Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Manners cost you nothing

They say manners cost nothing. Today I went into the corner shop that I have frequented since starting my new job. I buy average home made sandwiches for £2.40, made by the Indian couple who own it.

This sunny Monday morning, I walked in, flashing a cheery smile to the old woman at the till. She didn't smile back. I thought perhaps the sun was in her eyes, so I positioned myself better, and smiled again. She still didn't smile back. She was wearing glasses, perhaps they were old and her sight has since deteriorated. I walked closer to the till, trying hard to make it look like I am not going off-path too much. I smiled, this time bigger than the last two smiles put together. She looked back at me, with the face of a woman who just watched a child take a shit on her dog. 

I immediately turned around and walked out. I will not give my custom to a person who will not even give me the courtesy of a cheery smile. I instead walked down the road to a different sandwich shop. I had heard about it, but hadn't ventured into it due to the menacing blue collar workers outside.

I was greeted by a rotund person, who was of course smiley (they all are), and by a menu where I could buy a bacon and egg sandwich for £1.95. I was cheeky and asked for sausage on there too, expecting an extra 40p. She asked if I wanted tea too. As I'm not made of money, I quickly said no, but the curvy saint insisted it was free. I was about to hand over £2.50, expecting little change, when she informed me that it was only £2. That is only 5p for a sausage. Amazing.

So, it is true that manners cost you nothing, unless you have none. Then it costs you my custom.


  1. Maybe you had something on your teeth lol.

  2. Ugh, by the pic that you have uploaded with the post, I can only sympathize with you. Being an Indian myself I do not get these people! I go through such a bullshit routine out here that it is out of control!

    For example, I was walking down the street when I was studying in Canada, and a lovely old Englishman greeted me early in the morning, I was of course not used to this coz I was not raised that way, not to mention I was not good at conversation either. I greeted him back, being a little conscious. But then I got used to it. It is a beautiful thing, and every one should have it.

    When I returned back to India, I greeted an old lady in the morning and she gave me the exact same look like you have described above and also a similar expression to that picture. It's not just her, 60% of the Indian crowd is such and it sucks big big time, most of them are elderly people.

    It's probably intimidating to them, I really have not been able to figure out the cause behind this. But hey, if you ever pass by me if I end up selling Sandwiches in England, I will give you a wide smile and say Heyyyy Andyyyyyy :P :)

    So glad that you found a better and a more hospitable place! :)

  3. I am ambivalent about most people, but I am automatically nice to everyone. Even people I'm not particularly fond of. It perplexes me that people fail to understand common courtesy - especially people in a situation like that who are the "face" of a business. If you are the only person a customer will interact with, do you really want to be an ass to them? Right.

  4. Agreed with Nicole. I don't even really like people, but I am nice. I do smile to everyone and I have proper manners. I don't understand why anyone wouldn't. Now I want an egg sandwich though, so thanks.


  5. Old Asians look grumpy in general though.

    People here either laugh at you rudely or stare at you, especially old people XD

    I think it's just a weird culture thingy, we don't like to smile at people

  6. 'So, it is true that manners cost you nothing, unless you have none. Then it costs you my custom'

    Perfect ending to this post. Well said! My dad refuses to go into a corner shop near where we live for the same reason.