Episode 16: Angry Donors, Racist Card Games, and How to Eat Bread
Speaker 1: May.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashioned. E
Speaker 1: watch. How does he
Speaker 2: post and damn Post
Speaker 1: Actors, host and hostess?
Speaker 1: They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person. Really? Friendliness.
Speaker 1: You're listening, Thio. Awesome etiquette. And we are very proud to be part of the infinite guest network from American Public Media. I'm Lizzie Post, and I'm
Speaker 2: Dan Post sending from the Emily Post Institute. And this episode is part of the infinite Guest year end extravaganza. It is the perfect time to sample some of our other shows in the network. So I've got power again after a week. So I was this close to getting a hot shower. Came on very
Speaker 1: late. Came on Lee s. So what have you guys been doing? Just going toe Mom and Dad's house.
Speaker 2: Um, Yep. Yeah, for washing and and that stuff. But I'll tell you what else we've been doing some lighting candles and the power came on and all of a sudden, the house word toe life the refrigerator kicked on and you hear all these things snap Is the electron ICS Turn on? It was a little garish and unsettling. We found ourselves walking around, shutting off all the lights. Just, um, trying to enjoy and hang on to that that candle like glow for just a little bit longer. Grid in, like,
Speaker 1: two years, y'all are gonna have some babies, get through the convenience of like, having, you know, needing some electricity while the baby's air Really little, and then you're just gonna, like ditch it.
Speaker 2: We're calling it generator lighting, and it's a low light scheme with mostly candles and one old tungsten bulb. So cheese
Speaker 1: Well, that sounds better than my day. Yesterday I had the meanest cab driver I've ever had in my life when I was on my way to LaGuardia last night.
Speaker 2: Okay, Down in New York?
Speaker 1: Yes. So I was in New York. Um, the Web Siri's that I do called awkward moments is going to be picked up again, and so congratulations. Thank you very much. I'm very excited about It's a lot of fun. It's on you live dot com, and it's, um, and it's a little edgy. For those of you that might be our more conservative, traditional, traditional listeners, you know it. It definitely pushes the envelope.
Speaker 2: What are some of the themes?
Speaker 1: So some of the things we did last season were, um when a friend lies to you or you catch your friend in a white lie, How do you handle that situation? We did when your friend's husband is a jerk? How
Speaker 2: you deal with awkward moments?
Speaker 1: Basically, yes, there, there truly awkward moments. But yeah, it's it's it's a lot of fun, and I was really excited. So the way it worked out was they really wanted some kind of a holiday episodes. So we did kind of a rush trip down to New York. But last time I was in New York, I try. I got into four cabs who all refused me service for going to JFK, which I think they're not
Speaker 2: supposed to do.
Speaker 1: I don't know what the deal is. I don't know. I'm sure they have the right to kick anyone out of their cab that they want. But it was really frustrating because it was like I was pressed for time and I was trying to get to the airport. I
Speaker 2: just wanna go home.
Speaker 1: Exactly. So anyway, I got in and I said LaGuardia And the guy was like, all right, fine. And I was like, just thank you so much like, thank you so much, because the last time I was in New York, I had four people turned me down, and it really messed with me. And I'm, you know, I almost missed my flight. So I just said, thank you. Thank you so much.
Speaker 1: And he starts complaining to me about how it was so terrible for him to take me on as a fair, like, literally got a 20 minute lecture on why he was not gonna make any money. Which, by the way, when you work on a tip basis like that is not what you want to say to the person who is going to be checking that box of 20% 25% 30% that they have on those little screens that complete your transaction with the cab driver. But it just it rankled me. I was like, Okay, I and I just said to him, Well, you know, I'm I'm really sorry about that, but I just wanted, like, I'm just trying to express my gratitude to you. So we both kind of just shut up for the rest of the ride. You know, I make some phone calls and then we get there and I said, Well, thank you again so much. I really appreciate it. And he was just silent. Didn't even acknowledge my thank you like nothing. And I was just like you. No, sir. I am just trying to say thank you to you. It would be so nice if you could acknowledge my existence that, you know, like and I did. I had just tipped him to and he deserved the tippy drove me. But it's still like, Come on, I'm a person. I'm thinking
Speaker 2: about our last couple of episodes we've been talking about when you're you're scared that a please or thank you won't be received well, or when they start to sound insincere to you. And here you are facing a situation where you're really trying to express thanks to someone. Thank you for doing this for me. I appreciate
Speaker 1: it. And the
Speaker 2: inability to receive that Thanks or
Speaker 1: thio have it received. It wasn't received. My thank you was hanging out there like a like a freaking hanging Chad. It was like not counted on. I was like, Come on. I am a nice person. Well, what the heck?
Speaker 2: I'm gonna confirm you are a nice person. And thank you for getting up this morning and being here because
Speaker 1: I did not get home till very late. And I'll admit I'm a very after
Speaker 2: our trials and tribulations last week. It is nice to be back in the studio and back on schedule.
Speaker 1: I love that. So much is last week got nutty. Well, we're
Speaker 2: acknowledging in our in our incredible sound
Speaker 1: engineer Chris, who is on his deathbed but here
Speaker 2: struggling making it through.
