Episode 25 - Social Media Shaming
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
Welcome to Awesome Etiquette, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today’s show we consider if it is okay for the Twitter-sphere to call someone out on social media, or does that create a mob mentality that does more harm than good?
Speaker 1: look out for the guy who was not using his blinker.
Speaker 2: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social, could you see
Speaker 1: it's
Speaker 2: old fashioned
Speaker 2: watch how busy post and damn post sent to act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person. Real friendliness.
Speaker 1: Welcome to another episode of awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: Our podcast comes to you from the studios of Vermont public radio and is a part of the infinite guest network from american public media. I'm lizzie Post
Speaker 2: and I'm dan post sending from the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 1: So I wanted to start today off by talking about an interview that I did with an L. A. NPR station that was on social media social shaming.
Speaker 2: I saw that request come through. It looked really interesting.
Speaker 1: I know it came through late at night which is why I stole it from everybody else but
Speaker 2: actually was glad you grabbed it. But um no, definitely a good topic.
Speaker 1: Yeah, I jumped on that one quick. Um I it was it was fascinating, but it is about how we use our social media forums like
Speaker 1: twitter and facebook and and other mediums that are like that platforms that are like that to shame people that we see in the public. I mean they were talking about UMA thurman had been shamed recently, you know the woman she works for the South korean Airlines, Her family is one of those
Speaker 2: big, really rich
Speaker 1: nut rage was the hashtag for it.
Speaker 1: Um how she's being shamed and just how we behave in this incredibly public and incredibly permanent
Speaker 1: yet also slightly anonymous depending on how your account is set up world that we've now created dan. You wrote a book on digital manners,
Speaker 2: absolutely something I thought a lot about and I followed the link that that media request came with to an article about a very particular case. It was a woman who had made a
Speaker 2: a racist and offensive joke on twitter. She made it in the Heathrow airport. She was flying to South Africa at the time and
Speaker 2: by the time she was in the air, someone had a tech blog picked this up and had retweeted it and brought some attention to it and while she was in the air, this went viral became the number one trending topic on twitter. So millions of people seeing and responding this incredibly racist tweet. By the time she landed there were people waiting for her at the airport taking her picture. There were people talking about the shock that was going to the hotel and she landed
Speaker 1: work with her like didn't want to let her into the hotel, ruined
Speaker 2: her life
Speaker 2: and
Speaker 1: years later ruined her life. Like I mean we're not talking just like
Speaker 1: six months and then the storm had passed and we were onto a new thing. We hated, she couldn't get a job,
Speaker 2: tried to do career repair has since pretty much changed industries, but now refuses to talk about it wouldn't be interviewed for this peace. That was meant to be a follow up piece. And it was the perspective of the author of the article that really interested me,
Speaker 2: talked about how she had really participated in this social shaming early on and she had thought of it as a democratization of justice away to hold people accountable. Um, and she thought it was a good thing, but over the course of years and watching the same story play out again and again, she started to wonder if it was more about a mob mentality, more about a
Speaker 2: a seeking of revenge and a taking pleasure in someone else's fall rather than true justice.
Speaker 1: And I also think there's a bit of it that adds in that it's just
Speaker 1: because I can before we had these outlets to express our opinions on you could basically
Speaker 1: call into a show that was talking about it. You could write a letter to your newspaper magazine or something like that and hope that it gets printed.
Speaker 1: You could talk about it with all of your friends, but you couldn't put it up in this way that people pay attention to. And let's face it, we get excited when our posts are tweeted Favorited. Like, you know, our retweeted, excuse me reposted shared when when our opinion our thought
Speaker 1: gets pushed further because we believe others back it and believe in it and found it funny or interesting or something. We get a certain joy out of that. That's like really affirming. Yeah. The gentleman that I was on the show with was saying the oxytocin centers of our brain actually get fired off at that point. So it is, it's affirming, it's pleasurable. It's something we enjoy and the question then becomes okay. So
Speaker 1: why do we think it's okay? You know, like, I know I was raised, my mother always said, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. What's turned, why do we feel the need to do this
Speaker 2: now? Although I don't think it's a new thing. I think it's got historical precedence in, but it's discover a letter or, but it's
Speaker 1: different how far it reaches now. I mean, one of the comments I made in the show was we gossip globally now. You know what happens in L. A. Is gossip in Hong kong, which never would have happened before.
Speaker 1: If something happened in your town, someone said something stupid, did something stupid?
Speaker 1: Had a moment of public moment, it might go as far as your social circle, might go as far as your town, you might become an urban legend in your local area, cautionary tale even. But people eight states over would not say this person deserves to be strung up in front of the deter, wow, they deserve to die. Those are some of the comments you see, I mean
Speaker 1: the ferociousness of the opinions is brutal.
