Today I saw rudeness. I saw an entitled attitude. I saw disrespect. And, I saw it all in a relatively brief email chain I was cc’d on. So I hope you will indulge me in pointing out the obvious:

It doesn’t matter who you are or who you are dealing with … BE NICE!

As I was reading through the email chain I was thinking “I don’t know this person, never even heard of him. All I have to go on here are the facts as laid out in the emails (from people I do know) and the fact that he’s acting like a jerk.” And, ironically, he was trying to persuade the very people he was offending to act on his behalf. Did he think that through? Who knows?

So here’s my question for you: Do you know how you come across when you are asking for help? Most of us are appropriate and polite – at least most of the time. Then there are those times we wish we could take back, like when it’s just the latest disappointment in a very long and frustrating day. Do you ever find yourself feeling “Okay, that’s just the last straw?” I know I do!

But frustration is no excuse for rudeness. Keep in mind that, especially with the viral nature of technology, your words can travel far and fast. You may think you’re dealing with someone who “doesn’t matter” or you’ll “never have to deal with again.” These days, that’s rarely true, and fundamentally that’s a lousy way to view the world. Spend your life dismissing others, and you may find yourself alone.

Or, maybe you think that by getting angry and throwing your weight around you can intimidate someone into complying with your demands? Instead, your entitled attitude is likely to be widely broadcast to just those people who can help you get what you wanted in the first place. Like me. My response in this case was “No, I don’t see any reason to bend over backwards to accommodate a special request from someone who was unbelievably rude to the people who work with me.” I said a few other things too, probably went overboard with the lesson. But he’s young, I hope he learns from the experience.

Bottom line: BE NICE!