Way back when, etiquette meant something. When I was 15 years old working in the hardware store, I addressed male customers "may I help you sir" and female customers "may I help you ma'am." After the sale, I would say "thank you for shopping with us."
Way back when, sitting at the dining room table and you wanted a plate passed, you said, "can you please pass the plate?" And when the plate was passed, you said "thank you."
Way back when, a birthday gift came from Grandma in another state, the recipient wrote a thank you card and mailed it to Grandma. Or at the very least, gave Grandma a call.
The advent of email, e-cards and texting has virtually killed the etiquette industry. The advent of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter has virtually killed the etiquette industry.
Most of us live in a "take it for granted" world where everything they get is "deserved" and proper etiquette is not required. The only thing I can relate to is that nothing is deserved.
Point. We give away Disney and Vegas trips to talent who have been with us 10 years. Four days, air, hotel and entertainment all expenses paid is quite the incentive. However, most barely send a thank you card. That is why when I received not only a thank you card from a talent in California and two Disney pens (one for me and one for the BUB), I was elated. They had the trip of their life and even sent over Disney photos for us to look at.
Point. We give away MSU tickets. Last week two talent went to the game after winning a contest. Did I hear from either talent after the game how their seats were, how they spent the spending money or how their experience was? No.
Point is, most of us are ignorant of etiquette and see nothing in its value. How sad for them. Because in the end, it is more fun to give than receive. And for those that give, they only give once to those that don't express their thanks.
With the recent outbursts from the likes of politician Joe Wilson, tennis players, Grammy losers and such, we are at a new low. When this trend turns around is anyone's guess. Until then, expect less.