The Last Decent Person

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It happened again. Like so many times before.

On Friday, while driving to my appointment to pick out the family Christmas tree, I was on the phone to Bank of America discussing a business matter. Near the end of the conversation, the person at the other end remarked, “You know, I speak to people all day long, all week long, and no one has never made this as easy for me as you have. Thank you for being so polite.

I have heard some variation of this my entire life. I’ve heard it from attorneys I’ve hired, clerks at the grocery store, teachers at my children’s’ schools – – all manner of individuals.

My reaction to this was the same as it always is. You might think I might be thinking, “Well, good for me. What a swell fellow I am.” But it isn’t. Quite the opposite. My internal voice asks: “Just how shitty must everyone else on the planet be to this person for him to say such a thing to me?

It’s not like I’m trying to be polite, cloying, or sycophantic. I’m just being decent. In my experience, the self-selecting people on this website are likewise decent and respectful. But as time goes on, and people become more alienated from one another, I suspect I will be hearing more variants of the aforementioned sentiment plenty more times before I die. My mama raised me right. I only wish more mamas had done the same.