Title & Date
- Email Urgency vs. Actual Emergency
No. 119, Apr 2016
When you turn on your computer, do you feel like you are taking a sip from a firehose of emails? Are you unable to actually do any "work" because you are attempting to reply to your email? If so, you are not alone. David Scarola, Vice President of...
- Do's & Don'ts of Gracious Dining
No. 118, Apr 2015
The candidate was ideal for the role. In the post-interview debrief of the lunch, the CEO's only con was that she did not "at least offer" to help with the bill. I asked if he (the interviewer) had invited her (the applicant) to lunch, and he was s...
- Moving Forward in March
No. 117, Mar 2015
Moving Forward in March A familiar lament from skilled professionals is: "Why isn't my boss promoting me?" As an employee, it would seem as if that is the logical career progression. You serve well in a specific capacity, and like grades in school...
- Polite & Polished Resolutions
No. 116, Jan 2015
Dear Mannersmithsonians, At book club earlier this month, we were chatting about New Year's resolutions. There were the typical pledges to eat healthier and exercise more. One participant scoffed saying that resolutions never work. I s...
- Mutual Selection Process
No. 115, Oct 2014
Dear Mannersmithsonians, There are times when events come full circle. After a recent MBA program on Professional Protocol, a young man stayed afterwards to ask a question. He wanted to know if he needed to shave his beard to secure ...
- Memorable Vacations
No. 114, Feb 2013
It is February, and parents from coast to coast know that school vacation is just around the corner. Families attempting to take a break, whether it is from the chilling cold or simply the usual routine, will book transit and trips to amusement park...
- Sickies Stay Home
No. 113, Jan 2013
For those of you traveling home from a remote tropical island (as well as those who live under a rock), you may be surprised to hear there is yet another flu epidemic sweeping the country. My beloved Boston is currently a hot spot. With emergency...
- Louder Than Words
No. 112, Aug 2012
A few weeks ago my Aunt Leona passed away. Her life is a testament to something I teach in my professional protocol seminars. Life is about actions. In both your personal and your professional lives, others make decisions about you based upon your ob...
- May, the Month of Moms & Mentors
No. 111, May 2012
May is upon us, and with Mother's Day quickly approaching, it is the perfect time to reflect on how our mothers - and other mentoring figures - have helped shape our lives. Oftentimes, mothers serve as our first true mentors. They teach us how to ma...
- Leap Day Allows for More Mannerly Ways
No. 110, Feb 2012
I am having such fun watching the PBS series Downton Abbey. While I do long for a more civilized age, I do not envision the quick return of corsets and calling-car...
- 12 New Year's Resolutions toward a Politer You
No. 109, Jan 2012
So here we are, at the end of January 2012. How are your resolutions going? Are you still working out? Have you lost weight? No longer smoking? Eating healthier? Experts agree that many New Year's resolutions are doomed for failure and have bee...
- Manners to Tame Mall Mayhem
No. 108, Dec 2011
This month's Mannersmith Monthly is penned by Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting's Marianne Cohen. If you are like me, the thought of holiday shopping any time after Thanksgiving makes me queasy; from finding a parking spot within...
- Professors' Pet Peeves
No. 107, Aug 2011
The fall semester has begun and I, along with thousands of students, professors and administrators across the country, have returned to campus. As syllabi are studied and college classes begin from coast to coast, college, university and graduate stu...
- The Top Ten Things Your Boss Will Never Tell You But Wished You Knew
No. 106, May 2011
It was around this time of year, almost 20 years ago, when I first learned that managers are human too. I was fresh out of college and all of my management theory coursework stated that the boss was hardworking and fair. The boss was ...
- Spring Socials
No. 105, Mar 2011
Spring Socials Crocuses are popping their purple buds up from underneath the last of the snow. Motorcycles are popping out of garages to be dusted, oiled and taken for a spin. Bridal shower, baby shower and sales party invitations are popping in...
