Respect, Manners Advice Page

Study: For cell phone users, etiquette is age-based, Adrienne LaFrance, Digital First Media 11/30/2012

posted Nov 30, 2012, 11:50 AM by rgalla6871   [ updated Nov 30, 2012, 11:52 AM ]

NEW YORK - Your cell phone habits and behaviors depend largely on how old you are, a study released Friday by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project says.

Some 85 percent of Americans have cell phones, about half of them smartphones, according to Pew's survey of 2,254 adults last spring. More than a third of respondents said they "couldn't live without" their phones. But based on age, cell phone users value different things about the devices.

Americans under 40 were more likely to mention access to the Internet, email and text messaging as cell-phone qualities they prize. Older Americans said they primarily like that mobile phones are convenient and helpful in an emergency. Aaron Smith, the study's author, says it's striking that 20-year-olds and 40-year-olds report similar attachment to the technology.

"They have similar demands in terms of what's required of them in this world where people can reach them at all times, despite being in very different places in their lives," Smith said. "If you're someone in college, it's probably your buddy wondering why you're not at the party, or your study partner wondering where you are. Whereas if you're in your mid-40s, maybe it's a spouse or a child."

Compared with older cell phone owners, younger people also reported different rules of etiquette attached to phone use. Those in their 20s and 30s reported being more likely to get complaints about not responding promptly to text messages and calls, while also being told more often they spend too much time with their phones.

 In turn, younger people also worry more about how often they're on their mobile phones. Nearly a quarter of 18-to-24-year-olds said they think they spend too much time on their phones compared with 14 percent of people who are 25 to 44 years old. Only a handful of those 55 and older reported having this concern.

Exploring the social and cultural trappings that have come with the ubiquity of mobile phones is nuanced work because the effects of even dramatic technological changes can be difficult to ascertain in real time. But there are hints all around us: Checking a cell phone has become an automatic gesture that evokes the way people once reached for pocket watches. Designer Ian Bogost wrote an essay for The Atlantic in which he argues that mobile phones have replaced the cultural space that smoking tobacco once occupied, giving us "the most distinctive social tic since cigarettes."

It's a habit that's with many Americans 24 hours a day. In Pew's study, some 44 percent of cell phone users reported sleeping with their phone next to them so as not to miss any calls, with more than half of younger cell users reporting the habit.

Three-quarters of younger cell phone users say they frequently check their phone for messages or alerts, even if they don't hear a notification. People who make more than $75,000 per year are "significantly" more likely than other cell phone users to say their phone makes it hard to disconnect from work, the study says. Only 6 percent of those earning under $50,000 say their phones make it a lot harder to unplug at the end of the day.

"For a lot of those groups, not only have they spent a large portion of their lives using these devices, but so have their friends," Smith said. "So it's not only how they live their lives but how their friends live their lives - making sure that they don't miss calls, checking to make sure no one's tried to get a hold of them."

Phone etiquette also appears to be evolving with technology. Pew found that people report encountering fewer cell phone users having intrusively loud conversations in public. Thirty-nine percent of those surveyed say they see this kind of behavior often, compared with 50 percent who said so in a 2006 survey. Maybe not surprisingly, a much smaller number - just 6 percent of those surveyed - admitted to having loud or annoying public cell phone conversations themselves.

"People noticing other people being loud and annoying is still fairly common but it's actually gone down as texting has become more common," Smith said. "This is sort of the flip side, though: As they're texting more, they're annoying their dinner partners but being less annoying to the people one table over."

Something that hasn't changed much in recent years: The number of cell phone users who engage in sexually suggestive text messaging. People who report sending and receiving the most so-called sexts are 25- to 34-year-olds. Within that group, about a third of those surveyed said they had received a sex-themed text message, and 14 percent said they have sent one. Overall, sexting recipients and senders are at 15 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Those numbers mirror Pew's findings from 2010.

Younger people are most engaged with their phones, so it follows that they're both more enthusiastic about the benefits of having a cell phone and stronger in their criticism of the downsides.

"People have become very attached and very attuned to their phones, and they see some real benefits from that," Smith said. "But they also express some ambivalence about what that attachment involves. They love to hate the convenience and connectivity their phones give them."

Attitudinal Dynamics Team - El Paso 
Respect and Manners Academy 

Original El Paso Times online story at
Study: For cell phone users, etiquette is age-based, Adrienne LaFrance, Digital First Media  11/30/2012

Please Read This Story, Thank You, by Linton Weeks, NPR, 3/14/12

posted Mar 18, 2012, 7:39 AM by rgalla6871   [ updated Mar 18, 2012, 7:40 AM ]
Politeness seems to be falling by the wayside these days, with phrases like "you're welcome" replaced by the more casual "you bet" or "no problem." Good manners were more the norm in 1960, when these kids at a junior theatrical school learned how to curtsy and bow.
  Politeness seems to be falling by the wayside these days, with phrases like "you're welcome" replaced by the more casual "you bet" or "no problem." Good manners were more the norm in 1960, when these kids at a junior theatrical school learned how to curtsy and bow.   Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Getty Images

Listen to the conversations around you — colleagues at the office, customers in the coffeehouse line, those who serve you, those you serve, the people you meet each day. "Give me a tall latte." "Hand me that hammer." "Have a good one."

