I have watched posts from several of my fellow authors regarding people acting unprofessionally while out at different events. I also noticed issues over the weekend and feel that it is not just a writer thing but a society thing that needs to be addressed. We as a culture, simply as people, seem to have lost the ability to show common curtesy to those around us and act in a way that is respectful making it difficult to ever respond or react in a positive way.
Starting with my observations since they are more general than writing related, I was extremely frustrated on two levels this past weekend. The first was more personal. I, along with my boyfriend, took some friends with us down to San Diego to enjoy the weather, sights and on Sunday morning the bike ride around San Diego Bay as well. They were excited to go, talking about how they had never been to California and had never seen the Pacific Ocean however almost everywhere we went they did nothing but play games on their phones. From sitting in the vehicle, to being in the room and everywhere in between is was almost a complete waste of time for us to take them anywhere.
The only time they were otherwise occupied was when they were riding with us around the bay. This is where my second concern happened. When bike riding, especially with a large group of people, it is not only courteous but also in many cases more safe to use sayings and hand signals to let others know what is happening around them. The paths we rode on were narrow in many places making it difficult to be more than two wide but people constantly refused to announce their intentions to pass then would get an attitude if another rider pulled out ahead of them. It is well known that you announce "On your left" or "On your right" when passing to allow the rider ahead of you time to let you by. Do not get cranky if you are planning to pass me but do not tell me so I announce myself to the rider in front of me and pull out in your way. It is like the turn signal or the cycling world.
The same goes for those in the writing world. Use some common sense when talking with people at events. Writers should never cut off another writer, photographer, model or reader in order to say something to someone else but in the same respect none of those previously mentioned should interrupt the writer while in a discussion either. If I was at a signing and speaking with a reader but a photographer wanted to talk to me I would hope they would have the decency to wave for my attention and hand me a business card or leave it with someone helping at my table so that I could finish my conversation. I would in turn acknowledge them and then return to show the respect I had for the person who already was with me. I know this has been a ranting post but it is a topic that means a lot to me. I think a little class and professionalism can go a long way in all aspects of society.