I do believe that everyone needs to enroll in charm school. Do they still have those? I'm gonna start one, if not. And not for kids. For adults. Adults have turned into a bunch of iPhone scrollin', not listenin' to you while you talk on the phone (because they are driving, getting a fax, and ordering shoes from Spain while you're on the line) bad manner havin' goobers. Professional, grown up, people. It must stop.
I don't think that we can totally blame the social network or technology for this. Noooo. We know better. We abuse the conveniences of communications just like we flip off people on the highway. Who'll know? I'll know. You're not anonymous. And I'm calling you out. These are this weeks gaffs.
1. If you answer the phone, I assume you can talk. If you ask me to call, I assume you want me to. If I ask you to email me with the ad rates, I don't want you to call. See? Paying attention is fun. If you can't talk let it go to VM. That's what it's for. If you don't want to talk because you're doing 14 other things...don't pick up. Call me when you're not in the shower, making love, taking dictation from Al Sharpton or having dinner with the Queen. Don't act like I'm interrupting YOU by calling. That's what "silent" and "reject" are for. Chances are, you've just interrupted whomever you're being busy with. And you've been rude to me. That's twice. Charm School.
2. If you ask me to volunteer, show up at a forum, speak in front of a group?...introduce me to your audience. As a professional. Not a relative. Or a neighbor. It will make you look good and me look good. And that's why you brought me here in the first place right? To make you look smart? And we'll both save a lot of time and desperate attempts at life defense if you give the Cliffs Notes on me and the why I'm there. And the audience doesn't have to wonder why in the hell I have an opinion on this random matter. Filling people in is polite. Charm School.
3. This is kind of like #1. If you're too busy, don't call me and say you can't talk. You've interrupted me, and blown me off in 15 seconds. Send a text. That's a perfect time to do it. Dating? Not so much. Charm School.
4. If we are on the phone and you need to get off the phone, don't yell HEY in the middle of a sentence and say how you gotta roll. and if you do? say pardon me...or, HEY, sorry. Surely there will be a break or breath in there somewhere. it's not the last seat on the Concord. You'll make it. Use your big girl manners. Ditto if you need to change lines because you have crappy iPhone service like the rest of the world, YOU excuse yourself and CALL me back from a landline. Don't tell me to call your other number. (unless of course you are NP who doesn't have long distance service on the landline, but we have a previous agreement.)The rest? Charm School.
5. It's a MOBILE phone. Please don't talk on it while on the sofa with me. In my kitchen. Or in a restaurant. Move away. And for those parents who say "I have to have my phone on in a restaurant...I have kids!" I'd like to point out that my parents went to evenings out when I was a child and cell phones were not even invented yet. If it really IS an emergency and not just a broken TiVo, the babysitter will call the restaurant you're in and find you. If you're thinking your kids are more disaster prone than that you are paranoid and delusional and should stay home. Charm School.
6. If I'm going to teach an English class to Spanish speakers the woman who has lived here for ten years and doesn't speak one word of English does not get to tell me that my Spanish isn't good enough to teach a class. Guess what, we won't be speaking ANY Spanish in the class so I won't bother you with my lazy conjugation and guttural slangy kitchen Mexican. Hope you can keep up. Cuz my English is rockin' muchacha. Escuela de Charm.
7. If you beg me for 8 mos to bake bread to sell at your function and I do, please don't let me arrive at the location to find that someone else, like YOU is baking bread for sale at your function. And speaking of work, if you are looking for work and you come to me with a job need and I give you work, it would be really nice if you'd show up for work. Charm School.
8. Say hello on the street. Greet someone in conversation before launching into your complaint or idea or whatever. (nice things about Latin cultures even France! is the hello, how are you...niceties before telling someone to jump off a bridge.) Learn some pleasantries: Say thank you, kiss my foot. Please may I, you jackass. Have a good day, loser face. Bon jour, douchebag! Charm School.
9. Don't completely ignore my causes and expect me to paper the subway with yours. If you want me to visit, donate, spread the word about your little Tommy's bake sale for the soccer team at the private school then you need to give some face time to my save the dogs/Guatemalans/heirloom pigs causes. Or we have to fake it. Charm School.
10. Disciplining other people's dogs kids and spouses. Hmmm. This is tough. I do it all the time. If your dog is dry humping my leg, your wife cracking on my haircut and your kids splitting my eardrums? I'm gonna say something. Or I'm leaving. Or it will be a cold day in hell before I hang again. Your choice. I'm putting myself in Charm School for that one.