Episode 30 - Wearable Tech-iquette
Speaker 1: Uh huh.
Speaker 1: Maybe
Speaker 2: it's just that you don't know how to
Speaker 1: use social, could you see it's old fashioned,
Speaker 2: watch how busy post and dan post sent to act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person. Real friendliness. Welcome
Speaker 1: to episode 30 of awesome etiquette. Our podcast comes to you from the studios of Vermont Public Radio and is 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 have one roommate that is now aside from one box that I just found in the
Speaker 2: garage fully moved
Speaker 1: out. I gotta today's april 1st ha ha so I have to talk to her about the ha ha's for the for the april fool's day
Speaker 2: but we're not we're not we're not
Speaker 1: joking about the new roommate but
Speaker 1: the um
Speaker 1: you know I've got to collect the keys from the old roommate, just settle everything up. That sort of thing. So that's on my mind. But I was starting to think my new roommate is actually one of my very best nearest and dearest, most important to me friends and I'm really excited about that.
Speaker 1: Um, but I was thinking about, okay, so we're going to be living together and we know each other pretty well, like she stays over at the house sometimes. So it's not like we haven't,
Speaker 1: you know, experience sleeping in the same place or something like that. But it dawned on me is just this idea of, okay, what I started thinking like two months into the future. What are going to be the things that we talk to each other about that we've noticed about actually living day to day together that maybe
Speaker 1: aren't going so well, and how could we head them off at the pass or,
Speaker 1: and I don't know, I've come to realize for me, the thing that that is the most important to talk to someone about in the beginning and to set up right is how to be respectful when people are sleeping. Like, I don't know about you, but if I don't get a good night's sleep or if my sleep isn't,
Speaker 1: it's one thing if it's like interrupted in the middle of the night, but it's another thing if like someone gets up
Speaker 1: 20 minutes, half an hour before your alarm goes off and you miss that last like little chunk that you're used to.
Speaker 2: Well after my travel last week where I was grabbing sleep here and there. I can sympathize with this particular one. I I am guilty as charged with a clean conscience. I sleep anytime anywhere like a rock.
Speaker 1: I'm so jealous.
Speaker 2: I wish I was like, it's like, this is so classic, lucy post. you're thinking ahead and I know this relationship matters to you a little bit and I can see the wheels turning as you're thinking ahead about about how to navigate this transition well, and
Speaker 2: it's both the transition at the home, but also in the relationship. And I, first of all, I wanna say you're going to it's going to be a success. I'm giving a big thumbs up here because I know it's going to go well. Um I think sleeping is definitely something to think about, particularly, you know, it's an issue for you well and
Speaker 1: you know what was really great and what kind of brought it to mind was that she she was talking about how her current
Speaker 1: living situation is set up and that her room and her current living situation is right on the other side of the shower and the kitchen. So no matter what, if her current roommate gets up before her, she hears everything that goes on because it's just a thin wall between her head and you know that shower or the blenders
Speaker 2: and turn on the shower, You
Speaker 1: can't do it quite, there's no way. And she was just like, oh my gosh, it'll be so nice to be in a room where
Speaker 1: that's not going on and I'm sure there will be other problems. They'll be like the neighbor's car door that shuts
Speaker 2: that wakes or something. But the house near the train or the airport where you don't even hear it after a
Speaker 1: Week or two. Yeah, you don't notice it because you get used to things.
Speaker 1: But I was I was relieved to hear that she is someone who I think gets that too. That that desire for
Speaker 1: Sleep time, especially on the morning end of things when you're really hoping for those last 10, 20 minutes, those precious few minutes to be good. So I feel like I'm going into it like, Okay, this is both valuable, this is valuable to both of us.
Speaker 2: That's nice. So
Speaker 2: other potential pitfalls, opportunities,
Speaker 1: opportunities.
Speaker 2: So once of
Speaker 1: Life, one Thing,
Speaker 1: Benny, cover your ears. I'm going to rat you out right
Speaker 2: now. This would be on my list to
Speaker 1: know. Well Benny not the barking that's pets maybe. Well she has a dog, but Benny as of late has been doing this thing and I'm not sure if it was because it was especially cold winter or what, but
Speaker 1: he has been going to the bathroom in the house more often than usual and not coming to me like usual.
