them. I subsequently got another job but the other day I thought I would send them a reminder that they had never even sent me a “sorry didn’t get it ” letter 3 months after the interview. Got a reply that they were so sorry etc etc the dog ate my homework style of letter but how rude is that!
I found that while I was looking for a job this no response was so common.
Oh Dear Ruth, do I detect a little inconsistency in your writing? Some time ago you wrote in your column that school children should not automatically give teachers respect, rather that the Teachers should have to earn the respect of their charges. (I recall this as it had me seething for a week!) This at a time when teachers are leaving the profession in droves because of the difficulty they have in maintaining discipline in the classroom. The very act of taking responsibility deserves respect and and certainly Teachers deserve that. On a wider scale it would appear that lack of will on the part of parents to demand respect from their children, who are encouraged in disrespect by the social work professionals, erodes the idea of mutual respect in society. If you question the role of social workers, then try and enforce discipline on a 15 year old who is determined in their defiance.
Thank you for your columns, which certainly stimulated my thoughts, and best wishes on your next assignment.
I totally agree with your comments regarding the general lack of respect in the community at large these days and the diminishing of good manners. my particular beef is that no one seems to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you ‘ any more. In shops I hear customers saying “can I grab one of….” and the assistants give an amount take your money and nothing. I have taken to saying ‘you managed that whole transaction without a single please or thank you, well done’. I also hate the word ‘grab’. “Can I grab your name?” No, but I will tell you it if you ask me nicely gets a blank look and obvious ‘stupid old bag’ going through the mind. Keep up the good work, please, Ruth. Your columns always entertain!
Also, I grew up with an abusive mother who had no friends so I had no pattern to follow.
Robyn Hickin wrote in my autograph book from Meriden school days – “The only way to have a friend, is to be one” Emerson — it’s the ‘being one’ that used to puzzle me.
Hi Ruth, If it your job sure but you knew that I suspect it’s the duck and weave of journalism! But outside of that I agree with greypower wish that I could get mine back.The last couple of girls have done my head in a bit! Suggestion song of the day”Aretha Franklin’s Respect”
That’s a really interesting response. I once had a friend like you and i thought she was being arrogant and trying to be the queen. I wonder now that you say it whether or not she also felt insecure and needed to be called to feel reassured? It’s a different perspective but has got me thinking. Thanks Greypower
in reply to JennHopkins – and Ruth re ‘control’ — i was like your friend – always waited to be contacted. When some one waved to me, I’d think it was someone behind me they were waving to. Phone calls were such a pleasant surprise. I really didn’t think that I was worthwhile enough to be wanted as a friend – even though the evidence was there.
Years later I realised that my behaviour was because of my low self esteem —
I didn’t have the self esteem to recognise that people actually wanted to have me as a friend.
Fortuneatly that has changed and now I value myself and I keep up the contact.
I think it is a power play. Some people get locked into needing to stay in control at all times.
One of my girlfriend’s makes me the “contactor” I am always the one to get in touch first. She is lovely once we’ve spoken but then it’s up to me to arrange that we go out, or decide to call another time. I wonder if you think this is about power tripping Ruth?
Hey Ruth I am sitting here as we speak waiting to hear back from a business colleague I’ve called three times, emailed and texted. His secretary tells me he is very busy. I understand that. But its a mutually beneficial deal. I am neither groveller or grovellee just the one who wants to get on with doing the things that need to be taken care of today in order that the deal goes through. Its so frustrating that I could scream!