Speaker 2: So to me, and you're absolutely correct, it really becomes a question of proportionality and the way you talk about the globalization of the response. You're talking about something that at one point you might have been checked by a social circle, You know, that's really out of line, that's really inappropriate.
Speaker 2: Now that checking is global and
Speaker 2: if we're talking about etiquette and roots and etiquette, a sense of proportionality is so important. What is the response in relation to the initial event or action? And
Speaker 1: that's that awareness that we talk about, that's the awareness when we're talking about being aware of who's affected and how they are affected.
Speaker 1: It's not just, oh, the person I said this to across the table from when you put it on social media, it's legs stretch around the globe. So your awareness, you have to be aware that if if a news organization were to pick this up, if it started to spread virally, would you really be comfortable with it?
Speaker 2: So there is some accountability when you use that medium to that global audience at the same time? I think there's some accountability that that global audience has to be aware of the scale of response and proportion to to what it was that initially happened. And
Speaker 2: interesting little side note to conclude the story. The editor who initially published the joke and sort of gave it its first real amplification through a more first person to string her up basically exactly. Ultimately suffered a similar fate and has since apologized,
Speaker 1: interesting. I bet that woman is just like, yeah, thanks buddy a little late. But again, it's amazing. But you do wind up being held accountable for your own actions. And what I think is so upsetting about these situations is that
Speaker 1: the person who initially put the bad thing out there
Speaker 1: is made accountable for their actions a million times over. Whereas the people who are doing the shaming are very rarely ever held accountable for the bad thing that they have now contributed to as well.
Speaker 1: And that I think is such a shame in this situation. I mean it really is. It's like, you know, you played your part just as much as everybody else did you, you wrote
Speaker 1: you should die for what you said or I hope you get AIDS. That was the comment that the woman made was about getting AIDS in africa. It was incredibly tasteless and she knew it too after. I
Speaker 2: mean she did,
Speaker 1: But it was one of those things where it's like, Whoa, I mean the joke was bad enough, but the reaction almost makes it 500 times worse. We always say
Speaker 1: two negatives don't make a positive in this
Speaker 2: type of situation. In your show notes, the segment we have social shaming say that 10 times fast and it really is. It's it's it's an etiquette topic because the question of where you how you leverage your disapproval, how you deal with a situation where someone's being inappropriate, I think it's a really important reminder for all of us on the, on the macro and the micro in our personal lives to
Speaker 2: to resist that urge to judge and to shame or to separate the quality of judging or thinking critically about what someone's doing from a desire to shame.
Speaker 1: Well and also opinion. You know, everyone does have an opinion. Everyone has a right to have that opinion heard, but I'd like people to think about the quality of their opinion before they put it out there and opinion. That's just a flippant jabbing remark. That's not really an opinion I care all that much about sharing with someone else because I know it's a fleeting thought in my head when I found that I've had that opinion that jabbing remarks so many times and it's developed
Speaker 1: legs and justification under it and things that I can elaborate on, that's maybe when I want to speak up, but
Speaker 1: when it's something that's just a
Speaker 1: oh, you jerk or oh you, but obviously much worse language than that in my head. But it's, that's when I say like, you know, hold it because you've had your moments to dan, let's talk. Just let's conclude this segment by talking about what we do recommend and what we want people to be aware of. I know one of the things we always say
Speaker 1: is that you have to be aware of, whether it's public or private
Speaker 1: and whether it's permanent
Speaker 1: And things that go up on the Internet for the most part are permanent. Things that are public. We live in an age where unless you're 100 certain that the conversation you're having cannot be recorded in any way.
Speaker 1: Everything you say has potential to be public,
Speaker 2: don't be seduced by the illusion of privacy.
Speaker 1: Don't be seduced by the illusion of privacy anyway, we really hope that that gives everyone some food for thought. And I would love listeners comments on this topic. How do you feel? How do you feel after maybe you posted something that was one of these types of comments,
Speaker 1: you know, have you ever checked yourself and decided to not engage
Speaker 1: in this type of behavior after having done it or after having seen others do it? We'll put the article up and we'd love for you to talk more about this. Hopefully in a positive and polite way.
Speaker 2: Fantastic. Let's get to some questions. Love it. Sure you're right, but there's so much to learn how to do. Sure, there's a lot to learn, but it's worth it.
Speaker 1: And learning is easy. One way
Speaker 2: is by watching others
Speaker 1: on every episode of awesome etiquette. We take your questions on how to behave. So let's get started,
Speaker 2: let's,
Speaker 2: this question begins, Hello lizzie and dan. I'm hoping you can resolve an annoying workplace situation. My office is something like a large alcove off a hallway and I share it with three other people and a printer, whether it's the odd architecture or the printer, other people who work in the building tend to congregate on the other side of my desk to chat.
