Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mothers and Manners

My Mother
Things would be better for me if my Southern-born and highly civilized mother had raised more people. If she had, more individuals would be products of their environment (the same as mine) and see things the way I do. They would behave in ways I can appreciate.

Often, as I sit at my desk at the end of an especially tough day, I think about this a lot and of those who make my work needlessly difficult. I end up wishing my mother (and others like her) had enjoyed greater influence.

The workplace would be different, for sure. And, different too would be the “professional” people who currently frustrate me!

For one thing, if raised by my mother, they would realize the telephone is not yet an outmoded communication device. They would return (my) phone calls. They would do so by putting a telephone receiver to their ears — not by pecking out another impersonal email or text message. Even though it takes a nanosecond longer, they would call back. They would know that if someone (me) calls them, that person (me) really and truly wants to speak to them. They would know that returning telephone calls is simply the polite and appropriate thing to do.

If raised by my mother, they would keep commitments. When they schedule appointments, they would show up and on time. They wouldn’t leave others (me) sitting or standing around waiting for them. They wouldn’t waste (my) precious time. They would know that doing so is rude and downright disrespectful. They would know that not keeping commitments says volumes about how very unprofessional they really are! They would know they are making the other person (me) angry! Very, very angry!

If raised by my mother, they would take “no” graciously and without making the deliverer of that message (me) defend the negative position. They would know that, sometimes,  a “yes” is simply not possible or appropriate.

If raised by my mother, they would stop using networking events to ask (me) for favors and free stuff — especially the “stuff” I sell to make a living. Instead, they would know the best way to network is to sincerely say, “What do you do? What can I do to help you?” They would know generosity opens doors and fosters relationships.

If raised by my mother, they would say “thank you” when given good service! They would show their appreciation and know that providing good service is not always easy. They would acknowledge the extraordinary efforts and expenditures of time of others.

Ah, if mothers like mine had raised more people, the world would be different!

If mothers like mine had raised more people, we would all view our jobs and careers less often as “work” and more often as great opportunities to interact with very nice people!

If mothers like mine had raised more people, every day would be Mother’s Day, and we’d all be celebrating!

Note: I wrote this article for Houston Woman Magazine in May 2007, nine months before my mother passed away. 

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