Common Courtesy

Greetings Friends,
The sun is shining, the coffee is brewing and I feel rested and happy to be alive!  
I invite you to join me in welcoming this day, another opportunity to relax and
rejuvenate our bodies and minds.  Stretch and smile a few times and you’ll notice 
your outlook will change immediately.
I was in a taxi the other day on my way to Queens from the Newark airport.  The taxi 
driver (Pierre) and I had agreed beforehand that I would pay the tolls at the end of 
my trip.   We have an unusual address and he handed me his GPS so that I could 
type it and he could figure out the best way to go.  Pierre asked me not to press 
the “done” button until he had seen the address but naturally, I completely forgot 
this request until it was too late.   In my efforts to retrieve the information, I ended
up erasing the entire board.  He took it in stride and after a few moments of easy 
dialogue, we decided I knew pretty much where I was going so we ventured ahead 
without further delay.
We arrived at the first toll booth and Pierre handed the money to the clerk with 
instructions to “Give me a receipt”.  The clerk accepted the money, handed back 
the change with the receipt and said brusquely:  “May I have a receipt, please? 
That’s the correct way you ask for one, not the way you just did.”  I felt uncomfortable 
not knowing whether a full-blown altercation was coming.  Pierre was calm and just 
nodded.  I remained silent in my seat, mulling over the unpleasant episode.  At the 
second toll booth, Pierre asked for the receipt in the exact words the previous clerk 
had told him, and added a “Thank you” before leaving the window.
I texted my children during the cab ride to let them know I was on my way home.  
I prepared another text message asking one of them to let my husband know I 
had arrived.  When I read my message prior to sending, I noticed I had left out 
the magic words:  “please” and “thank you”. I was a little surprised at myself;  
common courtesy has always been an important expectation in our family and
here I was being a little rude to my children.   I edited the message and realized
that Pierre was not the only person the toll booth clerk had taught a lesson to 
that day! 
Have a great day and a wonderful week, Marietta

One thought on “Common Courtesy

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