Notice anything missing? The traditional magic words "please" and "thank you" that many people learn as children appear to be disappearing.

Lisa Gache, co-founder of Beverly Hills Manners in Los Angeles, has noticed the gradual vanishing of courteous language. She blames the casualty on the casual. "The slow erosion of the 'magic words' in our everyday vernacular," says Gache, who coaches people to be more civil, "has to do with the predilection toward all things casual in our society today. Casual conversation, casual dress and casual behavior have hijacked practically all areas of life, and I do not think it is doing anyone a service."

Other polite phrases also seem to be falling by the wayside. "You're welcome," for instance. Say "thank you" to someone these days, and instead of hearing "you're welcome," you're more liable to hear: "Sure." "No problem." "You bet." "Enjoy." Or a long list of replies that replace the traditional "you're welcome."

Instead of saying "thank you," people say "got it." Or "have a good one." Or, more often, nothing at all. And in lieu of saying "no, thank you," reactions such as "I'm good" are increasingly common.

"The responses 'have a good one,' 'I'm good' or 'you bet,' do not carry the same sentiment or convey the same conviction as when we are sincerely expressing our gratitude or thanks," Gache says. "They feel less invested, almost as if they are painful to utter under our breath."

Please excuse us for asking the questions: Are we just finding new ways to say old, polite phrases? Are good manners merely morphing? Or are they fading away altogether?

Becoming More Rude

"Simple things that we took for granted as children no longer seem to count," says Gregory E. Smith, a psychiatrist and blogger in Augusta, Ga. Smith says he has noticed a tectonic shift during his 25 years of practicing medicine. "Saying please and thank you, asking permission, offering unsolicited help, and following up on solutions to problems are no longer as important."

He also has observed a drastic change in everyday transactions. "Go through any drive-through at a fast-food restaurant in America. Go through any checkout line in a grocery store. Stand in line at a convenience store. If you are very lucky, the person waiting on you will make eye contact. Maybe they will speak. More likely, they will hand you your drink and bag while looking back over their shoulder, never even acknowledging your personhood much less your status as a customer."

The checkout person "will check you out," Smith says, "all the while being 'checked out' emotionally from the situation. Worst of all, as I experienced in an airport in the last couple of years, a kiosk worker will blandly bag your item, swipe your debit card, hand you your receipt, all while having a conversation on her cellphone. Amazing. Outrageous."

Research backs up Smith's anecdotal observations. In 2011, some 76 percent of people surveyed by Rasmussen Reports said Americans are becoming more rude and less civil.

Margaret Lacey, on the other hand, finds that many people are quite well-mannered in her everyday life. A sophomore at the College of Charleston — in the South Carolina city that is often cited as one of the most courteous in the country — Lacey notes that people can be polite without trotting out the traditional niceties.

She describes a typically routine encounter: "At the grocery store cafe down the street, I go get a coffee every morning," Lacey says. "This morning I walked in and they said, 'Good morning, will you have the usual?' I smiled and said, 'Yes, please.' They asked me how my morning had been while making my coffee. On the way out the door they said, 'Enjoy. See you tomorrow.' "

She doesn't expect people to utter the same old same olds.

Timeless Principles, Changing Manners

Neither does etiquette maven Cindy Post Senning, a director of the Emily Post Institute in Burlington, Vt. The institute, dedicated to promoting etiquette and civility, was established more than 60 years ago by Emily Post, who wrote a landmark book on manners, Etiquette, in 1922.

To Senning — who is Emily Post's great-granddaughter — etiquette and courtesy encompass two interrelated and essential components: principles and manners. "The principles of respect, consideration and honesty are universal and timeless," she says. But "manners change over time and from culture to culture."

To strengthen relationships, she says, "we need to articulate these principles in all our interactions. It is respectful to make requests rather than demands, to show gratitude and appreciation, to greet others, to give our complete attention, to acknowledge appreciation shown, to acknowledge and show respect for age, standing, importance."

However, when it comes to the actual articulation, she says, "the words we use do change."

For example, Senning says, it is important to show respect for other people by greeting them when you first see them — in the hallway, at a meeting, on the street. The form of greeting, though, has morphed over time.

