Waiting Room Etiquette 101
The Wait is Over!
Yes, it is time for yet another etiquette hub. It has been some time since I've writing a hub about etiquette. The wait is over now! You may even have to use your best manners in a waiting room while reading this hub. Wow, how great is that? Well, probably not, but at least maybe I can entertain you for a while with some waiting room etiquette.
We've all been there. Sometimes a person must wait a painfully long time in a waiting room. Often, the experience would not be that bad if other people in the room were not so obnoxious. Trust me, I feel your pain. This is why I am writing this hub. It is full of helpful hints on waiting room etiquette.
Aside from waiting rooms, these rules can be applied to any situation with a lot of people waiting a long time... the train station or airport, lobbies at offices, restaurants before you are seated, etc. Sometimes we are just stuck with a group of people waiting a long time. Here are some tips on how to make the experience pleasant for everyone.
I can't tell you how many times I have been sitting in a waiting room and some creep across the room is staring at me. The only time that person stops the death stare is me giving a good, nasty glare back. Even then, some people still don't get it.
Look, it is rude to stare. I don't care where you are or what you are doing. Stop staring! Even if I am in the waiting room at the hospital and a knife is sticking out of my head, don't stare at me. Offer me a bandage or something, but stop looking at me. Chances are, I am probably already self-conscious about it and in a great deal of pain. I am in no mood for stares.
Keep Your Conversation Down
I can't stand it if I am just waiting in a lobby to be pulled into some office for bad news or even worse... a job interview. I don't need your loud, obnoxious conversation ruining my vibe. Sometimes I need to focus on filling out paperwork. Loud conversations about Uncle Bubba's visit to jail, or your dog Cookie and her constipation problems are not helping me focus. Please let me focus.
For that matter, don't try to have loud conversations with the hopes that others will join in. I do not want to be a part of your conversation. Yes, I know it is has been rainy lately. I don't care. Let me watch the crappy soap opera on the lobby TV and leave me alone. If I look slightly interested, well OK, maybe you can continue. If everyone looks incredibly uncomfortable and they are desperately trying to avoid eye contact, keep your voice down.
Please Leave the Unruly Children at Home
I do realize sometimes you have to take the little munchkins out in public. What a shame. If you have to take your kids with you to offices, please keep in mind not everyone is going to find them adorable. I do understand sometimes your children are sick and you are in the waiting room at a doctor's office for their appointment. Yeah, everyone gets that and most people are pretty sympathetic towards an ill child. However, some of you are bringing in kids when they clearly need to go somewhere else (but not a hot car!!!) and you need to keep them calm.
Here are some things I have seen children do in lobbies and they should have been reprimanded at the time:
- Throw toys or magazines around
- Jump on and off the furniture
- Kick other people in the waiting room
- Yell and fight with each other
- Sneeze and ooze snot all over the entire sitting area
- Run around like maniacs
- Throw terrible temper tantrums.
I do understand no one has perfect kids. Maybe your children are having a bad day. OK, tell the person at the front desk you need to be excused for a few moments and drag Screaming Sally and Jumpy Johnny out of there for a bit. Once everyone is back to acting reasonably, bring the child back into the office. Don't make the rest of us suffer.
Be Nice to the Staff
I've been noticing something a lot of people are lacking lately: being nice. Yes, it seems pretty simple, but a lot of people seem to think the world revolves around them now. I have dealt with some nasty, rude, impatient, needy, and just generally unpleasant people lately. It is not just me either. I've witnessed front desk attendants dealing with people that have definitely woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. Stop it.
Did you realize you are not the only person on the planet today? Yes! Other people have appointments. Some of those appointments might even be before your appointment. Other people have emergencies, too. Plenty of people are on strict timelines. A lot of us are busy... including that front desk attendant that does not have time for your sob story.
Instead of going off on some poor innocent person, take a few moments to think about your situation. Is it really that dire? Are you really going to embarrass yourself right now? Is this moment going to seem important to you tomorrow or next week? If not, just calm down and let it go. If you really have a legitimate complaint, you can still take a few minutes to calm down and be reasonable when you do approach someone. The world would be a better place if we all did this.
Don't Take Up the Whole Lobby
Lobbies and waiting rooms are not your living room. I am sure the staff wants you to be comfortable, but not too comfy. Kicking off your shoes and laying down on the couch that is supposed to seat 3 people is a bad idea. This is especially the case if the room has limited space and a lot of people need to sit.
If you are going to an office, there is really no need to bring all your buddies and family members with you. Please consider other people exist (yes, this also goes along with the whole "the world does not revolve around you" thing) and don't take up every seat. Also, don't have you and your crew spread out leaving empty seats here and there, and then carry on conversations. Sit together if you can and don't make it awkward for the rest of us.
Wait Your Turn!
As I previously mentioned, although many people seem to think they are the only people on the planet now, there is actually millions and millions of us! When waiting in a lobby, it is good to keep in mind, "I should wait my turn." If you see someone got there before you, don't be sad when that person gets waiting on first. If someone gets there after you, yet goes back first, don't freak out. Who knows what the situation could be with that person?
Eventually, everyone gets their turn in life. Sometimes it takes a little longer than expected, but patience always helps. If you don't have much patience (like me), waiting around a while can sometimes help you with that matter. Read some magazines or while you wait. Clean out your purse or your wallet while you have this opportunity. Take some time to check some old text messages you've been neglecting. brochures
The wait is basically over for you right now. We are at the end of this hub and you are free to go on with your life. Of course, you are also free to read more hubs, too. It is time for you to get out there, be patient, and have the best waiting room etiquette in the whole office.
Copyright ©2014 Jeannieinabottle
More Hubs You Could Be Reading:
- Women's Public Restroom Etiquette 101
Public restrooms are bad enough even in the best circumstances. It is in your best interest to learn polite restroom manners. If you are a lady, you should read Women's Public Restroom Etiquette 101.
- Voicemail Etiquette 101
Next time, before leaving a voicemail message, please take the time to read Voicemail Etiquette 101. It will save everyone a lot of frustration if you simply learn some voicemail basics.
- Apartment Laundry Room Etiquette 101
Using a public laundry room to wash your clothes is punishment enough - you shouldn't have to worry about appearing rude, too. Check out Laundry Room Etiquette 101 to learn all your best laundry room manners.
More by this Author
Walmart is the best place to find great deals, but sometimes folks can be a little rude. With this handy guide, Walmart Shopping Etiquette 101, I hope to change all of that!
Have you ever been on the stairs, but felt you might get knocked over because of some rude person? You are not alone! I hope to change one reader at a time with some advice on proper stairs etiquette.
You may not know exactly what your relationship status on Facebook says to your friends. That is why I am here to help you decode the true meaning behind Facebook relationship status updates.