Campus largely lacking in manners

Whenever I hear someone demand a sandwich at the S.U.B. or nonfat eggnog latte in Diversions, the whimsical and infectious music of Willy Wonka comes to mind, more specifically Veruca Salt and her classic, “I Want it Now.” I picture Miss Salt in her velveteen dress, demonically demolishing the Golden Egg Room, streams of yellow plastic and geese chaotically surrounding her as she belts out her cravings of outlandish luxuries.

The dominant behavior of Puget Sound students has become increasingly like that of a spoiled child. What happened to “please” and “thank you”? Maybe even a “may I”? Most students do not even look the food service employee in the eyes.

Why is this? Are we simply creatures of habit, or is this the real behavior of our campus? I like to believe the best of people and that the majority of the time, people are not aware that they are doing something wrong in the midst of such acts.

Recently, The Trail published a “Hey You” about the manners of Puget Sound students. Personally, I felt it was a much needed reminder not just for me, but for the community at large. There are old sayings that our mothers and fathers taught us from early on: “Treat others the way you would like to be treated,” and so on. Without a parental presence, some of us have forgotten such words of wisdom.

Most importantly, this increasing epidemic of missing manners has spread past the realm of food services into our daily interactions. Sure, we ask our friends how their weekend was, but does anyone take the time to say “Hello” to a fellow classmate passing by?

There are the unspoken ways of successfully eluding acquaintances and even close friends you would rather not bother with. These include the staring at your shoes or into the distance as you walk, the “I’m in such a hurry I can’t even look at you”, or the new classic, “I have to call/text so many important people right now” or my favorite, the “I see someone behind you that I’d rather talk with more, so I’m going to rush ahead.”

Even just a simple smile, a courteous “please” and a gracious “thank you” will brighten someone else’s moment or even day. Acknowledging a person’s work or existence is what most people need. You never know the battles another person is going through, and manners, when used, affect us in a positive way.

The woman making sandwiches might be frazzled about an upcoming geology quiz, the bespectacled barista might be consumed with worries of her sick grandmother, or the person scooping your ice cream in The Cellar perhaps just broke up with their significant other; the point being that these employees are not just there to earn money for school, rent and the weekend, they are people who deserve the respect and courtesy of their peers.

The manner in which we treat others defines who we are — so instead of a campus full of Veruca Salts, let us be more civilized than that. Please and thank you.