I’m not sure it’s a modern thing but it certainly seems more prevalent today – the lack of basic courtesy. At work I encounter customers who never say “hello”, “please” or “thank you”, just walk in and start demanding what they want like I am some kind of automaton, and then today yet another ignorant person on the street.
I’ve been at work all day, on my feet, all day, dealt with problems and hassles, all day, yet when I’m walking home and I see this man in an expensive looking wool coat and post-ironic, hipster flat cap walking towards me pushing a pushchair I wait beside a sign blocking one half of the pavement to let him go past first and he walks past without so much as a “thanks”.
I don’t hold doors, let people go first or help people for the thanks but I don’t do it because it’s my job, its common courtesy and it doesn’t cost anything to acknowledge that.
I don’t like to think that society is becoming more selfish and impolite but I have noticed this happening more often, that more people have this sense of entitlement, that they expect others to do things for them, to move out of the way, to let their car out first, and as such feel no need to simply say thank you.
I still have customers who sincerely say thanks but it feels like their number is dwindling.