Last week a friend forwarded me a Time magazine article titled, “Why Everyone Is So Rude Right Now.” Obviously everyone knows that I am obsessed with the behavior of my students, and people in general. The statistics in this article were staggering. One place where people have become ruder is the airline industry. According to the article, the FAA has fined misbehaving passengers over one million dollars so far this year. As I wrote in my restaurant etiquette column, restaurant managers are also seeing an increase in rudeness of their customers to servers and hostesses.
The Time article was blaming some of the behavior on Covid-19, stating that many people were quarantined and are now having trouble adapting to regular society. I disagree with this. I have noticed over the years that society’s ability to be polite to each other has diminished. I believe this is mainly due to the phone and social media. People think they can speak to servers, hostesses, flight attendants and other workers in a manner that they speak on texting and social media.
Kindness and manners do go hand in hand. One of my new favorite television shows is Ted Lasso. The premise of the show is similar to the idea behind the Major League franchise: a scorned woman wins the soccer team in a divorce and to spite her ex-husband she wants to ruin the franchise. Ted is an American college football coach , with no soccer experience, who goes to England to coach their struggling fictional soccer team, AFC Richmond. The owner, Rebecca, hired Ted on purpose to see the team fail. In the show’s first year 2020, it received 20 Primetime Emmy nominations and broke the previous record held by Glee from 2011. Not only is the show critically acclaimed, it is setting records for Apple TV as well. Season Two has seen the highest ratings for an Apple TV original show.
Ted is so kind, the owner Rebecca cannot continue to be mean to him, and even the character grouchier than Oscar the Grouch, Roy Kent, starts to become less gruff. And, if Ted Lasso is such a hit, why are people not taking a page from Ted’s playbook? I binge-watched Season One and after watching each episode, you are left with such a warm and fuzzy feeling. One article I read said it is like the television show gives you a hug. Who doesn’t need a hug? I think the passengers on these flights and causing problems and assaulting flight attendants may need a hug and should be made to sit and watch Ted Lasso.
So start off each day like Ted. Be kind and when people like the mean journalist from the show, Trent Crimm, are mean to you, kill them with kindness in return, like Ted!
Have a good day everyone. Sending virtual hugs!
By Beth Hanning