Monday, March 7, 2016

Rant: Civility & Seafood

Yesterday, as I walked through the crowded aisles at the Seafood Expo North America, I was struck by the lack of civility, the lack of concern for others, evidenced by a far too significant number of attendees. This is not unique to the Seafood Expo but rather endemic to most large-scale consumer and trade events. It happened at the recent Boston Wine Expo too. Why can't more people embrace politeness? Why can't they spend a few moments considering the needs of others?

Due to the crowds, it can be slow to maneuver through the aisles but that problem is compounded by the impolite actions of other attendees. First, people need to cease making sudden stops while they are walking down the aisles, especially just to check their telephone. They fail to realize there may be people walking behind them, who also have to come to a sudden stop. This can cause a traffic jam and is not necessary. They need to step to the side, to allow traffic to flow unimpeded.

Other people meet in small groups in the middle of the aisle, forcing people to redirect their path around them. And sometimes there are multiple groups stopped in the aisle, leaving only a single path  down the aisle, which isn't large enough for people to travel in both directions. Why can't they pull to the side as well, so they are not blocking a large portion of the aisle. There are plenty of spots, out of the way of walking traffic, where they could meet to chat.

Still others walk side by side, but at an incredible slow pace, blocking those who want to move faster. Like on a highway, the slower traffic should pull to the right side, allowing others to pass them. Some people have scheduled appointments and need to reach their destination as soon as possible. If they are forced to be blocked by very slow moving traffic, it could be a problem, which would be easily resolved by those slower individuals moving to the side to walk.

These are such simple notions so why don't people act more civil to each other? These people need to think about others as much as they think about themselves. Unfortunately, this is a problem of a far greater scope as well, more than just at these large scale food and wine events. Social media shows plenty of uncivil discourse, lots of name calling and ad hominem attacks. Every week I'm talking to someone who has had an unpleasant encounter with some rude person.

It costs absolutely nothing to be polite so step up your act. Adopt civility!


Sue said...

I noticed it too at Wine Expo once the masses were allowed to come in. I suspect it's due in part to a generation that was brought up to see themselves as entitled and special and never learned that being 'special' entails being polite to all! This year's Seafood Show is the largest ever in terms of exhibiting firms in its 36 year history. When it began at The Castle in Back Bay, it was small.

Jeff said...

This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine when it comes to walking on city sidewalks. We are talking about basic pedestrian etiquette, and it turns out there's a Wikipedia article about it: