Etiquette, manners, and beyond! In this episode, Nick and Leah tackle answering phones, cutting lines, telling restaurants it's your birthday, selling items online, responding to rude customer service, and much more. Please subscribe! (We'd write you a hand-written thank you note if we could.)
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Hosts: Nick Leighton & Leah Bonnema
Producer & Editor: Nick Leighton
Theme Music: Rob Paravonian
Nick: Do you cut in line? Do you ask for free dessert when it's not your birthday? Do you tell people you're just leaving? Were you raised by wolves?! Let's find out!
Here are things that can make it better
When we have to live together
We can all use a little help
So people don't ask themselves
Were you raised by wolves?
Nick: Hey, everybody, it's Nick Leighton.
Leah: And I'm Leah Bonnema.
Nick: Let's just get right down to it with our amuse-bouche.
Leah: Let's get in it!
Nick: For today's amuse-bouche, let's pretend we're going to have a phone call. Okay, ready? I'm gonna call you.
Leah: I just started sweating. Okay, phone call. I'm so out of practice!
Nick: Okay, here we go. Ahoy-ahoy.
Leah: Oh, hello!
Nick: So, let's talk about the proper greeting for a telephone [Laughing]
Nick: Ahoy-ahoy. [Laughing] When the phone was invented, this was the original greeting, or at least this is what Alexander Graham Bell wanted for the greeting for the telephone. Ahoy-ahoy.
Leah: So nautical.
Nick: It's very nautical. Yes! Alexander Graham Bell- a lot of people are credited with inventing the telephone. He kind of gets the most credit ... A lot of different historical reasons for this. We don't have to get into it. But Alexander Graham Bell, he really liked "ahoy-ahoy" as the way we were supposed to be calling people because, when the telephone was originally invented, it was just a direct line. It was just a live line between my office and your office. There was no ringer. It was just always on. If you wanted to get someone's attention on the other end, you had to say something that they'd be able to hear.
Leah: Oh ...
Nick: So, ahoy-ahoy was one of those things. Thomas Edison, he liked the word "hello." He thought that was easier to hear from far away. Now, why he came up with the word "hello" is definitely a subject of great debate because, up to this point, the word "hello" was not a greeting. As far as I can tell, people were not just like hello to people on the street. That wasn't a thing that was happening. The word appears to have only entered the English language at some point in the early 1800s, and it wasn't a greeting; it was just to get someone's attention, like, "Hello, what do you think you're doing?!" Or you said it to express surprise, like, "Hello, what do we have here?" It wasn't like, "Hello, Leah." That's not how we used hello, apparently. I also saw somewhere that, in England, when you were on a fox hunt with dogs, they would say, "Hallooo!" to incite your hounds on the hunt.
Leah: Oh, wow!
Nick: So, maybe that's part of it? Hard to say, but Alexander Graham Bell liked "ahoy-ahoy;" Thomas Edison, he liked "hello." Thomas Edison, though, he was involved with the earliest telephone exchanges, which were like the rooms that had all the wires coming in that got all the wires going to the right place. Because he was involved with that and because those early exchanges had the earliest phone books and because the earliest phone books had instructions for how you're supposed to use this newfangled technology, Thomas Edison's preferred word, that's what went into the instructions, so that's what became popular.
Leah: Wow! Who knew?! Who knew this?!
Nick: Right?! Right?!
Leah: Also, the idea that your phone would just be like on-
Leah: -in your house, and you just yelled to get people.
Nick: Yeah, the ringer came a little later. The earliest phone book is from New Haven in 1878, and there were only 50 subscribers in it, and so they told you that you said hello. What I love is that they also told you how you're supposed to end a phone call.
Leah: Oh ...!
Nick: Which is, "That is all."
Nick: That's it. I love that.
Leah: That's so-
Nick: That is all.
Leah: -that's so you!
Nick: [Giggling] I may need to just bring that back. Yes.
Leah: Imagine that power that you were like, "Hey, we're all saying hello," even though nobody did it before this.
Nick: Yeah! Isn't it incredible that the word you want is now one of probably the most popular words in the English language?
Leah: It's really amazing. I had no idea.
Nick: So, that is all.
Leah: That is all! I'm gonna go with ahoy-ahoy, though. I'm gonna start working that in.
Nick: Well, funny ... In an episode of The Simpsons, that's how Mr. Burns answers the phone.
Leah: Oh, is it?
Nick: Yes, because, presumably, he was around when the phone was invented.
