Friday, 16 August 2013

Incessant Politeness

As Canadians we get a bad rap for being excessively kind. Yes it is true that we will probably apologize for you running into us, but that doesn't mean we can’t stand our ground. I figure there are just unspoken rules we follow that once explained, will help make sense of our appalling niceness.   

For example, I went to get pizza the other night and the following scenario occurred. I walked in and there is a line of fifteen people. I go to the back of the line and wait 30 minutes for what should have taken 10. I then proceed to people watch those in front of me and notice a strange repetition. The first thing a person does when entering is to have a deer in the headlights look and then penitently walk to the back of the line.

Rule #1: once you start a mission you cannot back out

The Cashier girl could maybe be 14 and looked a little overwhelmed. She would smile nervously to take orders then run to the back and yell at the dough makers. She would then come back in a few minutes looking calm and collected.

Rule #2: Never lose your cool

At last it’s almost my turn and the person a head orders 5 Pizza’s with sides. This slows down the movement of the line considerably and an exasperated sigh escapes from everyone.

Rule #3: Hide within the collective

At last it is my turn and I put in my order and wait patiently. I've noticed this whole entire time not one person has forgotten to give their compliments to the Cashier.  I decide to sit down, which is a bad idea, since it takes me away from her line of vision. I don’t realize until a few minutes afterwards that my order was already called. I self-consciously go to get it and mumble in a low voice. I don’t realize until I hear the door slam behind me that I have made an unpardonable sin.

Rule #4: Always say Thank you     

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