Speaker 1: I've talked about it with the appropriate people. It doesn't, he seems healthy. There's nothing wrong. It just seems like this is a pattern that started that then cold winter. He continued exactly. And
Speaker 1: um and I'm trying to look for maybe some different cues to remember to let him out. And I also have a great solution to to put on it so that it doesn't smell and you know, really properly cleaned up and everything. But
Speaker 1: um
Speaker 1: Jacqueline and I were talking about how we could, you know, kind of um because she has a dog as well keep the dogs confined to the kitchen, but my kitchen doesn't have doors, it does have doorways. And so we were looking at, you know, baby gates, dog gates, that sort of thing. And then on Pinterest I found
Speaker 1: you can kind of make your own gate, that looks really nice, you know, you can use like half of a door or something like that, you know, or like a shorter version of a dutch door, that kind of thing.
Speaker 1: And so now I've been like scouring Pinterest for all these kind of like house hacks and ways to yeah, D I. Y ways to to accommodate both of our pets, but also still keep the house looking nice because aesthetics are important to both of us and we don't want to live in a place that feels like
Speaker 1: It's dominated by the fact that we have two dogs and two cats. So
Speaker 2: so discussion spilling over into shared space, discussion, kitchens, bathrooms and then maybe shared living room.
Speaker 1: Yeah. And then I'm trying to think also of things that I need to do because I own the house as to prepare like the fence needs fixing right now. And so I need that's one thing that I'm trying to save up extra cash babysit every night that I can so that when she moves in, I'll be able to put up that fence and both of our dogs can be led outside and we don't have to worry at all. So it's like I'm trying to think also as what are my responsibilities as the kind of
Speaker 1: owner of the house in the situation, you know, the host of sort of sorts,
Speaker 2: welcoming a new of sorts future host. Yeah, exactly.
Speaker 1: But, but it's suffice to say, I always, I do love it when when someone new comes for a little bit. It's fun. It's exciting.
Speaker 1: Um, there's lots of things that you talk about and you always put the positive first, but I've definitely learned over the years, You know,
Speaker 2: not to shy from those trouble areas,
Speaker 1: not to shy from them. Communication is huge when it comes between roommates and that's like the one thing that I really ask people is, you know, listen,
Speaker 1: talk to me about something if it's a problem, you know,
Speaker 1: I'm going to want to deal with it. I'm going to want to handle it. I might not always be happy that I have to, but I am going to want to make this better for
Speaker 2: both of us. So I have to do it because you brought it out communications important. You want the other, you
Speaker 1: want the three C's
Speaker 2: communications. The first remind me of the other to the other two lizzie's book, which I read years ago and this was one of my big takeaways from the book. One was the Good ask on a date. The other was the three C's because
Speaker 1: you at the time were living with a roommate when you moved back
Speaker 2: to transitioning from one apartment and roommate to another for several years and found is really useful.
Speaker 1: So the three CSR communication first, you need to talk about whatever is bothering you or, or however, things that you know about yourself are really good to communicate don't overdo it, but definitely
Speaker 1: things that are going to impact someone else's life that's important. The second um, see is compromise. This is the time where you need to figure out. Okay? So if I know that I have a hard time sleeping in the morning or that I get grumpy if I'm woken up early and I know that the person staying with me is going to have another,
Speaker 1: you know, be up an hour before
Speaker 2: Me Early Shift, four days a week. Yeah.
Speaker 1: What can we do? Well, you know, my kitchen cabinets are, are really noisy and they have to click and latch shut. So
Speaker 1: I figure one thing that would be easy to is don't worry about shutting the kitchen cabinets. I'll go and do that in the morning, but you just don't click the latch on
Speaker 2: them because that's the loud part.
Speaker 1: Yeah. Um That's kind of a stupid little example. But it's the commitment. It's then you need to observe whether
Speaker 2: the commitment happens, right?
Speaker 1: So the commitment part is, and you have to see sometimes the commitment doesn't work. And if neither of you can keep up with it or if one of you can't keep up with it, you gotta regroup in a week or two and say, hey, we're trying this. I don't know if we just need better reminders for each other or what, but it's not working. Is there a plan B? We can go to? And that's when you start communicating again.
Speaker 2: So those are the three C's for roommate harmony, cycle of seas. Although I'm loving it because when I look at the list of sleeping issues, shared space, cleaning schedules, pets. Well, I work for spouses and people share homes and families. Also in the three C's can be useful for anybody sharing a living space.
Speaker 1: Everybody has to deal with that.
