Episode 282 - You've Got Mail
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
On today’s show Lizzie and Dan take your questions on receiving the previous homeowner’s mail, open office distractions, keeping touch with coworkers who are let go and sending thank yous to those who weren’t invited to the wedding. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members our question is about friends who are always on their phones. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript segment on wedding replies.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social goodness. See it's old fashioned,
Speaker 1: watch how busy post and then post to act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 1: Hello and welcome to awesome etiquette where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today's show, we take your questions on receiving a previous homeowners mail, open office distractions,
Speaker 1: co workers who are let go and sending thank you's to those who
Speaker 1: weren't invited to the wedding. For awesome etiquette sustaining members are, question is about friends who are always on their phones plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript segment on wedding replies. All that coming up
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of Vermont public radio and is proud to be produced in Burlington Vermont by the Emily Post Institute. I'm lizzie Post and I'm dan Post sending happy birthday to Anisha, she's turning three years old, I really can't believe it. But they go opposite because you can't believe you. Oh my gosh, she's already three, I can't believe it. And I'm like, she acts like a seven year old, so I'm like, I can't believe you're only three glowing father pride comes before the fall, be careful. I was going to say, I didn't say what kind of seven year old. No, I'm just kidding, I'm just kidding.
Speaker 1: I'm just assuming you're referring to how verbal she is, communicative. Both. She is, she is, she does, she actually is one of those kids that can really engage with other people really, really well on multiple levels. Like it's so much fun to watch. It's really a delight. We're kind of looking for every possible opportunity, we can find the sticker in groups with other Children, first class for skiing and
Speaker 1: pooja is so focused on this birthday. it's the first time we're throwing a birthday party as parents. This is like the first little kid party where they're all the little, the little weeny ones are going to be around and they're little tiny clothings, their party clothing. And I'm thinking about every question we've ever answered on this show about first donations.
Speaker 1: How do you get the invitations out? Do you do it through the school? Do you invite parents? What do you do when you're taking care of the parents as well as the kids? What about, you know, all the other kinds of questions you might get asked or need to answer. We're actually kind of doing two parties won the actual day and the other when everyone's available and have schedule. So do you invite the same group to both parties? Do you just say please come to which everyone fits your schedule best and just invite to one large? I mean that's another option, Right? Do the cousins feel pressure to be both of them? You don't want them to feel pressure, but you kind of want them at both of them and they might want to go to both parties if they can. I'm going to do a Peppa pig cake. Oh, nice. I have heard about this video that the two of you watched together and a woman bakes a Peppa pig cake and initial loves it. Right? I can't believe it. Dot Oh yeah. So that's the other thing is your child has a half british accent because she watches british cartoons.
Speaker 1: I can't, I can't, it's adorable.
Speaker 1: And one of her favorite Peppa pig videos happens to be the baking of a Pepe cake. So I'm hoping I can just watch it mimic what we watch for entertainment and get a product that is going to work. Who else really wants pooja to video that for all of us to watch, to see how it go.
Speaker 1: I'll keep you posted. I want to see the before the before and afters
Speaker 1: and Ari is too young to be jealous. Yes. So we're clear on that front, but
Speaker 1: three years old. I really can't believe it. It seems like yesterday we were sitting around these mix sharing the big news that Putin I were expecting for the first time and then we're having a big, big day and will be away for a number of weeks and then, oh, it's going to be a girl, we're excited about that. And then she arrived just as precious as we could have hoped the name.
Speaker 1: Three years later, she's doing great and
Speaker 1: I wanted to touch base with everybody and let everyone know that
Speaker 1: life goes on an issue as well and we think about you.
Speaker 1: Indeed it does. And so does our show. Let's get to some questions. Let's do it
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 You can also reach us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily Post instead
Speaker 1: on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute
Speaker 1: and on facebook we are awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Our first question is titled Not My mail.
Speaker 1: Dear lizzie and dan. We moved into a new house almost two years ago. We were fortunate in that the whole stressful moving process was made seamless as the previous owners of our house are actually good friends with my husband's family.
Speaker 1: The only snag we had with this whole moving process is two years later, we still get their mail.
Speaker 1: Now. This isn't a random letter here or there. This is a 5 to 10 letters a week addressed to the previous owners, everything from junk mail, two bills to letters from their bank, even a wedding invitation.
Speaker 1: Over the first year we moved in, I could tolerate it as moving as stressful and it can be tricky to change your address, especially if you've lived somewhere for a very long time as the previous owners had
Speaker 1: as well. Over the first year, the previous owners were pretty good about checking in and collecting their old male every few weeks promising they would change their address as soon as possible. It's been almost two years now and I've had it. The owners no longer contact us to collect their mail. We had to message them the other day to come by and collect over 50 pieces of mail
Speaker 1: two weeks later, they still haven't picked it up to make things more awkward. These aren't strangers. We do bump into the previous owners from time to time and don't want to cause unnecessary tension over something trivial like male, especially when they were so accommodating with the moving process overall.
