Monday, December 22, 2008

Grocery Store Do’s & Don’ts
(Emily Post’s Etiquette, p. 31-32)
1. Follow express lane rules
2. New check-out lane, don’t dash to front
3. Return item to proper place
4. Bag your own stuff, if there is no bagger
5. Make your items accessible to cashier
6. Use Dividers
7. If you break an item let employee know
8. Treat your cashier respectfully
9. Take special care with large carts
10. Don’t block traffic in aisles
11. Don’t dash back for more items while in the checkout line.
12. Don’t push the items of other customers
13. Don’t put your $ on the conveyor belt
14. Don’t overuse cell phone in store
15. Don’t leave cart in parking space

Today’s Rudest Behaviors

Today’s Rudest Behaviors
(Emily Post’s Etiquette, p. 39)

1. Telling ethnic or rude jokes
2. Using 4-letter words in public
3. Loud cell phone conversations in public
4. Treating service industry people without respect
5. Allowing your children to run wild
6. Road Rage, aggressive, unsafe driving
7. Abusing coaches, referees, or other players
8. Fouling sidewalks with spit, dog poop or trash
9. Charging thoughtlessly through crowds
10. Butting into checkout lines or parking spaces
11. Lighting up in a room full of non-smokers
12. Not giving up your seat for a needy person

Walking Etiquette

Walking Etiquette
(Emily Post’s Etiquette, p. 21)

1. Be aware of others when pushing stroller, or pulling suitcase.
2. If you must, talk quietly on your cell
3. No sudden stopping, pull off to the side
4. No slow, meandering walking
5. Large groups should allow others to pass
6. Move to the side if you want to stop and chat
7. No Spitting!
8. No texting, pull off to the side.

Smart Shopping

Smart Shopping
(Emily Post’s Etiquette, p. 31)

1. At the cash register, get your money out before you are rung up. It keeps the line moving.
2. Keep children under control!
3. Keep cell phone use to a minimum.
4. Never talk on cell phone when you are paying for a purchase, it is disrespectful to the cashier.

Restroom Etiquette

Restroom Etiquette
(Emily Post’s Etiquette, p. 748)

1. Dispose of paper towels.
2. Wrap up and throw personal hygiene products in the trash
3. Wipe the washbasin clean of water, soap, etc
4. Don’t have conversations from a stall
5. In unisex bathroom, put the toilet seat down
6. Remove toilet seat protectors from seat when done.
7. Flush the toilet when done!

How to Say “No”

How to Say “No”
(Emily Post’s Etiquette, p. 287)

People often feel uncomfortable saying “no” to requests. One of the bedrock principles of good manners is honesty
1. Accompany a “no” with a positive comment
2. Don’t hem and haw, just say “no”
3. Don’t open the door for future requests unless you welcome them. “I can’t help now but call me in the future…

Women’s Fashion Misdemeanors

Women’s Fashion Misdemeanors
(Emily Post’s Etiquette, p. 59)

1. Clothing that is too tight, too short or too revealing for the occasion
2. Dandruff flakes on dark garments
3. Visible stocking seams on toes
4. Gaps in clothing that show underwear or private body parts
5. Too dressy shoes with casual outfit
6. Cocktail dresses during the day
7. Jingling, annoying jewelry
8. Torn Hems or linings that show

Family Etiquette

Family Etiquette
(Emily Post’s Etiquette, p. 109)

1. Don’t drop by without calling, ask for last minute babysitting, or for money
2. Don’t criticize or gossip about family members.
3. Don’t tell embarrassing personal stories
4. Don’t be late
5. Don’t expect free business advice or goods
6. Offer/accept help at family gatherings
7. Don’t display poor table manners, interrupt or dominate the conversation
8. Discipline your children
9. Don’t boast about your children
10. Don’t insist children be at adult activities

Men’s Fashion Misdemeanors

Men’s Fashion Misdemeanors
(Emily Post’s Etiquette, p. 55)

