Saturday, 29 November 2014


30 years in front of up to 200 kids a day, and mostly things changed very little. I greeted the kids as I liked to be greeted and smiled and roused and explained and was amazed and laughed and sometimes cried and generally it seemed it was part of my job to either teach or reinforce good manners. 'Please' and 'Thank you' The kids cottoned pretty quickly that if they wanted something, then manners were a must.

'I ain't go a pen Miss'

'Oh No, haven't you?'

'I said I ain't got a pen Miss.'

'Yes I know I heard you.'

'I ain't got no pen Miss!!' shouted.

'I might be old honey, but I am not deaf. I heard you the first time.'

And on and on it would go, until the penny dropped or some other kids gave 'em the heads up, and then it was, 'Could I please borrow a pen Miss?' 'Of course honey, help yourself.'

I have had this conversation many many times but usually only once per kid.

I am a big believer in what Nanna used to say, 'Manners cost nothing'

And I see and hear kids out and about and generally speaking there are lots of good manners to be noted. I nearly always compliment 'em on their good manners and kids do love that. Bit of positive reinforcement can do no harm at all.

So after a day in the shops I wonder at what age people forget their manners or when people just decide that they are too important to bother.

Cos the new metal knee is still a rule unto itself, I had the crutch to give it a bit of a rest as and when necessary. It's interesting just how few people give a shit. I'd like to think that most people are just too completely self involved to notice anything outside their bubble, but that just isn't the case. I spent a couple of hours leaning on the crutch and dodging people. I reckon I have walked kilometres further than needed as I went literally out of my way to dodge people, and strollers and old people with their shopping trolleys. It was exhausting!

I finished the groceries and was heading back to the car pushing the trolley with the crutch poking atop it like a flag pole. So now on the wonky leg already worn out from darting and dodging, I was weaving the trolley in and out of people's way, and got back to the car to unload into the boot. There was a line up of cars waiting for my parking spot and drivers were getting cross. I was not fast. I finished up a with the bags and was taking the trolley back to the return spot. I only got a few steps away and an older woman called out that she would take it back for me. She had spied the crutch. This was a generous gesture and I thanked her as she took it from me. How bloody lovely.

Slithering the expensive knee into the car to take off also is not fast, but then I was off. The person waiting for my spot, had understandably buggered off and had been replaced by someone with even less patience.

On my way out of the hectic car park, I was still feeling the glow from the woman's kindness. There was an old fella trying to back out of his park. In no hurry myself, I stopped and let him out, smiled and waved. Well, he just put his head down and that was it. No bloody 'Thank you', no wave, not even a smile. How bloody RUDE. My window was down, his window was down. I waved and yelled out 'Thank you'.

I hope he got the idea at least as quickly as all those kids I have taught.

Kids today often get a bit of a bad rap because of forgotten if ever remembered manners, but you know what, I don't reckon kids have the worst of 'em.

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