Leah: [Laughing] I also want to say really quick, I used a phone book this week.
Nick: Oh, my gosh! Okay, so for people at home who are too young to remember what a phone book is, this was a printed book that was sent to you every year with people's phone numbers in it.
Leah: My town has one. My parents keep it in a drawer.
Nick: A current version?
Leah: A current version. That's how small my town is, is that it's, I'd say, half an inch thick-
Nick: It's a pamphlet. It's not a book.
Leah: Yeah. I wanted to bring up some food to a friend who hasn't left his house much, and I was like, "Oh, how do I get hi number?" My mom was like, "Look in the phone book." I was like, "What?!" There it was.
Nick: It would not occur to me to go to a phone book for someone's number.
Leah: It was so exciting. It really was exciting.
Nick: He was listed?
Leah: He was listed, and I called, and he picked up.
Leah: I called on a landline.
Nick: Is it even a seven-digit phone number, or was it just like Orchard 6-5000?
Leah: Can I have number three, please?
Nick: [Laughing] Right? Um, well, how wonderful and quaint.
Leah: It was really fun.
Nick: So, ahoy-ahoy sounds very appropriate for your town.
Leah: It does. I'm going to try to work it in for the next month.
Nick: Great! Well, that is all.
Nick: We're back and now it's time to go deep.
Leah: This is so deep!
Nick: This is deep! I want to talk about people who cut in line.
Nick: This happens.
Leah: It really does.
Nick: This is a thing. This is a thing that happens. So, I guess I was thinking about this ... It feels like there's various types of cutting in line on sort of a spectrum. There's the one end, which feels really mild and then the truly outrageous.
Leah: Oh, definitely.
Nick: Right? On one side is the accidental, like, "Oh, I didn't realize all these other people were waiting in line. I didn't realize I cut in the middle. I'm so sorry!" That's one end. Then, a little less is the, "Oh, can I just jump in the copier with these?" Then, on the other end is the purposeful "I'm just doing it and I don't care" end of the spectrum. It's outrageous.
Leah: That's outrageous. I would also like to point out, I had two friends email me this week about line-cutting, not knowing-
Nick: Just independently, they wanted-
Leah: Well, a friend of mine, Melissa, who listens to the show, she sent me this great article about line-cutting.
Nick: Okay, pro or con?
Leah: Randomly, not knowing that we were going to talk about it this week.
Leah: Then, another friend of mine was like, "I know you're into this," and then, she said she watched a person get line-cut today, and then somebody came and called them out. She was like, "It was amazing to watch." [Laughing]
Nick: Yeah, well, so-
Leah: There was actually a line in the article that I thought was really worth sharing. It's called "The Overgrown," and the article was by Jesse Mechanic. The line is: "The line is the most basic social contract we have."
Leah: Their argument was that people who purposely cut in line the scourge of the earth.
Nick: I think that's a really good point because the line is truly artificial, right? It is truly a social construct-
Nick: -that, as a society, we have decided that we are going to behave in this way. It's not human nature. It's not inherent in our DNA, right? It's truly just this construct.
Leah: Absolutely. I agree with you.
Nick: Yeah. It's sort of creating order out of disorder.
Leah: Well, the person who wrote this article believes that it's your responsibility to call out the line-cutters.
Nick: Okay, well, let's just jump right to that because we all agree that line-cutting is bad.
Leah: It's really bad.
Nick: There's no debate.
Leah: There's no debate. There is the ... I was trying to think of the accidental line-cut.
Leah: I feel like it particularly happens when - which, I've done it once ... You know when you are taking an exit on the road, but the line is all the way back, but you never think, "Oh, that was for my exit." You think, "Oh, these people are all in this lane," and then you get to the front, and you're like, "Oh, no, that was for the exit."
Nick: Oh, okay. So, on the road.
Leah: I do believe that sometimes that happens accidentally, like if you hadn't driven the road before, and you didn't know that that was the exit you needed to take.
Nick: Yeah, that happens.
Leah: Then, there are people that you see clearly are just cutting.
Nick: Right, right, and to the cars behind you, they don't know the difference.
Leah: They don't know. Although, I try really hard to mouth the entire sentence: "I didn't know this was the exit. I am so sorry!"
Nick: [Giggling] Okay.
Leah: I do a lot of handwaving-
Nick: Okay, you wanna show regret. Right.
Leah: -yeah, and a lot of shoulder things ... I'm like, "I hate myself!" You know what I mean? [crosstalk] I really try!
