Dear Abby: I am a flight attendant for a major carrier. I encounter rude passengers every single day, as well as people (including children) with no manners. I accept that not everyone will be friendly to me.
I have a colleague, "Joel," who can't get past this. If a passenger doesn't say "please" or "thank you," Joel will respond with, "What do you say?" or, "What's the magic word?" or a sarcastic, "You're welcome!" if a thank-you hasn't been given. I am appalled by this. While I agree that manners are important, I don't feel it's my place to educate our passengers. Joel gets his point across with a rude, condescending tone.
What's your take on this? Is Joel out of line or offering a valuable lesson? How can I voice my objection and tell him he's embarrassing his co-workers, the passengers and himself?
-- Attitudes in Altitudes, in Florida
Dear A in A: From my window seat it appears there may be stormy weather ahead for your co-worker. However, this is a lesson he will have to learn for himself, so stay out of it. One of these days when he asks a passenger what the "magic word" is, someone is going to give him one that can't be printed in a family newspaper. Yes, Joel is out of line, and when enough passengers complain about him to the airline, he will suffer the consequences.
Dear Abby: I am a middle-aged man with an older sister who criticizes the way I sneeze. She thinks my sneezing isn't "restrained" enough. It's not a question of direction or whether I put my hand in front of my mouth or not. She believes if I don't try to stifle my sneeze I'm uncouth. In my opinion, sneezing is a natural automatic response and serves to relieve whatever causes it. What do you think?
-- Something to Sneeze At
Dear Something: I agree with you. And I am not convinced that trying to stifle a sneeze is healthy because it's nature's way of expelling something from the nose that is irritating. Sneeze away, and -- God bless you!