I’m in an event and the guy behind me is burping. He’s done with the Nose-Picking, the Chewing Of The Mentos (while making chuck-chuck sounds that make me want to bop him one on the head). Now he’s onto the Burping. He’s doing it loud and lustily, regardless of the fact that he’s in a room with about fifty well-dressed people trying hard to listen to a speaker flown in just for this thing.

No, he’s not a little kid. He’s about sixty years old and either a CEO or a COO of some company or the other. And he’s clearly a boor. In the minds of all the people around him, including me, he’s automatically been classified as a pig in a suit.

This is why manners matter.

I go to events on and off – perhaps twice a week on average. These range from anything to student meetups – a couple of folk in T-shirts lounging around – to full-blown conferences and  CEO-exclusive events (a couple of people in expensive suits lounging around).

Surprisingly, the higher up you go, the worse manners you witness. They say the younger generation (that is us) are a bunch of idiots, but it looks like the older generation aren’t so hot either. Here’s some of the most disgusting stuff you see around:

1) Eating with your mouth open
Shut up. Just shut up. It’s gross. It’s disgusting. It doesn’t matter if you’re chairing a startup or the most profitable company in Sri Lanka. Do not eat with your mouth open.

2) Making a plate, fork and spoon sound like the beat to a heavy metal track
A plate is not a set of drums and should not be treated as such. If you can’t cut your meat with a fork, pick up the knife. If you can’t eat with a fork and spoon, don’t bother. Use your fingers. Nobody is going to look askance. This is Sri Lanka. Instead, they’re probably going to envy you under those layers of makeup. The fork and spoon are unwieldy instruments at best.

3) Burping, coughing, picking your nose 
Just because you run a profitable company doesn’t mean you’re any more likely to find diamonds in there. I’d advise you ditch the olfactory organ and try your luck in Ratnapura.

4) Not putting that horrible old Nokia on silent mode, then getting calls, then taking blooming ages to peer at the phone screen and the number, and then talking throughout the conference
Yes, we dig that you’re a busy man. Go be busy outside, please. If you have more pressing business elsewhere, by all means do go pursue it. Don’t make innocent bystanders have to go through that horrible beeping noise. Seriously, mind your manners. It’s disgusting.

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