Nick: Okay. My favorite line-cutting is - particularly at an airport, I've noticed this - where somebody will pretend they can't quite see the board and will pretend like they're squinting and need to get up very close to the front, so they can get a better look at it, and they're like, "Oh, now I'm just standing here."
Leah: [Laughing] Oh, no!
Nick: So, it's sort of like, "Okay, I see what happened here. Yeah. You didn't really need to read whatever that sign was. You just wanted to relocate yourself. Okay. I gotcha!"
Leah: I do love it when the people checking tickets are like, "No, we are in zone three, right now, and you're zone four," and they make them go back because that person knew.
Nick: Yeah, they knew. They knew. They always know. This is not some secret. Now, at an airport, how do you feel about those people who are running late and want to cut you in security and be like, "Oh, I'm running late for my flight ..."?
Leah: I don't have a problem with that. Do you?
Nick: Okay. I do feel like when somebody asks for permission to cut, it somehow feels better, even if your excuse is flimsy. Just cutting in without any conversation? That feels super-rude. If you ask for permission, somehow, it's like, "All right. I'm gonna let you. We all know this is a lie, but, okay, fine."
Leah: It might not be a lie.
Nick: I mean, it may be ... Yeah, all right, maybe not. Hard to say. With the flight thing, it's sort of like, we all have a flight to catch, and I just made an effort to not cut it down to the wire. That's why I'm there-
Leah: I know, but sometimes things happen.
Nick: I totally get that life happens. I get it. I didn't have the opportunity to ask them, "Well, did you leave the house with enough time?" It's like, "Oh, no, just cut; fine. Have at it." It does make you wonder ... Is this because something happened to you, or you just cut it to the last minute, and you knew you could get away with it?
Leah: I think the big ones are people who clearly cut lines, when they saw the line, and they just don't think anybody's going to call them out for it.
Nick: Yeah. All right, so what do we do about it? Somebody has just cut in front of us. I think we- if we're going to say something, you gotta say it immediately. Time is not on your side. You just gotta jump on it. In the moment it's happening, you need to be like, "Oh, hey, I don't know if you saw the line?"
Leah: There's a line!
Nick: "There's a line. Oh, it's back here."
Leah: This is the line.
Nick: I think you have to do it with a tone of like you didn't realize there was a line, even though you did. The tone has to be nonjudgmental. Be like, "Oh, clearly, this was a mistake."
Leah: Yeah, I agree with you. I mean, I'm not good at this.
Nick: Okay. You're just gonna let it go.
Leah: My partner would not let it go. We are a 'let it go' and 'not let it go' group.
Leah: He'll be like, "LINE!" I've had people skip me at- you know, when the cashier- there's one line, and then there's multiple cashiers?
Leah: Then, somebody just comes to the front.
Leah: I've had to the person behind me go, "Are you gonna say something?" I would have had to yell across multiple people. I'm not going to do that.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, I guess, whose responsibility is it to call out the line-cutter? Is it the next person in line, who's being immediately cut, or are people further back on line allowed to weigh in?
Leah: I think they're allowed to weigh in. I do love the idea that if we don't call out line-cutters, they continue to get away with it, so they need to be called out.
Leah: That being said, I also am somebody who tries to let things go because I hold some sort of belief that, sometimes, it's better to just let things go, but I do think, in this case, people should know that that's not what we've agreed on, as a society, that you should do.
Nick: Yes. I think you can call people out with the assumption that they didn't mean to do it.
Nick: Obviously, people who were not raised by wolves will realize, "Oh, my goodness, I don't want to cut in line. That's not what we do as a society. I have agreed to that. Let me go to the back of the line," in which case, harmony is restored in the universe. But then, for that person who's like, "oh, no, I hear what you're saying. I'm just gonna stay here anyway," well, for those people, what do you do?
Leah: What do we do? That's the question.
Nick: I think those people, you do, then, just let it go. I don't think we escalate the situation. "You've said your piece. We can all agree that you're a bad person," and we just let that go, at that point.
Leah: Can you say that? Can you say, "Everybody in this line has agreed that you're a bad person ..."? [Laughing]
Nick: Yes. Yes. "We took a survey, and we have agreed that you're bad." Yeah [Giggling]
Leah: I like that.
Nick: Yeah. Now, there are weird situations, where somebody has exact change and just wants to buy soda and leaves the soda with the dollar and gets the cashiers attention. I've had this happen, where I'm trying to buy things and somebody else just slides a dollar and holds up the can and be like, "Dollar ... Can." I guess that's fine, right?
