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To wonder what happened to "Excuse me?"

(22 Posts)
Fitzsimmons Sun 08-Oct-17 07:43:37

I needed to change DD yesterday after lunch in a department store cafe so I popped into the ladies. There was a row of cubicles on side, and a row of sinks opposite, about six. At one end there was a baby change table next to a handdryer, which was next to the last sink. At the other end by the door there was another handdryer.

It was quite narrow so in order to change DD I basically had to stand partly blocking access to the handdryer and one sink.

Lady in her 60s uses the loo then goes to wash her hands. There was only one other person in the toilets at this point, so plenty of sinks and the other handdryer available, but for some reason she opted for the sink I was stood next to, and started to try and push me. I ignored her because I thought she was being pretty rude, but then she shoved me to get to the handdryer, at which point I said to her "you could just say excuse me and I would have moved."

She seemed shocked that I challenged her and quickly left, but it did make me wonder what has happened to people saying "Excuse me?" I've noticed a lot recently that people prefer to try and barge pass instead, or hover behind huffing and puffing until I move out of their way, for example in supermarkets and shops etc when I'm looking at items.

It's not a case of a ruder younger generation either because in my experience it almost always involves older people! If I need to get pass someone I either wait politely or gently say "Excuse me, do you mind if I squeeze through", but it seems to be a dying art. Is it just me?

StealthPolarBear Sun 08-Oct-17 07:46:18

I don't barge past but I do find when I say excuse me I am completely ignored. I think I have one of those voices people tune out.

CaptainCallisto Sun 08-Oct-17 07:47:57

I generally find myself being ignored when I say excuse me. I end up saying it three or four times, with increasing volume, before people move. I'd still not barge past though!

Faithless12 Sun 08-Oct-17 07:48:53

YANBU. I have found the same. It really annoys me when people push past DS, yes he’s small but he’s a human and is learning from his iteractions in the world.

DeadGood Sun 08-Oct-17 08:00:09

Personally I prefer it if people are aware of there around them, so that I don't have to say "excuse me" at all.

I realise this is an extremely unpopular view, but it is the truth.

In this particular instance, I wouldn't have sought an "excuse me" from her, I would simply have said "use another sink please" or directed her to the other hand dryer. She was completely in the wrong, but not for her failure to use "excuse me" imo.

tiirred Sun 08-Oct-17 08:05:39


The world is full of selfish people twonks with no awareness of their surroundings or that other people are present.

My pet hate is people who leave prams or shopping trolleys fully blocking aisles while they browse at their leisure. It's annoying standing their behind your own pram/trolley saying excuse me until they come back to earth and shift it! Take your shit with you or at least move it right to one side!

StealthPolarBear Sun 08-Oct-17 08:08:20

Yes just like that tired.

sandgrown Sun 08-Oct-17 08:15:02

When people barge into me I say "oh excuse me!" Very loudly. If people let the door go in my face I say " thank you very much" I can't help myself . I hate rudeness.

MinervaSaidThar Sun 08-Oct-17 08:21:35

Yes, to all the above. There are also parents who use their prams like battering rams. Or families of 4 who walk next to eachother, leaving no room for others on pavement. Often a small child is on the outside so you have to swerve to avoid hitting them.

The world is full of entitled idiots.

MrTrebus Sun 08-Oct-17 08:25:03

@sandgrown me too! And if I hold a door for someone and they don't say thank you I say "no problem" really loudly. It embarrasses the hell out of them and most people say "er yes thank you" and look embarrassed.

wowfudge Sun 08-Oct-17 08:25:19

I agree OP. Possibly more annoying that not saying 'excuse me' is when someone says it as they push past you, giving you no opportunity to move at all.

dudsville Sun 08-Oct-17 08:26:21

I do a mean trick. I say excuse me but then I put a light hand on their shoulder briefly, like a gentle tap or pat, and I do it as I'm making my way to where I want to be. No one ignores that.

