Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Reader Responds...

I seem to have struck a nerve with "The Death of Civility." Here's what one reader has to add:

Yep, civility is dead. I attribute it to the "special" factor as much as the other reasons you've listed. You know the "special" people--the self-anointed folks who don't have to wait in line in their cars, and feel free to drive up the "turn only" lane until the last minute, then cut you off (as you've sat through three or my cycles of the light)? The ones who blithely ignore the "10 items or less" rule in the grocery store, holding up 5 other customers with a few items each, all so that they didn't have to wait in the longer, non-express line themselves? The ones who push and bully their way to what they want, and others be damned? We all know these folks--and I work very hard not to BE one of these folks, every day.

They also see no reason to explain or apologize for their actions. Why should they? They're "special."

I couldn't have said it better myself.


At 10:05 AM , Blogger mike said...

Ditto for me too! Eye contact, shaking hands, pofessionalism, etc. is being diluted to the point of complete erosion...

At 3:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

u r so rite :) ha ha rotflmao

Sorry I couldn't resist the temptation. I agree wholeheartedly. Our culture has become ever increasingly more coarse. It's in our prime time television shows, advertisments, talk radio, music and politics. People don't have mutually beneficial conversations anymore, they just yell.

At 12:25 PM , Anonymous Brendan said...

My advice to you is do not waste your time trying to change pop culture. Remember the slogan "Don't trust anyone over 30". You and I are way over 30 and your article will not strike a chord with anybody, say, under 40.

In the words of the younger generation.. "Get a Life".

Move on.....


At 8:41 AM , Blogger Bob said...

Dear Mr. Paton,

I do indeed agree with your assessment concerning dying civility. There are those who will say it's a paradigm shift; possibly true. However, that does not mean it's headed in the proper direction. I believe we are living in a very sick global society. It's time for those of responsible charge, especially parents, to ensure we get back on track and set worthy examples. Further, we must all be responsible for our own behavior and actions. My goodness! What a bizarre concept!

R. D. Schmidt

At 12:47 PM , Blogger Matt said...

Unfortunately, I must agree - our world is becoming increasingly nasty. My wife and I notice it all the time - customer service is at all time low. In the malls, the restaurants, in the big department stores. It might just motivate us to become secret shoppers!

At 11:34 AM , Anonymous Lauren said...


I'll have you know that I'm under 30, and I know exactly what you're talking about here. And while I know it won't make an impact, I do appreciate that someone out there is saying it.

Yes, pop culture is growing towards the criminally self-obsessed to the point where the "look at me!" crowd gets all the attention, but please, don't paint us all with the same brush.

At 10:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you from a business view. We have ISO-9000, TS-16949, which are touted as Quality requirements and are enforced as quality department problems. In reality, they are outlines for good business practices. If Corporate executives really embraced these standards, the company profit & reputation should improve continuously. As long as they are Quality standards and not Business standards, the entire organization, will not get it, nor improve.

At 7:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quality Digest letter to the editor:
Not to be nit picky but there are a few things I want to point out about the May 2008 Quality Digest Quality Curmudgeon “To Err is Human; to Forgive, Divine” by Scott M. Paton.
Why is the Bible placed on equal footing with other religious and secular books? As a quality professional, a scientist and one of those obsessive-compulsive, anal-retentive, anti-social auditors, I would like to point out that the Holy Bible is scientifically accurate and defendable. Here’s a verse from the Holy Bible that really says it all concerning “To Err is Human; to Forgive, Divine”.
We are his workmanship – His handiwork – born anew in Christ Jesus [The Great Quality Engineer] to do good works. (Eph 2:10)

Also, from J. C. Ryle (1816-1900):
1) A man must make the Bible alone his rule.
2) Try or test all religious teaching by one simple test – Does it square with the Bible?
3) In the sixth place, “the Bible is the only standard by which all questions of doctrine or of duty can be tested.”
4) Knowing all this, He (God) has mercifully provided us with an unerring standard of truth and error, right and wrong, and has taken care to make that standard a written book – the Scripture.

If we put the Bible back into our schools we would have a text book that is one of the world’s greatest masterpieces of literature and a text book exhibiting an ethical code of conduct to teach our children. A standard based upon absolute truth (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth!).

If scientific creationism was taught in our schools instead of Evolution (which at best is science fiction and based mainly upon supposition) all of our Who, What, Where and When questions would be answered! Science has made great strides in recent centuries and it is significant that they came in the context of the Reformation and the Great Awakening. All the great “founding fathers” of science and technology (Newton, Boyle, Pascal, Brewster, etc.) sought to “think God’s thoughts after Him” and to do their science “to the glory of God.” Searching out the How question.

If CEO’s and employees of any organization followed the code of ethics as prescribed in the Bible it would make them accountable and standardize the ethical conduct within an organization and I am sure it would minimize recent problems like what happened at Enron, the housing lenders fiasco and in the long run help improve employee moral!

Lastly, as a fellow quality professional I wonder why other quality professional’s have not spoken out about issues like global warming, ethical issues like abortion and fetal stem cell research? Why are we attacking the symptoms of these issues and not the root cause? Why aren’t we presenting scientific facts like life begins at conception, fetuses are independent sentient beings? Take global warming for instance - an increase in CO2 is a symptom and not a cause. Is it ethical to destroy the unrepresented just for the sake of convenience?

Also, please refrain from using the adage: “that if it’s religious in nature it has nothing to do with rational thought”. As Paul has stated: “Let us reason together”

Quality decisions come from quality facts not from ideology!

Ed Malsh – Member of ASQ
Quality Engineer
ASQ CQE, ASQ CQA & BS Chemistry


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