Speaker 1: But with that, I'm looking forward to new adventure on the home front. And hopefully
Speaker 1: Hopefully my three seeds will serve me well.
Speaker 2: I'm sure everything will go smashing.
Speaker 1: Shall we tackle some questions today?
Speaker 2: I think it should be smashingly. Everything will go smashing.
Speaker 1: Why don't you say that? Yes. You need to use your adverbs. Everybody does not enough people use their adverbs. L. Y. Is important. It's not bad,
Speaker 2: badly lizzie. I hope things go smashingly well.
Speaker 1: Thank you very much. Shall we tackle some questions? Let's
Speaker 2: 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. And learning is easy. One way is by watching others
Speaker 2: on every episode of awesome etiquette. We take your questions on how to behave. So let's get started.
Speaker 1: This first question starts
Speaker 1: dear lizzie and Daniel. I recently discovered your podcast and as a young professional who's recently moved to a new city, I found it incredibly helpful as I often find myself having to navigate new social situations and I'm still making first impressions. In many cases, my question is about how to handle a situation with my supervisor.
Speaker 1: My office is situated right across the hall from one of my supervisors.
Speaker 1: Since I usually keep my door open sometimes I can't help overhearing what she says, even when her door is closed. I recently overheard her criticizing a product I had put together with another colleague from what I overheard. She felt that I had overlooked some important things about this product.
Speaker 1: I waited for her to reprimand me or at least discuss it with me. But she never did
Speaker 1: while this would have been fine. One time it happened again with a different product and again I've had no direct feedback. What bothers me about the situation is not that she's criticizing my work with her colleague, but that she is choosing not to bring her concerns to me directly and instead is all friendliness and smiles and small talk.
Speaker 1: Since I'm new to this job and due to resource constraints was not given a lot of formal training. I'm sure I have many areas to improve and would actually appreciate an honest assessment of what I've done wrong so far. But I don't know how to ask for it without acknowledging that I overheard some of her private conversations. What do you suggest sincerely d
Speaker 1: As a tough 1?
Speaker 2: Heidi? Um I'm so glad you like the show and that you're finding it useful in your new job. That's uh exactly what we hoped for when we put this show out there. Um you bring up a couple interesting points. I want to start by
Speaker 2: acknowledging that your supervisor offering this critique that you're hearing, that she doesn't know that you're hearing to me illustrates an important point of business etiquette, which is that when offering critique in general, even if you think you're doing it in private, offer it in a way that you could own it
Speaker 2: with the person who you're critiquing. If you ever had to talk about it with them. It's a great way to hold yourself accountable to be sure that you're not just griping about something or um or being cavalier or loose with your criticism and the language that you would use, that you're showing someone the proper respect.
Speaker 2: Um This person his show is uh d is talking about in this question that that
Speaker 2: that he or she is ready to receive or accept this criticism. In fact would value it. So it's not that criticism doesn't have a place. It's just that you really want to be careful about how you do it because it's a professional situation, it should be appropriate and it should be constructive. So that's all true. So
Speaker 1: do we help d
Speaker 2: these got an interesting and tough situation here, and I would say a couple of things you've got a couple options. You could go if you don't feel too destroyed by this. If you don't feel like having the information that you have is corrupting you in some way or is affecting your integrity,
Speaker 2: um, you could just chalk it up to a nice little bit of inside information that you've come across. You might choose not to say anything. Um, take this little bit information that you've got the privilege to come across. You're gonna make an extra effort to redouble your efforts for the next project.
Speaker 1: In other words, kind of consider this year, um, indirect training that you didn't receive, here's what was wrong with the project. You got the insider information that that was wrong on the next project. Hopefully
Speaker 1: it will give you the chance to look at things a little bit through your bosses. I because you now have this.
Speaker 2: There you go and critique maybe that she doesn't know you have. If you were months down the line, you had a little bit more relationship history, you might bring this up with them. But for now you might just say, you know, for the next project, I'm going to check in ahead of time. You might, you might try to project this forward a little bit. Think about
Speaker 2: how you could do better in the future. You might ask for some criticism or some feedback. You might ask for that before the final deadline of the project. That's the
Speaker 1: one I like. I like the idea of setting it up with your supervisor to say, Hey,
Speaker 1: you know, I just really want to make sure I'm getting things right. So could we go over this a week or a month or a day? However much you think you need to make the corrections ahead of time? That way, the final product you get is really perfect
Speaker 2: and you're showing your willingness to take that critical feedback and to to use it in a constructive way, and that might be a real opportunity to build or grow this relationship.