Speaker 1: Please tell me what I should do. Do I continue to collect their male indefinitely? Do I write return to sender on every envelope and play dumb if they eventually ask for it?
Speaker 1: What about letters that look important? And are time sensitive?
Speaker 1: Is it my responsibility to let the previous owners know we have it.
Speaker 1: Thanks so much for all of your help with this anonymous anonymous. This is a this is a great question and it still happens to me 12 years later. I still get stuff addressed to people who used to live in that house, but they're totally just, it's junk mail. It's not invitations. And
Speaker 1: I know that invitation one can seem like, oh my gosh, are you kidding me? But really it's, you know, if someone doesn't update their address book, if someone doesn't send out a new address to people and let them know and get the change, it actually is really easy for things like baby shower invites, wedding party invitations and wedding invitations themselves, anniversary party, you know, invitations, retirement party invitations to get into that mix.
Speaker 1: We don't throw these kinds of parties that often, so it's very easy to end up relying on an old address. So what do you do? So I say that
Speaker 1: number one, I think this is enough male and this is enough of a thing like this. This isn't my situation where it's like once or twice a year, I get something with the previous owner's last name on it. This is weekly, quite a significant amount. I think that you are in good stead to first bring it up and just
Speaker 1: call the person and say, I know we talked about this before. I'm wondering if you could call up the post office and make sure you do affording address because it seems that it's a lot more than just a couple of pieces of junk mail. And I feel terrible if I lost track of something important, relaying information to the emotional side of the answer.
Speaker 1: And my goodness, it would just be such a shame. I think you could go that route. You could also just say, you know, like I think we should do this just so that it's getting directly, you know, directly directed to you. I was having a very similar thought that saying something to these people is sort of a respectful first step and it could feel like you were
Speaker 1: being pushy or being a nudge, but it's been two years and it's a real thing and this male might actually matter. There is some time sensitive, not just throwaway junk mail here.
Speaker 1: The other idea I had about a way to
Speaker 1: give that conversation a tone that was helpful and encouraging as opposed to
Speaker 1: annoyed and frustrated would be to do a little bit of research on what the process is for changing that address. Oh I called the post office and found out all you have to do is go online or
Speaker 1: something to make it easy. You know? I know you did, but you don't want it to come across as like I'm doing everything for you. Just sign the darn thing. You know? I think sometimes that can come across as a little bit too like teacher moment, you know what I mean? Like you're an adult teaching another adult how to do something. Yes. So you've got to be careful and keep the tone of your voice in alignment with the message that you're trying to send in terms of the content that you're delivering. Yeah, totally.
Speaker 1: Another thought that I had on this was big picture when you're making little decisions along the way. I think about what you would want someone to do if you were in the other person's position and
Speaker 1: okay, this is something that's clearly important. This looks like it's
Speaker 1: something to do with banking or finances or it's a wedding invitation. I'm going to treat that a little different and I'm going to make an effort to be sure of the person who it was intended
Speaker 1: four gets it and I can feel like
Speaker 1: a burden after two years, but you just put on your, I'm going to
Speaker 1: be my best and do my best here. And if the shoe were on the other foot, I would hope someone would do this for me in the same thinking I'm throwing away junk mail. I'm throwing away the catalogs and the stuff that frankly just isn't worth my time to get it relayed to two years later. Yeah, I'm going to go with the root of that is so sweet cousin. That is so sweet and so kind. And I think that after two years, I don't think you have a whole lot of obligation to keep it up and just keep going. If you've talked with this person about having them changed this up. If you've mentioned please, you know I've got your mail for you. Let's arrange a time for you to come get it. And they ignore that
Speaker 1: they're starting to cross into the territory in my mind of being very aware of the situation that's going on and they
Speaker 1: aren't taking responsibility or care with it.
Speaker 1: And I don't think that that then means that you just be rude in return. But I think it does put you in a category of its okay if you don't try to keep track of this for them.
Speaker 1: That to me is is I think would be a, a fair way to go for the minds that are like, hey, wait a second. You know this actually is a burden someone else's putting on me that they're aware of because there are different ways to think of it, right? Some people are going to sit in the audience and think boy, I really would want someone to keep after that male or tell me about that wedding invitation
Speaker 1: and other people are,
Speaker 1: are sitting there going, are you kidding me? This is like, so someone just dumping their responsibility on you. You don't have to take it and add it to your list to do so for those minds I want to give the permission of, I think once you've had the conversation and once they're aware that this is really a lot more than just a few pieces of junk mail
Speaker 1: that then they need to handle it. And if not, you can start writing, return to sender on things and let them know, you know, I'm not going to try to save it up anymore. I'm going to just try and get it back to whoever the person who sent it was certainly not an obligation
Speaker 1: definitely an opportunity anonymous. We hope this helps and that even if the mail doesn't stop immediately, that you're able to taper it off and find a good solution for this problem
Speaker 1: in good weather and in bad weather, the mailman brings us our mail. The mailman is friendly and helpful. Almost everybody likes him
Speaker 1: for almost everybody likes to get mail.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: our next question is about open office woes. Hi lizzie and dan. I'm a regular listener. I really enjoy your podcast and how you put a positive spin on tricky situations. Thanks for the weekly encouragement.