- Polite Resolutions
No. 104, Jan 2011
Every New Year brings a bombardment of "New Year, New You" commercials, advertisements and deals. For a low, low price, you too can change your mind, body and spirit and have the life you've longed for. Whether or not you actually bel...
- Back to School, Moving Up
No. 103, Sep 2010
September means back to school for many families, but for those of you in the working world I have a quick quiz. Think fast, True or False: _____ Working hard and doing your job are the best ways to get ahead. In our Mannersmit...
- Dog Days of Summer
No. 102, Aug 2010
These truly are the dog days of summer for me. Not only is the weather wonderfully warm, but I am the proud parent of a new puppy! Life suddenly revolves around crate training and house breaking... and I am just thrilled. My new puppy has reminded m...
- Golden Recruiting Rules
No. 101, Jun 2010
They say you never forget your first time. My first job requisition posting as a brand new human resources representative was back in the days when newspapers ran the listing in the Help Wanted section. From a 3 day ad, I received over 25...
- Manners Marathon
No. 100, Apr 2010
Thousands of runners and their fans have descended upon Boston for this, the 114th running of the Boston Marathon. While I will not be donning my sneakers today in Hopkinton, I do find inspiration in the race. After all, no one wakes up one morning...
- Perfectly Polite While Working-out
No. 99, Jan 2010
This month's Mannersmith Monthly was written by our office fitness fanatic, Mannersmith Consultant, Marianne Cohen. January is here and the start of the year comes those well intentioned New Years Resolutions. As a self-proclaimed ...
- Tips on Tipping
No. 98, Dec 2009
The end of the year is your chance to show your appreciation to those people who make your life easier. Please keep in mind that tips are very subjective. Tips are dependent on your relationship with the individual and the norms for your area, as wel...
- Halloween Mayhem to Holiday Manners for Minors
No. 97, Oct 2009
As the holiday season approaches, Mannersmith's Marianne Cohen shares suggestions to prepare your children for the festivities. It is crazy how the calendar says October, and already the end-of-year holiday decorations are out. Chil...
- Epidemic Etiquette
No. 96, Oct 2009
From hardcopy headlines to top stories on internet news sites, we are inundated with swine flu warnings. H1N1 has infiltrated almost every aspect of our lives. Even with the vaccine hitting our healthcare providers' offices, the guidelines of who-sho...
- Shhhhh... Are You Listening?
No. 95, Aug 2009
Say what you will about reality shows, but I just watched one with a fabulous lesson. "Ruby" (The Style Network) is about a strong Southern woman losing lots of weight. When we first met Ruby, she was topping the scales at over 700 pounds. She is ...
- The Art of the Informational Interview
No. 94, Jul 2009
Last week I gave a seminar on networking. In this down economy I have been working with industry groups, chambers of commerce and alumni organizations to offer members resources for their job searches. After we had discussed resumes, prof...
- For Graduation give the gift of Confidence
No. 93, May 2009
Our guest columnist this month is Mannersmith's Winston Jenkins. One of the many benefits of having a life filled with family and friends is relishing in each ot...
- Your Selfless Act
No. 92, Apr 2009
There is a Friends episode I really love. This particular episode stands out because of the way it makes me think. It is entitled The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS. For those of you who were not Friends fanatics, during this epis...
- Tips for Singletons on Surviving this Day of Romance
No. 91, Feb 2009
This month's Mannersmith Monthly comes to us from Mannersmith Consultant Winston Jenkins. It never ceases to amaze me, the questions which I and many of my single friends face when approached by well meaning people who want to know ...
- Top Twelve Tips to Saving Time in 2009
No. 90, Jan 2009
The work smarter not harder philosophy brought to life... Happy New Year to all! 2009 is the start of our 13th year in business. To help us succeed for another year, during January we take the time to pause, reflect and refocus. ...
