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On social interaction

Part of this is from a comment in leback's journal.

http://jorm.livejournal.com/94477.html says that everyone is socially retarded, and proceeds with a list of behavior rules that we all should follow. I agree with many of the behavior rules.

But he lost me when he wrote "Everyone is on the Short Bus of Social Interaction to some degree or another." It's one thing to say "I hold extremely high ideals for social behavior, and no one measures up to my ideals." It's another thing to say that everyone is retarded. The latter does not take responsibility for your own attitudes. Besides, it makes no sense.

Jorm's rules that I agree with:
1) When someone gives you a compliment, the correct response is "Thank you."
2) When you ask someone for advice, and they give it to you, the correct response is "Thank you."
3) When someone offers to buy you a drink, the correct response is "Thank you."
5) You do not always have to be right, even in your own field, even when you are.
6) Further, you do not always have to be right.
7) Few people wish to hear about your level 17 Paladin.
9) If you make plans with someone, and then must cancel, let them know.
10) If you decline every invitation from someone, they will eventually stop sending you invites.
11) Be aware that what you do impacts other people.
13) When in a conversation, listen to your friend instead of simply waiting for your turn to speak.
16) No one wants to be disliked. Everyone wants to make friends.
(I know a few exceptions to this, but I think it's true as a general rule.)
17) When you yell at a customer service representative, you are being an asshole.
20) Terse replies do not foster communication.


Jorm's rules and other statements I don't agree with:

4) When someone offers to buy you a drink, and you must decline, do so with grace and thanks.
I agree with this, but he goes on to say that you have to give an excuse. I don't think so—just plain "No thank you" is fine.

8) Don't make excuses for being a social retard. This just makes you look more socially retarded because it says, effectively, that you do not believe yourself to be bound by the polite rules of society.
There is a difference between a reason and an excuse. With reasons, you take responsibility for your actions; with excuses you do not. "I was drunk," "I have OCD," "I have low-grade Asperger's" - these can be used in either vein.
No one will tell you when you are doing it wrong, so it's better not to bring up a reason or excuse.


There is a difference between a reason and an excuse where apologies are concerned, but when and how to apologize is a lot more complicated than "it's better not to bring up a reason or excuse." Whether you bring up other facts about you is context-dependent. It's incorrect to interpret every such disclosure of such facts as communicating "I am not bound by the polite rules."

12) Everyone wants to be the center of attention. You do not have to be.
No, everyone does not want to be the center of attention. Some of us are just fine with having a little attention paid to us, and some of us don't ever like to be the center of attention.

14) If you are angry with someone, or they have hurt you, and they seem oblivious to this fact, you must tell them.
...Only if you want them to know you are angry. Sometimes it's not important that they know.

15) Don't be "that guy" who sits in a corner and doesn't talk to anybody. You know exactly what I'm talking about, too. Maybe you're at a party and you really only know one person there. Maybe you're in a bad mood. Whatever.
When you do this - sit in a corner - you exude a passive aggressive hostility. What you're saying is that you are waiting for someone else to come and talk to you - that you are too important to make the first social move. Well, guess what? You're not.

Speaking as a corner-sitter -- It's certainly true that a lot of people won't approach me if I sit in a corner, and maybe some of them will be thinking "that person thinks they're too important to make the first move." Others might be thinking "That person looks happy and comfortable," or "That person might not know anyone here," or any number of things. The only time I am responsible for managing the stories that other people make up about me is when I want something from those people that I'm not getting.

18) Be a good customer.
I certainly agree with this, but he goes on to say "Calculating an exact tip makes you an asshole." What the fuck? When you do tip math, you look like you are unwilling to give them a tip. Again with the making up stories about other people, only this one makes even less sense than the one about sitting in a corner. If you are calculating a tip, that means you're going to give a tip, because otherwise why calculate it? And if you're going to give a tip, under what twisted logic does that mean you don't want to give a tip?

I've never been a waiter though. If you're a waiter and you agree with him, let me know. It doesn't matter to me because I do the tip calculation in my head.

If you have a coffee shop or restaurant you are a regular at, drop a hundred bucks in the tip jar at Christmastime
I'm all for tipping well, but in my world, not everyone has a few hundred bucks lying around that they don't need.

Comments

( 67 comments — Leave a comment )
elissaann
Aug. 25th, 2008 05:57 am (UTC)
18 - I have been a waiter. If a customer worked out my tip to the exact penny and left that, I assumed that it was to make sure I didn't get a penny more than absolutely necessary. I thought of it as cheap.
firecat
Aug. 25th, 2008 06:01 am (UTC)
Thanks for the datapoint!
(no subject) - brooksmoses - Aug. 25th, 2008 06:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elissaann - Aug. 25th, 2008 06:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - leback - Aug. 25th, 2008 07:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - labelleizzy - Aug. 25th, 2008 07:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elissaann - Aug. 25th, 2008 08:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - leback - Aug. 25th, 2008 08:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ex_serenejo - Aug. 25th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jenk - Aug. 25th, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - on_reserve - Aug. 25th, 2008 06:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firecat - Aug. 25th, 2008 06:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - on_reserve - Aug. 25th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dreamalynn - Aug. 25th, 2008 08:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elissaann - Aug. 25th, 2008 11:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dreamalynn - Aug. 25th, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mjlayman - Aug. 26th, 2008 02:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dreamalynn - Aug. 26th, 2008 02:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mjlayman - Aug. 26th, 2008 02:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firecat - Aug. 26th, 2008 02:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mjlayman - Aug. 26th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
brooksmoses
Aug. 25th, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)
One particularly valuable bit of social advice that I learned from leback was an expansion on this one: "If you decline every invitation from someone, they will eventually stop sending you invites." What she pointed out to me was that an invitation (of the personal sort like meeting for lunch, more than the group-activity sort like a party) is often mostly a way of saying, "I'd like to see you, how about this possibility." And so a useful response is often not just, "Sorry, I'm busy that day," but also making a counter-suggestion of an alternate plan.