"How do you do?" became "Hello, how are you?" which eventually changed into "Hello, how are things?" Or "How's it going?"

As a result of the metamorphosis, Senning says, "today it would sound a little stilted and perhaps even disrespectful if a sarcastic tone is used to say 'How do you do?' "

And what about other popular substitutions, such as "no problem" for "you're welcome"?

Senning says she prefers the latter, "but if the appreciation is expressed in a genuine manner, I do not see its use as a loss of courtesy."

She agrees with Smith, the psychiatrist, and many others that the phrase "you're welcome" has long been the commonly accepted courteous response. But she also acknowledges that the norms — and the manners and the mores — may change.

"What won't change," she adds, "is the importance of acknowledging appreciation expressed."

Original NPR story can be accessed at


posted Mar 16, 2012, 10:35 AM by rgalla6871


El Paso County Sheriff’s Office

3850 Justice Dr., El Paso, Texas 79938


“We Serve With Pride”

SO DETECTIVE_thumb[3]EL PASO, TEXAS- On 03-13-2012 The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division received information from the El Paso County Tax Assessor’s Office reference a male suspect threatening to harm employees from the tax office.  El Paso County Tax Assessor’s Office received an e-mail from the suspect indicating he/suspect is upset and feels that his time has been wasted by the tax office. The suspect then used profanity and described tax office employees in unflattering terms and threatened physical harm towards them. The employees of the Tax office were alarmed at the e-mail and feared for their safety. The information was then forwarded to the Sheriff’s Office.

Further investigation by the Sheriff’s Office revealed that on 02-22-2012 the El Paso County Tax Assessors Office received a registration renewal from the suspect through the United States Postal Service. The Tax Assessors Office rejected the suspect’s renewal as the insurance submitted was from the state of Arizona and did not meet Texas Standards. The Tax Assessors Office notified the suspect of the rejection through mail which consequently lead to the suspect’s threats.

Follow Up-03-13-2012, Sheriff’s Office Detectives located the suspect at his residence, placed him under arrest for Terroristic Threats and booked him into the El Paso County Detention Facility on a $40,0000 bond.





BOND: $40,000

Teen texts "I hid the body ... Now what?" prank to police detective, Associated Press, 3/14/12

posted Mar 16, 2012, 10:24 AM by rgalla6871   [ updated Mar 16, 2012, 10:26 AM ]

ROGERS, Ark. — A northwest Arkansas teenager thought it would be funny to text a random phone number saying she hid a body, but the joke backfired.

Of all the local phone numbers she could have chosen, the 15-year-old Rogers girl picked one that belonged to a police detective. Police found the girl's address by tracing her cellphone number.

The prank? To text: "I hid the body ... Now what?" to a random phone number. The teen said she got the idea for the prank from a posting on the website Pinterest.

Police didn't find the prank funny and say it tied up some of the department's resources.

The girl was released with a warning.
Original KFOX-TV online story

Ignoring Faults Based on letters and talks of Rabbi M. M. Schneerson

posted Mar 14, 2012, 10:27 AM by rgalla6871   [ updated Mar 14, 2012, 10:27 AM ]

"...  there is no person on earth without some fault. Where this person fails on one count, another fails elsewhere.

We don’t appreciate someone else prying into our faults and underlining each one with a red pencil. So we know it is not right to emphasize and magnify the faults of another.

This is the way all people should relate to one another. But especially when it comes to your spouse and the members of your own family."

—from a letter

Original online posting Chabad El Paso

11-Year-Old, Handcuffed For Being "Bad Attitude" and Being "Rude," 3/6/12, Huffington Post

posted Mar 6, 2012, 10:35 PM by rgalla6871   [ updated Mar 6, 2012, 10:37 PM ]

Excerpt: "... handcuffed and taken to a holding facility because she was, 'argumentative and extremely rude' to an assistant principal."

When Yajira Quezada copped an attitude, police put her in cuffs.

An Adams County, Colo. Sheriff's Office incident report obtained by KUSA says the Shaw Heights Middle School 11-year-old was handcuffed and taken to a holding facility because she was, "argumentative and extremely rude" to an assistant principal.

"Why would they handcuff me?" Quezada asked KUSA. "I'm not the type of girl to get arrested."

The Sheriff's office said it was just following normal procedure.

The story is reminiscent of Newscore's report on an Indiana middle school girl who was literally handcuffed over spilled milk.

And just last week, a parent in North Carolina claimed her autistic son was restrained via handcuffs at a New Hanover County school, according to WECT.

Original online story at

03/06/12 Letter to Editor El Paso Times expressing disappointment with entitlement mentality of El Paso teens; "Food moochers"

posted Mar 6, 2012, 9:20 AM by rgalla6871   [ updated Mar 6, 2012, 9:20 AM ]

February 28 was Free Pancake Day at Ihop. Customers got a stack of three yummy pancakes, and all that was asked in return was a donation of any amount to benefit the Shriner's Children's Hospitals.