- Civility in Times of Economic Turmoil
No. 89, Nov 2008
The economic news lately has not been good. And if you are like most Americans, the effects of the economy have been hitting closer and closer to home. Within the past week, a handful of people I know well have been laid off from their jobs. We ha...
- Back-To-School Basics
No. 88, Aug 2008
As summer draws to an end, the school season is about to begin. Mannersmith's Marianne Cohen has prepared this month's Mannersmith Monthly. "It is the most wonderful time of the year," at least for parents - but not necessarily for...
- Choosing one's wedding attendants (reprint)
No. 87, May 2006
By request, Mannersmith is happy to re-post a series of wedding articles written in 2006.Congratulations on your engagement! The custom of bridesmaids and ushers is said to have originated as a way to confuse the ev...
- Wedding etiquette emergencies answered (reprint)
No. 86, May 2006
By request, Mannersmith is happy to re-post a series of wedding articles written in 2006.Size Does Matter Dear Ms. Smith,When my boyfriend asked me to marry him, he did not present a ring. He told me he want...
- Snicker proof your second wedding (reprint)
No. 85, May 2006
By request, Mannersmith is happy to re-post a series of wedding articles written in 2006. Historical Perspective ~ In order to understand some of the guidelines for a second marriage, it is important to understand ...
- Tasteful Toasts (reprint)
No. 84, May 2006
By request, Mannersmith is happy to re-post a series of wedding articles written in 2006. Picture this, a beautiful black tie affair being held in a 1920's historic landmark. The couple getting married was Jewish. The best man was not. The...
- Don't Ask, Don't Tell
No. 83, Jul 2008
A close friend recently asked me a loaded and very dangerous question. If you interact with other humans, at some point, you too have been the recipient in some shape or form of a precarious query. As they ask, time seems to slow and fast...
- Teacher's Gifts
No. 82, Jun 2008
June's Mannersmith Monthly was written by our very own Marianne Cohen. Marianne is in charge of the Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting Manners for Minors division, which launched in September 2007. As Manners for Minors finishes its kindergarten ye...
- Ready, Set, Graduate!
No. 81, May 2008
Earlier this week, I had great fun speaking with The Frugal Yankee radio show about applying for jobs. The host had posted a job opening on a website and had received outrageously crafted e-...
- Spring Fashion is Nothing to Sneeze At
No. 80, Apr 2008
Spring Fashion is Nothing to Sneeze At A fashionista I am not. I can barely tell the different between Tahari and Target. Yet a polished and professional appearance is important to me, as it is to most of my clients. This spring I have noticed ...
- Audience and Applause
No. 79, Mar 2008
I adore going to the theater. Flipping channels on a television set pales in comparison to the experience and electricity of a staged production. I have had the good fortune of attending three live performances this past month, and being out-on-the...
- Words of Wisdom for Playtime during Presidents' Week
No. 78, Feb 2008
This Mannersmith Monthly's guest columnist is our very own Marianne Cohen. Ms. Cohen is Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting's Vice President for our Manners for Minors Division. The kids are whining, the dog is barking, the cat is cli...
- Have We Met? A Guide to On-Line Introductions
No. 77, Feb 2008
Being that it is February, the commercials for the on-line dating sites have been in high rotation on both television and radio stations. We know in our modern, fast-paced society, on-line dating works. In addition to their own success rates which ...
- The Strategic Resolution
No. 76, Jan 2008
Happy 2008! The New Year is only a few days old. Have you made your New Year's resolution yet? Are you planning to lose weight? Quit smoking? Save more, spend less? What if I told you about a resolution that is faster than losing weight, easier ...
- Sweets & Treats
No. 75, Oct 2007
Mannersmith Consultant Winston Jenkins penned this Mannersmith Monthly in between putting the finishing touches on her costume and mapping out her trick-or-treating route. Fall is my favorite time of year. For the most part the hot...
- Wounding Words
No. 74, Sep 2007
Those of you who visit Mannersmith only in cyberspace may be surprised to learn that our office is located in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem is about 18 miles northeast of Boston. During October, Salem is in her full glory. Witches, warlocks, ghosts,...
