Where have the P’s and Q’s gone?

Something I have noticed, and maybe it’s just me, and my current tired and slightly weary of the world outlook, and spending a lot of time around people as an introvert, which can make me more sensitive to what is going on around me, is that people don’t say please or thank you, or even “excuse me” any more. 

I thought it was just me being grumpy, a couple of weeks ago, when I was in  cafe and I noticed not one, not two but three people order their drinks and food, without saying please and or thank you to the barista behind the counter. I have noticed it in the supermarket, and in other places. 

On the bus in the morning, when I want to get off and I have to pass other passengers, my fellow commuters, I always say “excuse me, please”, but I seem to be in a minority. Yesterday, on a bus, the lady next to me needed to get off, and I was in her way. She didn’t say anything, but just climbed over me and shoved past. Language wasn’t an issue because she had been happily chatting away in English, next to me, on her phone, to someone, for the whole bus journey. A simple “sorry, can I get past” or “excuse me please?” would have meant would have moved in time for her to not have to climb over me. 

People push past, take things, ask for things, expect service, require help but don’t say please or thank you any more.

Is this normal everywhere? Are we loosing the basics of manners? How hard is it to say  “please” or “thank you” to someone? 

It makes me sad. I am very firm with my kids, that basic politeness is important. They know that asking for things, or being given things, or when someone does something, the simple requirement of them is an acknowledgment and the appropriate response. It doesn’t hurt to tack on please, thank you or excuse me. It doesn’t cost time or any more energy. If you can shout down the phone to someone about the state of your love life and bank account for 15 minutes on the phone then you can say “excuse me” to someone you need to get past. I think it is rude, frankly. I have turned into a somewhat younger, female version of Victor Meldrew, and recently I have started commenting when the failure to use basic manners happens. I think sometimes people forget, and it isn’t intentional, but mostly, I think we are becoming so self preoccupied as a society that we don’t even bother with the basics of manners any more. 


I despair really. What is it coming to, when the basic “p’s & q’s” go out the window? 

Or am I being old fashioned and pedantic? What do you think?

This was a Friday Rant from the Soapbox in MY Living Room. Feel free to comment or share your thoughts…

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Posted in Friday's Rants from The Soap Box and tagged consideration, Friday's Rant from the Soap Box in MY Living Room, have we forgotten how to say please and thank you?, manners, politeness.


  1. I completely agree. Lack of the most basic manners makes me so mad, especially when those same people have children with them and proceed to lecture their children on manners. I agree that children should be taught manners but how are they expected to learn when that is the example set. I once saw a sign on Facebook that someone had photographed outside of a café. I can’t remember the exact wording, but it was something like coffee £2, coffee please £1.50. It really tickled me and I hope they followed through on it! #effitfriday

  2. Oh yes, it is annoying isn’t it and totally justified to rant about! Basic human decency! I will probably notice at tills and check outs now you’ve seeded it in my brain! Rah! #effotfriday

  3. It drives me mad if people don’t say please and thank you – esp people serving you in shops/ restaurants. Its like basic human 101 #effitfriday

  4. It’s one of my bugbears and my husbands. I have been pulled up in shops by him when it’s slipped my mind and I haven’t said please. I think it can only be a good thing. If we stop saying please and thank you, what happens next? No more hello’s? Goodbyes? No small talk?!

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