Leah: I find it annoying, but it's fine.
Nick: Okay. Then, there's the, "Oh, I just want to ask that person a question. I don't actually have a transaction." That's sort of a hybrid cut.
Leah: It's a hybrid cut. On both those circumstances, I would still wait in line because the people in line have waited - maybe they just have a question; maybe they just have a dollar.
Nick: Hmm. True.
Leah: I see why people can get away with that. For those at home, I'm putting my hands in quotation marks.
Nick: Right [Giggling]
Leah: I personally think that you should have waited in line because there could have been people in line that had exact change, as well. They were just being polite.
Nick: Right. Yeah, I think that's good. I mean, I guess you could, if you really were in a hurry, or it was really going to be quick, you could ask permission to the person in line who is next and be like, "Oh, I just have a quick question. Do you mind if I just ask?"
Leah: Yeah, I think that's the right thing to do.
Nick: Right. I think that would be fine.
Leah: I just remembered an egregious line cut that I did.
Nick: That you did?
Nick: Okay. Leah's getting flushed right now.
Leah: Yeah. I tried to black it out of my brain, just completely forgot it ... I was mortified. It was an experience I never had before. We were in Texas, and we were at a ... Not pudding, not tapioca, not ice cream- it was a place that they made ... I'm blanking.
Nick: Is this relevant to the story?
Leah: It is, but I'd just never experienced it before.
Nick: Okay. It was a custard-based dessert of some sort.
Leah: Thank you! It was a custard-
Nick: It was crème brûlée.
Leah: -but they do it in fresh batches, so they closed down in between the batches.
Nick: I see.
Leah: People weren't in a line, and I didn't understand that that's what was happening. I was milling about, and then they opened the window, and I was like, "So exciting!" I thought everybody else had already ordered. Then, after I ordered, I then saw everybody who'd been milling about and I realized, "Oh, my goodness!" and I was mortified!
Nick: The mystery custard place shuts down for new batch, and everybody just sort of mills about and waits for the next batch to happen-
Leah: But they weren't in any kind of a line.
Nick: So, did you do anything wrong, then? It sounds like you were milling, along with everybody else, and you just happened to be closest to the window when it reopened.
Leah: Yeah, but I should have milled behind them.
Nick: Oh, so we're supposed to mill in order?
Leah: I mean, that would have been respectful, I think.
Nick: This feels complicated.
Leah: It was complicated. That's what I'm saying. It was a complete error. But it was not clear cut in any way!
Nick: I mean, from this retelling, I don't understand what you would have done differently to mill behind other people milling in some sort of semblance of a millable line? I don't know.
Leah: Yeah, I think I should have just milled behind other people milling.
Nick: The words 'milling' and 'line,' these are not compatible.
Leah: It was just confusing. It was confusing, but I still walked away feeling-
Nick: Confusing ... This is very confusing. Yes, yes.
Leah: I still felt guilty walking away.
Nick: Yeah! I mean, gosh, how many years later are we still thinking about this?
Leah: [Laughing] Well, I'd forgotten about it, and then it just came to me because I was like ... [Gasping]
Nick: All right, well, save that for your vent!
Leah: I do think, though, that a person who willfully cuts in line-
Nick: Ripping the fabric of society apart!
Leah: Yes. I really believe that.
Nick: Yeah, that's what you're doing.
Leah: Really believe that.
Nick: Yeah, it's definitely up there with people that are late and people who ghost.
Leah: I would actually put it above those.
Nick: Hmm, interesting ... Yeah, where do we- how do we order this? Yeah, line-cutting does affect everyone.
Leah: Because it's a whole group of people, and you've just decided, "My needs supersede all of you."
Nick: True. It does affect more people.
Leah: What we've agreed on, as a group - the people who got there early-
Nick: Yeah. There's definitely no ambiguity about lines and what they mean. It's true. We could argue about being on time - how late is late - or ghosting - maybe it was fine; maybe there was a debate. Line-cutting, no!
Leah: No debate.
Nick: No. No debate.
Leah: Shame, shame.
Leah: Unless it's a custard place, and they did not make it clear that people were milling.
Nick: Then it's okay. [Giggling]
Nick: We're back, and now it's to take some questions from you guys in the wilderness.
Nick: So, our first question is: "Is it rude to use your birthday as a way to get things? For example, telling restaurants, who don't have a birthday promotion, in the hopes they'll give you a free dessert?"