- Visiting The Very Sick
No. 73, Jul 2007
This month, it is my great pleasure to welcome Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting's very own Winston Jenkins as our guest columnist. For more information about Winston, please visit
- Packed suitcase, Opened mind
No. 72, Jun 2007
This spring, I was fortunate to jet off to Jolly Ole' England. To say I was excited is an understatement. First, I lived in London 17 years ago and have not had the opportunity to be back since. Second, my husband and I had not traveled alone for ...
- The Top Ten Clues and Cues I will NOT be Returning to a Restaurant
No. 71, May 2007
I always look forward to trying out a new restaurant. I am never able to eat out as often as I would like (nightly might be fun!), so when the opportunity does present itself, I am a stickler. There are a few basic tenets I expect. The first is that...
- Culinary Conundrums
No. 70, Mar 2007
Years ago, when Mannersmith was in its infancy, I was invited to dinner by a woman who was very interested in my business. She chose a lovely restaurant and I eagerly anticipated the interaction. During our first course, she enthusiastically shared...
No. 69, Feb 2007
Dear Mannersmith Monthly Readers, Today I watched one of my favorite shows, Monk. It was the episode titled Mr. Monk and ...
- Real Resolutions
No. 68, Jan 2007
It is the New Year and people from coast to coast are pledging with great sincerity to make this year a better one. We will swear to resolutions such as: losing weight, exercising daily, eating better, saving more, and finally finishing projects we ...
- Don't Feed the Rumor Mill
No. 67, Dec 2006
'Tis the season for office holiday parties. Therefore, 'tis the season for professional faux pas. From getting drunk and saying nasty things about the boss, to getting drunk and making a pass at the boss, office holiday parties can be fraught with ...
- The Scary "M" Word
No. 66, Oct 2006
Here in Salem, Massachusetts we have had fun all October as we head towards this year's Halloween celebrations. So for this month's Mannersmith monthly I decided to take on the scary "M" word. Not magic, not mayhem, not murder… but marriage.
- The Basic Art of Quick Conversations
No. 65, Sep 2006
We have all had the conversation. We bump into someone. Someone we have not seen for a while. We ask "So, what's new?" "Nothing" they answer, "What's new with you?" The conversation is dead before it even got started. "See ya around..." we each...
- Movie Manners
No. 64, Aug 2006
Escape! All I could think of was trying to escape this insane heat! Here in New England we are enduring another round of record-breaking summer heat. I often speculate that since my ancestors hail from colder environs, my body just does ...
- Better Beach Behavior!
No. 63, Jun 2006
School is out and summer is here, which for many means trips to the beach. Yet, sometimes a trip to the beach is anything but relaxing. Here are the Mannersmith Top Ten Tips for enjoying your time in the sand. Err Towards Modesty ~ Do lea...
- The Karma Boomerang
No. 62, Apr 2006
I do believe in powerful, positive forces at work in the universe; small things that we do come back to us in the most unexpected ways. Recently, I had an amazing experience that showed me what a strong impact we can have the lives of others....
- Fraught With Peril
No. 61, Feb 2006
Those of you who have participated in my Power of Professional Protocol program have heard me use the phrase “fraught with peril.” Fraught with peril. How often do you say this phrase during the course of the day? Probably never, but I’m willi...
- Desktop Dining
No. 60, Jan 2006
Really, what is the big deal? We are all busy. Why not engage in a little desktop dining? Do a little work, surf the net, or catch up on personal e-mail; lunch at your desk can provide a little extra time to get things done. But is it in your best in...
- Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy ~ Holiday Cards Galore
No. 59, Dec 2005
The first two arrived after Thanksgiving. Nestled in with the catalogues were two promising looking envelopes. I could hardly wait! Setting aside the stack of junk mail, I made myself a cup of mint tea and sat down to read the early batch of holiday ...