Speaker 2: Often these conversations are unrelated to work loud and punctuated with laughter.
Speaker 2: It's also common for people to interrupt me while I'm working, to inquire about door codes, how to unjam the printer or how to work the coffee banker. My work is highly technical and detail oriented, so these interruptions really make it difficult to focus. Unfortunately I tend to wait to say anything until I'm already annoyed.
Speaker 2: On the other hand, all of us in this office or contractors and I'd really like to curtail this issue without causing offense or the perception that I'm difficult.
Speaker 2: What can I do to gently remind people that they're having a loud conversation in my office, signed charlie,
Speaker 1: charlie. I really feel for you and dan can feel for you, because I currently sit across from our photo copier at the office just in case anyone thought we had really nice.
Speaker 2: There's a close double door that
Speaker 1: I have a close double door, but you believe surprisingly people really do congregate out there. I mean, I sat there listening to someone's description of a
Speaker 1: of like their visit to a new house the other day and sometimes when you're trying to work you're like, okay, I'll shut my door. But
Speaker 1: it's, it's still doesn't always do it. It's and you hate having to close the door on someone because then people turn around and they're like, oh sorry, we were bothering you. It's like, you should be sorry, you were bothering me, I'm trying to work anyway. Um We definitely both feel for you and this is one where I do think it's one of those awkward situations where when people are just taking their break, I'm not saying that this is right,
Speaker 1: but when they're just taking their break or having that jovial moment with another coworker, when you're the Debbie downer who says something, you do get the reactions that you're fearing that you're going to get. So what I would love to see you do is actually talk to a manager or someone who does run like
Speaker 1: HR or a staff meeting of sorts
Speaker 1: to bring up this topic so that they can say, hey guys, you know, we have been hearing or I was over by the alcove the other day, over by the coffee or and just noticed the guys are working really hard and I I noticed that maybe my voice was getting loud or
Speaker 1: the laughter or I realized that I was interrupting his work asking about door codes.
Speaker 1: It's really important to remember that this is their office space. They don't have a door to close. And therefore it's really important to simply go to the copy or go to the coffee maker, get what you need and then leave without talking because this is someone's office space you're walking into and have someone champion on your behalf.
Speaker 2: I like that answer. I was thinking to myself, maybe a little sign could help. Maybe there's a little something. But if you little son, but if you put that up yourself, no, if it comes, if that message, whether it's a little sign or a verbal message comes from
Speaker 2: someone who has some authority in the situation, I think you're right. That's going to help with that perception, that you're just
Speaker 1: nagging, nagging or that you're always bothered.
Speaker 2: And there are certain parts of this situation that are just inherently difficult. This is an open office space, It's a shared space. There's three other people there, they're probably annoyed. Also. Um, the copier itself
Speaker 2: can be allowed and annoying intrusion, well, they make noise and they're worrying and humming and then there's the traffic coming and going and that can be hard to avoid.
Speaker 1: He said there's problems with the copier and I know that everybody, whenever anything is wrong with. The copier turns to me and says,
Speaker 1: lizzie, how do you do the data? And I'm like, I'm not the person in the office that knows anything about the xerox machine,
Speaker 1: like I have to come get you to door style
Speaker 2: and that's daniel dan,
Speaker 1: actually really does know how the xerox machine works. Um but it is one of those things, or you just simply their frustrations because they need what they need now and now their frustration comes into my workplace all the time when they're standing there waiting for their print job to finish
Speaker 1: and they just think oh I'm going to turn to lizzie and talk to her because I have nothing else to do. It's like
Speaker 1: you know what
Speaker 1: I'm trying to work and I have a hard enough time doing that usually,
Speaker 2: so I'm trying to, mine a little advice out of it. Well, just what we said from
Speaker 1: the beginning, talk to talk to a manager of sorts and definitely asked them to bring it up as a company issue as opposed to
Speaker 1: uh everybody is bothering charlie, you don't want it to come across like that. Say I need a little help with this situation. I don't want to come across like a nag or like a
Speaker 1: a bummer in the office, but here's what's going
Speaker 2: on and maybe think for yourself about some ways that you can communicate, focus. What are some signals that you can give, that you're really invested in your work and maybe maybe that's permission to wear your buds or maybe that's just mentally preparing yourself for that situation ahead of time that I think there's going to be a little give and take here. So definitely I think there's gonna be some action. But then also some just
Speaker 2: some personal work saying this is my situation, I've got to be patient
Speaker 1: and it isn't, it also isn't something, this is one where a little passiveness isn't a bad thing either, You know, when it's not happening in the moment and maybe you and another coworker are a little bit griping about things that bother you at work.
