I was raised to care deeply about the lessons my parents instilled in me in regards to manners. They were completely inflexible about me saying "please" and "thank you." It was expected that I would address adults with terms such as "Yes, sir," "Yes, ma'am," and "Mr." and "Mrs." My mother also taught me how to write a proper thank you note, and to this day, I will still write three paragraphs, just like she taught me. So why do I mention all of this? Where have manners gone? In the hospitality industry, one would hope manners matter and would get the focus it deserves with people serving people. Yet, still, we are often surprised with the poor manners displayed around us in the service industry.
"Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use." Emily Post
Rude employees are rude for a reason: you allow them to be. It's not their fault—it's yours. You hired wrong, you trained wrong, or you coached wrong. Just as you must kill an aggressive cancer by nuking it with chemotherapy, you must eradicate rudeness by displaying a zero-tolerance attitude. We don't care if an employee "makes his numbers" or excels at some other aspect of his job. If he's rude, he has to go. Fire him, and for good measure, encourage him to work for a competitor.
- Roy Barnes and Bob Kelleher, Customer Experience for Dummies
In today's high-stakes business games, not all errors are forgiven and forgotten, of course. Some may even cost a person his or her job. But in many cases, by taking responsibility and by solving the problem, you may navigate the troubled waters with little if any negative effect on your career. To deny responsibility - to reflexively say, "That's not my fault!" - is almost guaranteed to infuriate everybody.
- Emily Post's The Etiquette Advantage in Business