“Hallelujah! Finally a book for all ages, a dictionary with a built in thesaurus for every questionable rude behavior. Mankind will benefit from Packer’s work as it teaches and transcends from generation to generation. Brilliant! Funny! Exhaustive research which proves that evolution has a purpose if we agree that human beings have a choice and their actions can be guided towards a more positive end. How Rude proves it can.” Nancy Chuda LuxEcoLiving
In the famous film, The Wizard of Oz, Dorthy discovers the magic of Emerald City, sleeps in a poppy field and vests all of her life force in a mystical promise provided to her by The Wizard who operates and controls all of the happenstance within the confines of a place called Oz. He sets the standards for good manners, proper behavior, and gifts the iconic animal characters, a scare crow, a tin man and a lion with human virtues… all seem impossible but plausible; a brain, a heart, and courage.
Fast forward to the 21st century and read Alex J. Packer’s teen guide on how to get expert advice on everything from texting to tweeting, cell phones, bullying, breakups, jerks, hugging, thanking, and much much more.
Pick any subject and you will find not only answers to but loads of improper behavior. Example. Fear of flying. Flying can be stressful. As Packer states. “Air travel used to be an elegant, civilized mode of transportation, but not anymore. Barefoot, half-dressed, and foul smelling passengers have presdented themselves at the gate for boarding. Alleged adults have been arrested or thrown off flights for having temper tantrums. There have been food fights, pilot meltdowns, princesses attacking flight attendants, actors urinating in the aisle and even an inebriated banker flying from Buenos Aires to New York who–let’s see, how shall we put this–defecated on a food trolley.”
But Packer’s wisdom goes way beyond all that TWIDDLER stuff. He cuts to the chase on every topic providing guidelines. Reasonable and rational thinking. Sort of like a GPS for the mind. The list is so extensive it could wrap around the globe and should because manners, no matter where you were born or where you live matter most in what has become an uncivilized world dominated by technology which leads to distraction and worse, self ivolvement. What we are missing, by not having taught younger generations, is the behavior that we as adults lack. Patience or the lack of it has become a four lettered word used in context with anyone or anything at anytime anywhere.
Packer’s thesis in Chapter 10, which I really resonate with, Talking Headiquette, reveals that rudeness comes in many forms. “It can be physical (someone on a skateboard slams into you on a sidewalk); symbolic(wearing a National Rifle Association T-shirt to the funeral of a gunshot victim); behavioral (tailgating on the freeway); or omissional (not offering your seat to a person on crutches). Words too provoke insults, put-downs, slurs, and sarcasm. “People who cut you off, interrupt, ask nosy questions and say mean things. People who accuse, criticize, whine, and compare. People who never say “Please,” “Thank You,” or “Excuse Me.”
The long and winding road along the international cyber highways which connect us all via the “phone, or IMs, texting, email, Facebook, sets the standards towards determining the quality of our day and our relationships.” “If our interactions are pleasant and polite, we’re likely to feel good about ourselves and the world we live in. If our interactions are disagreeable and rude, we’re likely to feel angry and mistrustful.”
Let’s start with something we could all use a refresher course in… Making a Call. “If the person you wish to speak to doesn’t answer the phone, you’ll need to ask for her. Say: May I please speak to Muffy?” Don’t say: Is Muffy there? But if Muffy turns out to be an automated voice who keeps you waiting for minutes on end or a telemarketer who wants to ask you out on a date and steal your wallet…yikes what does one do?
Cell phones…. they are the greatest convenience yet have become the ruination of our sensibilities and even some of our senses. As Packer says, “Ask people about their ‘significant other’ and they’ll show you there smartphone!”
“The day they offer surgical telephone implants, half of America will sign up. It’s a mystery why so many people are so eager to expand the ways in which bill collectors can reach them.” “You can’t go anywhere anymore without hearing so many chirping phones you’d think you were at a cricket convention. All public spaces should be required to have phoning and nonphoning sections.”
This is where Packer’s punches are wisdom to us all… old or young, sympathetic or spoiled, obnoxious or complacent, rude or ill equipped to function in any given social environment.
1. Turn off all beepers and ringers when you’re at an event or place where quiet and/or respect are required.
2.Recognize that people are talking to themselves–and that’s how you appear to others-are a distraction.
3.Public restrooms are a place where people go to conduct their business. But not their cell phone business. Please stay off your cell phone in public bathrooms. Everyone will be relieved.
4. Choose a ringtone that isn’t going to rattle teeth or send shivers up someone’s spine and turn the volume down to the lowest setting that still allows you to hear it.
5. If you are eating with others in a public place or attending a meeting, don’t place your mobile device on the table. Glancing lovingly at your tablet or smartphone gives people the impression that it is more important than they are. We all know that’s not true. Right? Right?
Alex J. Packer is not only a good mannered guru for teen behavior… he’s the guy you don’t want to have dinner with until you have read his 489 page book and given it to at least 20 of your rudest friends who insist on putting their cell phone in front of their face instead of looking at yours.
For more expert advice you can follow Alex Packer here.