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Oprah Asks - Are You Rude? - Show Recap

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Original Air Date:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Are You Rude - Viewers Top Complaints:

To open the show, Oprah played footage of people telling their biggest complaints of rude behavior they have witnessed. These complaints included:

  • Stealing parking spots
  • Sending out important news via group email
  • Not washing hands after using the restroom
  • Clipping nails in public
  • Throwing cigarettes on the ground
  • Talking loudly on a cell phone
  • Texting while driving
  • People who are always on their BlackBerry
  • Taking a cell phone call in church
  • Taking a cell phone call on a date

Oprah also mentioned her interview in O Magazine with Jerry Seinfeld where he said his biggest pet peeve was people's lack of civility. His 3 biggest complaints were people who cut others off on the road, cell phone abuse, and interrupting. Oprah listed her 3 biggest complaints as chewing gum with your mouth open, cell phone abuse, and being rude to service workers.

Audience members shared rude stories including Nancy whose gynecologist answered his cell phone while giving her an exam; she didn't go back. Stephanie, an airport worker, has had a cologne bottle thrown at her when she asked someone to throw it out.

Are You Rude? Take the Quiz:

Oprah shared a statistic that 80% of people believe that rudeness is a national problem, but 99% of people said they themselves were not rude. Do you think you're rude? Here is the quiz Oprah gave the audience and the % responses they gave:

  1. Are you chronically late? 27% YES & 73% NO
  2. Have you ever typed an email while talking on the phone? 70% YES & 30% NO
  3. Have you ever interrupted a face-to-face conversation to take a non-urgent cell phone call? 49% YES & 51% NO
  4. Have you ever gone through the super market express line with more than 10 items? 47% YES & 53% NO
  • Have you ever let your dog relieve themselves on your neighbor's lawn? 36% YES & 64% NO
  • Have you ever stolen a parking spot when someone else is obviously waiting for the spot? 12% YES & 88% NO
  • Have you ever gossiped? 97% YES & 3% NO
  • Have you ever taken food/drink from a work fridge that is not yours? 14% YES & 86% NO

    Oprah was inspired to do the show from the book Choosing Civility: 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct by Dr. P.M. Forni. Dr. Forni explained that stress, fatigue, and being in an anonymous environment are reasons why people act with rude behavior.

  • He recommended that people strive to treat others as an end in themselves and not a means to something else. Being rude to others also has an impact on your health; giving out negative energy brings negative energy back to you. Changing your behavior will make you calmer, healthier and happier, according to Dr. Forni.

    Are You Rude? Restaurant Manners:

    Footage was then shown of waiters giving tips on how to not be while dining in a restaurant. Tips given included: put your cell phone away when ordering; don't blame the waiter for bad food, simply ask for them to correct it; control your kids; be a generous tipper, waiters typically make about $3 and have to share tips with bussers, food runners and bartenders; always tip your server at a buffet.

    Kara turned her sister Jenny into Oprah because she is embarrassed to go out to dinner with her with her rude behavior. Jenny shared that she knows what she wants and expects to get it.

    Jenny claimed that she isn't mean with her behavior, but doesn't have a problem speaking up. She often finds something wrong and commonly asks for a manager.

    Steve Dublonica, author of Waiter Rant was a guest on the show to respond for waiters everywhere to Jenny and viewers who are difficult customers. Steve shared that many customers treat waiters as less than human or just someone that is there to serve them and doesn't deserve their respect. Very few waiters actually take our revenge on difficult customers, according to Steve. Steve shared that asking for a different table and being a poor tipper are rude.

    Steve added that restaurants operate with a very organized plan, especially on busy nights and asking for a different table throws the plan off. Being a poor tipper means that the waiter could bring home less than minimum wage after sharing tips with the rest of the staff. Oprah commented that the base pay for restaurant workers should be raised to protect them from that possibility.

    Steve shared with viewers that it is considered rude for the waiter to drop the check on the table, potentially interrupting the guest's evening.

    It is best to ask for the check; and be sure, according to Steve, to leave the money or credit card sticking out so the waiter knows you are ready for them to take it. It is also appropriate to leave shortly after paying the bill so that the waiter can re-seat the table, especially on a busy night.

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