The beginning of the football season this year has reminded me that we should all be watching our manners. Most of the top players don’t have a clue how to do that. These finely tuned, highly skilled athletes, earning telephone number salaries (per week), consequently appear to be above the usual conventions of good behaviour. Thank goodness some football managers are starting to ban their players’ insane tweeting! Talk about shooting a hole in your own metatarsal. And, thinking as a former teacher, wouldn’t it be better to spend some of that money on teaching them to spell?
Though I must admit that when – forgive the pun – it was all ‘kicking off’ in some of our major cities a couple of weeks back, it was nice to see that Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand managed to express their criticism about Twitter violence, albeit between receiving their paychecks and sunning themselves on their holidays.
At the other end of the spectrum, as the summer draws to a close, many of our work experience youngsters are moving on. For the most part it’s a pleasure to have them; my team makes a serious point of including the candidates into the business and quickly getting them involved in various projects.
I only have one issue, which is that I’m amazed by these people’s overall inability to say “thanks for having me”. Out of the 10 we’ve had so far, I have had three most dazzling thank-you letters and not a word from the remaining seven. Now call me old-fashioned, but is that not just plain rude? The problem, as I see it, is that these youngsters seem to have forgotten that manners cost nothing. It was my son who pointed out that maybe they would prefer to tweet their thanks instead. As an avid Twitter user I know its plus points, but I still wouldn’t put it above a letter of appreciation.
Maybe it’s time for everyone, from the millionaire footballers to the average office worker, to take a good hard look at just how far a little bit of basic courtesy can take you.