British people are so very polite (except for the ones who aren’t). On the foggy isle, diplomacy and that certain stiff-upper-lip quality are requisite to demonstrate one’s good breeding.
But these traits don’t always mesh so well with today's social and work environments. Everyone used to know their damn place in society, and rules—and deference at all costs—dictated virtually all interactions. But things are all helter skelter in this fast-paced, brash, hierarchy-be-damned world of today!
The unhappy result? Peril everywhere—as this video illustrates, from receiving an email with a neutral sign-off (what offense caused so much anger?) to random run-ins with acquaintances (pretend not to see them and skulk away, so as not to incur an awkward interaction). There's even danger in eating sugary snacks (Mmmm, Java cake. But oh—the pain of remembering Britain’s colonization of Java!).
Granted, I too receive high marks in stressing over each of the dilemmas posed here (minus Java), so maybe it’s not so uniquely British after all. Or maybe I’m just especially well bred.