Speaker 1: Anyway, We are very glad to be here with you,
Speaker 2: and we're glad you're here with
Speaker 1: us. And it's probably time to simply get to some questions. Sure, you're right. There's so much to learn how to do. Sure, there's a lot to learn, but it's worth it. And learning is easy. One way is by
Speaker 2: watching others on each and every episode of awesome etiquette. We take your questions on how to behave. So our first question is about fundraising. It begins. Hi, I am fundraising for a small nonprofit. They have a long time donor that is cross with them at the moment and has not sent his promised gift for this season yet. What is the most sincere and tactful way toe? Ask him to send the check soon. Thank you for your consideration. Putting the fun in fundraising.
Speaker 1: That's cute. This is one where, you know, on the one hand, because it's a donation, it's not like something your invoicing. For I my instinct is you can't do that like just. And not only that, but the guys mad at you like eso. So first, I just don't think you should just straight up ask. On the other hand, though, if there have been conversations about his donation and that's something that is indeed coming, you could call or write and say something like, You know, Hi, Jim. We're always so grateful for your generous donations, and we just wanted to check in and see if you were still willing to contribute this year. You know, like you're always saying, Get his by in, just say like, Is this something you're still willing to do? We had talked about it, you know, E. I don't think you need to allude to things being bad at the moment. Not necessarily
Speaker 2: your Maybe you might mention the pledge or the commitment for a certain give. You wanna be sure we didn't misplace or lose track of? I wouldn't do that.
Speaker 1: That's fake. That's like the person who, when they receive a gift, say, Oh, I left mine in the car or something like that. You need to keep it direct and you need to keep it simple. Um, the other option that you have, um this comes from TK TK is toe fix the problem? If he's crossed with the organization, there must be a reason. So if I worked at this place, I mean, I would probably do my best to talk with this person, alleviate the problem and then address the issue of the donation once the problem has been sufficiently settled.
Speaker 2: I think that's brilliant. The very direct approach beyond just where's the donation?
Speaker 1: What's the
Speaker 2: problem? Why is this relationship deteriorating? Try to address it and try to rebuild it. Um, we had a woman who used to do sales at the Emily Post Institute, who had worked in fundraising for many years before she worked with us, and she used to talk about relationships with donors and that it's really important to maintain good relations, not just about pulling the lever on the slot machine or invoicing people for an annual donation. But it's really about building and growing, sustaining relationships. And if this relationships deteriorated, I think that's the heart of the advices toe Look at ways to repair that relationship. Um, in some ways, it's a chance to shine. Everybody's gonna have good etiquette when everything's going great and
Speaker 1: it's a perfect season. Two isn't it?
Speaker 2: But when when things start to deteriorate a little bit when relationships are strained, that's oftentimes the opportunity toe to reinvest and really, really shine.
Speaker 1: So there you go T k. Take a minute thio. See if it's your place, or to talk to the person whose place it would be to speak with this donor before asking for his donation. But you can check up and just find out on the status of it. I don't think you can ask him directly for it. We hope that helps.
Speaker 1: Todd writes to us about Brazilian dining styles. Lizzie and Dan. While living and working in Brazil a few years ago, I noticed a new style of eating. Think of it like a reverse continental style while the fork is held in the right hand and the knife is in the left throughout the meal. Now, I don't even know if this style is correct in Brazilian culture. But since nearly everyone I saw eight like this, I adopted the style also to fit in.
Speaker 1: I ended up becoming quite adept at it, and I have continued to use it. Now that I'm back in the States. However, I have never heard anyone mention if it's acceptable or not, could you please weigh in love the show? Thanks in advance, Todd.
Speaker 2: Hi, Todd. Thanks. And thanks for the question. Uh, this
Speaker 1: is a fun
Speaker 2: one. I've I've definitely heard about this style of eating in Brazil before. I'm not an expert manners in central South America, but
Speaker 1: I have heard
Speaker 2: of this before. Um,
Speaker 1: and it's definitely going to
Speaker 2: stand out to some people because it's so common. Um, in the Western dining tradition toe, hold your knife in your right hand or your dominant hand, which is the dominant hand for so many people. And the continental style fork stays in the left knife stays in the right. The American style knife starts in the right, but you put it down for it comes to the this exact thing. But, um, the idea of holding the knife in the left hand is pretty familiar to anybody who's left handed
Speaker 1: when I was reading and I was like Wait, he's just eating like a lefty. Yes, and and we definitely
Speaker 2: say If you were truly are Lefty like our president, you sign your name with your left
Speaker 1: hand. If you're one of
Speaker 2: those ambidextrous lefties, I sometimes suggest people stick with knife in the right just cause it's going to stand out less to people around. You might answer less questions about it. And one thing I would say to our questionnaire here, Todd is be prepared to talk about your trip to Brazil. Be prepared to talk about
Speaker 1: I'm not a lefty. I just spent a lot of time in Brazil. Exactly.
Speaker 2: So for a cosmopolitan international man of mystery like you, who is going to continue to eat this way, um, just be prepared toe to answer some questions about it if it comes up. But if it's what's comfortable for you, if it's what gives you control, particularly of your knife. I say Continue Thio, eat that way.
