Manners Matter: What Not to Say during a Pandemic

Dear Readers,

I’m not going to answer a specific question this week, but rather, I’m giving a refresher course on some basics during this uncertain time. So here we go: things not to say during a pandemic, either in person or online.

• “Why do I have to wait in line for a cup of coffee?” 

We all need to have a little more patience this year. Lines and waits are going to be longer because we need to stay six feet apart and engage in other safety measures that take time.

• “I don’t understand why you’ve taken 50 tables out of your restaurant. I made a reservation in January, and I want to be seated now.”

It was good of you to plan ahead; however, no one knew how things would unfold this year.

• “Everyone should just shut their businesses now.” 

That’s certainly one approach, but it’s not necessarily the right decision for every type of business. Some have opted to close early; some have opted to stay open while using safety precautions. Let’s remember that people are trying to make a living in challenging circumstances and that armchair quarterbacking on social media isn’t helpful. 

• “I can’t believe that they messed up my order. I asked for extra ketchup and got only two packets. I’m going to have to give them a bad review on Google now.” 

You can’t see me, but I’m rolling my eyes. Repeatedly.

• “Can you believe they ran out of my brand of detergent? Why isn’t the grocery store management paying attention to stocking the shelves properly?”

I’m pretty sure the grocery store management knows how to stock the shelves. Some things might not be available from the store’s suppliers. That goes for your favorite bleach wipe as well.

• “I love political ads.”

Actually, no one says this. I’m just making sure you’re paying attention.

I hope I make my point: We can all give each other a little grace and patience – right now and always. They will go a long way.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

Miss Pat was educated at the Finnish Finishing School for Fine Ladies. Eloquent in edifying etiquette, she is fluent in seven languages, including the language of love. Mary Pat has generously extended her counsel to you and will answer any and all inquiries. Email Mary Pat at [email protected].