- Rethinking the Regift
No. 58, Nov 2005
The air is growing colder and the days are growing shorter. Once again, the gift giving season is upon us. It is a time for us to give gifts to, and receive gifts from, our friends and family. A time for us to show we care. As I sat down t...
- Subtle Signals of Seating
No. 57, Oct 2005
It was a beautiful event. The guests were dressed in their newest and finest. The passed hors d'oeuvres were diverse and delicious. The energy in the room was festive. And then the hostess uttered the words that filled my heart with dread... "Please ...
- Asking for Help ~ Final Installment
No. 56, Sep 2005
Greetings from the new Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting office in Salem, Massachusetts! Some of you may have noticed the absence of Mannersmith Monthly last month. In July we moved from historic Old Town Marblehead (we will sincerely miss morn...
- Asking for Help ~ Part II
No. 55, Jul 2005
Truth be told, no one is perfect. We all have our own limitations, weaknesses and insecurities. Some are just easier for strangers to identify than others. Personally, I am a horrid singer and an even worse speller. Neither of these challenges is eas...
- Asking for Help ~ Part I
No. 54, May 2005
When I attend presentations, I go with the understanding that no matter what the topic may be, I can learn something from the speaker and the program. This mindset helps me to search for the positive. A few months ago I attended a presentation on hum...
- Apart from The Old Boys
No. 53, Mar 2005
Recently I received a very interesting question from a young woman. She works in the architecture field and spends a good deal of her time on construction sites. As you know, there is a distinctly masculine atmosphere on such sites. The men were cert...
- Searching Singles
No. 52, Feb 2005
A few weeks ago, I opened a beautifully wrapped box of Belgium chocolate truffles. Being a chocolate lover, I popped one in my mouth. It was not wonderful. It was not even mediocre. It was terrible. Chocolate has to be really horrid for me to snub it...
- The Party Season
No. 51, Dec 2004
January always heralds the beginning of the party season for me. The month begins with New Year's Eve and concludes with the Superbowl. Whether you prefer black-tie parties and champagne or family room get-togethers with pizza and beer, in January an...
- Traveling Home for the Holidays
No. 50, Nov 2004
Whoever said "getting there is half the fun" never traveled during the holiday season… especially in a post 9/11 world. Travel has become more tedious and more tenuous. While traveling over the past few months, I have had my toothbrush case opened an...
- First Impressions
No. 49, Nov 2004
I looked terrible. I knew I looked terrible and I could tell by the look in her eyes that she thought I looked terrible too. Yes, it took a while for me to become the center of her attention. Only after she finished doting on the J. Crew model man an...
- The Name Game
No. 48, Sep 2004
When my husband and I bought our first home in a suburban setting, we quickly met the little boys (ages 5 and 3) who lived across the street. Not fully understanding how literal young children can be, my husband graciously offered that the boys coul...
- Noble Obligation
No. 47, Jun 2004
When I began Mannersmith 8 1/2 years ago on a folding card table in a corner of my home, the phrase "noblesse oblige" was nowhere on my mind. I had first heard the term several years earlier while supporting a corporate foundation as part of my human...
- Step Into Spring
No. 46, Apr 2004
The sparrows are once again building their nests in the lava stone on the front of my home, my crocuses are starting to pop up their yellow heads, and the wind has a whisper of warmth. Spring has sprung. Many of us turn to two favorite springtime ac...
- If Only I Had More Time
No. 45, Feb 2004
Ah, the lament, "If only I had more time!" It does seem that in this day and age we try to schedule 26 hours of waking activity into our 16 hours of waking daytime. Our tasks, errands and assignments always seem to take a bit longer than we expected....
- Finally, Feet
No. 44, Feb 2004
With the foul winter weather having settled in to much of the northern United States, the question of appropriate etiquette when entering someone's home has arisen yet again. The major conundrum revolves around shoes. Do we wipe and wear? Do we remov...
- Invasion of the cell phones?
