This post is not intended to be a rant. Rather, the intention is to remind everyone of how not having common courtesy can cause ill will that can have serious repercussions.
Our upstairs shower is in the process of being re-tiled (the joys of living in an old house). It is a project that should have been completed by now but isn’t done because the fellow who is doing the job got delayed with another project. Our landlord has told him that it must be finished by Tuesday or it will have to wait two weeks for another window of opportunity to have it done. So, the guy asked if he could work on it this weekend so that it could get finished.
When the guy was two hours late today, The Mister called the landlord and asked if he had heard from the handyman doing the work. Our landlord called the handyman and was told that he would not be coming today after all. The impression he gave was that he decided to go to a sporting event instead.
The handyman’s lack of letting us know that his plans had changed created ill will because we had rearranged our schedules and were in limbo while we waited for him to show up. I am sure our landlords are not too happy, either, that there has been another delay and that the handyman didn’t reach out to them. The handyman has unwittingly sent us all the message that he is either unreliable OR he is disrespectful of our time.
Common courtesy dictates that he should have made a quick phone call before the time we were expecting him to arrive to let us know he wouldn’t be here today after all. Good will would have continued. We certainly understand the desire to spend time relaxing. But because he didn’t do that and wasn’t intending to call us (leaving us in limbo all day), I’m not sure I can recommend him to friends who are in need of a handyman. He has lost potential business.
Now this is an extreme situation but I’m sure we can all think of situations where the lack of common courtesy on the part of someone really gives a negative impression that hurts them in the long run–the person who is always late to meetings, the person who is rude to sales clerks, the aggressive driver, the person who is always texting or checking their phone when you are trying to talk to them, and so on (we all have horror stories we can share, I’m sure).
The great mid-century motivational guru, Napoleon Hill, used to say that we need to go the “extra mile” if we want to make a good impression. And I agree with him wholeheartedly. But, let’s be sure, in this day and age of disconnectedness from each other, that we are at least engaging in common courtesy to the best of our abilities as often as we can. Because a lack of common courtesy gets noticed, too.