Speaker 1: And I found that sometimes people, even just because they're in a supervising
Speaker 1: position, it doesn't mean that they're great at confrontation. It doesn't mean that they're great at giving critique. So giving them the kind of the, in, I guess not the output in the permission to do it, I think is definitely, it will make it easier. She won't be able to, he won't be able to run away from it.
Speaker 2: Um, so that's how I might handle the work product as far as the,
Speaker 2: the, the eavesdropping or the potential to be perceived as Annie's dropper, or if you notice this is continuing to happen and you really don't feel comfortable or you feel like this person should know about it, then then it's up to you to say something. And you could reveal that in a couple different ways. You might
Speaker 2: let them know sometime when you hear something that's not directly about your work. Something that's a
Speaker 2: maybe not as high stakes in terms of the new relationship. Um And and sort of give them a little bit of a heads up like boy that the walls are so thin in this place,
Speaker 2: X, Y or Z. And you might mention something specific or you might just mention that you're surprised at what you hear through the walls sometimes. Would you ever do
Speaker 1: the one where let's say the doors open and she starts a conversation with another colleague that starts maybe going down that road of things you shouldn't hear.
Speaker 1: Would you ever get up and say I'm just gonna I'm just gonna shut your door so that you have privacy.
Speaker 1: I think that there's that's like a gentle just so you know, I can hear
Speaker 2: you and I'll even take it a step further all. Did you actually say it further? Even if you don't say anything to them, if you really know you're about to hear something that's private or that isn't meant for your ears,
Speaker 1: walk away, just you know, damn. Just covered his ears with his hands. I wish you guys could have seen that. It was really cute.
Speaker 2: Sometimes you don't want to know, sometimes it's better not to know you don't want to be in that position. That the question don't don't snoop through your boyfriend or girlfriend's phone. Do you really want to even know what you don't what's
Speaker 1: that romcom where he's like earmuffs and the kid covers
Speaker 2: when they're about to say parenthood, they're about to say a bad word. They cover their ears so they don't hear the parents where give yourself that you're muffs in that situation. One of the tenets of good etiquette at work is respecting your coworkers privacy. If you d what are
Speaker 1: you doing? Your mom?
Speaker 2: Sorry? You know the voicemail message a spouse leaves about something that's a little personal or intimate, You just don't listen. If you find yourself here in the first half of it, you set the receiver back down and this might be a similar situation and
Speaker 2: the final straw there, if you really are hearing something that's inappropriate. If you heard something that's inappropriate, you go talk to the person you're honest with them. You know, I sit right outside your door. Um I want you to know because I want to know if I were in the same situation, but when you are talking to somebody, I can oftentimes here or I can hear and I really just think you should be aware of that. D I hope this helps. That's a long answer to a good question and good luck at the new job. Keep it up. Um Remember the three basic tenants consideration, respect and in this case a really important honesty and you're going to be in good shape.
Speaker 2: Mhm.
Speaker 2: Our next question is about high school reunions.
Speaker 2: My 20 year high school reunion is coming up. I was class officer my senior year, which unknowingly deemed me a member of the reunion planning committee. I'm from a small town with a graduating class of 70 people. I moved away after graduation and didn't look back.
Speaker 2: I moved back to my hometown vicinity seven years ago and was just recently contacted to find out if I can join the other class officers in planning. I have never attended previous reunions. I lived out of town and didn't even know about, nor did I receive invitations to previous ones. Previous reunions were combined with classes 1-2 years above and below mine.
Speaker 2: I think this is just for our graduating class because it's 20 years.
Speaker 2: I don't have any desire to attend this one, so I don't think I have the right feelings to be part of the planning committee. The person who contacted me is not a class officer, but it's been part of previous reunion planning. She said she knows I have two small Children and they understand if I can't help my thinking is that everyone has a life and is busy so that's not really a good excuse.
Speaker 2: Or is it
Speaker 2: how do I politely decline being on a planning committee? Since I will also be trying to figure out how to politely decline attending.
Speaker 2: Thank you kindly.
