Etiquette Tip of the Week
When the Unaware Overshare
At check-out time at the
hotel, there were 18 floors and one elevator in service. The crowded elevator
stopped at every floor. A woman talked loudly into her cell phone, oblivious to
A friend relating the story,
said people began exiting at the 14th floor to walk down.
I found a quiet area of the
airport to get some work done. A woman sat in the next seat and started playing
Solitaire on her laptop… with
the sound turned up. It went zzooooop! like a casino, every time
she moved a card. Who knew Solitaire had a sound?
Did she need a quiet place to
be noisy? I packed up and moved.
On the Friendly Limousine Bus
shuttle between the Narita and Haneda Airports in Toyko, Japan, I heard the
following intercom announcement: "Portable electronic devices are not
allowed on the bus, as they annoy your neighbors."
I like that Friendly
Limousine defined why the behavior was rude – it annoys your neighbors. The
purpose of etiquette is to be aware of the people around us. Rude behavior
happens when we don’t see each other.
Electronic devices are not
required to be a noisy space invader. Sometimes we laugh too loud in
restaurants. Or shout down hotel hallways, while others are trying to rest. Or
become so absorbed in a movie or video on our cell phone, we're unaware it's
broadcasting to an unwilling audience.
Be patient with members of
our flawed human family. Some talk louder or increase the volume because they
are hard of hearing, unaware how it affects others. And you should always ask,
"Is it better to do battle in a crowded elevator, or let a momentary annoyance
Most importantly, be aware of
the people around you and try not to annoy your neighbors.
Culture and Manners Institute at