Essay on Saying Please Chap 17

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17 On Saying Please The young lift-man in a City office who threw a passenger out of his lift the other morning and was fined for the offence was undoubtedly in the wrong. It was a question of 'Please'. The complainant entering the lift, said, 'Top'. The lift-man demanded 'Top-please' and this concession being refused he not only declined to comply with the instruction, but hurled the passenger out of the lift. This, of course was carrying a comment on manner too far. Discourtesy is not a legal offence, and it does not excuse assault and battery. If a burglar breaks into my house and I knock him down, the law will acquit me, and if I am physically assaulted, it will permit me to retaliate with reasonable violence. It does this because the…show more content…
They are the little courtesies by which we keep the machine of life oiled and running sweetly. They put our intercourse upon the basis of a friendly co operation an easy give and take, instead of on the basis of superiors dictating to inferiors. It is a very vulgar mind that would wish to command where he can Textbook 113 have the service for asking, and have it with willingness and good feeling instead of resentment. I should like to 'feature' in this connection my friend, the polite conductor. By this discriminating title, I do not intend to suggest a rebuke to conductors generally. On the contrary, I am disposed to think that there are few classes of men who come through the ordeal of a very trying calling better than bus conductors do. Here and there you will meet an unpleasant specimen who regards the passengers as his natural enemies - as creatures whose chief purpose on the bus is to cheat him, and who can only be kept reasonably honest by a loud voice and an aggressive manner. But this type is rare - rarer than it used to be. I fancy the public owes much to the Underground Railway Company, which also runs the buses, for insisting on a certain standard of civility in its servants and taking care that that standard is observed. In doing this it not ony makes things pleasant for the travelling public, but performs an important social service. It is not, therefore, with any feeling of unfriendliness to conductors as a class that I pay a tribute to a

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