Speaker 1: It's totally appropriate. Go right ahead. Things. Question comes from Shirley, and she's writing to us about, actually, like grammar school admissions process. Greetings, Lizzie and Dan. My husband and I have homeschooled our Children. This year. We're in the process of searching for an independent education for them. We're considering nine different independent schools as we're going through this stressful and competitive admissions process. Do you have any advice on email correspondence with admissions? Parent tours? Parent interviews? Also, when my husband cannot attend an interview, do toe work, preparing Children for student interviews, attire for parents and Children, how to accept a declination to a school? I had one bad experience where my son was approved for admission, and I took it the wrong way and have gotten slightly emotionally passionate regarding him with the admissions director via email. How can I tame my reaction? Thank you. Best regards. Shirley. That's quite quite a number of questions. Dan, do you want to start us off?
Speaker 2: Sure. Let's let's start to unpack this a little bit. Um, I'd like to start with the process. That's the interview process because there was a question here about interviewing and there are a couple of checklist items you can keep.
Speaker 1: It sounds like she's thinking of a few of them. I mean, that was a good list that she had. He
Speaker 2: was. And And the forethought here indicates to me that you're going to be successful in this process. And I wish you the best of luck. You've definitely got some work ahead of you getting through admissions to nine schools or the admissions process. Um, so my little my little short form checklist for preparing for an interview and this is gonna work great for parents or kids is first of all, to be on time 5 to 10 minutes early is best. You don't need to be a lot earlier than that, but you definitely don't wanna keep anybody waiting for an interview. We always say, dress one notch up so you don't want to step so far out of your comfort zone or outside the situation that you end up looking like you're wearing a costume. But just think about what you would usually do, what you would think would be appropriate and then try to notch it up. Be sure that obviously everything your where is going to be clean and neat and well presented. Take some pride in how you present yourself and other people are going to notice it. You can make lots of valid fashion choices, but take some care with how you present for an interview. Remember, this is a checklist. Remember to turn off your phone. There's probably no phone call that's so critical that it should take your attention away from what you're doing. Be prepared to answer some questions about yourself and ask some questions about the organization that you're visiting to a little bit of research ahead of time that shows some forethought. It shows some care. Uh, definitely be prepared. Toe smile. Look him in the eye, shake hands firmly and exchange names. Ah, confident and sure self introduction will really go a long way towards making a positive first impression.
Speaker 1: Probably something you wanna practice with your kid to if they're gonna be getting interviewed or interacting with this teacher.
Speaker 2: It's a great tip. Um, and the other thing I'd say is be prepared with any materials that you might need. So if that's transcripts, so be sure you have everything in hand or that you could get it to somebody easily have, ah, business card. If it's important to leave a business card, this is more for a job interview than admissions process. And then the final thing I would say is be prepared to thank everyone. You wanna thank him twice. You wanna thank him verbally on your way out the door with another handshake, and you want to follow up with a written thank you. And the hand written note I'm going to suggest is really important anytime anyone's taking the time to interview you, and this will start to transition our advice, how to handle the acceptance in the rejection. And that's that we always advise that you send a thank you, know whether or not you get the job, or whether or not you end up getting into the school. And it's important for for growing and building that relationship. You're thanking the person for taking the time to interview you, not for letting you in or getting you the job. So you're thanking them for their time, and I can't tell you the number of times I've personally heard about people that were wait listed at schools but were able to write follow up letters, talk about how important it was to them to get into the school, why it was their first choice. And it was It was that follow up communication where they really started to build a personal relationship with someone in the admissions department where they want an ally from on admin there, or somebody who was watching their particular case that ultimately end up getting the person into that school. And I know a couple of cases where that's true. So you definitely want to stay on that best behavior and think about what your follow up is gonna look like and be really intentional about it
Speaker 1: in regards to your husband not being able to attend due to work, Um, I don't know how each of these different schools is gonna handle that. Um, some schools might say that they need to see the parents dedication and commitment to the child and the child's education. Other schools, they're gonna say, your apparent you're working hard. It's great that you can co parent and one person be able to handle this while the other is still, you know, keeping the job afloat and and dedicating themselves to that. So I I can't advise you on that. Um, But when it comes to the the emotional side of this that you were asking about, I think that you
Speaker 1: always and I'm going to say it again that you always want to give your emotions time to process. But do not actually act upon your emotions while you're in that emotional state. Um, I know personally that I have, you know, read an email when I'm heated, and the next thing I know, I'm writing an email back and I've then gone back and read the email that was sent to me again and been like, Oh, wait. Actually, they did say what I needed them to say, or this was the interpretation of it.
Speaker 2: Maybe they didn't mean it quite like that.
Speaker 1: Exactly. So always, um, whenever you have a response to someone, go back and check what the What? You're responding to that way, you It's actually, um ah, communication that has point to it. Because otherwise you're just kind of senselessly putting stuff out. There s o and I think that probably would have helped you in the situation where you mis read the, um, the acceptance or or the consideration of your child and got emotional about it because it is an emotional thing. It's your kids, the education. I mean, that's huge. Um, I also just want to say that you always should read communications that have this level of importance out loud or have somebody else read them out loud to you. That way you can hear how someone else would interpret your words on the page. Um, you don't want to send anything when you're super keyed up. Instead, you know, wait a few hours way today. Re read that original email. Um, like I said, try to respond addressing the issues stated in the email and stick to the point, Um, and again, always just wait to send that email until you've had more eyes on it and had a chance to help you filter out your emotions from the fax Uh, that you're trying to either address or convey. I
Speaker 2: think that's really that's really sound advice. Um, by way of concluding, I would just remind yourself the game's not over, that you don't ever want to burn bridges? You don't wanna the succumb to that anger and and do something, obviously that you're gonna regret later on. I can tell that that you're passionate about this. You're passionate about your kids. It's important to convey that passion, but at the same time to convey it in a way, obviously, that's gonna gonna be to their best advantage. So I really wish you the best of luck and keep up that diligent good work. And I got my fingers crossed for you and your kids, and I'm sure it's gonna work out. Great.