I think the point on the "calculating an exact tip" is not the visibly calculating it or doing it in one's head, but is writing down a tip of $2.67 (for example) rather than $2.50 or $3.00 -- that is, if you calculated it according to a precise formula, it says something different than doing a rough approximation. I can sort of see his point, if one assumes that giving a tip to the last penny means that one thinks the last penny is relevant, but that's not a valid assumption in my experience.

He also needs to learn the difference between "makes you an asshole" and "makes you look like an asshole", even if he's got a point.
firecat
Aug. 25th, 2008 06:08 am (UTC)
Yes, it's good to understand that stuff about invitations.

I guess that's what was meant about the tip. I know some people who round the total off and then back-calculate the tip so they might end up with $2.67 in the tip field. I wonder if they seem like assholes, too.

(I round the total off and leave the tip field blank, which is probably another sort of assholish behavior.)
(no subject) - brooksmoses - Aug. 25th, 2008 06:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firecat - Aug. 25th, 2008 06:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dreamalynn - Aug. 25th, 2008 08:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - elissaann - Aug. 25th, 2008 07:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firecat - Aug. 25th, 2008 07:47 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - firecat - Aug. 25th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
pyrzqxgl
Aug. 25th, 2008 06:12 am (UTC)
The only tip-related thing I can remember getting annoyed about when I was waiting tables was a guy repeatedly saying things like "run and get it right away and I'll give you a big tip!" in an exaggerated, patronizing way to make his companions laugh (BTW, no tip from him).

At the time I basically considered myself above taking much notice of tips, but if it hadn't been one of the few times in my life when I wasn't always broke, I might have felt differently! Definitely some of the friendliest customers (stereotype alert: Canadians) didn't tip at all.
firecat
Aug. 25th, 2008 06:25 am (UTC)
"run and get it right away and I'll give you a big tip!"

Ewwwww.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - firecat - Aug. 25th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pyrzqxgl - Aug. 26th, 2008 08:29 am (UTC) - Expand
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firecat
Aug. 25th, 2008 06:55 am (UTC)
I guess that people other than me are interpreting "calculating a tip" as "leaving the minimum possible tip". But I interpreted it as using a calculator to help figure the tip. Would you or your kids mind getting a 25% tip calculated down to the penny?
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - elissaann - Aug. 25th, 2008 07:02 am (UTC) - Expand
tips - betonica - Aug. 25th, 2008 12:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
micheinnz
Aug. 25th, 2008 08:05 am (UTC)
Wow, all of this just makes me glad I don't live in a tipping culture.
firecat
Aug. 25th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
No fucking kidding.
tipping sucks - pir_anha - Aug. 26th, 2008 12:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: tipping sucks - ailbhe - Aug. 26th, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - baratron - Sep. 1st, 2008 11:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
supergee
Aug. 25th, 2008 10:12 am (UTC)
The percentage you're supposed to tip has increased in my lifetime. When I was a kid, it was 10%, then it was 15, now it seems to be 20. Barbara Ehrenreich says you should tip 25% no matter how bad the service was because the restaurants have cut salaries to the point where they're assuming 25%. I wouldn't go that far.
redbird
Aug. 25th, 2008 11:43 am (UTC)
Restaurants that do that have always been paying the legal minimum for waiters--which is well under minimum, with a not-always-enforced requirement that iff the wage plus tips comes to less than the legal minimum for other jobs, the employer must make up the difference. (And restaurant owners lobbying helps keep that minimum so low.)

Conversely, if the restaurant you're at has raised prices (whether or not their expenses have gone up), your n% tipping practice means a higher total tip than it did before the increase, of course.
(no subject) - elisem - Aug. 25th, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
dulcinbradbury
Aug. 25th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
::nod:: But... you can sit off to the side and be *present* in the room. I think what he meant was when the "OMG, I don't know ANYONE here" or "Oh god... I had a crappy day and I'm not up for this" leads to hanging out in the corner exuding an aura of discomfort.

It look me a long time to figure out that was a problem. I thought if I was alone & looking miserable, some nice person might come talk to me. It turned out that if I was standing off, visibly projecting "I AM ALONE" signs... people assumed I wanted to be that way.
(no subject) - firecat - Aug. 25th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
vito_excalibur
Aug. 25th, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC)
It makes NO sense, and that's been annoying me since it started making the rounds. >:/
firecat
Aug. 25th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I am not the only person who had that reaction to "we are all socially retarded."
marnanel
Aug. 25th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
I think perhaps having a few hundred bucks lying around that you don't need is comorbid with this kind of arrogance.
firecat
Aug. 25th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
Which kind of arrogance?
(no subject) - marnanel - Aug. 25th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firecat - Aug. 25th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - johnpalmer - Aug. 26th, 2008 02:03 am (UTC) - Expand
tedesson
Aug. 25th, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC)
A while ago, I hired a cab to take a group of us to a friends party. I was paying for the cab. One of the people I was with thought the driver didn't do a good job and asked me to not tip him. I thought that request was rude. I left an adequate tip.

firecat
Aug. 25th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
I agree the request was rude.
(no subject) - redbird - Aug. 25th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
abostick59
Aug. 25th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)
His absolutist tone got up my nose, but then I figured, "Hey, he's a social retard, give him a break."
firecat
Aug. 25th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
[giggle]
vito_excalibur
Aug. 25th, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)
*grins at you*
innerdoggie
Aug. 25th, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
I took "we are all social retards" just to mean "nobody's perfect".
( 67 comments — Leave a comment )

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