Leah: I just wrote: "I don't know if it's rude.
Nick: [Giggling] I wrote, "We're assuming it actually is your birthday, right?"
Leah: Yeah, that's ... I'm going to assume that somebody who wrote in is honest.
Nick: Yes. Part of me is like, yeah, okay. Let a restaurant know you're celebrating a special occasion. Don't expect they're going to do something for you, but if you order dessert, they might put a candle on it. Okay.
Leah: I also, as somebody who's worked in a lot of restaurants ... People don't have promotions because of how often people have lied to them.
Leah: "Oh, it's my birthday."
Nick: We've lost the privilege, as a society, for free flan.
Leah: Then, as a server, you have to ask to check the ID. You don't want to because you feel rude. Then your manager is like, "Did you check the ID? Are you just giving free shots away?" It's a whole thing.
Nick: I do remember, I was at some restaurant in the Poconos and was with friends, and we were celebrating my friend's birthday weekend. I guess the birthday, itself, was on a Saturday, and this was now Sunday brunch. The restaurant had a free pancake upgrade or something, if it was your birthday-
Leah: [Laughing] A pancake upgrade!
Nick: So, my friend was like, "Oh, it's my birthday!" They carded him, and because it was the day after his actual legal birthday, they're like, "No pancake upgrade for you."
Leah: Oh! I feel like that's close enough.
Nick: Right? Give the guy the $4.95 pancake. I mean, come on.
Nick: But, no ... Rules are rules.
Leah: Oh, wow. Oh, wow!
Nick: So, I think we agree, it's not rude to ask. I think it's rude to expect.
Nick: Yeah. Okay, our next question is: "What is the best way to handle multiple people interested in an item you're selling on Facebook Marketplace? When a person changes their mind, do you just go to the next person that showed interest? How long you have to wait for a reply before moving on to the next person? Is it okay to choose who you want to sell it to?" I had actually never used Facebook Marketplace, so I decided to try today because I thought, "Let me experience what we're talking about, so I can offer an informed opinion." I actually had this old vacuum that I've been meaning to sell, so I thought, "Let's just list it!" So, I listed it. I got a bunch of people sending me messages, saying, "Oh, is this available?" The first person who messaged me, I said, "Yes, it's available. I'm looking to sell it today. Are you available to come today?" I set the expectation of what I'm expecting here, and he's like, "Yeah, 2:30 work for you?" I said, "That's great. I'll be at this corner, and here's my phone number." "Okay, great." So, then, other people messaged me, and I said to them, "I promised it to somebody at 2:30. If he flakes, I'll loop back with you." That's kind of how I handled it. I think, as long as you're just clear with everybody about how it's going to go down and what the deadlines are, I think that's fine.
Leah: Yeah, I think this person is asking, "Can I choose the person I like out of the group best, even if they weren't first?"
Nick: Yeah, that's a little trickier. I am a capitalist, in that I just want to sell it to the highest bidder, and I don't really care who gets it. I don't need my belongings to go to a *"good home."* Sometimes, people get rid of stuff and they're like, "I just want it to go to a good home, who will really appreciate this thing." I'm just happy to get it out of my house.
Leah: Right, also, but how are you gonna ... I think the whole picking who you think's going to be a good home gets a little dicey. I guess if I knew somebody personally, but otherwise, I always think of it as first come, first served.
Nick: Yeah, I'm a first come, first served. If you do want to choose, I think it's fine, as long as it's not for some discriminatory reason.
Leah: Yeah. I don't sell to redheads!
Nick: Right. So, if it's a protected class, as defined by the Fair Housing Act, then let's not do that. I think the first person who shows up with cold, hard cash, they get it.
Leah: This part about how long do I have to wait before moving on? I like what you said, and I've said this to people when it had to do with filling a spot for a comedy show, or whatever ... I'll say to people, "I need to hear back within this amount of time, or I'm going to go to the next person." You just say what your-
Nick: Definitely set a deadline.
Leah: Yeah, just say what your expectations and needs are. That way, you know what it is, and if they don't do it, they know you move on to the next person.
Nick: Right. I wrote this person back. I was like, "What are you selling?" She is selling a trundle bed, and she was giving people until 5:00 at night, each day. She was really being very nice and patient with people.
Leah: Oh, that's so kind.
Nick: Very kind. I told her- I was like, "You don't have to do that."