Speaker 1: I'd like to hear your opinion on the new workplace fad. The open office. The situation I'm in has many unassigned desks grouped in a large room with little acoustic division or privacy.
Speaker 1: When we come in each morning we store all personal effects in a locker and choose a desk for the day. I'm having a hard time navigating this new social atmosphere. I'm quite a bit younger than the rest of my colleagues and have a very technical job. I'm often doing detailed work which needs my full focus.
Speaker 1: I find that I can block out workplace chatter by wearing noise cancelling headphones, but I'm worried that I may come across as rude as standoffish to my colleagues
Speaker 1: by isolating myself like this. Any tips on how to be friendly while being productive in an open office situation? Sometimes I have to choose a desk beside a very chatty person. Perhaps you have a sample script that I can use to indicate that I'm not interested in chatting and that I need quiet to work
Speaker 1: any other open office etiquette tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your consideration. Open office, whoa, whoa, I sympathize. I would struggle. I think in an open office environment I like structure, I like
Speaker 1: walls and doors so that I can focus on work. I also understand and appreciate why businesses use them and I know some people love them. Some people like that creative social dynamic space that
Speaker 1: is cultivated or supported by that kind of a work situation. So
Speaker 1: people have been navigating this and trying to reconcile those competing interests needs, desires for a while Now I feel like this particular listeners
Speaker 1: issue comes from the fact that their work doesn't sound super creative or its creative in ways that are kind of like in your own head, it sounds like when you're fixing a lot of technical issues, I think that's less collaborative and so we have a worker who, I feel like the environment actually
Speaker 1: isn't necessarily conducive to them being able to get their work done.
Speaker 1: So I would begin by communicating exactly what you communicated to us to your co workers. And
Speaker 1: supervisors are manager if that person is part of this mix as well, I feel like that supervisor manager is a good place to start just because it is essentially this is a workplace issue for you, aside from maybe the chatty co worker, that's that's one where I think you can we will give you some sample scripts for how to get out of that. But
Speaker 1: I like that you listed supervisor in that if there is an apparent supervisor for this situation, you never know, they might have a solution or workaround that makes it easier for you. It's also possible that they might
Speaker 1: share some of the burden of communication to the rest of the team that were about to suggest next and they might also be able to keep in mind a wait a second. Not my entire team is benefiting from the environment that I have for them to work in. That's something I can bring up in the future. Or that's something that as we do
Speaker 1: think about changing offices or how our flow works, it's just, it's good to know. It's good to be able to check in with your workers like that. So don't be afraid to speak to someone.
Speaker 1: And everything that you mentioned in. The question is important information for the people around you to have. I've got a technical job, I'm doing detailed work. It requires my full focus. It makes it easier if in this environment I use noise canceling headphones all of a sudden
Speaker 1: if I've heard that and I'm sitting next to you and you're wearing noise cancelling headphones. I'm not thinking, oh, they're isolated. Disengaged. Antisocial. I'm thinking, oh they work hard on technical work with detail oriented and this helps.
Speaker 1: I had the exact same thought noise canceling headphones. 100%. Okay.
Speaker 1: Other little ideas.
Speaker 1: If it's possible, start to carve out spaces that work for you, if people get to pick desks on a first come, first served basis, maybe get there 10 minutes early, get those desks that are easier or better for you.
Speaker 1: The question about the co worker who might come sit next to you is harder to manage.
Speaker 1: I want to give a couple of ideas, some tips on things you can do to maintain a friendly disposition, even if your work requires you to self isolate. Just a little bit, hit your etiquette marks, say hello to people when you arrive and goodbye when you leave, and that's verbal. That's why
Speaker 1: a warm, engaged eye contact smile as a bare minimum eye contact and smile
Speaker 1: escalating up the etiquette ladder.
Speaker 1: Hi, good morning,
Speaker 1: how was your weekend? How's it going? And you don't need to ask those questions just to hello, A good morning, hits your marks, but sort of build up from there and those are the moments when you can establish yourself, establish your social relationships and then go get to work.
Speaker 1: These are really important. This is where you're acknowledging someone else's existence, when you're sharing a space with them and you're sharing that space for over eight hours. A lot of people have written in and I don't mean a lot to the point where you would tip the advice the other direction.
Speaker 1: But we do hear from people a lot. I don't want to have to acknowledge anyone else, I don't want the distraction, I don't want that, I'm not hearing that from our listener, but we hear that perspective often
Speaker 1: and there are good reasons for doing it that lie on that very basic principle of respect.