1. Poorly fitted clothes – too baggy/tight
2. Shoes in bad condition
3. Sandals with a suit
4. Socks worn with sandals
5. Socks that show when standing
6. Shins that show when sitting
7. Tie with a short-sleeved shirt
8. Too much jewelry
9. Dandruff flakes on garment
10. Underwear or buttocks showing

Annoying Behaviorq

Annoying Behaviors
(Emily Post’s Etiquette, p. 171)

1. Gum Chewing – confined to private times; no popping, smacking, chewing with mouth open. Dispose of gum in wrapper, no under a table
2. Playing Loud Music – Cars, Home, leaking earphones
3. Whispering, telling secrets, giggling behind hands
4. Spitting – Disgusting and unsanitary. In kids, may be a sign they are chewing tobacco
5. Smoking – don’t smoke in another’s car or home, smoke in designate areas

Behaving in Public

Behaving in Public
(Emily Post’s Etiquette, p. 25)

1. Keep your voice to a reasonable level
2. Talk quietly on your cell phone
3. Keep your language clean
4. Don’t comb hair or put on lipstick
5. Chew gum unobtrusively
6. No passionate embraces, kissing or worse
7. Careful with that cigarette
8. Throw your trash in a can
9. Stand back at ATMs

Dog Walking Etiquette

Dog Walking Etiquette
(Emily Post’s Etiquette, p. 22)

1. Leash should be no more than 6’
2. Pick up the poop
3. Ask before you let your dog greet another dog
4. Ask before you let your dog greet a child
5. Don’t assume everyone likes dogs

Airplane Etiquette

Airplane Etiquette
(Emily Post’s Etiquette, p. 782)

1. Aisle Seat – Keep elbows and feet in
2. It is okay to gently wake someone if you need to get out of your seat
3. Offer to switch seats for someone who needs to get out often
4. Keep work materials from overflowing onto your neighbor
5. Don’t read your neighbors notes, etc.
6. Keep noise to a minimum, i.e. conversations, Ipods, kids.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ornament Exchange Party

I went to an ornament exchange party at a neighbors house this evening. Everyone brings a wrapped ornament and as people leave the party they take an ornament home. As I was getting ready to leave with a friend of mine, I saw two women, both of whom I know, systematically going through all the ornaments that were in gift bags and making derogatory comments about the ornaments they did not like (which was all of them). I reprimanded them for their intolerable behavior but they continued to ransack the gifts. They even showed them to me as if they were going to convert me to their way of thinking. One of the hostesses tried to stop them but to no avail.

Nothing would stop them. Interestingly, one ended up taking her own, wrapped gift home and the other took a box that she had not opened.

I was stunned at the complete lack of decorum.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

8th Day-Thanks to the lady on the train...

for being a gracious recipient of my card. She was having a long but not to loud conversation on her cell phone. I nicely handed her back a card. She got off the phone right away. I felt badly. I turned back and told her it was an experiment. She didn't think she was speaking loudly. It wasn't that so much but it was long. One of the cell phone never-evers is to keep cell phone conversations on public transportation to a minimum.

There was a close call on the train ride home...but the guy ended his call as I was about to give him the card.

While I was not giving out cards, I offered to help a woman get her suitcase on the train, picked up coffee for my art history professor, said hello to all the traffic control workers, and gave money to two homeless people (I dropped my glove and one lady called me back to let me know I lost my glove) and one charity. I let the people off the train before me, allowed my babysitter to go home early, let a clerk in a shop know that I had broken an item and was friendly to everyone I encountered today.

Dealing with Rudeness (Etiquette, p. 35-37)

Five kinds of Rudeness:

1. Aggressive Rudeness - designed to punish you for something you've done. Tailgating if a driver feels you've cut them off.

2. Casual Rudeness - Yakking loudly on a cell phone, blocking the sidewalk to chat.

3. Rudeness in Disguise - "Love that new haircut. You look so much better than before!"

4. Unwitting Rudeness - Poor table manners, talking loudly because of hearing loss.

5. Bottom-of-the-Barrel Behavior - obscenities in public, blowing your nose in anything but tissue or hankie, spitting on the sidewalk.