Leah: You can cut it shorter than that. I get it [crosstalk]
Nick: Yeah, you can definitely cut it-
Leah: I'll be like, "Do you wanna get back to me by tomorrow, and I don't hear by tomorrow ...?"
Nick: Right. It's like, "Well, you're gonna have that trundle bed for a long time then." Yeah. I was looking to unload this vacuum A.S.A.P.!
Leah: Nick's like, "If you're on the corner with cash by 2:00, it's yours!"
Nick: Done! That's what I said, and that's what I got!
Leah: No, it's very pragmatic.
Nick: Our next question is: "I was just at a new grocery store and had a pretty long list and was able to find pretty much everything except for three items. I take the time to stand in line for the customer service desk because I wanted to see if they had them. When I got to the front, I asked, 'Do you have baby corn in stock?' The first employee said, 'Umm, I don't know,' and then the employee next to her said, 'Oh, no, we don't, sorry.' I then asked, 'Can you point me to the direction where you keep the sunscreen?' to which employee number two snapped back, 'You know, if you're gonna be a regular here, you're gonna have to start learning how to figure this stuff out on your own.' I stood in silence for about three seconds before the first employee pointed into the distance and said, 'It's over there in aisle 17.' I was so shocked that I said, 'Thank you,' before heading off, but as I was walking away, I realized that I probably should have said something along the lines of, 'Isn't it your job at the customer service desk to help customers?' I didn't say anything, as the moment had already passed, but I wanted to get your take on the situation for if something happens like this in the future."
Leah: I wanted to say really quick, I feel like, a lot of times - and I do it to myself, too - we're always like, "Why didn't I say something? I should have said something." You didn't say something because how would you have been prepared for when you were waiting in line politely at the customer service desk asking a question that you would get chastised? It's not your fault you didn't say anything. You were taken by surprise!
Nick: Yes. It was like, "Oh, I was waiting in line for customer service, and I didn't get customer service, and I was scolded for asking for customer service."
Leah: You were scolded! I mean, it's ...
Leah: For me, it takes ... There's always a processing. Next time, if the exact same things happened, I'd be ready, but the first time, you've got to allow for processing time. That is not your fault!
Nick: No, definitely not. Also, I mean, maybe it's just a New York City thing, where our supermarkets - such as we have them - the organization makes no sense whatsoever. Where things are in relation to where other things are, there seems to be no rhyme or reason. There are frozen peas next to the mops. It's like, why? Why are these together?
Leah: It's always by the cat.
Nick: Even though I go to the same stores all the time, I still don't remember where stuff is. I don't memorize the store layouts.
Leah: But even if you did, even if it all made sense, and it was on a grid, and it was alphabetized, if I wait in line to ask customer service where something is-
Leah: You know what I mean?
Nick: Just tell me. Just tell me where it is.
Leah: Obviously, this person is having a very bad day.
Leah: I think it's okay to say, "Oh, I thought this was customer service."
Nick: Well ... You can say that, but the tone matters. So, if you can say that in a very nonjudgmental, non-catty way, I will allow it. I am incapable of saying that phrase in a way that does not sound judgmental, so I would not say it. There would be no way for me to say this.
Leah: I think you could actually say, "Why are you being mean to me?"
Nick: Uh, okay ...
Leah: Because that's not catty. That's just like, "Why are you yelling at me? I was just asking you a question."
Nick: I guess you could, yeah. If you felt like you wanted to kind of call it out and ask why that was the response ...
Leah: Why is that the response? I'm also very sensitive today, so I just want to say that up top for our listeners.
Leah: That's why I feel like you can say, "Why are you being ...? Why would you say that to me? I'm just asking you a question."
Nick: Well, and the response is, "I'm not being mean to you. I'm just asking you to, like, learn the store."
Leah: "But why would I learn the store? I don't work there."
Nick: [Giggling] Yeah, I'm not going to defend them, but I think the easiest path of least resistance is you just let this go. You just walk away and just realize, like, "Oh, fine ..."
Leah: Oh, definitely. Probably tomorrow, I would agree with you, but as of today?
Nick: Today, you wanna be like, "You're hurting my feelings, and I want a reason why."
Leah: Today, I want to know why you think it's okay to hurt my feelings, when I politely waited in line!
Nick: True, yeah, and I think that actually would be totally fine. I am also sometimes inclined, when things like this happen, to actually apologize for their bad behavior. It would be sort of similar, but like, "Oh, I'm so sorry, I thought I could get my question answered here. Where should I go?"
