Tax The Rude, Not Me!
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Who says we're rude?

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Lately it seems you can’t get through a day without someone stressing you -- doctors are rude, the neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking, cellphone bullies are everywhere,  there are jerks at work or at the supermarket, or you're dealing with an HMO or cable company’s phone menu. Chances are you’re going to be treated rudely...

Check this out: 9 out of 10 of us (88%) feel that incivility is a serious problem and getting worse. And 9 out of 10 Americans think that incivility increases opportunities for violence (Bozell Worldwide/US News & World Report Civility in America Study)

More than 8 in 10 of us -- both with kids and without kids agree that bad parenting -- the failure to instill good behavior in kids -- is the major cause of bad manners (Bozell Worldwide/US News & World Report Civility in America Study)

Another current poll shows that 3 out of 4 Americans (78%) think rude and selfish behavior is worse at airports and highways (CNN/USA TODAY/Gallup Poll)

Sorry -- 3 out of 4 people say our manners are worse today than 20 or 30 years ago (ABCNEWS/World Tonight Poll May 1999)

Imagine, 85% of us feel that the world would be a better place if we just said “please” and “thank you” more often. (ABCNEWS/World Tonight Poll May 1999)

We’re all under a lot of stress and feel pushed to the edge:  one study shows that 9 out of 10 of us are highly stressed most of the time (Rose Medical Center, Denver CO)

A national "last-straw" survey of anger in the workplace shows that 42% of respondents said yelling and verbal abuse took place where they worked.  29% admitted that they themselves had yelled at co-workers.  (Integra Realty Resources Study on "Desk Rage")

Most of us all realize that anger is contagious.  The "desk rage" survey tells us that 34% of respondents had suffered insomnia because of a stress-filled or anger-charged workplace; 11% said they consumed excessive alcohol and 16% smoked too much for the same reasons.  (Integra Realty Resources Study on "Desk Rage")

Here’s more to ponder -- nearly 1 in 4 of all employees suffer chronic anger on the job. Workplace anger is on the upswing, because people feel betrayed by their employers (The Marlin Co. & Yale School of Management)

Had it to here with rude drivers? In one prominent study, 90% of drivers experienced an aggressive driving incident (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 1997 report)

Aggressive drivers (drivers who tailgate, exceed speed limits, run red lights, and switch lanes with no warning) contribute to the more than 6 million crashes in the U.S. each year (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Road rage is our #1 traffic problem (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

Federal officials have reported that two-thirds of the fatalities on the roads in the U.S. are attributable to aggressive driving.  (Automobile Club of New York Press Room, May 25, 1999)

A survey of drivers in New York shows that more than 90% support a law that would increase penalties for those convicted of road rage or criminal aggressive driving.  And 72% said drivers are more aggressive today than they were five years ago.  (Governor's Traffic Safety Committee by the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research at Albany and Fact Finders, Inc.)

Sticking it to your employees is rude!  In 1970, CEO paychecks were 41 times the average manufacturing worker's salary.  In 1997, CEO paychecks were 326 times average salaries (Minnesota Congressman Martin Olav Sabo has a web site concerning this wage disparity)

Can’t get anyone to help you? Lack of customer respect is the root of every common service complaint (Texas A & M University Center for Retailing Studies)

A recent research poll confirms that two out of three customers say that salespeople “don’t care much about me or my needs” (Yankelovich Partners Research)

Kids used to be told to “keep a lid on it.” But today, all around them, they’re more guided by letting it all hang out, so it's okay to be aggressive (Human development professor at Cornell University, James Garbarino)

Violence and American youth was the subject of a recent national survey that found 43% of high school and 37% of middle school boys believe it is OK to hit or threaten a person who makes them angry.  Nearly one in five (19%) of the girls agree.  (Josephson Institute of Ethics)

The same national survey found that 75% of all boys and over 60% of teenaged girls said they hit someone in the past 12 months because they were angry.  (Josephson Institute of Ethics)

Are students morally adrift? Almost 3 out of 4 (71%) said they cheated in the previous year;  35% of students surveyed had stolen something from a store. What's worse is that 68% had struck someone when angry, and 47% -- almost half -- could get a gun if they wanted to (Josephson Institute of Ethics)

What’s going on?  We’re rude and we’re mean: there’s road rage, air rage, cellphone rage, checkout rage, bike rage, sports rage, parking rage, rail rage, bank rage, roller rage, boat rage, desk rage, car alarm rage, and drivers who even honk at people on crutches.  And according to one expert, there’s also "funeral rage" – people actually flip the bird and cut off funeral processions (Psychologist Frank Farley)

It seems we may have what’s called "Hurry Sickness"; we’re impatient – and when someone slows us down, we get rude and angry (Meyer Freidman Institute in San Francisco which studies the relationship between stress and heart disease)

Sports stars publicly display so much anger and violence on and off the court – these are role models?  They beat each other, run each other down with cars... and how about spitting in a baseball umpire’s face, head-butting a basketball referee, choking a baseball coach, bat-throwing, ear biting, and worse

Attacks at sporting events for children are so prevalent, that the National Association of Sports Officials now offers assault insurance to members

Some think rudeness is contagious – when you see so much of it, you start behaving badly, too; in January 1997, President Clinton convened a National Commission on Civic Renewal after citing a "toxic atmosphere of cynicism" in this country

The number of consumer complaints about U.S. airline service is the highest number in 12 years (U.S. Dept. of Transportation)

Cellphone rudeness is the #1 complaint of diners (Zagat Restaurant Survey)

One psychologist says that cellphones are a way of minimizing the importance of the group…cell phone people are telling the rest of us that "You don’t matter and I’m very important." (Dr. Joseph Miller, New School for Social Research)

In a five-year workplace study, more than half surveyed said they were distracted by rude behavior at work and got less done while fuming about it...about one in four said they purposely quit doing their best work; twelve percent resigned (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill & St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia)

It’s estimated that 1 in 5 of the U.S. workforce (20% of 139.4 million people) have experienced bullies; and in 41% of the workplace  incidents, the trauma is so severe that it warrants a clinical diagnosis of depression (Drs. Gary and Ruth Namie, Campaign Against Workplace Bullying; Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster, PA)

Another study, "Workplace Incivility: The Target's Eye View," found that 78 percent said incivility on the job has worsened in the last 10 years; the study also found that men are seven times more likely to be rude or insensitive to underlings than to superiors and women are equally rude to both superiors and subordinates...the prevalence of anger was one of the findings -- 8 million to 10 million people say they are angry or very angry (The Marlin Co. & Yale School of Management)

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