Speaker 1: It's okay to decline you. Do you have no obligation to do this? It's really okay. And the one thing i it's funny people really get I think they get worried at other others being defensive or others even being on the attack and saying things like, yeah well everybody's got a life,
Speaker 1: that sort of thing. But
Speaker 1: it's okay. Your life gets to be your priority because it's your life. And there are sometimes where we put ourselves last and there are other times where we don't have to and this is one of those times when you don't have to. Um It's perfectly all right there even anticipating that, you know, for instance, she says
Speaker 1: um the person who contacted me knows I have two small Children. They understand if I can't help you already have the out.
Speaker 1: I say just go right ahead and say, you know, I won't be able to be on the planning committee and I'm actually not going to be able to come either
Speaker 1: simple, clean
Speaker 2: easy. So there's no social obligation to be part of your school reunion planning. And this to me brings up the interesting point. We can draw this example out a little bit talked about the importance of R. S. V. P.
Speaker 2: That the continuing importance of being able to say yes or no to an invitation in this case an invitation to participate in the planning committee invitation that that carries some expectation of you if you are to accept it.
Speaker 2: And it's really important to be able to say no and say no effectively to all kinds of invitations. And this is one of those ones that's entirely appropriate to say no to but definitely say something, respond tell the person don't be so scared that they're not going to accept your
Speaker 2: I'm too busy to do this, that you don't offer, that. I
Speaker 1: don't get the sense that she's feeling that I think she knows she's going to respond. But in the past we've had questions where people are questioning whether or not they even should say anything and I think it's always dan and I are both in the same camp. It's always important to let someone know whether
Speaker 1: you will or will not attend the whole,
Speaker 1: you know, if you don't hear from me, it means I'm coming. Thing doesn't fly.
Speaker 2: Exactly, soften the blow. Wish him luck with the event and feel good about what you're doing.
Speaker 2: Our next question begins, Hi dan and lizzie, love, love, love the show. I look forward to it. Every week. I was wondering if you could clear up a little tipping etiquette question. I have my boyfriend and I were out at a bar one night where I had started a tab on my credit card, I asked him to close it out for me and when he came back with the receipt, I was surprised at the amount he left as a tip.
Speaker 2: When I go to bars, I typically tip a dollar for every other beer and a dollar or more
Speaker 2: per three plus ingredient cocktails. If they take time, effort and artistry to make, I feel they should get more of a tip.
Speaker 2: My boyfriend, on the other hand, tips 20 across the board or a dollar per drink, no matter what type of alcoholic beverage, I totally understand tipping 20 if food and our table services involved in our bill. But just for simple drinks, like a beer or Whiskey Soda, a dollar per drink seems like a gratuitous gratuity, especially since bartenders usually get a larger hourly wage than servers.
Speaker 2: We're both from the service industry. He's back of the house and I'm front and have friends in the industry who back up both sides of our little dispute. I hate the thought that I've been leaving substandard tips for years. Please help all the best sarah
Speaker 1: sarah. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but I fall in the camp that you have been leaving substandard tips for years
Speaker 1: And I'm using your your language, not mine. Um it's just the way of the business now that for the most part people leave a 15-20 tip across the board.
Speaker 1: Um I also, I do see people tip per drink and they'll do a dollar or $2, sometimes three if it's uh if it's a, you know, um a more complicated drink. Um but typically you don't want to leave a dollar every other drink.
Speaker 1: You know your bartender just doesn't know if you've actually left a tip then and you haven't in that case. Um And I understand you know a PBR is a cheap beer and maybe it only you know deserves a 50 cent tip. But at the same time
Speaker 1: The way our culture is is that the 15-20 of the total bill is what's normal or the or the dollar to $3 per drink is totally normal. It's commonplace is what I should say as opposed to normal.
Speaker 1: So just you know if if you feel like you're ready to make that jump and start doing it that way, go for it.
Speaker 1: Um We always say you can leave what you want. Just understand that
Speaker 1: the person on the receiving end of it might not quite understand why you're leaving that. So,
Speaker 2: And don't feel bad about the past. There is definitely some confusion around this. Some of the most common questions. We get her about tipping on alcohol. Yes, you do tip on alcohol 15 to our attacks and you don't always necessarily tip on tax, but we get those questions all the time, so really don't feel bad.
Speaker 1: I think dan's got a great point. You shouldn't take this too hard and just,
Speaker 1: no, that, that you now have the information, you've heard it from us. We aren't the kings and queens of all things restaurant, we just, we have our opinions, we have our kind of social barometer on what most people in the US are doing in terms of tipping and that's our advice to you. So we hope that that helps and hopefully, you know this debate, you can you can decide which side of it you're actually going to to stay on in the future,
Speaker 1: all the best.
