When I first arrived in the United States, before leaving the airport, my mom said, “Whenever you sneeze, cough, fart, and burp, say ‘excuse me’. Also, never pick your nose in public.” Since then, I’ve developed a habit to say excuse me whenever I did those things. By now, I thought that it was public manner and everyone should have a pretty good grasp on it except some people still haven’t grasp those concepts at all and it made me want to puke when I have to endure those behavior from a grown adult.
A few weeks ago, I began a new job as an interpreter and translator for one of my mom’s friend who opened his own company in Utah. He didn’t speak or understand any English. So you can say I’m his right hand person. On a given day, I would go to his home and sit next to him while going over and interpreting what each email said back to him in Chinese. At first, I didn’t mind all that much after all, Utah is the second driest state, but after two days of enduring this behavior, I just wanted to go home and puke.
Every single day, we would sit at the computer for 3 or 4 straight hours looking at his bank accounts and emails and he would stick his finger up that nose of his for that same amount of time. It just makes you want to throw up from the start, doesn’t it? What’s worse, once he got something out, he would gently place it on a piece of paper as it were a baby or something.
I mean, if he wasn’t my boss, the person who’s paying me 15 bucks an hour doing this, I would had said, “For god sake, man, stop picking that nose and throw that paper away.” But no, I have to follow the “Chinese” rule to treat him like a king or something, I have to respect him and not say anything unless authorized. But that kind of behavior, no, it’s not even called behavior, it’s your basic manner, everyone should’ve learned when they were young.
I also cannot be that rude to tell him off in his own home. However, when his son, Jason, comes to my home for his tutoring, I can tell him that he cannot do that in public because as an educator, learning the basic public manners are all part of education. So when Jason eats at my home and he burps, I would make him to say excuse me afterward because as the host, I feel it only fair to teach my students manners.
Manners are very important to me because in my opinion, it is an indicator of your family background no matter where you’re from. For example, if you came from a well-educated family setting, you would be very polite and your manners would be sensible unless you’re shy. However, sometimes it is very hard to tell. In the least to say, I don’t want to be caught sitting next to someone who doesn’t have manner like my boss.