In the past few months I have sent presents to people by mail. In almost all occasions I’ve had to make the embarrassing call to find out if the gift was received.
Maybe I’ve noticed it because it appears to have happened with increased frequency, or, quite possibly, I’ve grown less tolerant as I’ve aged.
There are a few basic rules of etiquette I like to follow and, I admit, I expect.
When you receive a gift, thank the sender NOW. In an era of communication there is no excuse to delay an acknowledgment. My phone has automated “Thank you”, “Happy Birthday”, “Congratulations!” use one of them if you can’t think of a personal message.
When someone asks a question by text or email, perhaps inviting you or asking you if you can do something, please, for the love of God, reply! Let the sender know that you are unable to. Whether you don’t want to doesn’t have to be stated. Suffice to say you won’t be able to attend or do what is being asked of you.
When making plans try to, honestly, keep them or don’t make them at all, and if you must cancel do it upfront, preferably giving the other party ample notice. Do not just not show up or not call/answer the phone. Your time is a precious as theirs and busy people must put time aside to see you.
Acknowledging a person after they went out of their way to get you a gift is not only courtesy, it’s appreciation and, respect, and you and I have the right to expect that from others. Respect is the basic component of any relationship or transaction.
These basic etiquette rules are not difficult to observe and will make everyone involved feel better, and respected.
Maybe I’ve grown less tolerant. Maybe I’m less inclined to be disrespected. Maybe I've just aged.