I was walking into a shop the other day behind another person. I know he saw me. Instead of holding the door, he let it slam gently in my face. This got me thinking about courtesy.

When I was a kid, besides teaching me about the Birds and the Bees and Stranger Danger, my mother instilled into my soft, little head the importance of manners. Having poor manners wasn’t just a reflection on her as a mother; having poor manners was also a reflection on me as a person.

Besides the general principles of “Please” and “Thank you,” my mother had many other concepts of civility that I practice to this day.

For example, if my ma had ever seen me not look behind me going through a door, she would have let me hear about it later. I was trained to walk through a door, look behind and hold it if another person was coming. Also, if I saw an elderly person, a pregnant woman or someone who looked as though walking proved difficult, I was meant to hold the door for them and walk in after. And, of course, if someone held a door for me, the smile and “Thank you” were just a given.

Another thing my mother taught me was the importance of thank you notes. I almost dreaded my birthday because I have a big family. I knew the day after any birthday party thrown for me was going to be spent writing notes. There was no “Aw, Ma, I’ll do it tomorrow.” If someone gave me money, I was never to mention it. I was taught to write: Thank you for thinking of me on my birthday. I guess talking about money (and certainly the amount) was tacky.

I was also taught to offer food and drink to anyone who entered the house. It didn’t matter if it was Grandpa or the guy who came to fix the dishwasher. My ma didn’t suggest that I cook a 4-course meal, complete with a delightful Merlot, but I had better offer something. Recently, a guy came to clean my carpets. He accepted a ham and cheese on white and my carpets look fantastic.

Finally, saying “gesundheit” or “bless you” when someone sneezes. I will say it to strangers in restaurants. However, I find myself looking down on people who don’t say it after I sneeze. During a meeting a few years ago, I sneezed. Not one of the 5 people in the room said anything. I held a vague grudge for the rest of the day.

American society has become casual – I thank The Fates that I don’t have to wear hose, heels and a smart little skirt and jacket combo to work every day (and there is no way I could balance a pillbox hat on my head). Hey, even Bill, when he’s in the midst of a complicated matter, will roll up his sleeves and dive right in – you might notice the tattoos. While I am not suggesting that we return to a ridged Victorian mode of manners, I do think the old standards of polite interaction should be upheld. I hate to be redundant, but manners are still cool, guys.

Bourke Accounting specialists are polite. Your Bourke Accounting representative will say “bless you” if you sneeze. Bourke Accounting experts, while not just being very knowledgeable, respect you and your patronage. You will always feel well taken care of, welcomed and appreciated. Bourke Accounting knows that the future is here, but there’s nothing wrong with some good old-fashioned courtesy.

Come see us any time. Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at www.bourkeaccounting.com. See you soon!

Written by Sue H.