Speaker 1: Good luck. Surely
Speaker 1: our next question
Speaker 2: relates to gift giving. Ali wants to know. My question relates to a relatively minor issue that my husband and I have with gift giving. Some members of my husband's side of the family never acknowledged any of the gifts we send for birthdays or other special occasions. We often have to follow up multiple times to check that a present has been received, and we also rarely find out whether the president was something they liked. We're not expecting a formal thank you card, but just a quick text or message on social media toe. Let us know that they've received the president also because we don't know whether they like a present we've given them. It's difficult to know what to get them next time. We have a good relationship with our relatives, and they're all polite people. Is there any way that we could raise this with, um,
Speaker 1: they're totally is. I like that. She gives them credit, but they are not being polite. Aren't sending thank you know it's there mentioning it. That's, like, not cool. I'm sorry someone sends you a gift. All right. Somehow let him know somehow that you've received it. He's text. Come on. Anyway, I like that allowance
Speaker 2: there for the text of the social media.
Speaker 1: I like it, but I'm also like, man, you deserve a thank you know. All right, I I do think it's a important to address this one. Um, you know, if your mom always does this instant cutest thing. Damn. But if you ask a bunch of seven year olds what you should do that unanimously say we'll stop sending gifts. I don't want to advise you to stop sending gifts. Um, but I do think that it's it's time to address the problem. You've hinted at it and they haven't picked up on what you're throwing down, so it's definitely OK. Um but what I would do is I would I would just call and say, you know, Hey, Cathy, it would be so great if once you guys receive gifts from us, you could just give a call or shoot a text, So let us know that the gifts arrived. Um, I would not include. And if you liked, um because I think that starts to get into this kind of like And if you liked, um, like, I I just feel like that could be so easily misinterpreted as like, I am so frustrated over here on this end. And I just, you know, it'd be really nice if I knew if you even liked these gifts
Speaker 2: than what anyone ever tell you If they didn't, you know, Thank you for the gift. It really wasn't what I was looking for, but nice try.
Speaker 1: Exactly. So what I would suggest that you dio is rather than just asking them or sorry. Rather than just buying gifts at random and hoping they'll be liked, call and ask this year before you buy a gift like it's, it's so much easier to get the buy in of the gift. You know, the acceptance enjoyment of the gift on the front end by knowing that the person really wants this item. Um, so that would be my suggestion. Just call and say that all you want is the recognition that the gifts arrived because you yourself have said You don't need to thank you know, you just need this. So if that's if that's the way you truly feel, that's totally okay. And you can say, you know, we just want to know that they've arrived so that, you know, we don't have to worry that they're lost in the in the holiday hubbub. We've
Speaker 2: been talking a lot about the storm. Pooch got a new phone. We came home the other day. It was buried in the Snow Bank. FedEx had left it, and then it snowed on top of it. And, as we were shoveling, are way out on Lee. If we had really shoveled off the whole deck, would we have found the phone
Speaker 1: presents? Do get
Speaker 2: lost. It does happen. It's not just a theoretical maybe situation,
Speaker 1: so definitely feel confident in saying something and then asking for their their holiday list their Christmas list ahead of time. Okay, Ali writes.
Speaker 1: My question relates to the correct way to eat bread with dinner. I remember being taught to take a smallish portion of butter with my butter knife and then place it on the side of my bread plate and then to tear off a small bite sized piece of bread and two butter each piece before eating it. I also remember being told to never cut bread with a knife. I've had a few people comment on the way I eat bread. So now I'm wondering, Is this method still considered the right way to eat bread or, um, I doing it all wrong?
Speaker 2: Well, we love to talk and give long answers, but this is a short one. Absolutely not. You're eating bread what is traditionally the correct way. You tear off a small bite size piece, butter that piece and put it in your mouth. Three old expression we break bread still applies, and you break bread with with friends. It's the It's a common expression for sharing food with someone else. It's a great way to remember that you don't cut bread with a knife at the table. There's another old expression, actually, new expression. The newest thing since sliced bread. Sliced bread is a relatively new invention. Um, in the long history of bread, the idea that you would ever cut bread with a knife is relatively new, so this is a very traditional etiquette. You break bread, particularly at the table, so take heart and be confident. You're definitely eating bread the correct way. Our next question starts with a smiley face. Good morning. First off, I love this podcast, and that's from someone who rarely listens to them. You two are part of one morning run every week, and it's fantastic to hear such good advice during that time of day before the world has taken over. In so many ways, my question is about the workplace. Given the nature of the question, I'd prefer to remain anonymous. Okay, we can do that. My manager was recently let go, for reasons of which I'm not fully aware. Since then, I have a new manager who I've known for years and was a manager of mine long ago. I'm learning quickly about ways in which my recent manager had burned bridges to other teams and departments before the exit. This is leaving my team with a kind of wreckage of internal relationships. Business, of course, continues. Do you have any advice for rebuilding bridges in the workplace after someone leaves with negativity in their wake? We're instilling a new sense of collaboration while hoping to avoid being painted with the same brush is our former manager. Some days the challenge feels insurmountable, but it's worth doing right and doing this well, thanks anonymous.
