About Me

Hi, my name is Randy Hill and I am just one of thousands of people around the world, tired and frustrated with the lack of consideration that is displayed by a growing "demographic" that I call, "the great unwashed and ill-mannered." People who can't seem to get outside their little world long enough to see the stress that they create on the rest of the population.

I've created this blog and online store as an outlet for this pent-up frustration...and also to have a little devious fun while I'm at it!

Have fun and keep it down while you're in here. Thanks.

[When Randy isn't whining about noisy and rude people, he dreams up designs in his studio at Hill Design Studios. A native Texan, Randy resides in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with his wife Dawn and four cats]

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Not Just Your Grandmother’s Rules Anymore

By Randy | June 18, 2007

Kate Hayes

In the morning I wake up much earlier than my husband, so I move as quietly as I can, shut the bathroom door before I turn on the light, and avoid the squeaky board in the floor as I make my way in the dark to the kitchen. I have always thought this meant I was too accommodating, lumping this behavior in with caring too much what people think about me, and other personal faults. But I don’t chide myself for it anymore. Instead, I silently thank my mother for bringing me up right.

I’ve come to believe that good manners are all but lost on the majority of people today. And I keep coming back to one reason: People are just not aware of how the things they do may affect others. Examples? Where do I start?

  1. The Office. I could write a book about this one. Instead, I think all I need to do is borrow from the list of “Cubicle Etiquette” rules that is so popular lately. a) Don’t barge into cubicles. Always imagine a closed door at the entrance to a workmate’s cube. A simple, gentle calling of the name would be very nice, thank you. b) Those damn cell phones and their damnable ringtones. Turn them off for godsakes. How hard is it to remember to check for messages once in a while? Before cell phones, that’s what we all did. Believe it or not. I won’t ask you to imagine the days before answering machines. That would be too much. c) Cell phones again. Let’s say you were courteous enough to put yours on vibrate. You get a call. Take it outside! It amazes me how people are willing to have their personal conversations right out in the open. Not to mention that they’re disturbing everybody else within earshot. Almost as bad is starting their conversations as they’re walking outside, causing a ripple effect of disturbance in every cuble along the way. d) Crinkly wrappers, damn it! To me this noise is akin to biting down on a piece of aluminum foil. My own next-cube neighbor eats those little bite-size candy bars all day long. And I might as well include eating in general. By the time 2:00 rolls around, the office is a nauseating mix of garlic, steamed broccoli, McDonald’s french fries, and shrimp fried rice.

What? Only three rules of office etiquette? Of course there are more, but I’m starting to hear a whine in my voice.

  1. Grocery Stores. Even though I’m not what you’d call gregarious, especially in crowds, I’m offended when people walk up and down the aisles with their cell phones plastered to their ears, talking obliviously, seemingly to ghosts, about what brand of refried beans to buy or asking for a second brand choice when the first one isn’t on the shelf. I don’t like being treated like they could easily just walk right through me, I’m so invisible and meaningless. And these same people are often the ones who blithlely leave their shopping carts in the middle of the aisle and make me try to maneuver around them or interrupt their conversations and say “Excuse me.” Of course they always seem surprised that I’m there and let out a little “Oh! I’m sorry!” Yeah, right.

  2. The Pleases and Thank-You’s and Excuse Me’s. OK, your grandmother used to get on your case about these. But Grandmother was right, and she would tremble in her grave if she saw the courtesy void of today. These niceties are more important than things you say lest you get your knuckles rapped. They’re signs that you recognize and respect the presence of other human beings in your midst. And you acknowledge that your bumping, bumbling, and barging does make a wave in the atmosphere that touches those human beings.

Imagine, if everybody took these rules to heart, how lovely life would be. And imagine that the rules became second nature because we climbed outside our own little worlds and noticed, “Hey! There are other people out here! Hello, and how nice to meet you!”


Kate Hayes is a typesetter and word nerd by trade, lives in the California Bay Area, and writes poetry and prose for fun. Her favorite pastime is creating digital art for products that she sells on CafePress. She has been happily married for 20 years and has two “kids”: Scout and Buster, the Best Cats in the World.

http://www.cafepress.com/k8company2 (includes links to other shops as well)


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