Speaker 1: You could say, oh, the one that kills me is I work by the copier and everyone's always this, that and the other thing and it might
Speaker 1: give the other person just a little pause the next time they're there, or it might give them the courage to when they see that situation happening. Say, hey guys, don't forget charlie's trying to work. Um, and so for instance, I'm really hoping that maybe dan the next time he's at the coffee or coffee
Speaker 2: maker,
Speaker 1: will I
Speaker 1: not the coffee maker or the coffee machine?
Speaker 1: The copy machine? I've got it. Right. Finally, we'll say, we'll say to someone like, hey guys, you know, I bet Lizzy doesn't actually know how to change that cartridge just because she sits next to
Speaker 2: it noted and I hope that helps charlie. Good
Speaker 1: luck.
Speaker 2: Our next listener wants to know, can you please tell me the correct way to list in print the parents name for my daughter's national charity league program. My husband passed away june 2013. His name was Corby, Matthew Collins. My name is Angela Collins. Thank you.
Speaker 1: Angela. Your question is definitely a common one that we get. We get it for everything from wedding programs to two things things like this, anytime parents names are supposed to be listed and a parent is recently deceased. People still want to honor that person. And
Speaker 1: there are certain times where you don't want to do it because it's an invitation or something like that. And there are other times in a program where you really do want it listed.
Speaker 1: Um and it is important and it's nice for the person who's being honored to have both their parents listed. So the best way to do that is two things. One check with the organization to see if they have a stylebook that that has a suggestion. Um That's always the easiest way to go is just to ask the organization. How do you normally handle this situation?
Speaker 1: Trust me. They've been through it before. But the basic is that you're going to include the phrase the late and then followed by your husband's name. Um It's really up to you how you want your name to be printed. But I just suggest that however you choose for your name to be listed. Have your husband's name follows similar suit
Speaker 1: and then have it be the late. So if you just want to be your name, Angela Collins
Speaker 1: then you would have it listed as Angela Collins and the Late Corby Collins because you haven't used your middle name. You haven't used Miss or mrs with your name. But however you prefer your name to be seen and then have your husband's name follow with the same the same basic structure.
Speaker 1: But have it say the late in front of and that's pretty much it. It's it's really very simple. The biggest thing is that you really do need to use the Late because if you do not people who have heard that he has passed but then see him listed as being I hate to say it alive and well
Speaker 1: it will get confusing and it's it's really best to have that phrase the late in there so that people understand
Speaker 1: um that he has in fact passed away and don't be surprised also if some people who maybe hadn't yet heard of the news, even though it did happen almost two years ago now. Um say, oh my gosh, I'm so sorry, I hadn't realized. It just might be a time when other people might bring it up and and offer their condolences, even though it's, it's much later than when it
Speaker 2: happened,
Speaker 2: Angela. We really hope that helps.
Speaker 1: Our next question comes from an anonymous listener who definitely has a tricky situation. Hello, my son's wedding is August one in Massachusetts and my family will be here from Florida and California. My mom passed away in December. In Florida. She was a resident of Florida for many years but was born and lived in Massachusetts for many years.
Speaker 1: I was not there when she passed, but did visit my dad for five days after the holidays.
Speaker 1: My dad and siblings would like to have a small graveside memorial service for my mom
Speaker 1: and are insisting that the best time for everyone to get together is sometime after the wedding for my son.
Speaker 1: My son and his future wife are not planning a honeymoon until later in the year, but they were planning on renting a cottage on a lake about two hours away as they had done last year. My husband and I, and possibly my other son and his family have been planning to go away after the wedding as well.
Speaker 1: I feel that the memorial service should be scheduled at another time, possibly in june as my dad will be here for the summer
Speaker 1: as well as one of my siblings excluding the other two.
Speaker 1: The only ones that would have to travel here for both events would be my brother, his wife and my sister who resides in florida but has a summer home in north Carolina. None of them work and are retired. I still work a full time job. How should I approach this without insulting the memory of my mom and upsetting my dad?