Speaker 1: Our next listener writes in with what I may deem our most difficult question to date. I think this one's pretty darn hard. It's pretty sensitive.
Speaker 1: I have a 12 year old son whose birthday is coming up. I'm divorced, I'm a planner and my ex and I go in together on things for our kids.
Speaker 1: I sent out invites a month before the party. Many of my ex's family are always invited
Speaker 1: on my son's birthday. Last year, my former sister in law scheduled her child's birthday party on the same day with the times overlapping.
Speaker 1: I didn't know about this until my son arrived late to his own party
Speaker 1: this year before planning the date I discussed with my ex the date I had in mind.
Speaker 1: I asked him to check with his sister to make certain she had not planned anything for her child on the same day. She hadn't and so I booked
Speaker 1: after booking the party, I learned that she then booked her child party for the same day. Again, her child's birthday is a month before my sons. I could not believe this doesn't. My son deserved to celebrate his birthday on his own day without needing to share with his cousin. It only comes once a year. Your thoughts?
Speaker 2: My first thought is doug
Speaker 1: I know right. Isn't that just rotten
Speaker 2: if things are as they appear, that is entirely rotten. And it's so unfortunate. Something that I often find myself saying is most rude behavior is unintentional. Most people don't mean to be rude. A few internet trolls aside, people don't intend to offer offense and
Speaker 1: I want to say when dan and I, when I told dan about this question,
Speaker 1: we went back and forth trying to figure out a way that we could be in the sister in law's defense and find some way that this is
Speaker 1: unintentional. But if one thought point, because I, I
Speaker 2: still can't think what my silver lining, this is only a year to doubt this is only year two and things do happen, it might happen the first year entirely unintentionally. The birthdays are there a month apart, but boy, weeks go by in a blink of an eye, I'm silver lining, I'm giving her every benefit of the doubt I possibly can. I
Speaker 1: am giving dan the oh, give me a break, look,
Speaker 1: That's so one chance, that that's
Speaker 2: what's going on, I'm just gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna leave that open in my mind and you know it's only year two if this were to happen a third year, I think you're talking about extinction level event, relationship ending scenarios because because it really is intentionally mean and mean through,
Speaker 1: okay, that's getting ruined because of it. It's evil, I don't like it
Speaker 2: if it's on purpose, it's very bad. Come on. She
Speaker 1: asked whether and I'm we're Siskel and Ebert in this one. She and only because and I know you're actually on my side, you're just playing the devil's advocate and giving the defense to the sister in law in case it's warranted. But I come on, she actually asked
Speaker 1: to find out what the date was. I mean the place that I could see where something got mixed up was like if the X. Gave the wrong date to his sister, that's the only thing I could think of. But then even even so, so the sister gets the invite to her kids to her nephews birthday party and then plans her own kids birthday party on top of it.
Speaker 2: Give me a break was he's going raspberries and thumbs down. I
Speaker 1: am. I think this is a load
Speaker 2: of hooey. I'm another potential. The husband or the X in this case is um
Speaker 1: making it difficult for his own little boy.
Speaker 2: Maybe isn't a great communicator. Maybe isn't a great communicator with his ex or his sister. You just don't know for sure how this. We don't know the three of them the symptoms. You oftentimes have a sense, Police will say the most obvious person usually did it welcomes razor says the simplest answer is most often the true answer. It's entirely possible that relationships have really deteriorated in this family, that the X's family are taking it out on this person,
Speaker 1: Especially because this I don't know when the divorce occurred, but this is a 12 year old. This isn't year two birthday, this isn't his second birthday, it's his 12th birthday and all of a sudden this is starting to be a problem because she's only talked about the past last year and this year. So I'm assuming three years ago, it wasn't an issue.
Speaker 2: So my thoughts are hugged when I think about what you can do. My answer is not a lot. It's there are enough ifs here that I don't know if you're on stable ground to challenge this person.
Speaker 2: As far as I don't think you should have this birthday party, I think you should move it. I scheduled mine first. I don't hear that conversation going well. Um, so in some ways my my my thoughts for advice here are, it only comes once a year and
Speaker 2: as unfortunate as it is, I don't think you want to feed the flame here. I don't think you want to engage and do battle.