Art of Responding:

1. Don't take it personally. Offender may have had a bad day. Give the benefit of the doubt.

2. Size up your annoyances. Let things go.

3. Take responsibilities for your own actions. Did I do something to provoke the treatment.

4. Mentally count to ten. "Is it really worth blowing my stack over it?"

5. Use Humor. When someone says, "You look terrible." You could respond, "How kind of you to say so!"

If you must respond, try to use a nice tone. Instead of "Shut up" How about "Many of us are trying to read, would you mind lowering your voice? Thanks."

If you are rude whether inadvertently or on purpose, apologize and an explanation can soothe hurt feelings.

7th Day

I am revamping the way I am doing this piece for several reasons. Out in the burbs I am not finding as nearly as many transgressions as I thought I would. People often do things out of ignorance. I watched while a woman at Kohl's threw garbage into the bag recycling container. I pulled it out and threw it away myself. I am finding that I do not have cards that fit transgressions. A woman in the school pick-up line taking up two spaces.

I have found once again, that my actions are very powerful. I was in Hobby Lobby when a man broke a lamp while carry a Christmas tree. He stood there looking lost. I went over and said, "Lets move all of these pieces to the side." He responded "OK, and then I walk away?" I said, "No, you need to let the store know that it is broken." He said, "OK." and went and got a store employee.

Because I don't always have cards that fit the breech, I am creating new cards that look like this:

I am creating new cards.

Just a Gentle Reminder...
Etiquette Cards

on one side and this quote on the other:

Why Etiquette Matters
(Emily Post’s Etiquette, p. 6)

Grounded as it is in timeless principles, etiquette enables us to face whatever the future may bring with strength of character and integrity. This ever-adaptive code of behavior also allow us to be flexible enough to respect those whose beliefs and traditions differ from our own. Civility and courtesy (in essence, the outward expressions of human decency) are the proverbial glue that holds society together—qualities that are more important than ever in today’s complex and changing world.

I can write the person's transgressions on the front side. I feel these cards are a little more positive and informative and allow for more flexibility.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

6th Day

Not a good day. Housebound again with a sick child...Did get a phone call from the pediatrician, to inform me that I will not be able to get the flu booster shot for my youngest child. Under age 9 they get 2 shots 4 weeks apart. Apparently they did not hold back doses for those needing the booster. She also suggested that had I come in earlier in the season, this wouldn't have happened. Normally I would have been critical of this, they gave away the shots with a disregard to the other patients and then put the spin that he probably didn't need it anyway. I normally "shoot the messenger" and anyone in the area when I am annoyed about things like this. But I politely asked the nurse, "Are you making a lot of these phone calls," she replied "yes." I told her I would not give her a hard time.

No cards on day #6.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

5th Day as the Etiquette Spokeswoman

I put on my gear yesterday and headed out into the world with my sick child. We stopped at the post office, where I offered to help a postal clerk find a new babysitter. Her babysitter quit with no notice (breech of etiquette - I would send her a card if I knew where she was!) and now she is jumping through hoops to get her kindergarten age child taken care of so she and her husband can get to work. I wasn't even tempted to give her the Family Etiquette card which states "Don't ask family for unreasonable babysitting services." She is in dire straits.

We headed from there to the grocery store, with my card showing 15 transgressions that can occur there. Nothing. Midwesterners are a gracious crowd! From there we headed my son's doctor appointment. We were left waiting in the examining room for 20 minutes. Normally I would have complained, "My time is valuable too!" "Why didn't you tell me you had a medical emergency, I would have understood!" But the nurse informed us at the start, that the doctor had an exam and we might want to read a book, (Code for: you'll be waiting awhile). When the doctor arrived she was very friendly, took time with us, so it turned out to be a nice experience. After that, we went to Blockbuster, where the clerk kindly showed us where Ben Ten and Scooby Doo were kept. No breeches here!

We went home.

Today's another day!

