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Be Nice to the Bus Driver (and other Etiquette)

Listening to: Beep Beep (The Little Nash Rambler) — The Kingston Trio


I realize this is going to make me sound old, but it has to be said: What is WITH kids today? Does nobody have manners anymore? When did they quit teaching us to say please, thank you, and excuse me?

Growing up in small-town western North Carolina, I learned that manners were not optional. I was taught that my elders were always ma’am and sir. I was taught to apologize if I bumped into someone accidentally. Furthermore, I was put through etiquette training in Cotillion (think Daughters of the American Revolution). Not all of it stuck — I still cross my legs at the knee instead of at the ankle and I am horrible about remembering to send out thank-you notes — but much of it did. And to be honest, sometimes on campus, I feel as if I’m the weird one because I try to be polite.

A few points:

  1. Be nice to the bus driver. Thank the bus driver when you get off, if you’re exiting front. The bus driver goes in a circle all day. The same route. He or she does this so that you can get where you need to go faster. Imagine campus without buses and, for God’s sake, show a little appreciation to the people who drive them.
  2. And while I’m on buses. Come on people. If you’re sitting down, and someone pregnant, elderly, or disabled gets on, offer them your seat. You are young and healthy. You can stand. Also, don’t get on the bus, walk two feet, and then stop so that no one else can get on. If you’re going to get on first, have the courtesy to walk to the back so that others can fit. We ALL have places we need to be.
  3. Even if you don’t like your professor, your professor still deserves to be shown courtesy. In my world, this means always saying yes ma’am and no sir unless told not to. At the very least, excuse me, please, and thank you can go a long way towards your image as a mature adult. And professors like mature adults. Also, I have to note, I haven’t quite figured out what to do about professors who introduce themselves to me with first names. My social work professor, whom I love, did that this semester and it goes against every fiber of my being to call a teacher by her first name.
  4. If you’re sharing a desk or a long table connected by chairs with someone (think Burdine and Welch) please stop wiggling! If you are in the middle, shaking your legs, and you’re connected to the table, that means everyone else at the table, including me, is being shaken. Our computer screens move. It’s hard to write. It’s annoying. I’m a leg shaker, and if I can stop, so can you.
  5. If someone opens the door for you, tell them thank you. This seems like common sense, but apparently, it isn’t.
  6. When you leave your table in the Union after having your Wendy’s nuggets, wipe it off. The person sitting down after you doesn’t want to clean up your mess. Ditto for sinks in the bathroom. And since I’m on a roll… FLUSH.

I am, by no means, perfect. Despite my raising, I have a sense of sarcasm that doesn’t always get properly suppressed. It isn’t always appropriate, and I do try to apologize when I overstep my bounds. When I feel disrespected, I have a nasty habit of being quite snotty. I make mistakes. I have off days. But for the most part, I make a real effort at using the manners I was taught. People seem to appreciate it… it makes them happy. Then they go out and do things that make other people happy and it all comes back around to you. (Come on, you’ve all seen the commercials.)

I guess I’m just saying… be polite. It’s good karma.

Until Next Time (And Thank-You for reading!)


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March 26, 2010 | | Comments are closed for this post
photo of Bobbi