Speaker 2: Um, you do your best, you get your invitations out, you make your invites, your invites to your party and you make the focus your kid and his birthday or her
Speaker 1: birthday as much as
Speaker 2: possible. We'll
Speaker 1: definitely, I hate to say it, but I would not be sending my kid to the other birthday party and just because I think it's his day and he should be a part of preparing his party and he should be a part of getting to attend it.
Speaker 1: So we should not be showing up late to his own birthday party ever. That's not fair to him or his guests. So I would, you know, plan on declining the invitation that she's created. I'm hoping that they're not like, you know, I I know of a lot of cousins who live in the same town and therefore they all have the same friends
Speaker 1: and they're in the same grade. And I'm really hoping that you're going to get people coming to your party that the friends divide and conquer as opposed to just go to one or the other.
Speaker 1: But I really think that it is okay because you're,
Speaker 1: this is a family situation, divorce or not divorce. I think that something needs to be said. And I would sit down with my ex and I would ask to sit down with the sister too. And this is just because it's a child that's involved and it's a child's birthday that's being affected by it. And that's why I think you have to have the sit down and I would say in the sit down,
Speaker 1: listen,
Speaker 1: I just really care that both the boys have excellent birthdays and they are friends. They really like each other. They're going to want to go to each other's birthday. So I think we really need to make sure that we plan the parties for different days and you come at it from the point of we need to do what's best for these two boys here.
Speaker 1: Don't even bring up the malicious, the potential malicious or anything. Leave all that out of
Speaker 2: it. I like the way this is going because that's not a conversation. That's
Speaker 1: the stuff that gets me riled up.
Speaker 1: But the problem is the boys don't get to attend each other's birthday parties and family and friends are having to choose between the two
Speaker 2: and keeping that focus like a laser on that issue.
Speaker 1: Absolutely don't go anywhere near the fact that
Speaker 1: I mean clearly from what you've written to us, it's like yeah, it does seem like she is doing this maliciously and it's evil
Speaker 1: and leave that out of it entirely.
Speaker 2: So like
Speaker 1: dan said, laser being focused on the boys and making it great for them and easy for your family
Speaker 2: and if there really is this bad intent behind it, be ready for that to come up in that conversation and be ready to keep ignoring it. But the background and going back to the question of can we at least get a schedule. So these two kids birthdays don't conflict with each other
Speaker 1: and truthfully is your ex who like I've said have the XB there, have have the father of your child be there, Is he really going to like
Speaker 1: back up his sister on this one? Like when it's his own child that's suffering,
Speaker 2: you definitely set yourself up Well by talking to the ex ahead of time, it definitely gives you around one of having this discussion where you call us and say, you know, it's happened again and I'm really concerned, what can we do? I'd like to talk with you and her about or if you prefer to talk to her, but I really want to be sure that we don't end up with a situation like last year.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. Siskel. I'm going with your answer on this one.
Speaker 1: Well, but we we did the right thing. We talked about how any way, shape or form that the sister in law might have that one in a million chance that she's not being,
Speaker 1: that she's not being
Speaker 2: understood and this is, you know, is the sister could show up and say, oh my goodness, I'm so sorry it happened last year, I didn't mean for it and here it's happening again. What can we
Speaker 1: do? It really would surprise me if that was the case. But
Speaker 1: Um but regardless, like we said, focus on on making sure that the boys both get to celebrate each other's birthdays, go into it with that kind of attitude. Keep keep to that part of the conversation and we think that you will have a much better situation for 13 year old birthday or 14, I'm not sure if he's turning 13 this year or
Speaker 2: not
Speaker 2: the first
Speaker 1: year. Don't. Good luck though, good luck and
Speaker 1: send us some cake.
Speaker 2: You hear that? She says you're not as rude as you used to be.
Speaker 1: What do you know? 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 1: You can also submit your question to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com or send it in via facebook or twitter. Just remember to use the hashtag awesome etiquette so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: Today's post script is going to look at wearable technology and I've been excited about this one for a little while because I get to talk about the Apple Watch. I am a big fan of Apple and things. Apple the Apple company. Uh Emily Post Institute
Speaker 1: Apple if you would like to sponsor our
Speaker 2: show
Speaker 1: continue as a
Speaker 2: small family business
Speaker 1: full of full of
Speaker 2: Creatives. We made the switch to the Apple platform 6 7 years ago now and it was um
Speaker 2: from my perspective someone who used to do a lot of I. T. Work around the office. it's been just absolutely awesome. It's been a liberation to be working on such a stable platform and um to have the phones that we all have in our pockets talk to our work calendars, um has really made the travel easier and keeping track of of really busy schedule as possible. Um
Speaker 2: Anyway, so big fan here um and I remember back in those early days when we were transitioning over Uncle Peter Lizzie's father and I passing back and forth the Mac life magazines and learning all the new tricks and and and and ways to to leverage and take advantage of this this new platform for us.