Speaker 1: These are other human beings that help at this, this engine of work that you are all a part of, you know, and it's it's important to at the bare minimum when we say hit that mark. The bare minimum is that you make eye contact with that person and present to them some kind of a friendly gesture, you know, whether that's a smile or a little wave or something,
Speaker 1: it's something to let them know that you see them and that they are real to you. That's important beyond those hellos and goodbyes. Look for other opportunities to
Speaker 1: build your social relationships, to connect with your co workers. So that's break time's lunch times mealtimes
Speaker 1: recognize that the work that you do requires that you focus and maybe spend more time on your own and make a little bit of an effort during those breaks at those mealtimes to connect with the people around you, it will
Speaker 1: pay dividends later on, depending on how the person has decided to start. The conversation is going to depend a little bit on how you react to it. You might need to answer a question and then say, hey, I'd love to talk more about this later,
Speaker 1: because I've really got to dive into X, Y Z on my work or oh, I'm so close to finishing, I'd really like to hammer this out,
Speaker 1: excuse me, while I just zone in here. Those are ways that you can kind of not be rude to the interruption you're experiencing, but guided in the direction that you need to. So I'm going to suggest something that's a little bit
Speaker 1: off the wall, but it's something we've heard about working other places and it might take a little bit of work to set something like this up. I've heard of people who use some sort of signal on the entrance to their cubicle or something that they place on their desk in an open office environment. It's like your signal and it's essentially a red light, green light that says, okay, no, this is focused work time
Speaker 1: or yes, you're welcome to approach me, even though I've got my headphones on, if you can catch my eye, this is work. I can break on the equivalent of a shut door,
Speaker 1: basically, essentially the trick is to remember to remove the item when you are available to people dan and I used to all the time when we had doors in a shared office like shut our doors and then just forget that they were shut and we might like for hours be avoiding each other
Speaker 1: for no reason what like finally intercom into each other hey um are you interruptible? And you want to be sure that you communicate clearly with your co workers? So people don't think, oh this person just put this red light and they go sit and do their own thing. You want to check in with your supervisor manager, be sure that people know they can reach out to you if they have to or need to. That this is a signal that's about increasing your efficiency, making you more productive person at work. Also make sure that you don't try to go for the kind of cutesy signage that's like back off I'm busy or you know what I mean? Like things like that, they just they don't send the right kind of message. I think you you want to use this as a tool, not as something to be, you know, cut C or even like jokey about
Speaker 1: open office woes. We hope that this turns your woes into wows, I don't know. But we hope that this situation turns around and that you get to focus on work job.
Speaker 1: Well then the company, No, the company's alright. It isn't that
Speaker 1: oh, it's the people that come into the office, they're so rude and inconsiderate if there's more than I can taste day in and day out.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: our next question is another work question and I'm going to feed it to cousin lizzie Post without her having any idea what it is. Oh, this is titled let go co worker. Oh, let go coworker or let Okay. Oh boy. All right.
Speaker 1: Hello lizzie and dan. I'm a huge fan of your podcast and the moral behavior the Emily Post Institute encourages. Recently. One of my coworkers was let go from the company. It was abrupt and the reason is not known, nor do I want to know because I do not believe it is my business.
Speaker 1: I considered him a friend at the office and do wish him the best. Is it considered inappropriate or inconsiderate to him or my company to reach out to him and say as much
Speaker 1: do you have any other suggestions or thoughts? Thank you for making the world a more thoughtful place sincerely. A this is a tough one for me. I really am reminded of our advice
Speaker 1: to prepare yourself for any type of response so that if you choose to reach out and I don't think there's anything terribly wrong with reaching out, you had a connection to this person. They're gone at the very least, reaching out to say, I'm so sorry that we won't get to see each other at work. But I really want to wish you well is perfectly fine,
Speaker 1: but be prepared to potentially have a negative reaction or to have someone not not handle it gracefully. And I think that that's how I would be thinking about this one.
Speaker 1: You started off by saying this is a tough one and
Speaker 1: I feel that also, and I think that feeling comes from the fact that when someone's let go, it can be uncomfortable, it can be difficult. And there can be a lot of raw emotions around it. And I think your advice to be prepared for
Speaker 1: a whole range of responses if you do reach out and I agree with you, I think it's completely appropriate if it's something you're feeling inspired to do to go ahead and connect with this person.
Speaker 1: I was thinking they might be angry about your company, they might be upset, they might want to tell you everything about what happened or their side of the story. And being able to deflect or manage that conversation in a way that has integrity because you still work
Speaker 1: there with those people is an important part of that preparation as well as being prepared for someone to not want to talk to you or not have anything to do with
Speaker 1: your previous place of employment. Exactly. So when we talk about, be prepared, you want to think about what are you willing to engage with in a conversation because that will help you either deflect, as dan said in a way that's polite and gentle of the other person or listen without
Speaker 1: committing or adding on top of or to listen and support. I mean it's, it's really amazing though when you kind of know, okay,
Speaker 1: if they really want to get into it, I'm going to choose to listen but not say anything bad about my company in the place I work in.
Speaker 1: If that is the avenue that ends up happening, you all of a sudden have this path that you thought of, that you're prepared for and I find that you don't get into such a tight corner of, oh my gosh, do I, do I complain with them? Do I do I listen to only one side of the story. Do I just, Oh no. What do I do? So try and imagine how a couple of the different scenarios would play out so that you'll have the confidence when one of them eventually does.