Speaker 1: That is a tough spot that Anonymous and his team have been put in. Um, I think continuing to express to these other departments how much you sincerely want to make working together a good experience for all
Speaker 1: and then actually doing the things that make it enjoyable to work together is the only solution. It's like it's the only way to go.
Speaker 2: Actions speak. So
Speaker 1: it's so wonderful to put out that intention. First of listen, we know there was a difficult relationship in the past, but we want you to know that we really want to move forward collaboratively and have a good experience with you all. But then, actually, in your emails have your tone be kind and caring. And I mean, obviously it doesn't have to be sugarcoated, but it does need to be, um, something that when someone reads it, they're going to feel good about reading it. You know what I mean? Or simple actions. When you come to the department toe, ask for something that you aren't just walking in and taking over, but that you're asking for the time to meet with them. That's sort of a thing that you're praising. The work that they dio, Um, I think,
Speaker 2: really making it explicit taking, taking a little bit of an extra step because the relationship has deteriorated. So it's not a subtle cue it's not. Ah,
Speaker 1: well, and what I love is that this is I like that while he feels, you know, obviously he's got to be frustrated that his his former manager has put him in this position.
Speaker 1: He's like, I love the fact that he's not focused on that annoying part of it. He's focused on how to rebuild. I mean, already anonymous is like got eight gold stars in my book. Um, but you know, also think of things like, um, what is it? What is it? The Anna calls it is the something sandwich, and it's not the compliment sandwich because she takes a step further.
Speaker 2: She goes to the praise concerns suggest the evolution of the compliments. So
Speaker 1: my version of that was like the compliment, the constructive criticism and then the positive reinforcement. And that would sound like, you know, you guys did a great job with X proposal. I want to take a closer look at these sections, but I'm really confident with the direction this is going, you know? So it's like you're you're addressing what you know you can. Still, even when you have to talk with them about something that might be difficult concerning their work, you can still do it in a way that shows you're being positive about it and that, you know, it's all going to turn out Okay in the end.
Speaker 1: That's the thing that people get so frustrated at work there, so scared that it won't turn out well that that they let that fear take over actually addressing the things they need to do to move the project forward and you
Speaker 2: pointed it out right in the body of the email. There's already a focus on making things better on moving forward, repairing relationships. I love the line business, of course, continues well written, nicely constructed
Speaker 1: anonymous. We hope that that helps, um, and that that you're able to move forward. But it actually kind of does sound like he has a good handle on the situation, is doing the right things.
Speaker 2: It really does. Just keep modeling that great behavior and you're gonna be in great shape.
Speaker 1: I love this question from Xander in San Francisco because it's, um it's It's one of those that's so very, very easy to address. And yet it's something that you don't want to see. Let go.
Speaker 1: I have an issue. I come up against a lot. I'm young, professional, I believe. At 31 I can still be considered young. You can and I look younger. 00 it gets even better for Sander. I'm doing okay. Although raised in a fairly informal environment, I was taught that I refer to individuals older than myself and people I don't know by Mr and Mrs even parents of friends of mine growing up were always Mr Smith and Miss Smith and not Mrs as a political statement Important to my mother. I currently work in a position where I email people. I don't know quite a bit. And I have maintained this formality in these emails, on phone calls and in my professional interactions with others waiting to be told. Oh, you can call me so and so am I being too formal. Part of this is that I do look young and calling people by titles makes me feel younger, which might not be the greatest position to be in professionally. So when should I use Mr and Mrs Thank you? I really love your podcasts and, er in San Francisco.
Speaker 2: Thank you, Xander. We really love your question. Addressing people appropriately is so important to good etiquette. And you are doing Is this exactly right? Um, I don't want you to feel like the perception of you as young means that you shouldn't do the correct thing. And you're absolutely doing the correct thing, particular with people you don't know and people that are older than you. You've identified all of the important points here. Um, you're using the Mr and a Mrs which is super appropriate, and and I'm sure your mother would be would be proud.
Speaker 1: Is he? Using them is appropriately, because if he doesn't know what the person prefers, Mrs Good, because you just don't know. Yes, but someone like my mother would not love being called Miss when she is a missus. Well, that's where
Speaker 2: you want to start to follow the other person's cues. But the default is definitely miss, and particularly in business situations, you're initiating a relationship in person. You definitely wait for the explicit que o You can call me so and so when you're participating in an email exchange that Q might come slightly more subtly, You can look at how someone signs when they reply.
Speaker 1: You can always go by that,
Speaker 2: and once the email chain starts to bounce back and forth, you can follow the other person's Q or lead. And definitely, if they start to drop those more formal titles, you can follow that lead and drop those titles as well. If there's a question in your mind, stick with them. You can always dial back the formality. It's hard to ramp it up again once you've dropped it and once you've given that offensive could be hard to put the genie back in the bottle. So I think you're in really safe territory here. I think you're doing the really smart thing. Um, definitely keep an eye open for how those email exchanges developed to start to pick up where the Q is that you can drop that title.