Speaker 2: This is one of those tricky and complicated situations that's happening within a family environment. So it's going to feel really personal. I want to start off by congratulating you on the coming wedding of your son. I think that's phenomenally good news
Speaker 2: And I also want to offer my condolences on the passing of your mother and I'm sure those two events coinciding has has left all kinds of mixed emotions, both in your family, with your son and with the other people that are involved in this situation. So I really appreciate the care that you're approaching this whole situation with and and it is a tricky one
Speaker 2: being in the process right now of planning for a wedding myself. I appreciate how much goes into that. What a, what a focus of your life, it becomes huge
Speaker 2: and everybody talks about everybody sympathize, Everybody knows how much work it is. Um People have been through it, look at you knowingly when you tell them you're doing it now, people who are, who are hoping to do it someday, sort of
Speaker 2: uh it looms large in the future. Um
Speaker 1: and there's a reason for that. It's a lot of details, It's very exhausting. I remember after anna's wedding,
Speaker 1: we just, everyone wanted just to break. It was like we had done so much and the wedding was so phenomenal and so much fun. But no matter how great the wedding is, you still just feel like, okay,
Speaker 1: I think personally, I don't know about you dan, let me let me know how you feel about this answer, but I think that it's perfectly okay because they've already planned on doing things right after the wedding to let the family know to speak up and say
Speaker 1: guys, you know, I know we've been talking about when a good time to do a memorial service for mum would be and I know everyone will be around for the wedding. However,
Speaker 1: the wedding has been a lot to plan and we actually as a family already had made plans for that time that you're talking about and we can't unfortunately change those plans. I would love to come up with another time that would work for us. Here are my suggestions. What do you think? How are you feeling about it? Um The things I'm struggling with are simply that I'm still working, so trying to find a time that works within my schedule,
Speaker 1: but also it is time that we can really, as a family on her mom has. It's been difficult and I'd love suggestions for how to maneuver that.
Speaker 2: I do like that. I like it in a couple of ways that you're really focusing on you and your commitment, so you're taking responsibility and I just can't give this everything that I'd like to give it.
Speaker 2: And I like the way you're keeping focus on mom when you're having that discussion with the family that are thinking about the memorial service because that's what they're thinking about. So really acknowledging that you want to be present for that and you want to be invested in this
Speaker 1: too. It's like this,
Speaker 2: I was wondering about us
Speaker 1: to be at Poppy's Memorial service,
Speaker 2: you know, and what I'm thinking about it from the perspective of the mic.
Speaker 2: The tendency is to think of it as that you're just not available, that you want to keep the focus on on your son and his wedding and the special nature of that event, and
Speaker 2: um not that a memorial service would necessarily take away from that, but it's
Speaker 1: a very different event
Speaker 2: change. There is you have a whole other tone that you introduce into that weekend and that,
Speaker 1: you know, it's one is about beginnings and the other is celebrating and ending.
Speaker 2: But without thinking about what is taken away from the wedding, you can talk about really wanting to be fully present for that that process of memorial izing your mother, I think that's that's that's really well put and I like that language, that thinking, because it is,
Speaker 2: and I'm just gonna play the devil's advocate and think about the other side of the family for a second and how,
Speaker 2: how reasonable it might feel and seem that the whole family is gonna be there, we're all gonna be together. And it's such a family time, that that why not do it then, why why not save everybody the cross country travel and the
Speaker 2: um and and in some ways, I really, I appreciate that perspective, but I also think those people are going to respect
Speaker 2: your wishes and they're going to recognize what an important thing this wedding is for you and for your son, for everyone in the family. And I hope that if you present it as well as cousin lizzie just said it, the response that you get is going to be understanding. So
Speaker 1: there you go, you have some sample language and just a little bit of a reminder to always really look at the other talk about the other people's perspective and understanding why they're coming at it from the angle that they are.
Speaker 1: And then your job is to very gently and lightly be reminding them of, of your perspective. Um, and best of luck to you. We really hope that the wedding is a success and that you as a family find a wonderful way to celebrate your mom's life.
Speaker 1: Our next question is short. We've been getting actually quite a lot of sort of one liners lately.
Speaker 1: How do you ask for specific gifts when you're going out of the country to join the Peace Corps?
Speaker 1: How do you ask for specific gifts? This is a new
Speaker 2: one. We see a lot of questions that look like other questions we've received. This is slightly new twist leaving the country to join the peace course. While admirable is not an event like a shower or a wedding where people are anticipating giving, giving you gifts and
Speaker 2: um, it's entirely possible that family members are going to want to support you in this endeavour, close friends might want to support you, but there's not a general,
Speaker 1: you don't register for this.
Speaker 2: Exactly, and that makes it a little difficult to even spread the word via word of mouth about what you would like. It's very hard to give direction to other people about what you want, what kind of gifts you would appreciate if someone's asked if there's a parent who's just so excited that you are going and they want to know how they can help
Speaker 2: by all means, tell them how they can help. Maybe it's a new internal frame pack. Maybe it's travel expenses so that you can come home for a visit sometime during. I could see all kinds of things that might be really useful. Um, but but you don't want to go through too much of a process of of preparing a list of things that you would want unless unless someone's asked you about how they can help.
Speaker 1: I think that's that's a solid answer. Yes, I agree.
Speaker 2: There's definitely several, a couple members of the post family that I've done Peace Corps and found it a really rewarding experience. So
Speaker 1: we hope we wish you the best experience for you.