Jamboree05 Sun 08-Oct-17 08:33:22

This drives me potty, alongside people who don't say thank you when a door is opened for them or suchlike. I often find myself saying "excuse you" or "you're welcome" loudly after them. Manners cost absolutely nothing! It's really not hard!

AuditAngel Sun 08-Oct-17 08:35:58

I challenged a parent at the swimming pool for his rudeness last week. I had forgotten DD2's card do was signing her into her lesson at reception. A man walked up and started talking to the receptionist, despite her being in the middle of dealing with me. As he left, she apologised to me. I said it was fine, and pointed out that she wasn't the one who was rude.

The father, by this time at the opposite end of the counter, queried "Who was rude?" I pointed out that he was rude for interrupting. He claimed he didn't mean to be rude, but I pointed out that speaking to the receptionist whilst she was engaged with me was rude, he should have waited until I had finished.

And more than the lack of "excuse me" whatever happened to "excuse me PLEASE"?

ShirleyPhallus Sun 08-Oct-17 08:37:29

This drives me mad, because often someone will bark SORRY as they barge in to you instead of saying "excuse me please"

So annoying. You're not sorry at all.

dontpokethebear Sun 08-Oct-17 08:37:53

Yanbu. That was very rude and frankly, bizarre behaviour.

But then people in general annoy me grin

I'm always loudly saying "you're welcome" to people who don't say thank you or even acknowledge when I open a door/let someone pass etc.
The pavement down one side of the road on the school run is very narrow, just about a buggy width. I stepped into the road to let a lady (older) go past. Nothing! angry

Dontknowwhattodonowok Sun 08-Oct-17 08:38:27

YANBU. It’s my pet hate. It makes so angry when (I live in London) I’m on the bus and sat in a double seat on the side nearest the middle of the bus. If person nearest window wants to get up for their stop, they hardly ever say ‘excuse me’. They often just stand up and start pushing against me as if that’s enough communication for me to know they want to get up. I always, always ignore them, then say “oh, do you want me to move? Would have been nice for you to ASK ME”

OliviaStabler Sun 08-Oct-17 17:00:03

I dislike that too. Once, on a rainy day in London, I signalled a black cab. As he pulled over, this bloke tried to nab the cab from me (he saw me so none of this 'he didn't know). As he dashed over and opened the door, I arrived, got in and I said Thank You! In a loud voice. Very satisfying.

Tippexy Sun 08-Oct-17 17:03:07

What happened to “standing” and “sitting”?

Everyone uses stood or sat these days...

DeadGood Sun 08-Oct-17 20:48:32

"It makes so angry when (I live in London) I’m on the bus and sat in a double seat on the side nearest the middle of the bus. If person nearest window wants to get up for their stop, they hardly ever say ‘excuse me’."

I'm the opposite. When I am sitting in that seat, I much prefer the person in the window seat to use non-verbal communication. Those seats aren't roomy, so it's very obvious when the person right next to you starts to gather their things and then starts to stand up. By the time they are upright, so am I. No speaking required.

CommanderDaisy Sun 08-Oct-17 21:06:05

"Excuse me" as a common term of usage has gone the way of" Please", and "Thank you", bit like giving up seats for the old , the pregnant and anyone else who looks in need.
People are becoming beyond focused on themselves and anyone else who may thwart their objective is simply shit on their shoe.
No one has any self-awareness of how their actions affect others anymore, it's all about "me".
My two sons have had it drilled into them from a tiny age that manners will get you places, it is regularly commented on wherever they go - how lovely and polite they are and what fabulous manners they have. While I enjoy hearing the comments and seeing the multiple awards they bring home from school for politeness and being "good citizens" I am of the belief that it is very sad that they are the exception rather than the rule.

Wonderwoman98 Mon 09-Oct-17 08:29:56

I work in a very busy supermarket. It would seem that a lot of people seem to think that saying "sorry" whilst leaning over/across you to grab something or just barging you out of the way is an acceptable alternative to saying "excuse me please". Drives me mad!

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