Speaker 1: Because the other thing is, I've noticed some reporters, for instance, who will never drop calling me Mrs Post when I've signed about 80 million times between our exchanges. Lizzie Bond. I prefer to be called Lizzie. Um, so it's one of those things where I'm just like e almost have to explicitly say Please call me Lizzie and a little bit like
Speaker 2: business casual attire among peers. It's quite common to not use those titles, and in the same way, you
Speaker 1: don't always know when you're emailing someone exactly
Speaker 2: so new client. I wear a suit through the door coming into Emily Post Institute every day. I don't wear a suit.
Speaker 1: Definitely keep an
Speaker 2: eye on that because you don't want to introduce distance that's artificial, but but definitely particularly you initiate these relationships in these exchanges. You're in you're in really safe territories and er so please keep it
Speaker 1: up. This question is actually a pretty tricky one, so I'm really glad that our listener wrote in about it. Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I hope this note finds you both. Well, I like it when it's a note, not email e like that. I'm a big fan of the podcast of my sister in law had an etiquette conundrum recently, and I thought you two might be able to help. She and my brother just moved to a new city, and they invited a relatively new group of friends over to their house for a poker night. During the night, someone mentioned a style of play called Indian Poker, where you place a card on your forehead. Obviously, this is a racist name for the game, and my sister in law was offended. She is of Native American heritage, but it is. It is, of course, offensive. Regardless, she doesn't want to be rude or alienate these new friends, but is not comfortable with people using this term. How should she respond if this game comes up again at their next poker night? Thanks for considering my question best. Katie.
Speaker 1: Hi,
Speaker 2: Katie. Thanks for sending in this question. It gives us a chance to talk about something that, um is a little difficult, which is that sometimes it's important to do something that's really outside of everyone's comfort zone. And so so much of good etiquette is about putting other people at ease. Um, and it can be really difficult to know when the right time is to say something that might make someone feel uncomfortable or not. Make them feel at ease
Speaker 1: or when you're uncomfortable. And you need to express that to people because it's of kind of a high grade of uncomfortable.
Speaker 2: And I I I love that language. High grade of uncomfortable is exactly
Speaker 1: the next point. That's pretty awkward. No, no, it's true because
Speaker 2: it's this is this is not a superficial issue. This is something that's really important and can can really affect a relationship in a deep way. What
Speaker 1: do you think that Katie's sister in law could do? Because this is a new group of friends that they're entertaining with? I mean, this is like they're trying to build a new life together, and this is a pretty big offenses that she's feeling
Speaker 2: sure. Um, like any difficult conversation or difficult topic, Um, if I could address it in private, if I could address it ahead of time, when it's not right at the moment of the offensive, So you're gonna catch someone off guard, potentially embarrass them in that moment? Um, if you could catch them before the next game night and talked to say, You know, I had so much fun last time. There was one thing I wanted to mention is it made me really uncomfortable. You give that person a chance to address the issue and correct it without necessarily embarrassing them in front of other people. In this case, it's a couple of couples, so even that discussion might be a little difficult. I think you're you're really honest. You acknowledge the other person's good intentions. You say, You know, I had such a good time. It's really important to me that I'm enjoying our friendship. I'm enjoying our game night and there was one thing that has been sticking with me since then. I really love to address it. When we played this game and you called it this, I was really uncomfortable with that and you use the when you I feel statement When you said this, I felt this way and it it takes responsibility for your reaction. It doesn't tell them how they should fix it, but it lets them know that there's a problem.
Speaker 1: I think she could probably suggest how to fix it in the future. Like because I bet it's a fun game. So what if you could say something like, you know, I would just love it in the future if we if we called this game just something else. Whatever it iss e
Speaker 2: mean to be part of the solution, have another name. But I do think you want to address it, address it head on. I like the way you talked about this being, ah, high grade, of of discomfort. And there are certain discomforts that are really important. And, um,
Speaker 1: you just gotta remember it's all in how you say it. And what I love is Dan's advice to be gentle, express what a great time you are having with these people that you want to keep building this relationship. And I think as long as you come at it with that gentle tone and that forgiving nature
Speaker 1: you're going to do just fine. And I bet you're gonna have plenty more fun poker nights
Speaker 2: to come. We've all made mistakes like this. Um, really good luck confronting this difficult issue. And I'm sure you're gonna do great.
Speaker 2: Hi, guys and gals love the podcast, especially because you're in Vermont, where my family is. And every time I hear you guys, I think of Church
Speaker 1: Street, Church Street. We love Church Street, too. If you haven't been to Burlington, you need to come and visit our church street marketplace. The
Speaker 2: holiday on Church Street really is
Speaker 1: unreal. There's Christmas lights everywhere. It's so beautiful. They play music through loudspeakers. It zbig
Speaker 2: colorful tree on the end of the street.