Speaker 2: I just love this next question. A listener wants to know, I see people cutting their food with just their fork. I was brought up not to do this. Is this proper etiquette? Thank you.
Speaker 1: Dave. Oh, dave. We love it. When we get an etiquette, technical, we we think of them as
Speaker 1: um it's, you know, it depends on the food. My answer to this question is that if the food is soft enough, that you can cut through it gently with the side of your fork, by all means go right ahead. There's no reason to use a knife if you don't have to. I mean, for example, would be um you know, like a little power of like potatoes, Oh, great on or something like that, that
Speaker 1: you you could easily break through, get off a nice bite sized chunk with the side of your fork. No problem whatsoever. I'm thinking also pi you know, that sort of thing you don't eat with a knife, but if it's if you notice maybe that you're cutting into a slice of lasagna and maybe there is something in this lasagna that's a little firmer than the normal lasagna softness of meat and cheese,
Speaker 1: that maybe you do break out a knife at that point. So if you struggle at all, if there's any kind of force or effort happening, that's when I would get out a knife and start using
Speaker 2: it. So I'm going to also just thank Dave for his question because I learned something new, I like your answer that is it soft enough, particularly potatoes of groton example makes perfect sense to me, it would feel a little strange to have the knife and be cutting that.
Speaker 2: My traditional answer to this, when I teach dining etiquette is if there's a knife on the table, if there's a knife is part of the table setting or the place setting, use it, that you shouldn't be using the side of your fork to cut so a little bit with Dave's. Um the way Dave was brought up that, cutting with the side of the fork, it's I love you mentioned lasagna, because I'll say in my seminars,
Speaker 2: if you're sitting on the couch in the living room in front of the tv with lasagna in your lab, go ahead, cut away with the side of your fork. But if you find yourself sitting at a restaurant where there's a knife in your hand, use the knife, but
Speaker 1: not always. I mean like sometimes we have to remember that restaurants don't always have the level of service that a hostess laying out her dinner table will,
Speaker 1: and so restaurants will often put out a knife when you don't need one. You know, they have items on the menu that require a knife and then they have other items that don't, you know, a really soft piece of salmon might really not need a knife to be cut with.
Speaker 2: Okay, so fish is a particular example because often you use your fork to pull the meat off the fish, I'll give you that, that's different than using the side. Not every fish shows
Speaker 1: up on a bone,
Speaker 2: that's true. Um
Speaker 2: Let me take a step back.
Speaker 1: I'm not trying to challenge. And he answered the question just fine for anybody. That's worried. His answer is correct,
Speaker 2: yes, but I was thinking because you've really challenged an interesting way. The potato question, I was saying myself, would you ever cut mashed potatoes with a knife? Because I say if you, but sometimes you do, sometimes when you're building that bite, you'll you'll have a little piece of meat on the fork and you'll be using the knife as a pusher is different
Speaker 1: than cutting. It
Speaker 2: is a little different than she was
Speaker 1: different than cut, but I don't even
Speaker 2: know if I would call it cutting, if I just use the fork on a potato that was soft enough to just pick up without a
Speaker 1: mashed potato but a potato gratin.
Speaker 1: So people are probably laughing at
Speaker 2: my pronunciation. Well, me too, I mangled it also, but if it was a firm enough piece, I might actually use a knife. That's what
Speaker 1: I said. Here's my rule. If the elbow goes up, if your elbow raises up, because you need the leverage to push to get the pressure and the forced down on it and get out your knife.
Speaker 2: So we're gonna we're gonna add the soft food edition to the general rule of if you've got a knife on the table, use it. But practicality being the heart of good etiquette, if the food is soft enough to just go ahead and eat it with the fork,
Speaker 1: good luck Dave. We hope this broadens the way in which you can use your fork and that you're not horribly offended by our answer instead because it is hard when you've been brought up a certain way to then change and you can always just, if you prefer use that knife
Speaker 2: and it's nice to know the rule so you can break it.
Speaker 2: Mhm.
Speaker 2: You hear that? She says you're not as rude as you used to be.
Speaker 1: What do you know?
Speaker 2: Once again, thanks to everyone for sending in your questions and remember we love updates. If we answered your question on the show or if you have a comment about one of our questions, feel free to send it in.
Speaker 2: You can also submit your question to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com or send it in via facebook or twitter. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette. So we know that you want it on the show and lizzie and I will be using the hashtag awesome etiquette to direct. You are listener to links and things that we've mentioned on the show
Speaker 2: in today's all segments slash social studies segments slash postscript segment. We're going to go over our top seven tips to prepare for a job interview. This is what we teach when we give an Emily post business seminar. I hope you find this helpful whether you are looking for a job or know someone who is
Speaker 2: First Tip Dress one Notch Up.