No. 43, Nov 2003
Back in 1981, a Coca-Cola bottle dropped from the window of a plane caused undue havoc for a tribe of African Bushmen. Those of you shouting "The Gods Must Be Crazy" are correct. The run-away hit was, among other things, the story of how pe...
- How to Master Your Bachelor's
No. 42, Sep 2003
I could not believe it. A 90-degree day in August, and there was one little orange leaf lightly resting on the windshield of my car. A little leaf, as if I could possibly miss the all the back-to-school circulars and the stores touting their academi...
No. 41, Jul 2003
I sit here on a hot summer day contemplating a letter I just received from my cousin. She is currently in the Peace Corps stationed in Turkmenistan. In the letter she describes the plight of young women who are bartered into marriage. After marriage,...
- My Father's Daughter
No. 40, Jun 2003
My family likes to joke that had we been born closer together, my mom and I could pass for twins. We have similar coloring and nearly identical facial structures. My mom and I are both first-born children, both type-A personalities and both entrepren...
- Customer Service Made Simple
No. 39, May 2003
Good help is hard to find. I stood there in utter amazement as the woman to whom I was trying to hand my money, answered a ringing phone and then, instead of putting the caller on hold, told me to wait until she finished the call. If the check had no...
- Tackling The Telephone ~ Using The Best Business Practices
No. 38, Mar 2003
Last month, while playing with my almost one-year old nephew, he picked up a plastic banana and held it to his ear. His three-year old cousin had a toy cell phone and was running around the coffee table while having an imaginary conversation with her...
- Dating - Do's and Don'ts
No. 37, Jan 2003
With Valentine's Day less than a month away, I have been fielding questions left and right about dating. While I do not have the magic formula for finding the love of your life, I do have ten tips to get you started. Be Open ~ if you are...
- Giving Thanks
No. 36, Dec 2002
In many ways, December is truly my month of thanks. In addition to the gift-giving holidays, December is the month of my anniversary, birthday and spouse's birthday. It is as if the Thanksgiving holiday helps to herald in the true season of gratitude...
- Great Gifts to Add To Your List
No. 35, Nov 2002
Yesterday afternoon, while shopping in an artsy boutique, I noticed a man watching me with a look of bemused curiosity. I had walked through the store once and now, on my second pass, the man approached me and asked, "Are you one of those professiona...
- Evolutionary Etiquette and the Cellular Telephone
No. 34, Oct 2002
I have a number of etiquette books written over the past century in my library. As you can imagine, an etiquette book from 1924 does not have a chapter on cell phone etiquette. While this will not surprise you, the ideals that formed the basis for a ...
- The Final Farewell
No. 33, Sep 2002
Today is September 11th. I have spent the morning watching the network television stations cover the one year anniversary of the attacks. I listened to NPR's live coverage of the services during my morning commute. Now, as I sit at my computer, I hav...
- Good Grooming (A Private Affair?)
No. 32, Aug 2002
"It's disgusting!" my husband declared. "It's like she has her bathroom spread out on her lap!" Apparently, there is a woman on the morning train who uses her commuting time to put on her face for the world. First there is the slathering of the...
- Mind Your Manners ~ A Quick Quiz
No. 31, Jul 2002
Lately, I have been inundated with Etiquette Emergency emails about boorish behavior for some of the most basic adult interactions. Please take a moment and answer these questions: Do you address everyone by his or her first name? D...
- Six Degrees of Separation
No. 30, Jun 2002
Earlier this month I attended an alumni-networking event. Part of the evening included an open microphone where people could introduce themselves. One very enterprising woman made the most of her 60 seconds. By the end of the evening she had found on...
- Slip Sliding Away ~ Dealing With the Frustrations of Modern Life
No. 29, May 2002
ARGH! Right now, my stress level is a 12 on a ten-point scale. It has just been one of those days. A piece of furniture I have waited five months for finally arrived, only to have one of the delivery guys drop it and break a glass pane as it was bein...
