Somewhere, Grandma's smiling
Strong kudos for your wonderful Podium in July ("Grandma's sure-fire cure for what ails the American worker"). Your grandmother certainly had it right about the decline of civility and the increased coarseness that plagues the American workplace.
I have a boss who spends more time shaming and degrading his own workforce than treating them with respect and cordiality. And that also applies to prospects. Then he wonders why we have such a difficult time setting up appointments with him. He's oblivious to the "festering malaise of ill will and resentment" he leaves in his wake.
Your editorial should be mandatory reading for everyone in the workplace. I'm going to share your editorial with others and keep it for periodic reference so I don't forget what your grandmother had to say about "the social graces."
(Name withheld) Los Alamitos, Calif.
I just wanted to thank you for your July Podium editorial. You articulated my feelings about the current condition in the workplace and our society exactly. It's amazing how "social graces" can be so important in life. They really are the building blocks for respect and responsibility toward yourself and others. Some days I wonder what has happened to us. In the workplace, have office politics and power plays turned a simple "thank you" into a vulnerability? Maybe it's because today's employees don't have much loyalty to the company because the company cannot afford to be loyal back. My current workplace suffers greatly from what you stated, and turnover has been high. I have shared this article with many friends and co-workers, and have encouraged them to spread it around. Tad, your grandmother would be very proud of you for this. Obviously the apple didn't fall far from the tree.
Brian (further identification withheld)
Your Podium editorial in the July issue was excellent. Yes, people are forgetting how to be nice to each other — but your editorial and cover story, "Working Classier," are little steps toward turning around the trend.
Arnold Howard Paragon Industries, L.P. Mesquite, Texas
Awesome commentary in the latest issue (Podium, July). Our university's faculty members regularly mention the same problem as the earnestness and civility of the student body declines each year. My boss, as an administrator, used to teach only once a year, and the deterioration was quite noticeable to him. I think all the faculty, administrators and staff should read your editorial. Thanks!
Susan Lopez Eastern Washington University Cheney, Wash.
When I got my latest issue, I saw that one of your articles was on manners ("Miss Mannerly's Guide to Decorum and Civility in the Age of Eternal Busy-ness," July). I talk with a lot of up-and-coming professionals in my field and others, so I thought this would be a great article to pass on to those who may have to deal with people who don't always act like professionals.
The [article's] first question came from a gentleman asking for some tips on eating with his boss. I eat with my boss and other CEOs all the time, so I was looking for tips on how to help make these occasions less awkward. What I found instead was another media outlet degrading men. [Miss Mannerly] told the letter-writer he should have listened to his mother, and implied that his wife was now the only one who could save him.
Fathers can teach manners. Mothers are not the only ones who can raise a child. Both parents are important in raising children. Every time ideas like these are put into people's minds, it is a step backward. I expected more from you.
James Zajicek Sioux Falls, S.D.