Speaker 1: What does that mean?
Speaker 2: That means,
Speaker 1: says the girl in a
Speaker 2: really casual
Speaker 1: sweater today,
Speaker 2: that means take some pride in your appearance. There are a lot of valid fashion choices that you can make in life, but people will notice when you make an effort. So whatever that is for you, if you never wear a button down shirt, try putting one on. If you wear a button down shirt every day, but rarely wear a tie,
Speaker 2: try putting one on. If you are comfortable in a jacket, maybe wear a jacket to that interview. Think about what's appropriate for the position or the job. Think about dressing to match the level of dress of the person who's going to be interviewing you, which is often somebody who's at a position in the organization a little higher than you're going to be. So you want to be aware of that. You want to be thinking about dressing to match what might end up being your supervisor or someone has a position in HR that might even be a little senior to you.
Speaker 2: So make that effort dress one notch up, first, tip
Speaker 1: second. And this one might seem like a no brainer. But boy, when it's when it's a part of your daily life, you really forget to turn your phone off. You really want to make sure your phone isn't just on vibrate. But that the thing is shut off. You don't want it
Speaker 1: vibrating in your pocket and hitting like your keys or something like that, making that rattling noise. You also don't want it to be a distraction for you or the organizer because as soon as that noise is made
Speaker 1: everybody not the organizer of the interview. But as soon as that noise is made, everybody knows. What's that? Oh it's someone's phone. Oh it's the interviewees phone. It's bad no matter what. So as soon as you reach that office, that coffee shop, wherever it is, you're doing your interview. Shut your phone off and focus on the people that you're with
Speaker 2: Love it tip three
Speaker 2: beyond time. What does that mean? Exactly? That means 5 to 10 minutes early. 15 2030 minutes early is not on time. That is a burden on the organization that you're interviewing with. You don't want to show up too early. That's not that's not good manners either.
Speaker 1: Plus the reception I still get you too many cups of coffee and you have to pee during the interview
Speaker 2: But don't be late. So be 5 to 10 minutes earlier. That means preparing if that means doing some investigation about the route or the parking ahead of time, do it or leave yourself enough time to figure that out and then take a little time, walk around the block and then head in at just the right moment. But 5 to 10 minutes early is perfect for a job interview.
Speaker 1: I love it. Number four bring three copies of your resume brush up on your linkedin. Now you might be meeting with four people so you might need to bring more. But the idea is that you want to bring more copies of your resume than you actually need just so that you have that extra one.
Speaker 1: Um Also you do want to brush up your linked in profile. I'm hoping that you actually did that before you applied for any jobs. But the advice is to brush up on that profile and also do a google search of yourself, Find out what pops up. I'm thinking of an episode of How I Met Your Mother where he does that. And sure enough, there's like a naked beer run video
Speaker 2: of him going across. Not an exercise in vanity. No, no, no what someone else
Speaker 1: would see exactly.
Speaker 1: So do it be aware of it. You might not be able to take something down, but at least you're aware that it's out there, but you do really want to brush up on that linked in and make sure that it looks appropriate. Also, a lot of people asked should I actually do a linkedin request to the person that I'm interviewing with, and we often say, hold off on that until a relationship has been established.
Speaker 1: It's also something that you can say if you have a great time talking with the interviewer, if you guys really hit it off, you can say, you know, regardless of whether I wind up with this job and I don't know, maybe maybe interviewers are going to tell me this is bad advice, but regardless of whether I interview wind up with this job, it's been such a pleasure.
Speaker 1: I would love to be in contact with you wherever we land in the business world together. That would be a way to broach that subject and they might say, you know, I appreciate it. But right now I try to keep that profile really tight and just say, I totally understand if not don't worry about it, send him the invite. You're good to go. But a lot of people have gotten into trouble for
Speaker 1: trying to connect with people on linkedin who they really don't have any connections with
Speaker 2: Tip five. This one straight out of traditional etiquette we touched on the mechanics of this last week, but you want to introduce yourself that involves standing up, shaking hands, looking someone in the eye and smiling. All of the cliches apply here. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. First impressions can make or break you
Speaker 2: how you handle yourself. Give strong clues about your confidence and professionalism.
Speaker 2: Hi, I'm dan Post sending from the Emily Post Institute. It's a pleasure to meet you. I know who I am, I know where I'm from, I know what I'm doing. You can communicate a lot with a really good introduction.
Speaker 2: Remember that I contact's important, that smile is important. So stand up straight, look them in the eye and smile
Speaker 1: No six. Be prepared to answer questions and ask questions. Have a few of your own ready to go in a not arrogant way. You want to remind yourself that you're trying to decide if you want to work at this place as well.