Speaker 1: Narnia out there right now. Okay, wait. Sorry. Back to the question. All right. Anyway, here's my question. I've been
Speaker 2: invited to a Christmas meal with my girlfriend's family. My girlfriend is let me know that her mother was eager to secure my R S V p ahead of time so that she would be able to select a gift for me. Also for context, it's worth noting that her mother is not 100% supportive of her daughter being gay and that I am the first woman she has brought to any kind of family function. So I'm very aware of what a big deal this is, but it presents a bit of a dilemma for me. I was not raised celebrating Christmas, and I'm not sure how to reciprocate a gift in this context, I had budgeted for a simple hostess gift. Especially important, since I'm getting my girlfriend a rather large gift. But now I feel like I might need to do something more for her mother. Is this the case? And if so, does that mean I need to buy gifts for other family I know will be present as well? Her father, sister, etcetera. It's very important to me to make a good impression, especially since her mother is not predisposed to approve of me.
Speaker 1: Wow, that's such a good question. Um, first, I just want to say that I would take it as a really good sign that the mother is trying to make sure you're included in this family holiday. Like not only have you been invited, but they're concerned about securing your RSVPs so that they can get you. The mother can buy you a gift. That is inclusion, my friend. That is someone even if they are maybe uncomfortable or like you said not 100% supportive. They are definitely doing ah, lot of the proper hosting things to make you feel welcome and a part of this and I would take that as a very good sign.
Speaker 1: Um, you know, we we always say this, and I love how we get to say it in regards to so many different scenarios. But gifts are and always will be on lee what you can afford. So while your hostess gift can still be simple, I would also try to make it really thoughtful. Um, and that's where you'll show that you care and that you wanna make a good impression. Um, you don't need thio, spend more or or buy more, you know, like individual gifts for every single person. Especially because this is the first holiday.
Speaker 1: And I think it's, um I would think of things like, um,
Speaker 1: asking your girlfriend what her family's favorite things are. Um, think wines, beers, chocolates. Uhm you know, cake from their favorite bakery, but something that they all really enjoy and can share. Um, I think those those are the kinds of gifts on your first time with a family that I think make a welcome impression without being, um to intimate. Like you. You have. I'm guessing you haven't met many of these family members yet or that it might have just been a really casual meeting. Eso you don't really have that report with them to know. Oh, they love this thing. You know, it can almost be a little awkward to do a gift exchange that's really personal when you're unsure of the relationship yet and so not your relationship with your girlfriend, but the relationship with the family. So I say, Do do a consumable something that the whole family could share, but be thoughtful with it by doing something that they really truly love. After that, I would also make sure that you send a really heartfelt note to her mother thanking her for the holiday in the future. Once you've gotten to know the family better, you could do gifts for individual people.
Speaker 1: Um, you know, But never underestimate what? That consumable, you know, wonderful gift that gets shared. Will Dio.
Speaker 2: I really like the idea of thinking about that collective gift for the family. I wanna sort of piggyback on the idea that it's the thought that counts. It doesn't need to be expensive if if you're really feeling inspired by this mother's effort to include you and because she's sent thes signals ahead of time about wanting to have a gift for you. If you did want to get little individual gifts for people, it wouldn't be inappropriate. And
Speaker 1: no, no, it would not be inappropriate. Sorry I didn't make it just mean it to sound that way
Speaker 2: and well,
Speaker 1: made me think of
Speaker 2: it was to your thought that it's that it's not. It doesn't need to be expensive. You could find a little something for each of those people if you wanted to.
Speaker 1: Could you? Maybe they celebrate Christmas and ornament for each of them. A little
Speaker 2: remembrance from that first Christmas that you all spent together might end up being something that down the line people really appreciate and and if you're really, um, again feeling inspired based on the effort that this family is making to include you to participate, I also really like that advice about talk, talk. Teoh, talk to your girlfriend.
Speaker 1: Talk to
Speaker 2: her. Talk to her. Talk to her. Ask her what she thinks the mother would appreciate. And
Speaker 1: she knows her mother. Well, yeah.
Speaker 2: So help Ask her. Help interpreting those cues. And you're gonna be You're gonna You're gonna do fine
Speaker 1: and have a wonderful holiday.
Speaker 2: Be holidays.
Speaker 2: You hear that? She says you're not as ruedas you used to be.
Speaker 2: Mhm. What do you know?
Speaker 1: Thank you so much to everyone for sending in your questions. It's the heart of our show. And so we're very grateful to you for writing into us and trusting us with your deepest etiquette enquiries. Ah, you can submit your questions to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can also send them in via Facebook and Twitter. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette so that we know you wanted on this show. And do note that if you do not use the hashtag awesome etiquette, your question will not wind up on the show. So please add it in. It's really important. It's kind of our way of knowing that we have your permission to put it into the podcast.