Now, I have a personal reason for supporting that charity as my son was treated by a Shriner's Hospital for clubfoot when he was born. That's why I was so mad when I left my local Ihop.

The place was packed full of people, mostly teens, who ordered water and their stack of pancakes, then left without making a donation.

The waitress said that most people didn't leave a donation.

Have we become such an entitlement society that we can't even support children's charities? Who is teaching these teens and young adults?

I'm ashamed to see that this is what's becoming of America.

I hope El Paso is the exception and the rest of the U.S. did better. Shame on you if you were one of those people who ate your free pancakes and didn't donate.

Nothing in life is free! Even my 9-year-old wanted to donate his own money.

Thank you to Ihop for having the event.

Shannon Ferreira, East El Paso

Original El Paso Times letter to editor carried online at

Dignity and Respect campaign hits its stride, Ft. Bliss Monitor, 2/19/12

posted Feb 19, 2012, 8:59 PM by rgalla6871   [ updated Feb 19, 2012, 8:59 PM ]

Dignity and Respect campaign hits its stride, by Sgt. Jason C. Daniels, 12th Public Affairs Detachment:

Keith Arachikavitz gives lectures on dignity and respect at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center Jan. 25 at Fort Bliss. Team Bliss launched a dignity and respect campaign with seminars Jan. 23 through 27. Photo by Sgt. Jason C. Daniels, 12th Public Affairs Detachment.

Key leaders at Fort Bliss attended dignity and respect training held at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center from Jan. 23 to 27. The training, presented by Keith Arachikavitz, a retired master sergeant and former equal opportunity adviser, marked the beginning of an ongoing dignity and respect campaign, which focuses on improving the quality of life within the workplace and throughout the Fort Bliss community.

“We are starting this campaign to reinforce Army values,” said Maj. Gen. Dana J. H. Pittard, commanding general of 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss, “and to build a community and culture where dignity and respect is demonstrated in deeds and words.”

Officers, senior noncommissioned officers, Department of the Army civilians and contractors were required to attend one of 15 sessions that addressed bullying behavior, negative influences and biases within the Army.

Having the leaders attend the training before subordinates will assist in the campaign’s mission to ensure that leaders use appropriate techniques to build a positive, yet effective work environment.

Arachikavitz’s presentation showcased various scenarios of how people, unknowingly and unintentionally, disrespect or offend one another. He also shared some of his personal experiences to show that no one is perfect, but people should be self-aware.

In one example during a trip through New Jersey he reacted with bias toward an African-American man, who was attempting to help him pump gas. Arachikavitz dismissed the gentleman because he was taught to be cautious in urban areas. Arachikavitz did not realize in New Jersey, gas station patrons do not pump their own gas, and he was just trying to do his job.

The 90-minute seminar left senior leaders with the tools to increase productivity by establishing a positive work environment where each team member feels valued.

“I think [the training] was entertaining,” said Capt. Nicholas Dason of C Company, 3rd Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, 1st Armored Division. He also said he learned how to use dignity and respect to improve team building in his unit.

Another goal of the dignity and respect campaign is to raise awareness of the various races, cultures and beliefs at Fort Bliss and in the El Paso area.

“My main goal is not to reach 150 people. I used to try and do that, but I have learned that if I have touched three lives out of the 150 people then I have made a difference,” said Arachikavitz. “I planted a seed. If Johnny planted only one seed in his life, and stood there and waited for it to grow, then he would’ve only planted one seed. But he knew, you plant a seed, then you move on and plant another one, and with proper sunlight and proper water, that seed is going to grow.”

Original online story located:

Bus etiquette, 2/4/12 letter to El Paso Times editor

posted Feb 16, 2012, 10:43 AM by rgalla6871   [ updated Feb 16, 2012, 10:43 AM ]

Bus etiquette

Bus riders want a safe, speedy and comfortable ride. We can't do anything (except complain) about fares, schedules and loss of bus stops. We can improve the rides we have. These are some suggestions:

- Get your fare or transfer ready while waiting for the bus.

- Take an available seat away from the front.

- Don't stand and schmooze with the driver; he needs to concentrate on driving conditions.

- Take a window seat if available; it's awkward to step over your feet if you are in an aisle seat.

- If you enter as a group, please sit together; don't shout to each other across the bus.

- Phone conversations should be short; no one wants to hear your private or business conversations.

- When exiting the bus, use the rear exit. This doesn't hold up the new boarders and speeds the trip.

We, the passengers, can help make our ride safer, faster and more comfortable.

Harry Kirshenbaum 2/4/12 letter to El Paso Times editor

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