Speaker 1: Try to really think about what's important. I know that when we were interviewing people, one of the biggest concerns they had is what is it really like to work for a family business where everyone in the business is pretty much family.
Speaker 1: Um we actually really understand the importance of us being honest about what it really is like before someone decides to commit to us, So don't be afraid to ask the questions, but
Speaker 1: do remember that you're not interviewing them?
Speaker 2: Show your interest, so your attention, show your respect to our final tip is going to be to thank him twice.
Speaker 2: So you want to thank them verbally on the way out the door and you want to thank everybody that's taken the time to interview you or help set up the interview. So that includes a receptionist or office administrator has helped get things put together for you. Want to thank people, be appreciative of their time and their effort.
Speaker 2: Then you want to follow up with a written thank you to the people that have interviewed you. You want to follow up with a written thanks. A handwritten note is best for fast track decision making.
Speaker 2: You can do an email that's going to get there within the day or two timeframe. You don't want to send it when you sit down in your car outside, you want to let it breathe for an hour or two. But the point of an email, thank you notice to get there quicker. So sometime in the next 24 hours you could follow up with an email. Thank you know, but for a little more impact,
Speaker 2: have a little more resonance to your thank you. Want to follow up with a handwritten thank you. Note, it might be the only handwritten thank you note that someone gets all year
Speaker 2: and I guarantee it's going to, it's going to help you stand out on that list of candidates.
Speaker 2: Here's my little extra bonus tip, send thank you notes. Even if you find out that you haven't gotten a job, thank people for their time for making the, for the, for their time and for the opportunity to interview the stories that we hear about relationship building around. Thank you's that are given when people give presentations for jobs or clients that they don't end up getting the work.
Speaker 2: Um but are able to cement the relationship or some of my favorite. Yeah.
Speaker 1: Yeah. No it really does make a difference. Also want to just add that if you've interviewed with more than one person don't send a group. Thank you. Note.
Speaker 1: I also would not send a gift. Um You don't want to look like bribery. So just a very simple note to each of the people individually that you spoke with during the interview. Um Very very simple. Dear. Mr So and so it was a pleasure to meet you. Thank you so much for the opportunity to interview with your company. Um I look forward to hearing your decision when when you're ready
Speaker 2: and we'll go over the structure for good, handwritten thank you notes and a future Alright segment.
Speaker 2: So that's your seven tips for your next job interview or maybe you can pass them on to someone who might find them useful.
Speaker 2: Social courtesy does pay, doesn't it? Thanks
Speaker 1: on every episode of automatic it. We like to end on a positive note. So we like to salute someone out there in the world who is doing right when it comes to etiquette
Speaker 1: might be a very small thing, might be a very large thing. Might be a person, might be an organization, but no matter what we like to send you away with the thought that there are people out there trying to be nice and trying to behave. Well dan, who's our person today?
Speaker 2: Well today I was trying to think of his most famous line from a movie. Maybe it's wild stallion's, maybe it's
Speaker 1: something good,
Speaker 2: something good from point
Speaker 1: break. I was gonna say, dude, come on wild stallions, it's Kiani Reeves,
Speaker 1: Bill and Ted,
Speaker 2: I was gonna go excellent, but I was like, no people are gonna think that's wayne's world. Um anyway, our, our etiquette salute today goes out to Kiana Reeves, star of everything from Bill and Ted's excellent adventure to the Matrix, one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and there was a great little video that showed up recently went viral.
Speaker 2: Someone took it on a Subway. Quiano was sitting there and sure enough as the subway car filled up, he offered his seat to the woman standing next to him. He did not make a big deal of it. He did not know that he was being filmed. It was just a,
Speaker 2: a simple gesture of good courtesy from one of the world's biggest stars. And it was so refreshing to see that humanity and just that that that common courtesy among two people on the subway. So this is a great big etiquette salute to Kiana Reeves for being a good person in his day to day life, An absolute gentleman.
Speaker 2: So thank you Chiana for the good example. And we hope that
Speaker 1: more people follow your actions.
Speaker 2: Absolutely.
Speaker 1: Well
Speaker 2: now wasn't that better? Look at the effect of a little politeness.
Speaker 1: That's our show for today. As always, thank you for listening and spending some of your day with us. We greatly appreciate it. And we hope that you have a wonderful rest of your week. And don't forget, there's no show without you. So send us your questions, your etiquette salutes and your suggestions to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com.
Speaker 1: And if you like what you hear, don't be shy, we want you to tweet it facebook post it. And of course you can subscribe on Itunes and we would love it if you would leave us a review on facebook or the Emily Post Institute on twitter, I'm at
Speaker 2: lizzie a post and I'm at Daniel underscore post
Speaker 1: or you can visit our website Emily Post dot com. Our theme music was composed and performed by bob Wagner.