Speaker 1: Do you reach out via email? Is it a phone call? Is it a little handwritten note?
Speaker 1: I say whatever feels most appropriate to you and the relationship that you're serving here. If there's someone who you could send them a little email note, do it. If there's someone who you've spoken with on the phone and that feels natural and sort of more social and less professional, then go that route.
Speaker 1: No prying questions. If they don't offer, you don't want to inquire about the details and you've said that you're not interested. So that should be easy. But just it's something to keep in mind as you have this conversation. Wish them well, wish them good fortune or good luck searching for a new job at their new job. Do you would sound a little formal? You do sample scripts way more often. It would be so bad. It's okay to be explicit about your emotions. I will miss you. I really enjoyed having. I really liked the sample script that you threw out at the start of this answer. Big picture. The biggest mistake that people make around awkward situations is they don't say anything. And if you're feeling inspired to say something, I really want to encourage you to do,
Speaker 1: go ahead and do it, take care of yourself along the way, but reach out, connect and let someone know that you're thinking about him
Speaker 1: a w we're confident that your sweet sentiment and good intention will come through.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: our next question is titled Thanks, but they weren't invited.
Speaker 1: Hi Lizzy. It was so refreshing to hear tips on demonstrating polite behavior on your recent appearance on the Today Show. My daughter recently got married and today she asked me an etiquette question that stumped me.
Speaker 1: I gave her what I thought was an appropriate answer, but I'm hoping you can give me the best answer given your expertise. The question is, is it rude to send a thank you card that includes a photo to someone who was not invited to the wedding, but who sent a gift? Anyway, thank you linda.
Speaker 1: So I'm going to take a shot at a wedding question. I want to hear the answer and say no, I don't think that's rude at all. These word at all. This person clearly is showing that even though they weren't invited, they're still really supportive of and wanting to celebrate your wedding and sharing a picture of that wedding. Isn't rubbing their nose in anything, it's sharing a memory or an image from that day
Speaker 1: where they didn't get to be there. Yeah, A friend of mine texted me a picture of what she and her boyfriend were up to. They were like some tropical location riding on four wheelers looking like they were having the best time of their lives. Like there's just big smiles, people, you know, lots of plant life, It's great. Were they rubbing your nose in it? No, not at all. Because I had also asked them for said photo, I realized that my house, I want to have pictures of the people that I love
Speaker 1: in my space and whether this photo that your daughter, either center is considering sending ends up in an album or whether it ends up in a picture frame or whether it ends up on the fridge and then gets tossed after a year. It doesn't really matter. I think it's a nice gesture. I don't think it's rubbing any nose isn't any. You're definitely wise to be thinking about how something comes across. Is this gloating? Is this showing off? And in this particular case I want to add my voice to the lizzie choir and say no it really isn't sharing something and this is a really significant moment in your life. And this person has said congratulations, we appreciate you were thinking of you and it's a nice way to reply
Speaker 1: linda. We hope this helps. We hope that the advice is useful for your daughter and please pass on our congratulations. Let's hope you think of the first rule of good sportsmanship.
Speaker 1: Play fair. Then everyone can have more fun thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 K. I. N. D. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: Or reach us on social media on twitter. We're at Emily post inst on instagram where at Emily Post institute
Speaker 1: and on facebook were awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts. So we know you want a question on the show.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: If you love awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get an ads free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content plus you'll feel great knowing you helped keep awesome etiquette on the air.
Speaker 1: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer and the topics we cover and today we hear from Libby and Catherine.
Speaker 1: This feedback is from episode 2 45. I apologize for the delay in getting this to you. I just found it in my drafts
Speaker 1: to answer dance questions. Yes, you can easily leave a group text. And Libby has wonderfully supplied us with different actual links to do this. So definitely check our social media account, especially our facebook page. We're going to do the iphone version for how to leave a group text, the android version and also the facebook messenger version. I love this
Speaker 1: Libby continues. I don't think anyone needs to say anything about leaving.
Speaker 1: I agree that people should not start messaging other individuals in a group text. If a separate conversation exceeds a couple of messages, the organizer could ask that those people text or message each other separately. Love the show Libby.
Speaker 1: This isn't this is a thing. I mean group text and how to manage them and what you use them for and what the kind of host of the group text does. I mean, there's actually quite a lot of etiquette to this whole whole scenario and I love the simplicity of all those ins and outs aside, here are the ways that you can excuse yourself from one of these conversations if that's what you want.
Speaker 1: Our next piece of feedback is from Katherine, Happy New Year and happy new puppy to lizzie. Thank you.
Speaker 1: I had to take a moment to write to you and thank you for your words in both the main episode and bonus question for sustaining members this week.
Speaker 1: Your comments to your friends, struggling with how to deal with and um challenging acquaintance and how to remain genuine while also not forgetting polite and has touched on something I have been struggling with a lot lately.
Speaker 1: There are some individuals in my life that similar to your friend, treat me in a less than kind way and who I cannot always avoid.
