Sunday, October 08, 2006

Hot coffee spilled on conventions of civility

On Friday I was in a very crowded Einstein Bagel. Just before I got my lunch I set my coat and newspaper at an empty table and then turned back to get my sandwich.

As I turned to put my lunch down I saw a man and a woman set there coffees on the occupied table and then proceed to spill coffee all over it! My newspaper and coat were in danger. They made a few desultory swipes at cleaning up the mess and then abandoned it when they realized the rest of the group was at another table.

They were senior citizens, so my normal self rightous indignant attitude was short circuited by feelings of respect for the elderly. They might even have had health issues preventing them from doing the correct thing and cleaning up.

In confusion I simply asked the counter person for a rag so I could clean it myself. This was met with some annoyance as she took my helpfulness for impatience with a dirty table.

I am not sure what age society gives a buy to people for polite behavior but I have been well conditioned.

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