Sparrow’s Nest: When did we lose our manners and become rude individuals?

Sparrow's Nest

Greg Graham diatribe: ‘Be on time, be respectable, value the other person’s contribution, show gratitude’

I am a social person and lately, in various industry conversation threads while out and about, plus at a recent BBQ, the topic of discussion was what has happened to the advertising media industry. When did we lose our manners and become rude people?

I am not sure if it is just a post-Covid thing. Obviously, after Covid, we have definitely changed our attitudes around working from home, better work/life balance, and we have more empathy towards mental health. During that lonely time in our tracksuits on Zoom have we lost our social graces and good old-fashioned manners?

Unfortunately, I have to say a resounding “Yes”. I’ve been learning of many instances where agencies just do not get back to people, cancel at the last minute, RSVP yes and then do not turn up with no explanation, and do not value a media partner’s time or contribution. Post-Covid have we forgotten personal etiquette, how to show gratitude and kindness, and be a good human?

Thankfully we have started to return to live in-person training. Colleagues recall training workshops where more than 60% of the attendees just do not turn up for the Zoom session. Virtual seems to allow people more permission to cancel at the last minute and not fear any major consequences.

These inconsiderate people have taken valuable spots and companies have turned people away from the training as the session was fully subscribed. Valuable media partners invest in incredible events/experiences and so often many of the people once again do not front. No notification, email, text or phone message, or apology – thousands of dollars of catering/drinks/gift bags wasted besides the blood, sweat, and effort that went into preparing the presentation or special experience.

A talented media representative shared that recently they travelled to an agency and once in reception, the EA turned them away as the media person now had a client fire to put out. That person did not have the courtesy to deliver that themselves but got an EA to pass on the message. How disrespectful of the person to not take 60 seconds, to explain the client’s emergency and do it face-to-face. Come on now – is that the way we treat people or would want to be treated?

I think back to my upbringing on the farm in Wauchope and my parents, particularly my mum, would always teach us to say please and thank you, show gratitude and treat people respectfully.

That is why 50 years later I’m still writing personalised thank you cards.

In the advertising and media industry relationships are everything. It is vital that we reset our values. We talk about them a lot but are we really doing the right thing? Be on time, be respectable, value the other person’s contribution, show gratitude, and good old common manners!

Please STOP being a rude inconsiderate individual and be a better human NOW!

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Greg Graham encourages Sparrow’s Nest reader feedback and topic ideas. Contact the Birdman via [email protected]. The more challenging and the tougher the better!

See also:
Greg Graham is inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2022 MFA Awards
Birdman in the Bistro goes to SXSW Austin Texas: From fine dining to BBQ

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