Speaker 1: I've been in a bit of an argument in my own head about whether by continuing the
Speaker 1: to be polite to them, I am just allowing myself to be a doormat.
Speaker 1: Your words about focusing on the higher goal of who you want to be versus reacting to their negativity in similar ways helped me so much. I felt physically lighter after hearing you say that it is okay to focus on the goal of being a considerate and respectful person and that acting in this way, despite not particularly liking the person all that much
Speaker 1: does not make me dishonest. That is what has been so difficult in this situation, not so much their bad behavior, but worrying that I am not being genuine or honest by choosing to treat them in a way that quite frankly, I have no expectation they will do for me
Speaker 1: as always. You have given such wonderful advice that goes far beyond the question at hand and I am grateful that hearing it is making me a better person
Speaker 1: also. I am loving the new format with Patreon and getting the sustaining member feed right to my podcast app. It is fantastic
Speaker 1: best to everyone at the Emily Post Institute and my ongoing gratitude for the weekly dose of kindness you and education sincerely, yours Catherine. Catherine, thank you so much for writing in about this topic. I'm so glad that you found it inspiring. It actually reminds me of the question that we had
Speaker 1: about the stepson who was living at home as an adult
Speaker 1: and not cleaning up and the issues that the parents were having over that. And some listener wrote in and said, you know, you clean up for you, you do it because you want it that way. And this reaction reminded me so much of that particular advice that our listener had for another listener,
Speaker 1: it is not always the easiest thing to do, but when we can do it it can be so incredibly satisfying. So, I'm glad we've kind of had this theme coming up in the show recently. I agree. Catherine, I loved the particular post script that you're talking about, lizzie Post really took the lead on it and
Speaker 1: surprised me with it, and I found it inspiring in the same ways that you did. For me, that particular discussion got to the heart of what I would most want this show to be about. I thought that lizzie post, you did a very successful job of finding the warm heart of good etiquette. And
Speaker 1: it's really affirming for me to hear from someone, to hear some feedback that says it connected with me that way as well. There is a second little point that I have to make about this feedback, which is that
Speaker 1: our Patreon feed has uh an rss feed attached to it and I played around with this some, this last weekend, it was a feature that I knew was there, but I never used it myself and I wanted to see how it worked.
Speaker 1: You can go as a sustaining member and pull an rss feed from our Patreon page that you can plug into your podcast player so that you don't need to go visit the website, but straight into your favorite podcast player, you can get an ad free version of the show and the bonus questions appearing awesome as awesome etiquette and it's really neat in my phone. I see them both, the two tiles next to each other. There is the only way you can tell. The difference is the bonus content that fills in
Speaker 1: and if you listen to the show is the no ads. But I've also very much enjoyed that feature and I've been wanting to let people know Katherine. Thank you for giving us a chance to talk about it and thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update two awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. Or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 K. I. N. D. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: It's time for our post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today we're going to continue with our top 10 most searched content on the Emily Post website with number nine. This is about wedding replies.
Speaker 1: We're going to start
Speaker 1: back in the beginning, back in Emily Post day when a wedding invitation meant a handwritten reply on your own stationary that is receiving a wedding invitation meant you replied. Now you're lucky if as a host, you can get a pre printed, self addressed and stamped reply card sent back to, you know,
Speaker 1: No, no. You're lucky if you can get someone to actually reply using the one punch button on your wedding website.
Speaker 1: It's a little sad. Oh, it is sad, my friend. It is sad. Wedding replies are a big deal. And yet at the same time, hosts for nearly an entire century have been writing to Emily Post or the the descendants there after about how on earth can I get people to reply to my wedding invitation? This problem is not new and no amount of electronics has managed to solve it for us.
Speaker 1: But we can tell you that wedding replies matter. They matter because we have headcounts, we have seating arrangements, there are travel and accommodations that people need to be making the general enthusiasm and excitement for the event itself and of course the general sanity of the host.
Speaker 1: But it's so important to recognize that when someone is going through throwing a big party, whether that is
Speaker 1: 30 people big or whether that is 500 to 700 people big, whether it is back yard on a mountain in Vermont or whether it is at the most upscale resort hotel venue in the country. I'll go Washington Cathedral, Yeah, do it. You name something. It's whatever it is
Speaker 1: it matters that the host planning, it knows how many people they're planning on and and if there are any allergies or things like that. And this reply is the way that that happens. In fact, it's so important. It's the ninth most searched piece of content on the Emily Post website. It beat pizza toppings, guys, it beat pizza topping.
Speaker 1: I think of these top 10 as
Speaker 1: this is the real deal. This is the stuff that matters to people. It's significant enough that they're wrestling with what to do. And they go to google and Emily post and look for an answer.
Speaker 1: So how did this tradition develop evolve? Where are we at now, where we're at now? Is that well, you asked where did it start? It started with the handwritten reply that you spoke of and originally you would get a wedding invitation and you would break out your personal stationery and you would
Speaker 1: sort of mimic the language on the invitation, in your reply, letting folks know that you are indeed coming to the wedding. And that's the type of advice that you'll find in the 1922 edition of the book.