Leah: [Laughing] That's the same thing, Nick. That is the same thing!
Nick: Yeah, yeah. I know, but somehow, it works better in my head.
Leah: [Laughing] I think I'm going to have a whole week of just being like, "Why are you hurting my feelings?" [Laughing]
Nick: I think I like asking them what I could have done differently because it puts them on the spot because the answer is, "No, obviously, you did the right thing here. I was just being rude."
Leah: I would be like, "Do you have a map? Is there a map of the aisles that I missed with all of the items on it?"
Nick: Right. So, yeah ...
Leah: Obviously I don't think you should say that, but that's what they're ... They're implying that you should memorize all the store.
Nick: Well, they just would rather not be bothered by your trivial questions about baby corn and sunblock.
Leah: I'm really going to stick with, "Why are you being mean to me?" [Laughing]
Nick: Well, if you're having a sensitive day and want us to help, let us know! Send us your questions. Send them to us through our website, wereyouraisedbywolves.com, or you can send us a text message or leave us a voicemail: (267) CALL-RBW (267-225-5729).
Nick: We're back, and now it's time to play a game we like to call Vent or Repent.
Leah: [Singing] Vent or Repennnnnnnnnnnt!
Nick: Which is our opportunity to vent about some bad etiquette experience we've had recently, or we can repent for some etiquette faux pas we committed. So, Leah, would you like to vent or repent?
Leah: Well, I'd like to reiterate what I said to you earlier, which is it's getting harder and hard to vent or repent, as I have contact with less and less people.
Nick: Yeah, when you're a small town in Maine with four people, not a lot of etiquette crimes can go down.
Leah: So, I'm going to vent.
Nick: All right. You dug deep. You came up with something.
Leah: I came up with something. It has to do with driving!
Leah: There's a lot more cars here. I think everybody's trying to also get out of the city, so everybody's coming up.
Nick: Yeah, I think everybody's in Maine, right now.
Leah: Yeah, but there's also a lot of Maine license plates, where it's not just out of ... I feel like such a Mainer, saying that, that I'm watching license plates, but it's not just out-of-state license plates. It's also Maine license plates. It's all back roads. I can't go two minutes without somebody coming up behind me.
Nick: You mean a car behind you, like on the road?
Leah: No, I mean like coming in too close.
Leah: Tailgating, because they want to go fast on the back roads. It drives me ...! It's a lot of trucks back here because there's no main roads. Everybody speeds. It bothers me. I think it's ... I go the speed limit.
Nick: I see that in you. That comes as no surprise.
Leah: I used to be a real fast driver. I was like, whoop-whoop-whoop! Not anymore. I go the speed limit. I'm not going below the speed limit. I don't speed up-
Nick: Hands at 10:00 and 2:00.
Leah: Yeah. I don't speed up on places where people can pass. I'm a respectful driver. But the amount of people that are speeding, and then come up too close behind you to be like, "Move it along ... Move it along or pull over," is out of control! Where are you going? There's nothing open! You know what I mean?
Nick: They're going to get some Needhams.
Leah: They are not! They are just being aggressive drivers and it's rude!
Nick: Well, is this an etiquette thing? Is this an etiquette crime?
Leah: It is, because you could come up behind me and then stay a length of a car behind me and then pass when you have time to pass.
Nick: I see.
Leah: What they do is they come up to your bumper, so you feel like you either have to speed up or pull over because otherwise, you get nervous that what if you have to break? They're going to hit you.
Nick: I guess that is rude. Yeah, I guess tailgating is technically rude. Sure.
Leah: I just don't understand why people think they can bully people on the road. It makes me so angry because it's so irresponsible, and it causes car crashes, and it hurts people.
Nick: Okay, well, don't tailgate Leah's car.
Leah: Don't tailgate anybody! If somebody wants to drive the speed limit, you stay the appropriate amount of behind them, and then, when it comes to a passing, then you pass. It is an agreed-upon way of driving works.
Nick: Fair enough. So, for me, do you remember that vacuum we talked about?
Leah: The one where you selling it on the marketplace?
Nick: Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, our agreement was to sell it at 2:30 on my corner. Um, funny story, he didn't show up at 2:30.
Nick: No. So, I texted him at 2:30, when we agreed, and I was like, "Hey, I'm outside," and it's a hot day here in New York City. He's like, "Oh, I'm just leaving now."
Nick: You know, when you text, "I'm just leaving now ..." No, no, no. You're still on the couch. You don't have shoes on!