Monday, December 8, 2008

4th Day

I was housebound with a sick child all day. But I did dress the part even though I did not leave the house...Was able to correct the kids on a few points. My 13 year old nearly knocked me out of the way as I was on my way to the powder room...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

3rd Day

I went shopping, no opportunities. I went to yoga, without my cards. Two women from the previous spin class continued to chat 5 minutes into the yoga class. I was contemplating what to do when they stopped. I realized that, even without cards, I could nicely approach the women and say, "Perhaps you didn't realize that the yoga class started, would you mind finishing your chat outside the studio?" Live and learn.

I have realized that in all situations there is a nice, gentle way to handle breechers of etiquette!

Friday, December 5, 2008

2nd Day

I did not give out any cards on the ride into the city. I've noticed that people are better behaved on the way into the city in the mornings. I was able to give some Just Gentle Reminder cards to classmates, mostly for bad language. I also left a couple of cards in the ladies bathroom; one stall was left a disgusting mess.

As I was riding the train home, I noticed a woman with leaky earphones. I went over with a card, pointed out her transgression. She handed me back the card and continued to listen to loud music. Proper etiquette dictates that I leave the situation alone, which I did.

I went to the movies this evening. Everyone at the theater was on good behavior.

To the girl in Lagrange with the Loud Music...

Thanks for graciously accepting my first Just A Gentle Reminder Card. You are the first person to be part of a social experiment on the effect of good manners on society. I hope you have a great weekend!

As I ventured out in the guise of Ms. Manners, I actually started to become her. I put my cart back in the cart holder at Home Depot and Costco. I was friendly to all of the store employees. Their faces lit up when I said hello. I realized that I don't often say hello unless I am approached first...It was interesting.

Being all dooded up really makes a difference in how people treat you. You feel better and therefore act more confident and in my case friendlier and people respond to that. It makes me think that it would be an interesting piece to put yourself in the same situation over and over, dressed and acting differently and see how people respond...

Anyway, I gave out one card to a girl at a stop light blasting her music. I just handed it to her but realized I should have been polite..."May I give you my card?" This is not something I can be aggressive about. Anything I've read about good manners states that one should avoid confrontation when on can, take the higher road, so to speak. I will only give out the cards when someone is so in breech as to make others around them uncomfortable. I have found that being the person with impeccable (sans the giving out of etiquette cards) manners is very powerful in itself.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Etiquette Cards

If you've received one of these cards, you've been in breech of a rule of etiquette. This is a social experiment to see if good manners can make the world a happier and safer place. This is just one example of the cards that I will be handing out over the course of the next week. I will also be living my life in the realm of good manners (my only breech, hopefully, is the handing out of the cards!)

Just A

Cell Phone Never-Evers
(Emily Post’s Etiquette, p. 307)

1. Never talk too loudly in public
2. Never leave the ringer on in quiet places
3. Don’t chat if you are with someone
4. Keep calls to a minimum on public transportation or in public areas
5. Don’t use offensive language
(This can include I love yous and my kid is brilliant comments)

Bedrock Principles of Etiquette:

Respect-recognizing the value of other human beings and yourself

Honesty-behaving ethical but avoiding hurting others

Consideration-thoughtfulness and kindness; putting others at ease

Graciousness-handling situations with aplomb and flexibility

Deference-recognizing a person's experience and accomplishments, i.e. using respectful forms of address, standing when an older person enters a room, etc. (p. 3-4 of Emily Post's Etiquette)

All of the etiquette tips printed on these cards were taken from the 17th edition of Emily Post's Etiquette.

Misconceptions about etiquette and the need for it abound, which makes it necessary to list four things etiquette is not:

A set of rigid rules - it is a prescribed way of behaving to make others feel comfortable

Something for the wealthy or well-born
- it is a code of behavior for people from all walks of life. Everyone's life can be enhanced by good manners

A thing of the past - although things are more casual today, the bedrock principles still apply

Snobbishness - a.k.a. pretentiousness - a person who looks down on others shows himself not as superior but small-the kind of person who's anything but respectful and considerate. ( p. 5 of Etiquette)