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City Essentials

Manners in the City

When you’re living in the city, there are many opportunities to participate in events and interact with people. Although cultural differences can lead to misunderstandings, common basic manners should be universal whether you’re an expat, immigrant or tourist. However, there seem to be some combination of crowd mentality or a busy lifestyle where people forget the basics. It’s as if being one amongst many means manners no longer apply. Not true! Manners are social standards of conduct that are even more important in crowds.

Whether it’s Broadway, a movie theater, a lecture hall, a paid event or a freebie, it’s an event, with other people. It’s not your living room. Many shows start with the reminder to please turn off cell phones and pagers and unwrap your candy now. The phones are still ringing and the lights are still visible as people text, chat, update. If you can’t bear to be without your internet umbilical for less than two hours, then you should wait for the DVD.

Similarly, if you’re the type who needs to keeps a running commentary on what’s happening on stage, stay home. Or go out and make your own movie / show.

One seat = one ticket. Unless your bag, coat, umbrella (wet!) bought a ticket, they don’t get a seat.

It is the abbreviation for a French phrase, répondez s’il vous plaît, which means “respond please”. If someone went to the effort of organizing an event, the least you can do is respond to the invite or notify the host / hostess of a change of plans. It’s easy enough to update your status (hopefully not in a theater), and the planner will appreciate the courtesy especially if there are costs involved.

Smiley Face

Smile and the world smiles with you.

Smile and have a nice day
It’s been a long day and no one expects you to be Pollyanna but until we develop telepathy, we won’t know the reason for your bad humor. Even if we did, we’re neither responsible for it nor necessarily able to help. Don’t take your frustrations out on someone else. They may have had just as bad a day as you did.

All of the above are common sense and common courtesies but in practice seem to be on the decrease. Let’s strive to do better and keep the city a fun and friendly place to live, work and play.


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