"Please speak to us how you wish to be spoken to."
When we're emotional, distracted, in a rush or worried we can all forget how our manners affect others. When calling emergency services they understand that we don't start the conversation with, "Hello, how are you?" But somehow we've stopped treating those who help us with standard courtesy and respect as if we're better than them.
Status and class ranking have been a part of our life since the year dot so, I guess, it's no surprise that we are constantly trying to adjust the pecking order but is the shop assistant really lower than you? Or the bus driver? Or the doctor? Look at how we moved up though educational achievements there. Minimal qualifications needed to work on the check-out at the supermarket, specialist exams for a bus driver and immense post graduate training for the doctor. So why are they all so easy to abuse?
I wonder if they no longer seem like real people to many when we have such an automated world these days. It's certainly easier to be rude to someone over the phone than face to face and I'm sure those Indian call centres take a barrage of bashing daily.
But surely no-one is so thick-skinned to not be affected. If you are told every day that you're an idiot then it will make you question if there's some truth. Verbal abuse can also cause long-term harm as it can be hard to shake those words from your head at the end of the day.
So next time you feel frustrated and want to yell and tell someone what you think of them, stop. There's no need to be cruel. It won't improve your day or theirs.