5. Stay on the right
There are many people who are lollygagging through life. My one message to these people: stay on the right.
There is an age-old unwritten rule that if you walk or drive slowly, you stay in the right lane. Over the past few years, this rule has been slowly disappearing. If you have ever driven on a highway in Vancouver, you know exactly what I mean. Too many people do not understand that the left lane is the fast lane or passing lane. If you are driving under the speed limit or aren’t passing, then get the F out of the way. This also applies to people on escalators and on sidewalks. If you aren’t walking up an elevator and prefer to stand, then please do so… on the right side! If you’re in a mall or on a sidewalk, and wish to stop every two seconds, please by all means do so…on the right side!
4. Chivalry for the modern man
If you are on a bus and are able-bodied, then offer your seat to someone who is more deserving of one. It’s sad that we live in a time when this isn’t an unwritten code, and buses now have to designate seats for the disabled and elderly. It won’t hurt you to stand for a little while and it may probably be the one kind thing you do in your day.
The same goes for holding doors (for men and women alike). Do it.
3. Theatre Etiquette
This one could be a class on its own. If you’re like me, then by the time you sit down in your theatre seat, you are already feeling ripped off by your $15 movie ticket and $20 popcorn. Most likely you stood in line at the concession stand for 30 minutes already and by the time you got your popcorn, it wasn’t made right (they just never layer it right do they).The theatre lights dim, the movie starts… and the people behind you keep talking, and giggling, and kicking your seat. After continuous shh’ing from the audience, they start again. In another dark corner, a phone starts ringing (do people seriously not understand the concept of turning off the ringer and putting it on vibrate mode??). For a tiny second you are relieved that someone turned it off. Then you realize they answered it. And they begin to have a conversation. A very loud conversation. Despite audible annoyance from the people in the theatre, they continue. (Usually sounds like this: “I gotta go, I’m in a movie! WHAT? NO! Get outta here! Really? NO! Okay okay I have to go! WHAT? Seriously…”). Now I don’t usually condone violence of any kind. But I do think that people who talk during a movie (on their phones or with each other) deserve a good, old-fashioned beat down. So, for next time, please shut up and shut off your phone. The only time you should answer your phone in a theatre is if you’re in labour, your wife is in labour, or you’re a doctor who needs to attend to a woman going into labour.
2. Greet, smile and shake hands
You know what annoys me? When you say hello to someone and they nod back. Nodding is NOT an acceptable form of greeting someone. When someone nods at you, they are saying, “You aren’t important enough for me to speak to.” It doesn’t hurt to say hello back or any other acceptable form of greeting. There are many to choose from: Hey! Hi! Yo! What’s up! Sup! Word! What’s good! Similarly, if someone smiles at you, smile back. How about when you are introduced to someone, you politely reach out your hand to shake theirs, and they just stare at it as if you’re holding manure? The worst is when you hold out your hand to a girl and she acts weird about it. (It’s my hand, lady, not an invitation to my bedroom). If you want to be treated equal, then learn to act normal in social situations. When someone offers you their hand, it is a sign of respect and courtesy. Respond in kind and show them some respect by taking their hand and giving it a solid shake. If you’re really paranoid about germs, carry some hand sanitizer. OR, if you think you’re above shaking hands like a man, then pretend to be gangsta and do a fist-pound or a “thug” shake. But, please don’t leave the poor man hanging there like an idiot.
Our easy access to everything has made us less patient. We are all guilty of impatience. We can’t wait two minutes to get a response to a text message. We can’t wait in line to get our coffee at Starbucks. We can’t wait for an extra 5 minutes to get to where we want to go. We all act like our lives are so important and we can’t wait to be there. If you really think about it, your life isn’t that important at all. Unless you’re Jack Bauer or a scientist on the brink of a medical breakthrough, there really isn’t any reason why you can’t just wait. Time will fly by regardless of our speed. Take a moment to slow down and enjoy life. Being patient may actually get you where you want to go faster. You are also less likely to offend someone, and more likely to avoid conflict. Heck if you are a little more patient, you might even be a little bit happier.