Speaker 1: So today's etiquette
Speaker 2: history segment is going to take a little bit of a personal turn here of the holidays where we're thinking a lot about family. I thought I would take the opportunity to introduce everyone to Emily Post's father, Bruce Price. Emily Post was born Emily Price, and there is no question that she was a daddy's girl. We'll talk about Emily's mother, Josephine, at some other point, some some future podcast. But today I really want to focus on the architect Bruce Price. Um, there's no question that if Emily had been a man, she would have been an architect like her father. They were incredibly close. They spent a lot of time together, and his influence on her cannot be overstated. They were. They really were like peas in a pod in many ways. So
Speaker 1: let's talk a little
Speaker 2: bit about Bruce Price. His first really significant project was Tuxedo Park. We talked about Tuxedo Park on a previous program. It was the first of a kind at the time that it was developed. It was a community development outside New York City
Speaker 2: and eventually became known as the birthplace of the tuxedo. Um, but the wealthy industrialist that had country homes at Tuxedo Park in many ways were were part of what was known as best society in New York at the time, and Emily grew up in a cottage, a tuxedo, and definitely that was where she got a lot of her exposure to New York society that later on equipped her to write her first book of etiquette. Bruce Price also designed the American Surety Building. It's on the corner of Wall Street and Pine in Lower Manhattan. At the time that it went up, it was a model for the type of steel framing and curtain wall construction that paved the way for the modern skyscraper. It was really a remarkable building, and it still sits on the corner of Wall Street and Pine to this day, with its original facade, they've stacked many more stories on it since it was initially put up. Another can't Miss Signature project of Bruce Price was the Chateau Frontenac. It dominates the skyline of the city of Quebec. To this day, it was, uh, part of a series of railroad hotels that were commissioned. This was the PS Stella resistance. It was the big one, Um, and it looks like a French chateau. It looks like a castle on it sits on a hill above the city of Quebec. For anybody that's been to that city, it really is a defining feature. So from Tuxedo Park to new skyscrapers like the American Surety Building Toe the Cottages and Kenny Bunk or the Chateau Frontenac, Bruce Price was was an architect of of some renown, and he worked on some really significant projects. He didn't have a signature style. He wasn't a Geary or a right. You couldn't point to his use of modern line or material. There was no defining style for Bruce Prices architecture, but I like to think that I've discovered it. And I think that in what I perceived to be his signature style, you start to see the emergence of Emily Post, and that's that He had an incredible sense of right use and proportion. Whatever building he was building was appropriate to its use and to its location.
Speaker 1: That's so Emily really was, and and I said if
Speaker 2: she was a man, she would have been an architect. That wasn't a career path. That was obvious at the time factor was unusual that Emily was a career woman who wrote to support herself and her Children. She definitely applied her intellectual heritage to her area of agency, the social sphere I like to think of. Emily is a social architect. She applied her the intellectual heritage of her father, the sense of right use and proportion of the logical fit of things to her understanding of human relationships. So
Speaker 2: I'd like to introduce you to Emily's father, Bruce Price, and I'd like to introduce you to Emily Post, his daughter, the social architect, Um, and definitely check out Emily's book, The Personality of a House, which was one of her favorites and dealt with interior design. It was her return toe. Uh, it was her favorite nonfiction book outside of the etiquette that that she enjoyed so much. So So that's a little introduction to the Post and Price family. I hope you enjoy.
Speaker 2: Mm.
Speaker 2: Social courtesy does pay, doesn't it?
Speaker 1: Thanks.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Mm hmm. Way like to end each show on a positive note with an etiquette salute to someone out there who's doing a great job of exhibiting good etiquette. Today's salute comes from Raina ST Pierre who would like to nominate her friend Shannon and Shannon's mother, Grace.
Speaker 1: Dear Daniel and Lizzie. My friend Shannon is one of the most polite and classy women I know. When my mom and sister threw me a wedding shower and she knew she wouldn't be able to attend, I later found out that she visited my mother ahead of time, gift in hand, a toaster, which we still use 11 years later and not only delivered the gift but took the time to have a conversation with my mother, who was delighted by the gesture. Ah, couple of years later, when Shannon was expecting her first baby, her mother, Grace, sent out invitations for the baby shower. Enclosed with the invitation was information about the registry. Next to this, her mother had written merely a suggestion. I had never seen that before, and to this day I appreciate the thoughtfulness that went into those three little words. While registries do make life easier in so many ways, I feel that her words were a gentle reminder that we were going to be celebrating a birth, not merely stocking a nursery. Thank you for your consideration. Also a daily podcast would be awesome just saying, sincerely, Brain of ST Pierre Raina, Thank you so much for writing in and sharing your story. We love knowing that there are wonderful people like Shannon and Grace and yourself out there in the world, making it a nicer place for all of us. Our best to you, Shannon and to Grace is, well,
Speaker 1: well, now. Wasn't that better? Look at the effect of a little politeness.
Speaker 1: This show is part of the Infinite Guest Network, and this episode is part of the infinite guest year end extravaganza. It is the perfect time to sample some of the other shows in our network. For example, I am a huge fan of big appetites. It is a wonderful little bite of a big show with Sally Swift and Patty Hinch as the hosts. And not only do they have the most wonderful voices toe listen Thio, but they come up with the most fabulous drool worthy food topics to talk about. So find that show and others as part of the year end extravaganza at Infinite Guest dot or GTA. Thank you so much for listening. We hope you're going to have a wonderfully polite week. Remember that we love to hear from you, So send us your questions. Definitely. Send us your etiquette salutes. And also any suggestions you may have to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com If you like what you hear, you can subscribe on iTunes. And if you really like us, well, we'd love it if you'd leave us a review. We want to connect with you anyway that we can so you can find us on Facebook. Where? The Emily Post Institute on Twitter. I'm at Lizzie a Post,
Speaker 2: and I'm at Daniel Underscore Post.
Speaker 1: Or you can visit our website Emily post dot com. And our theme music was performed and composed by the wonderful Bob Wagner.
Speaker 1: Uh huh.