- Weddings 101
No. 28, Apr 2002
There is a hint of spring in the air, the daffodils are blooming and the mail brings tidings of impending nuptials. The wedding season is upon us! And the wedding season brings, of course, wedding questions. This month's article is a compilation of y...
- Business: Seven Simple Secrets of Success
No. 27, Mar 2002
A few years ago, I remember reading about a "forward thinking" office that allowed employees to bring their pets to work in the hopes that the animals would help to motivate their human counterparts. Today, most office environments have gone from car...
- Back to Basics - How to Meet and Greet 101
No. 26, Feb 2002
Ah, the art of small talk. Sometimes it seems like there are those who are born with the gift of gab. But the truth of the matter is that being a good conversationalist is actually a learned skill. Which means, that with a bit of coaching and practic...
- Too Much Versus Not Enough: The Art of Saying "No" and Other Useful Tips
No. 25, Jan 2002
"My Mother's Poodle Has The Hots For My Cousin's Hamster!!" This and other like-minded television talk show topics have spawned a trend for revealing private gossip in public forums. While the network executives revel in the entertainment value of ...
- Making the Most of Your Holiday Parties
No. 24, Dec 2001
'Tis the season to socialize. No matter what your faith, this time of year brings with it invitations for both personal and professional parties. With all of the end-of-year and holiday obligations, it is easy to forget that these get-togethers are a...
- Holiday Gift Giving - How to Get Started
No. 23, Nov 2001
Much to my credit card company's delight and to my accountant's chagrin, I adore gift giving. I view giving someone the perfect gift as a riddle to solve. It involves detective work, research and a bit of luck. This time of year is a thrill for me. I...
- Improving Our First Impressions
No. 22, Oct 2001
With the festivities of Halloween approaching, costumes have been appearing in storefronts. As I prepare for the trick or treaters to arrive at my door, my thoughts turn to the costumes we wear everyday. Whether we are opening our door to ghosts or s...
- A Bridge Over Troubled Waters ~ Recommendations for times of crisis
No. 21, Sep 2001
Watching television on Tuesday morning I felt a knot in my stomach that I had not felt since December 21st, 1988. That was the day the plane carrying Eric, Jason, Kate and scores of other people "disappeared" over the skies over Lockerbie Scotland. I...
- The Magic Words ~ Please and Thank You
No. 20, Aug 2001
Recently, while watching a group of toddlers, I was amazed at the courteousness they displayed. When asking for their sippy-cups, they lined up and asked the teacher "Milk please?" Ok, most of them said something along the lines of "Mmlk peas," but...
- Smug Marrieds Responsibility to The Singletons ~ The Modern Setup
No. 19, Jul 2001
For those of you who have not read or seen Bridget Jones's Diary, Bridget is a single woman living in London searching for the perfect weight, job and boyfriend. Many of her friends are already married and therefore feel everyone else should ...
- Kissing: A Social Greeting Migrating Into The Business Arena
No. 18, Jun 2001
Quite a few "etiquette emergency" questions regarding kissing in business situations have found their way to me as of late. While the protocol around shaking hands is clear, the issue of business kissing is much harder to define. After all, kissing i...
- Great Gifts for Graduation
No. 17, May 2001
After years and years of hard work, my very own little sister is about to graduate from medical school. This is a big event not only for her, but also for our whole family. Shopping for her graduation gift has not been easy. Like other gift giving...
- The Etiquette of Illness
No. 16, Apr 2001
(As some of you may remember, I was asked to speak at a fundraiser for breast cancer research. As part of my preparation for this talk, I asked for volunteers to answer a survey on being ill and/or being the primary caregiver for someone who was ill...
- Gracious Good-Byes - Careers in Transition
No. 15, Mar 2001
It is rare nowadays to hear about anyone retiring after working a whole career for just one company. Whether you are leaving because you found a better job, are stepping back from the workforce, opening your own company or were laid off from your cu...
