On our way back up from Cork to Dublin after Christmas, we stopped off for lunch in a well-known stopping place. The staff were busy but they were also exceptionally rude and unhelpful.
I went to an independent bookshop to spend my money. This is a popular one with the press but I have always found the staff rude and unhelpful. Nevertheless, I went in because I don’t want all our bookshops to be the same and I want them to keep going. The assistant was speaking loudly to someone which was surprisingly unpleasant as the shop was otherwise quiet. After a few moments she said to me, “You have to leave now, we’re closing.” Not an “I’m afraid” an “I’m sorry” or a tone of voice that conveyed anything other than “leave, you are in my space”.
How pleasant it was then to go to Kilkenny Design for a cup of tea with the children and find that not everyone is vile in January. Michael ran into a waiter and an entire tray of crockery went up in the air causing a crash and, inevitably, pottery shards spread over a wide radius in what is a crowded enough cafe space. The staff could not have been more pleasant and understanding and their main concern genuinely seemed to be that Michael was unhurt (he was only psychologically scarred by the scorn of his sister who was embarrassed as only a nearly teenager can be).
I’m not quite sure what the conclusion of this post is other than that I am clearly getting crankier as I age and, you know, it costs nothing to be polite.