Nick: You're still halfway through your bowl of chips! No, no, you're not leaving now. We all know that's a lie. Yeah. Pulitzer Prize for fiction! No!
Leah: Also, you shouldn't be leaving now; it's the agreed upon time.
Nick: Also that! Also that. It would be very difficult for you to be, "Leaving now," and make it to my corner in any reasonable amount of time. So, I was like, "Okay, what's your ETA?" He's like, "Oh, you know, 3:15; 3:30?" That's 45 minutes to an hour after we agreed. I was like, "Okay, fine." So, now, cut to 3:30, and now it's like, "Oh, I'm three minutes away ..." which, whenever you're very specific with the time that tends to be a lie. When you're like, "Oh, I'll be there in exactly three minutes," like no, you're not ... That's ... Where did three minutes come from? No. So, needless to say, he was not there in just three minutes. It was more than three minutes. He eventually showed up, and I got my money, and he got his vacuum. I mean, come on!
Leah: Come on!
Nick: Come on!
Leah: Just be on time!
Nick: Yeah. I mean, I get that, in terms of etiquette consequences, there are very little. This is probably our only interaction ever in life. I will never see this person again, so there are very few consequences for him for violating the social contract about being on time.
Leah: Well, there are karma consequences.
Nick: Well, sure ...
Leah: You guys had an agreed upon time, and then you were out there waiting.
Nick: Yeah, I was.
Leah: Also, the consequences to what kind of a human being you are, when you give your word; when you say you're going to do something!
Nick: Yeah, I am pretty sure that he's not going to be staying up late at night, tonight, being like, "Oh gosh, I'm really apologetic about that late vacuum pick up today," but I can dream.
Leah: Yeah, but it all piles up. It all piles up. I think, deep inside, he knows. Years down the line, after he's behaved this way in many different venues, he'll be like-
Nick: This will be his Texas custard shop.
Leah: [Laughing] I'm so sorry!
Nick: So, Leah, what have we learned?
Leah: Hello, hello?
Nick: Ahoy, ahoy!
Leah: Ahoy, ahoy!
Leah: That's incredible. Somebody just decided we're going to say hello now.
Nick: And that's what we're going to do.
Leah: I love it.
Nick: And I learned that if you see milling at a custard place in Texas, that's actually a line.
Leah: It's a line!
Nick: It's a line. Yeah. Well, thank you, Leah.
Leah: Thank you, Nick!
Nick: And thanks to you out there for listening. If I had your address, I'd send you a handwritten note on my custom stationery! For your homework this week, I want you to leave us a nice review. It really helps the algorithm. There are algorithms involved with these reviews, and when you leave nice ones, they help other people discover our show, and wouldn't it be nice if more people discovered our show? Yes. Yes, it would!
Leah: It would be so nice. We really appreciate it. Thank you so much!
Nick: So, please do that, and we'll see you next time.
Nick: All right, Leah, it's time for Cordials of Kindness.
Leah: Yay, yay, yay, yay, yay!
Nick: The part of the show that you make us do, but I only give you 30 seconds. Ready, set, go!
Leah: A friend of mine, Coral, she actually listens to the show. She's amazing. She recommended this place called Gooseberry Farms, and it's a berry farm. I took my boyfriend and my mom because we were trying to find something that we could do together that was outside that still felt safe. I was just so grateful to the people that ran the farm because they made it so ... They were all wearing masks when you check in, and then they brought you to your own row, so then, you could de-mask if you wanted to, to pick berries. I'm just so grateful to people who set things up and then they follow the rules so you don't have to feel unsafe, and you could just have a wonderful time. It was just so amazing!
Nick: Nice! So, like raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, blueberries-
Leah: Blueberries. Then, I guess, later in the summer, they also have potatoes.
Nick: [Giggling] Okay. For me, I would like to say thank you to one of our Patreon members, who wrote the nicest thing, which is: "Thank you both so much for making my day end with laughter. I'm off to bed with a joyful glow of contentment and a distinct lack of heaviness in my shoulders!"
Leah: So sweet!
Nick: Isn't that nice?
Leah: It's so nice.
Nick: Isn't that nice? So, it's so nice that we were able to send them off to bed with the joyful glow of contentment! Love that!
Leah: It's really nice.
Nick: I don't hear that very often about ... me. [Laughing] So, glad I could do it.
Leah: That's so nice!
You can start with our first episode, our most recent episode, or jump in with one of these favorites in the middle:
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