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Would You Rather: Etiquette

According to the Oxford Dictionary it is “the customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group”. In Jamaica, etiquette is often referred to as simple “mannas an’ respek”. The correct etiquette varies based on the situation. For example, etiquette in the home might be more relaxed than etiquette at a formal function. Regardless, there are scenarios in which we all sometimes forget or question which form of etiquette is appropriate. The following are scenarios in which etiquette doesn’t appear as simple as what we were taught as youngsters:
·        The rules of your school are very strict about being respectful to all members of staff. You are on your way to assembly and you see the principal, who thinks highly of you as a ‘polite student’, and a group of five teachers in an intense discussion. They don’t notice that they are blocking the pathway. All other paths have puddles of water that will soak your suede shoes. 
Would you rather:
-          Interrupt them and risk the group thinking you are impolite (80%)
-          Walk in the puddles and soak your shoes (20%)
 
o   “They likely wouldn’t think I’m impolite if I interrupt them correctly, which I would do.” (Jada, 19)
o   “I’m pretty scared of teachers so I’d probably end up soaking my shoes or just turning back.” (Bianca, 16)
 
·        Your father took the family to his boss’ function. Your parents are extremely strict about being respectful to all adults at the function. You must speak only when spoken to. Your father’s boss borrowed your tablet on which he writes and plans to recite a short speech. In the middle of his speech you remember that you set a loud alarm that will go off in 1 minute with Alkaline’s “Golden Hold”.
Would you rather:
-          Interrupt his speech and disable the alarm (70%)
-          Let the alarm go off in the middle of the speech (30%)
 
o   “So I couldn’t really let such a dirty song play out in a formal function right? So I’d have to interrupt him, apologize repeatedly and hope my parents understand.” (Ashley, 17)
o   “Personally, my parents are actually very strict about that stuff and I’d never hear the end out it either way so might as well just let the alarm go off.” (Romaine, 16)
·        The pastor at your church approaches the table you are sitting at with your Bible study group and begins a passionate sermon, prophesying over the lives of each person at the table. You are not religious, nor are you spiritual; in fact you only go to church because your parents force you to. You find the pastor’s prophecies strange and unnerving. Prophecies usually leave you obsessively worrying over the chance of them coming true and you definitely don’t want to hear the one about your life. The pastor is going around the table and you are next in line for a prophecy. You can leave the table but it would likely be considered highly disrespectful.
Would you rather:
-          Leave the table before the pastor gets to you (30%)
-          Sit and listen to the unnerving prophecy (70%)
 
o   “I’d definitely just leave. I was forced to go to church, not to have the events of my life foretold. That’s not fair to me if I’m genuinely uncomfortable.” (Victoria, 16)
o   “The way I see it, you can’t disrespect the pastor as long as you’re in his church. Therefore I would stay but try not to listen to the prophecy.” (Andrew, 18)

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