I like the print above. It's by Anthony Burrill. He gets it.
Your mother did too. She was right: It costs you nothing to say please and thank you.
It never ceases to amaze me how rude people can be, even to customers, clients and suppliers.
You might be under immense pressure struggling to stay afloat and keep the banks off your back or be under immense emotional strain at home, but, seriously, it really doesn't matter.
Snapping never improves the situation and only ever reflects badly on you.
Even if you feel you've been unfairly treated - say you've lost a contract - it always pays to keep your cool, smile through gritted teeth and be amiable. Let the other person regret their behaviour and remember you for being understanding: not vice-versa.
Besides, everyone is a future customer, right?
We've heard it a million times: people buy people first. People form opinions based on the personal exchanges they have, not the products or multi-million branding and marketing schemes.
We all do it. We've all sworn we'll never buy from a certain company again after a frustrating call centre exchange or bad customer service experience in a shop?
And now instead of bitching to our friends in the pub, we dish the dirt to thousands using social media.
Why, oh why, then do so many businesses forget that manners and personal interaction really count? More than ever?
Even big businesses with their employee handbooks are missing the point - you don't need a handbook, you just need to ensure people are friendly, polite and helpful.
Give me that and I'm far more likely to buy, come back, tell people about you and want to work with you in the future.
Be nice, it works. Honestly. It's that easy.