Canadians around the world are known as the polite nation. We say “I’m sorry” to almost anything. It ridiculous how often we say that phrase. Does that make us more polite or are we truly SORRY.
Last week I went for a walk with a friend. A friend I have not seen in a long time and I was really looking forward to catching up. In the middle of our conversation her phone beeped and she answered a text while I was in the middle of telling a story. Was her house on fire, did her dog run away, or even worse, did her dog run away while he was on fire? No, she was simply answering a text from her boyfriend. It wasn’t an emergency. According to her it was nothing, and then continued to answer his texts for the rest of our afternoon together. I felt like I was boring to her, like my time didn’t matter. What did I have to do to get her undivided attention? Should I have set MYSELF on fire? After answering the thirty-ninth text in an hour time span, she looked at me and said ” I’m sorry”. What do you think my response was? As a polite Canadian, I responded ” Its O.K”. Was it “OK”? Heck no! I was hurt, I was mad, I was offended, but I’m a polite Canadian. I just let it go and took the passive aggressive approach, write a blog about it.
I go to an audition where the actors are nervous, and scared.They have spent weeks preparing and what do I see? The director texting while these poor souls are pouring their hearts out.When I give him the “glare of death”, well, I call it the glare of death but my husband says I just look constipated. Anyways, when I give him the stare down, he looks up and says ” Sorry”…and then continues on texting.
I attend a meeting where I have spent over a week working on a proposal for a client. Did the client like the proposal? It’s hard to say but she did “LIKE” many posts on Facebook ranging from a photo of a friends dinner to her nephew’s first bowel movement on the toilet. When I asked her what she thought of the proposal she replied ” I’m sorry???”
Last night I’m out for dinner with my husband and a few of his friends. On the drive there, he is playing Tetris on his phone while insulting my driving. Apparently, I changed lanes too quickly, his finger slipped and he lost the game. I replied ” I’m sorry”.
We care more about how many followers we have on twitter ( I only have 50, please follow me) than the person who is right in front of us. We are choosing a phone over a human being. We’d rather stare at a piece of technology, than stare at our loved ones face. We’d rather “LIKE” a posting on Facebook, than like a story an old friend is sharing with us over coffee.
Saying “sorry” while we ignore the person in the present moment and text another, does not make us polite Canadians. It does not make it O.K. It is not sincere. It is RUDE. Our phones are turning us into a nation of RUDE PEOPLE. I am one of them. So are you. Lets turn our phones off, put them away and be present. Let us go back to being the polite, kind and gentle Canadians we are known for. I “LIKE” those Canadians, don’t you?
For this, I am sorry.
Ps: Follow me on twitter