When Common Courtesy and Manners Disappear

Communication is supposed to be a two-way thing. You send out a message and expect a reply. It is very odd that in today’s world where people from all over the world can easily communicate using smartphones and the Internet, people can still be as rude as ever. What sort of excuses would people have today for not being able to send a simple reply? Could it really be that technology meant to bridge people together could actually be working to force people apart?

If you’d like me to cite some examples, I have some notable ones to draw from my career as a freelance worker. There were many instances when some clients suddenly become uncommunicative. Apparently, even when things seem to work out nice for them, they wouldn’t bother giving you the dignity of replying to a request, an inquiry, a submission or whatnot. There were times when I have completed a number of successful projects they hosted or sponsored that after paying for the job they suddenly become unresponsive. There also are some of them who, after a couple of jobs and an end-contract request (on oDesk), they suddenly become mute. It’s as if in an instant I had become categorized as spam. After all the niceties of communicating and doing a great job, I suddenly get ignored. Is it so difficult to say that you no longer have any projects for me to work on?

There are those people who make appointments or deals with you but they would not honor them. They may call you up and then ask for a meeting at a specific time and place. You show up, honoring your end of the deal. You wait for hours, send out texts and even make a couple of calls. You may even receive a return call, making you expect that the meeting would push through but no. Four hours later, you lose all hope of that meeting pushing through. In other words, they wouldn’t show up. What’s worse is that some of these people are highly educated or hold high positions of leadership e.g. lawyers, physicians, CEOs, COOs, etc. If such esteemed people behave in such a bad manner, what is there to expect from the rest of society then? In today’s world, what was once common courtesy and decency are as rare as fist-sized diamonds.

So, in such cases, how do I deal with such crass behavior? Do I become aggressive and spew out my hate? No. Such an act won’t go anywhere. In such cases, I believe the best way to handle them is with a certain degree of class and a positive attitude. I may send out a final and polite note the same way I would respond to critics who would act mean towards me. Sarcastic it may seem, I would wish for their well being and success in the future. However, the prospect of doing business with me afterwards is gonna be pretty slim, that is unless they pull through to start honoring their words and commitments they have set.. What’s the worth of all that advanced communication when common courtesy, decency and manners are thrown out of the window? Apparently not much at all.

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