Regarding your customer-service article (Todd Nuttman editorial, May 7, 2008), I agree but consider the problem much broader than you suggest.
I would say we are a much more ruder society overall thanks to our purported informational society with its “improved” communications technology!??
Hence, we have the computer-dialed phone calls, followed with recorded advisories to “please wait, all our agents (or representatives) are busy,” followed with a recorded “customer service is important to us”.
Oh, really?! Or there are the voice-operated systems that cannot understand your verbal “customer service”, but will then advise they will switch you to “customer service.” Hah!
Then there is the Puget Sound Energy’s “PSE.com”, to determine the disposal sites for old fluorescent lights/tubes.
After traveling their path of infinity without success, I have determined to toss the (???) things in the garbage.
For real jollies try their phone system.
Also, view the number of customers who are on cell phones while facing clerks, ticket agents, cashiers, or other business representatives, thus, delaying their processing which then delays service to other customers.
In short, civility today is in short supply in all areas and all sides of our American society.