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Etiquette Vigilanteism


Oh, I SO love the title of ‘Etiquette Vigilanteism’!  Heard the term on a CBC Radio interview and it spoke to me.  I’ll try to be careful not to let this article deteriorate into a rant, but I mean, it just so gets to me when people are inconsiderate.  Back in my teaching days, I would light off when any of my students exhibited ‘me first’ behavior.  Think of it.  We are living in an increasingly crowded world and – it seems to me – our behaviors are becoming more anti-social, or at least more inconsiderate of others.  Now, let it be said that I am a grumpy, not-so-old fart anyway, and it is easy to fall into the trap of, “Back in my day . . . .” Still, am I the only one who gets pissed off at people who answer than then start yammering into their cellphones at your favourite restaurant?  Or  you are sitting in your yard enjoying peace, quiet and a beer when a car drives by with woofer thumping so loudly you can feel it throughout your body?  Should we just put up with these sounds and these people and mark it up to the ‘new world’ in which we live?   We all know that kids have a tendency to ‘me first’ whilst growing up.  This can be just a phase, if their parents deal with it.  If they don’t,  they grow into the ‘inconsideratei’ I’ve been describing.

Do we do anything about it?  Should we say something to these inconsiderate types?  Is it a quality of life issue?  If people hogging two parking spaces because they don’t know how to drive and park a car, pisses me off to the point of apolexy, should I leave a note on their window?  When I say hi to somewhen when walking on the sidewalk and they don’t hear me because they are a) listening to their iPod or b) talking on their iPhone, should that upset me?

I need to know, really I do.  Perhaps this is indeed now the world we live in where people are in their own world and everyone else be damned.  I don’t like it though.  What do you think?  Is this a HUGE waste of effort and emotion on my part, or is it something to purse with passion?

Please let me know in the ‘comments’ section.


Mr. Considerate


  1. Morgan Onda
    Morgan Onda04-05-2010

    Three choices;
    1. hunt and kill
    2. Ignore
    3. refuse to let any of your family (this includes friends and acquaintances) raise children to be these cretins. Do this by public humiliation and badgering. eg; my father (who I am become), uses this method for “Crying Children in Malls”. Walk up to the child saying “I don’t much like your singing. What song are you trying to sing? May I join in too?” This works especially well if the parents seem oblivious to the annoyance they have created. As for the “Noisy” adolescents, shout when talking with them, as if you’ve gone deaf from a lifetime of the kind of abuse that they inflict. Bad ‘Parkers’ (yourself not included in this list, punningly), embarrass them by placing large stones or pop-cans under the front right wheel. when they back out, they should feel a large bump. Not all will, however, as they probably hit people without realizing it.

    • Jim

      Thanks for taking the time to read the dung beetle diaries, Morgan. I esp. like the ‘mall singing’ idea. Think I’ll try it!

  2. Krista Miller
    Krista Miller04-13-2010

    Is this a HUGE waste of effort and emotion on my part, or is it something to purse with passion?

    My thinking would be that we should focus our passion and energies on the things we can influence.
    Can you influence/change/control the behaviour of other people? Can you ‘parent’ the children of other people?
    I would suggest that the answer to both of those questions is ‘no’.
    … and so, the logical thing to do is expend energy where it will be a force for good.
    Just my thoughts…

    • Jim

      This blog is me expending my energy on things I cannot change. Thanks for reading it KM!

  3. Carey

    Your post reminds me of what I told an asst. principal one time concerning a student’s behavior. He said the the student was acting like an idiot, almost dismissively. I stated, “Without consequences kids that are idiots become grown ups that are idiots!”

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