Politeness. And Top Gear.

As per my usual habit of combining two completely unrelated topics in one blog post, I’ve decided to talk about two things today. Firstly, politeness.

I’ve noticed a couple of examples of things recently which seem polite but, on reflection, perhaps are not. The first thing is, holding doors open. The general idea being that someone walking behind you will not have a door slammed in their face! That seems quite polite. But the problem comes with how far someone has to be behind you in order for you to hold the door open: a couple of steps? A few yards? Half a mile?! Personally I don’t like it when someone holds a door open for me and I’m a fair distance away. Being English, I feel compelled to run in order to not keep them waiting. It’s just an embarrasment factor we could all do without.

My new rule is, “hold the door open only if it will slam in someone’s face”. If not, then – well, working doors is not exactly rocket science. If I hadn’t been there to hold it open the other person would have had to open the door anyway. Obviously there are always exceptions (i.e. someone disabled or elderly may have difficulty opening doors) but that’s the general idea.

The second thing is, pouring out hot water from the kettle. At my workplace, we don’t have a massive office but it’s big enough that there are often a few people waiting around for the kettle to boil. Some people will fill up your cup with hot water for you when it has boiled. This is a nice thing to do, obviously… but I don’t generally do it. The problem is, people all like cups filled to different levels, and it seems a bit redundant to ask people how full they want it when they could have filled it to their own preference in practically the same amount of time.

Anyone else have little random things which seem polite but are actually not very?

The other thing is, Top Gear. I didn’t mention this the other day, but I was a bit disappointed by this week’s show. I just found it incredibly formulaic, I could virtually have predicted what was going to happen from the start:

1. Top Gear team go off somewhere to test drive cars (in this case, drive along the best driving road in Europe, or whatever it was)
2. They don’t bother preparing
3. They do stupid things such as buying a Dacia Sandero (can’t be bothered to look up spelling :p) and park it right behind a lorry;
4. Hilarity ensues.

I don’t know whether it was just me but, although the show was entertaining, it didn’t strike me as being as good as previous series. Still, let’s see what next week’s episode has in store!

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4 thoughts on “Politeness. And Top Gear.

  1. Hmmm

    I think you raise some interesting points – Assuming the person is there then I will pretty much always fill up others cups (unless the kettle is running low in which case I’ll fill it up) – I tend to underfill assuming that they can put in milk/water etc as required, or tell me to stop when it reaches enough for them. I’ll leave cups alone as they may not want a cup of tea. More annoying is when someone empties the kettle and doesn’t refill it (a 30 second job which just makes life nicer)

    To be completey honest – I tend to find it annoying when customers try and help me do my job – normally because their wrong and it puts me off my train of though having them going on in your ear about the security settings (suprise suprise) when it could be their connection etc… No that didn’t happen today! 😉

  2. HI Alex, I agree about refilling the kettle – it always annoys me when I get to the kitchen only to find an empty kettle.

    Customers doing your job, in your case, would be pretty annoying I guess! Not something I have to cope with in my job, thankfully.

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