Here's a warning for all you rude people out there: I'm not going to be nice to you anymore.
If I hold a door open for you and you don't say thank you, I intend to be quite vocal about your lack of social skills. When I allow you to pull in front of me during rush hour, I expect a wave of gratitude. If you can't acknowledge my considerate deed, I'll give you a good dose of tongue-lashing - even though you won't hear it.
And while my reaction may not be appropriate, I believe it's more important to let you know there's no reason for your rudeness. It only takes a second to recognize a kind gesture.
I'm not considerate of you because I want your gratitude. I do these things, because it's the right thing to do. And in return, it's your duty as a respectable person to acknowledge the good deeds I've done for you, because that's the right thing do.
Are you so busy and preoccupied you can't utter a simple, "Thank you?" Were you not taught as a child to show appreciation?
And what about all of you rude people in customer service? Is it painful for you to smile? Do you have to look at me as though I killed your dog? Must you speak to me as if I'm a complete burden? Even if you despise your job and your social life is in the toilet, it would be ever so nice if you could treat me like a human being for just 30 seconds. I've only encountered a handful of your polite counterparts, and they've actually made my day a better one. You, on the other hand, have ruined several of my dinners and shopping experiences.
I'm so sick of your monotone, disinterested responses. It may be monotonous for you to smile and greet everyone who files through your line in the store, but I'd bet your day would end better if you just surrendered to being polite.
And if this is impossible for you, it's time you find a job sorting through files in a dark, back office.
They say you should kill with kindness. You attract more flies with honey than vinegar. Well that's not working with you people. You should be aware that you rudeness is killing kindness.
Before long, your inability to be considerate will spread, and we'll be living in a society where we don't open doors for each other or say thank you. We won't lend a helping hand. We'll let doors slam behind us without ever thinking of the person behind us. On our drives home, we'll sit at stop signs for hours because no one will let us into the flow of traffic.
As long as there are people out there like you who refuse to be polite, we're all looking at an apathetic, socially awkward future. And for that, I just can't say thank you.
Shannon Jenkins is the education reporter for The Daily Herald. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (770) 957-9161.