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April 27, 2010 / Mervyn Dinnen

It’s All About Me!….No It’s Not!

When I was a kid, and my dad took me to watch football, there was always etiquette if you wanted to leave your seat during the game. Whether you wanted to use the toilet, or get a coffee (in those days you could even go get a beer and bring it back to your seat to drink it!), you may be coming back to your seat late from the half time interval, or just leaving early. Whatever your reason, you waited for a break in play before asking the other people in your row to stand up. Could be a free kick, goal kick, maybe treatment for an injury, no matter what as long you didn’t inconvenience other people whilst they were watching the game.

It was courteous, it was polite and it showed respect.

I was thinking of those innocent times on Saturday whilst in my seat at the Emirates (home of Arsenal FC, for those who don’t know) as I stood up for the fifth time during the first few minutes of the second half to let a latecomer back to their seat. If I was lucky someone said ‘excuse me’ but in the main I was just expected to stand, even if I was concentrating on a particularly good passage of play. My enjoyment, which I had paid a lot for, was secondary to someone who couldn’t manage to get back to their seat in time for the re-start of the match.

And before I get smart answers, it’s not just at Arsenal this happens!…from cinemas to theatres to concert halls it’s the same story.

It used to be that it was the person who was being inconvenienced who was the important one in the situation, whereas now it’s the person doing the inconveniencing who takes control.

I guess it’s another example of an ‘it’s all about me’ kind of attitude which now seems to spill over into the workplace.

A snap poll of people around me:

How many people call and start talking, never ask if you’re free, just talk because it suits them?

How many people turn up for meetings really early…and expect to get seen then?

How many CVs get sent to clients without their owners being asked?

How many interviewers/interviewees don’t bother to give proper, meaningful feedback?

Meetings postponed at the last minute…

People not turning up for interview or appointments…

I’ll get back to you later…

IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!!! No courtesy, no politeness, no respect…

Go on…how many can you think of? Don’t want a grumpy old man/woman style rant…

…but let me know what inconsiderateness really bugs you in your day to day working life…

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4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. thehrd / Apr 27 2010 8:32 AM

    I was getting ready to crack an Arsenal joke until I saw your spoiler…..

    It’s a really well observed post and unfortunately all pervasive in society. I almost get stalker looks when I let people on the tube in front of me or open a door to let people through.

    But if there is one thing in the workplace, it is turning up late for meetings. The arrogance that people will wait for you, if you’re late. Gah!

  2. Stephen O'Donnell / Apr 27 2010 8:00 PM

    One phrase springs to mind – “Overblown sense of entitlement”.

    And Mervyn, I’m sure there were no seats when you were a kid, certainly not at the Clock End.

    • Mervyn Dinnen / May 4 2010 4:57 PM

      It’s a fair cop… there weren’t! My dad had given up standing at about the time he started taking me…I was only 4 the first time I went!
      I do like the ‘overblown sense of entitlement’ phrase…can think of a lot of people who would qualify under that banner!

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