Dubious Etiquettes – 1

28 Oct

Many a times, I have been confused as to what etiquette should I apply in a lot of day to day events. For example, what do I do when I pass along a hallway and I see someone coming towards me. Should I look at them ? If they dont look back at me, should I still keep looking at them ? Sometimes, it is the battle between my mind and action and my heart beats more and more as the distance gets shorter and shorter. What if I looked at them and they didnt look at me initially, and I start looking elsewhere and now it could be that they are looking at me and I may seem like I am not looking at them though I actually did some seconds back. Should I periodically refresh my sight into looking at them. If they look back at me, should I smile. And there is always the distance factor. Sometimes, you look at someone who might be 10 ft away and do you smile at them then. In that case, should you keep a smily face till you cross over or should you smile and look elsewhere going about your own duty as if you have something else on your mind though there is nothing going on in your mind other than to think about the fact that the smile went well. There is a weird category of people who just look through you, and to them, even if you smile, it will look like they are looking at you and they wouldnt respond…It gets more awkward when you pass across a group of individuals out of which you identify some. Do you smile at the ones you know or give a group smile. The same is true when I am with a group of people and someone whom I know passes me by. If I am talking something seriously, should I take a quick break into giving a smile. The person to whom I am talking to, facing me will suddenly get this unrelated smile just to realise that someone passed us by. Sometimes, if the other person waves his hand, do you return it back by waving your hands while you are talking to someone. It so happens that sometimes, when people I know wave hands to someone behind me, I start waving my hands back to them assuming that they waved hands to me (inspite of the uncomfortable feeling that I go through, since I am already talking to someone) just to realise that they waved their hands to someone else. In the meanwhile, the person whom I am talking to might get an attention diversion just to be perplexed by the fact that I was waving my hands for no reason..:) The worst case is when you see someone whom you know in the hallway at a slightly far off distance and wave at them to realise that they didnt notice you. I try to look around to see if anyone saw me waving just to console myself that I avoided an embarassing moment.

Another place where I get confused about etiquette is when I am in the restroom. This probably happens mostly in the men’s restroom. You are there side by side going about your own business when you find that the person standing next to you is someone whom you know, not very closely, but you share a smile and little chit-chat here and there. Do you talk to him then or wait till he gets to the taps. What if I finished earlier than him. Should I wait till he gets along the tap as well, or should I pretend that I am going about my business till he finishes or go out and wait for him outside or just dont care. What if he finishes earlier. Should I wrap up things quickly enough to join him near the tap, especially if they had smiled on their way into the restroom. Sometimes, it so happens that they start talking to you even when you are seriously going about your business. Do you talk to them? Or, do you ask them to hold on till you are done. I randomly react to such occurences since I am not sure how to react. Sometimes, I just give a smile back to them nodding or answering shortly saying “yes” or “no” or “hmm…hmm”. Some people dont leave you till you give a descriptive answer. They ask you questions like “to what value should the register be set when you operate in xyz mode”. I cant escape now….can I… The worst case is when you get a cell-phone call when you are inside the restroom. The uncomfortable feeling and the fumbling that you have to do in picking up the call is one thing. Do you speak normally or should you lower your voice, for no apparent reason… I dont know. Especially, when you go about business-2, what do you do? I once got a laugh from the other compartment and also a vocal exchange….”People dont leave you…do they?”…. That was one of my most embarassing moments… If the cell-phone call is from someone you know, it is okay. If it is an official call and you just cant miss it, what do you do? What happens to people who listen to your conversation from outside if you chose to go ahead and take a cell-phone call. I dont know how others react. But, I really dont know how I should react…


Posted by on October 28, 2005 in From AM-KICKING blog, Humor.. or not?


5 responses to “Dubious Etiquettes – 1

  1. BrainWaves

    October 28, 2005 at 9:06 am

    Believe it or not, I thought about this Bathroom etiquette thing today.

    Not to have a smile at your cost, but the Bathroom scenrio you mentioned was hillarious.

    There are no predefined standards for most of these scenarios. They are highly adaptable and subjective.

    For people who stand in my next stall and start asking a question, my reply would be a short answer and a long pause to keep them guessing. They will not be sure whether they are going to get the answer now or after I moved to wash basin. Then the entire power shifts and I decide the next move 🙂

  2. Calm & Serene

    October 28, 2005 at 4:31 pm

    This is hilarious! The more I think about it, the more I am laughing about it 🙂

    I also wonder about how others react when sounds of varying decibel levels emanate from the booth.

  3. bumblebee

    October 28, 2005 at 5:04 pm

    I like to greet and meet people. So, I definitely look in their direction and manage a smile and say “Hello”. I have had people look at me and not smile and not exchange courtesies, it used to bother me initially, but not any longer (Now I am used to being ignored!).

    If I am walking with someone and pass by another familiar face, I generally wave (much like President Bush on his way into ot out of Air Force One!)

    I believe there is a category of people who think that looking annoyed means they are busier than everyone else! Let them revel in their own world..

    I was quite amused when I first learnt men’s restrooms have stalls! I however had no idea what the social risks were. Thankfully, we have some more personal space in the ladies restrooms 🙂

  4. Mindframes

    October 28, 2005 at 10:13 pm

    Brainwaves, that was a good suggestion about the long pause. I was going to ask questions to people in restroom purposefully to get an idea of what seems to be the most common and effective way…:)

    Calm-n-Serene, I liked to restrict my thoughts to a greater extent as I started writing about restroom etiquettes, which is why I didnt talk about any decibel displays..;)

    Bumblebee, I have had the same experience with people looking annoyed when they are busy… These days, I try to lift my hand slowly and cautiously as if I was going to wave, and if I dont see response on the other side, I slowly lift my hand all the way to the head and start scratching it as if thats what I meant to do…:)

  5. Survivor

    October 29, 2005 at 4:34 pm

    I do love to meet and talk to people. But, there might be days when
    I just dont feel like greeting people because of various reasons and good etiquette demands me to greet them..
    Same for others too… Maybe, people may not want to say Hi all the time when they see you, I guess you would just have to adjust to the circumstances…


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