Speaker 1: Um, and I will teach you how to spell things with extra use. But
Speaker 1: um, we then moved begrudgingly, our grandmother changed the advice because reply cards became the new tradition. They were the trend, they were the easy fix that was making it easier for brides and grooms to be getting replies to their weddings. And it was like the modern
Speaker 1: idea. So you included the little envelope and the little car that said yes or no or yes, name of my plus one and yes, and if there was a plus one or if, and then then we started adding things like boy would be really nice to know which type of meal someone would like. You know because we changed from serving just one meal that I think serving multiple. You know dishes are giving people a choice.
Speaker 1: Those kinds of things started happening and being the types of things that would end up on a reply card.
Speaker 1: People then started misusing reply cards and writing in extra guests or all their Children's names or you know whatever it was. So there were like issues with reply cards. We then make it
Speaker 1: to uh I'd say in the past 10 years RSVPs via your wedding website have become popular and become even just an added option
Speaker 1: in between reply cards making their first appearance and uh the wedding website having an R. S. V. P. Page on it. There was people choosing to email a reply in if they couldn't get the self address stamped return envelope into the mail. Just rolled exactly. It's all about trying to make it as easy as possible. We have people questioning on the course of this show, can I text a reply to a wedding invitation I've received even if they sent a reply card, you know those kinds of things have come up.
Speaker 1: So that's how we have evolved. And nowadays what the advice is is that if you're sending you know written invitations that you do include a reply card that is self addressed and stamped so that it's very easy for your guests. You take care of all the all the work for them. They just need to check the box and write their name or check their dish and write their name.
Speaker 1: We also say that it's okay to in addition have that R. S. V. P. On your wedding website. If that makes it easier if it allows you at the two month out mark to send an email that says, hey, y'all
Speaker 1: haven't had any replies yet or I'm seeking replies from people I haven't heard from yet. Want to make it as easy as possible. Here's a link to an R. S. V. P. On our wedding website. Please let us know if you're coming by
Speaker 1: X. Date so they can be used together.
Speaker 1: It is incredibly important. The hosts really need this information. So the first question that comes up in my mind is from the perspective of someone receiving an invitation, okay if you wanted
Speaker 1: to do the handwritten reply because you're a traditionalist or just think it's cool. Is that okay? Or should you use the card that they know? It's absolutely okay. It's nice to use the card because this person is paid for it.
Speaker 1: But there's nothing stopping you from. Also, you know, either using a similarly sized card and adding a personal note into it. Writing an extra personal note on maybe the back of the reply card or something like that. Or you know inserting a note if you've had to fold up some stationery to do so, reply cards are often very small so they're not usually kind of a standard card sites. So let's go from, that's the more formal end of the reply. Let's
Speaker 1: just a little bit about that texted reply and I'm thinking about our grandfather talking about the best being the enemy of the good and I'm thinking about
Speaker 1: giving advice all the time. This is the question mark is the most difficult thing on a guest list
Speaker 1: is just getting that text out the door
Speaker 1: a good step. If you're not doing any of the other stuff, would you ever do it? Or is that really just, it's tough. It's a tough, it's a tough call. There are friendships and relationships in which I think it makes perfect sense. Would have been really easy for me to text you and say dude, I'm coming to your wedding, you know and no I'm not bringing plus one, but thanks for offering me one
Speaker 1: that I think would probably be acceptable given our relationship and how close we are. I might not do that to my college friend who's getting married just because I want to respect the fact that they have a process that they're working through
Speaker 1: and I think that that's really helpful to kind of just say yeah, I might be close enough to this person to text them, but she's going through this formal thing or he's issued them this way. Why don't I play the game? Why don't I participate? I like that answer. There's so much to keep track of that respect for
Speaker 1: the other person's process and the ease that they have managing I think is
Speaker 1: it's a nice thought I can get on board with that.
Speaker 1: So I'm invested, I'm buying into the process, I use that reply card. What are my marks? So basically it's really simple. It does depend a little bit on the type of reply card you're seeing in front of you. Most of them are going to have a box for accepts or a box for regrets and if you're accepting there's then a little line that has a capital M on it, with a long line following it. That's where you right in
Speaker 1: your title. So you're Miss Mix um Messer. If you're a young gentleman, Miss, if you go by Miss or mrs mrs whatever it is, Mr and mrs mr and mr mrs and mrs whatever
Speaker 1: makes sense for the invitation. You write that out and you traditionally write your full name or the name that you would like to be called or have appear on your thing. I often put lizzie post as opposed to Elizabeth post. There are sometimes where I'll choose just because we're being fancy to go with my full name, but often I just go by what I'm called, what you'd want to see on your place set setting. That's exactly exactly it.
Speaker 1: This is only the place to add in the name of your guest. If you've been issued a plus one, this is only the place to also list your Children's names. If your Children's names or the phrase and family were on the outer envelope.
Speaker 1: It is really helpful for hosts for you to write in your guests name. If you've been issued a plus one and you know the name of that plus one. You can always send it later but you try to catch them before they've issued all of the table cards and things like that.