- Proper Pet Protocol
No. 14, Feb 2001
When I was in college, my roommates thought Mike was my younger brother. They were shocked on visiting day to find out that Mike was a furry, four-legged member of my family. Mike was our dog. I spoke of Mike in such loving and anthropomorphic term...
- Sickies Stay Home!
No. 13, Jan 2001
Achoo! There is a wonderful commercial running on television right now that opens with a woman on a plane. A man sneezes his way down the aisle, and then proceeds to sit down right next to her. Have you seen it? The reason this commercial hits home w...
- Tips on Tipping
No. 12, Dec 2000
Rumor has it that the origin of the word "tips" is: To Insure Prompt Service. The end of the year is your chance to show your appreciation for those people who make your life easier. Please keep in mind that tips are very subjective. Tips are...
- Social Gift Giving Guidelines For the Holiday Season
No. 11, Nov 2000
Last night I watched a toy commercial on television. It was about 10:15 p.m. and I was amused that a toy commercial was on so late at night. Then it occurred to me -- the holiday shopping season is upon us. Of course, this is not news to those of ...
- Business Gift Giving Guidelines For the Holiday Season
No. 10, Oct 2000
Shhh, listen very carefully. I am going to share with you the secret to giving the perfect gift... Buy something the receiver would really like. I know, I know. This is fairly obvious (and easy) advice. The tricky part is finding out what th...
- Back to Basics - Telephone Tips and Techniques
No. 9, Sep 2000
"We got home to find the telephone ringing. It is a sound that both of us detest, and there is always a certain amount of maneuvering to see who can avoid answering it. We have an innate pessimism about telephone calls; they have a habit of comi...
- Apologies versus Excuses ~ The Art of Saying I'm Sorry
No. 8, Aug 2000
Recently, I was involved in a number of unsettling interactions. A common theme ran across all of them: each would have been quickly and easily avoided had a simple apology been offered, rather than the excuses and accusations that were uttered inst...
- The Gracious Guest
No. 7, Jul 2000
My neighbor just left, she had called a half hour ago seeking sanctuary from her own home. She had houseguests who had taken over her house and her life. You know the type. Somehow she had been transformed from host to cook, maid and tour guide. ...
- Meeting Management ~ Making the Most of Your Time Together
No. 6, Jun 2000
I have just returned from a disastrous two-hour meeting. You know the kind. The participants were all smart, well-intentioned individuals. We had a common goal, but we could not stay focused. There were side conversations, rehashing of old issues,...
- Manners and the New Mother
No. 5, May 2000
Pregnancy. Ah, there is something so alluring, almost magnetic, that makes complete strangers act as if they have known the expectant mother for years. Here are a few reminders when dealing with Pregnancy, Birth and New Parents: Pregnancy
- The Lost Art of Thank You Notes
No. 4, Apr 2000
In these days of instant communication, cell-phones and e-mail, it is a rare pleasure to receive a handwritten note in the mail. A thank you note tucked in with the bills, junk mail and business correspondence is a true treat. Part of the beauty of ...
- Avoiding Headaches ~ How to Handle Alcohol in Business Situations
No. 3, Mar 2000
What ever happened to the three-martini lunch? Whether it was the changes in the IRS business deductions, the health craze of the 80's or the recession of the early 90's, the three-martini lunch has virtually disappeared. Yet alcohol is still part ...
- How to Ask Anyone Out for Any Occasion
No. 2, Feb 2000
Whether it is a business lunch or a romantic dinner, increase your social savvy by knowing the guidelines of how to ask someone to join you for a meal. As you may have suspected, it is all in the asking. “Let's get together!” Few words can cre...
- Email Etiquette
No. 1, Jan 2000
Have you ever been spammed? Chances are you have, if you have email. Spamming is defined as receiving junk email from an unsolicited source. Messages you don't want, from people you don't know, clogging your mailbox and dragging down your system. Spa...