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Has the Need for Instant Gratification Made Us Forget Our Manners?

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Has the need for instant gratification made us forget our manners?  More and more people seem to want everything their way and they want it now – no matter when NOW is.  Instant everything.  Instant messages, email, fax, internet. Instant food, the faster the better. Instant education, job, wealth.  Instant medical service, diagnosis, and an instant cure. Instant family. Instant travel. Instant information. Instant banking.  Instant support and training – even if it’s 10 p.m. at night. Right or wrong, good or bad,  it seem that most people want it NOW!  What happened to please and thank you?

I live in a very small, rural town – where people still wave at strangers, if you see someone broken down on the side of the road – you stop to help them out.  Life flows along at a very relaxed pace in our little corner of the world.

Cell phones are nothing more than expensive paperweights up here – if you try to use them {IF you are lucky enough to get a signal} you get a Canadian operator who asks you for your credit card — in French!  We are not connected 24/7 – nor do we want to be.

Wanting and demanding things NOW is a pretty uncommon occurrence – around here — until I walk across my yard and up the stairs to go to work and then it all changes.

Gone are the days when the phone would ring and we’d hear “Hi, this is so and so from company name – how are you today?”  Instead we hear  “I need help!” when we answer the phone and seldom is there a please or a thank you.  Everyone is in a hurry, their poor planning induced emergency is supposed to become our one and only priority – I need it now is not for me!

Computers and all of these gadgets were supposed to make our lives easier – give us more time for friends, family and fun.  As an outsider, for the most part I don’t see that’s happened.  People can’t drive down the road without being on their cell phones {even though it’s illegal here in Vermont}, they can’t go to the grocery store and get their groceries without being on their cell phone {the grocery store 14 miles away is one of the few places that you can actually get cell phone service}, my grandchildren seldom go outside because they are glued to video games, and my oldest granddaughter {12} has had a cell phone for 2 years and my daughter complains because she’s always on it “texting” to her friends instead of doing her homework!

If I took “do unto others as they do unto you” to heart – I’d be disconnecting the phone and the internet and hanging a “closed” sign on our website.

Thank you for reading this.  If it hits home, please take a moment to leave a comment or share this on your favorite social media site using the button below.

6 Responses to Has the Need for Instant Gratification Made Us Forget Our Manners?

  • Yes often times customers can be so unappreciative and sometimes I want to just bury my head in the sand. As many small businesses use QuickBooks and many of them are not technology savvy often times they get in over their head and panic. So often times they just want someone to fix it. Often times when I help them I try to provide helpful tips so these sorts of situations do not happen again. This doesn’t always work but many times the customer will say thanks for the helpful tip.

  • Jay – I so envy your serenity. Thank you for the reminder of Gratitude (to be alive).

  • I learned long time ago from Society Dames in Chicago that Monday is Marvelous, Terrific Tuesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Tremendous Thursday, Fantastic (Fabulous and Fun Filled) Friday, Super Saturday and Serene Sunday. And that is how I answer to the questions “How are you?” and shakes up people (particularly on Monday!) and the ice is broken with civility and the conversation remains civilized. I explain that I am on THIS side of the Grass so I use the most important ingredient of life – Gratitude (to be alive).


    Jay Shah

  • Perfect blog Nancy and so true! What has become of us? There is no such thing as a true emergency anymore because people have become so self-absorbed as to believe that their issue is the only “true emergency”, and generally it isn’t an emergency of any kind!

    I vote for unplugging too!

  • Hi Lynda
    You are correct, bad experiences with a client or a customer are good learning experiences, they help us to better define our policies and procedures for operating our own businesses. Sometimes these situations lead to a parting of the ways – usually not on good terms either – but so be it. I highly recommend “unplugging” 🙂

  • Nancy, you are correct that this world we now live in with our of our gadgets makes everyone want things instantaneously. We are just used to getting information quickly in today’s world with our iphones and ipads. But that does not excuse anyone from being rude or disrespectful.

    Sometimes a bad experience with a client can be a learning experience for you. How could you have handled the person differently? Was the client just having a bad day and passing that on to you? I know when you are in the thick of it, it is hard to step back. But we have all been there with that demanding person who could have called you 3 weeks ago with the issue, but waited till the last moment and then made it your problem to solve.

    I also think it is a good idea to “unplug” every once and awhile. It is good for the soul!

About Your Host:

Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert

I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.

QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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