Speaker 1: Place setting cards and things like that. You want to check any food options that you're being asked to check and this is a good place to list any food allergies. So you would write your name on the line and then below it you can put a little asterix and just say if it's helpful, I wanted to let you know that I am allergic to this. That or the other thing
Speaker 1: I think that it's really important that the next thing happened
Speaker 1: is that you put the card in the envelope and you seal the envelope and then you put it in the mail. What we're me, what else could there be to do while this card? Dude I will do all of it and then it will sit there on my desk for like two weeks. It's like get the credit, send the card in. B the good
Speaker 1: I want to say like be the good girl but like be the good person, be the helpful friend.
Speaker 1: Okay so it's in the mail, we've done our job. Let's flip the script. Okay what about the person who's thinking about how to make this easy for their guests printed, fill in reply cards with or without menu options depending on the style of wedding you're having are really helpful.
Speaker 1: Self addressing them and stamping them for people is really important.
Speaker 1: This is what makes it incredibly easy if you really want to take it a step further, put the return address you know on it for them. But often you leave that for the recipient to do themselves. But I think that it does make a big difference. Um And it is considered the proper etiquette at this point is that you do provide that card pre stamped and pre addressed back to you.
Speaker 1: So the online option is
Speaker 1: sort of a backup. No it's there I think I think of it as a good second. Yeah I guess I would call it a backup. If you were really going all out on a no paper wedding it would be your primary. But those haven't caught on to the degree that that's something people should be expecting.
Speaker 1: So I do think it is a really good option. We've seen it take the place of a reply card altogether and that's fine too. The more formal your wedding, the more likely you are to have more printed items. That just tends to be the case at least right now in our culture.
Speaker 1: You basically keep it simple. Make sure that you've got accepts with pleasure, your invitation or regrets that they will not be able to attend. And then a line next to it or a box next to it or circle next to it and they're supposed to check one or the other. Um And then that line with our capital M and the line so they can write their name if they need to, if they're accepting. I like it. No need to get too complicated. In fact, the whole point is to keep it from getting too complicated. I do think you want to leave space for people when to write in that plus one. If there is a plus one or two note that they are coming with their plus one or without their plus one. I think those are good things. I've always thought that you should also. I just always thought it would be really cool if there was an extra card in there
Speaker 1: that indicated please write the name of your plus one here instructions are good. It helps people follow through. I think a lot of people get that card with just accepts and regrets and they're really unsure. Do I add an extra name? Do I do both? My spouse and my name? Go on here.
Speaker 1: I think the more explicit you can be without you know having it looked like a governmental form that you're filling out the better. I know when pooch and I were planning our wedding it was so exciting to get those replies to start to build out that guest list to start to imagine what the event was going to feel like. And it does it gives you that feeling of security, but also it starts to be part of the excitement that this is happening and it lets you start looking forward to it. So thank you for walking us through it.
Speaker 1: We know it's an important topic for people that are interested in. Emily Post etiquette. Stay tuned for next week when we'll talk about the eighth most searched item on Emily Post dot com informal place settings, there's a lot to think and talk about on the subject of manners and many good reasons to ask
Speaker 1: our manners important.
Speaker 1: We like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world and that can come in so many forms and today we hear from Emily who appreciates that people are polite about her refusing help.
Speaker 2: Hi, my name is Emily. Hi Dannon lizzie. I'm calling to give an etiquette salute
Speaker 2: to all
Speaker 1: the people
Speaker 2: that asked me if I need help
Speaker 2: putting my wheelchair
Speaker 1: in the car.
Speaker 2: I'm not the fastest,
Speaker 2: but I do it myself
Speaker 1: multiple times
Speaker 2: a day.
Speaker 2: Um and I know just how it goes. So I pretty much always decline their help. And everyone
Speaker 1: is usually very
Speaker 2: gracious
Speaker 2: when I say that, you know, thank you for asking. But I've got it. You know, they
Speaker 1: are, you
Speaker 2: know, okay with that and and move on with their day. So I appreciate that they asked and I appreciate that they
Speaker 2: our gracious when I don't need their help.
Speaker 1: Emily thank you for this salute so often are salutes are very simple sentiments and this is delicious in that it's a refusal of help being well received and well delivered. Thank you so much for sharing.
Speaker 1: Thank you for listening and thank you to everyone who sent us something and thank you to everyone who supports us on Patreon. Please connect with us and share this show with friends, family and co workers and of course on social media
Speaker 1: you can send us questions, feedback and salutes by email to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com by phone. You can leave us a message or text at 802858 K. I N. D. That's 8028585463 On twitter we are at Emily Post Institute on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette and the Emily Post Institute, please consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: You can also subscribe to the ads version of our show on Itunes or your favorite podcast app. And please consider leaving us a review.
Speaker 1: Our show is edited by Chris, Albertine and it's assistant produced by Brigitte, Dowd. Thanks Kris and Brigitte
Speaker 1: Yeah.