Speaker 2: So it was a bit of a throwback for me to to watch a new Apple announcement happen and to watch them introduce wearable tech
Speaker 2: and the first real um although these watches have been out for a little bit while there's the Pebble Samsung as its offering there, there's a droid offering that the smartphone watch is not new, but it's new to the mass market and
Speaker 2: it's something that we've been anticipating at the Emily Post Institute. Regular listeners to this show have heard lizzie and I talk about how manners change and evolve over time.
Speaker 2: And one of the things that I've noticed is that some of the manners to change the most slowly or manners around food, we've talked about that the the manners that Emily would have described for eating with a fork 100 years ago are very similar to the manners that lizzie and I talked about today. The manners that Emily talked about relating to communication are
Speaker 2: really different than the manners that we talk about today. And they've changed so many times since
Speaker 2: Emily first talked about them 100 years ago. That would be hard to even list them all. Every time there's a new technology, a new communication environment, The manners, the social expectations that we have of each other change also.
Speaker 2: So
Speaker 2: in thinking about how manners change and evolve, the question of wearable tech and etiquette around wearable technology is something that we've been anticipating at the Emily Post Institute when I first started teaching business seminars 567 years ago I used to have a slide that was a slide that talked about the etiquette questions we anticipated coming in the future and the question of
Speaker 2: a cell phone that that sat comfortably inside your ear that no one knew you were wearing or
Speaker 2: glasses that might use facial recognition software to feed you information from someone else's social media profile while you're talking to them, we're all um inventions that we saw on the horizon and that we anticipated would have an impact on human relationships and the way we interact. And
Speaker 2: sure enough here it is, here's the Apple Watch. I did my first interview yesterday with a tech
Speaker 2: um columnist who was curious about behavior and etiquette for the Apple watch and I said to him, congratulations, you get the blue ribbon, you're the first person
Speaker 2: to call and want to do this interview. And we've been anticipating it for about five years. So gold star for you blue ribbon. Um, and it was a fun conversation because he was an early adopter. He was someone who's been wearing a smart watch for about two years now. He's anticipating the Apple watch but doesn't have one yet.
Speaker 2: Our conversation started with some discussion about what it's like to be an early adopter for any new technology when you have any shiny new bobble in your hands or in this case on your wrist and you're out and about in public and we talked about the responsibility for early adopters to be ambassadors for the technology that they're often embracing and that they're often early to embrace.
Speaker 2: And one of things that he brought up that I thought was absolutely fascinating was when you check your Apple watch or when you check your smartwatch,
Speaker 2: it conjures up all of the social associations that people have had for hundreds of years. When someone checks there, watch that, when you look at how to check your watch, people think you're bored, they think you're checking the time, they think you're about bolt or move on. It's a social cue to wrap things up. So I think this is a particular response that's going to change as this technology becomes more common and when someone looking at their wrist watch doesn't necessarily mean they're checking the time.
Speaker 2: But that association is
Speaker 1: distracted by something because your wristwatch is now going to be your phone, your social, everything right? Tell me
Speaker 2: yes. And up till now they've been pretty function specific. But yeah, the Apple watch is going to open that up dramatically. It's introducing um pretty much is bringing the smartphone to your wrist plus it's hitting on something that's really important, which is that sort of interesting anomaly about this transition time. Aside,
Speaker 2: many of the rules that govern smartphone and tablet use are going to govern the use of your wearable. I was
Speaker 1: going to say it doesn't seem like it's I mean a lot of people I know stopped wearing watches when
Speaker 1: when cell phones and smartphones really became ubiquitous because oh I can just use my phone. I don't need this extra.
Speaker 2: I've always got a satellite timed, super accurate clock with me anyway, I don't need to wear it on my wrist. So that, that is true. A lot of those same standards are going to apply that you keep your attention on the people that you're with, that you don't let your device be a distraction to people who are around you or two captive audience. Is that you
Speaker 2: don't use that device at the dinner table or in a public restroom.
Speaker 2: Right? Because
Speaker 1: we always say, don't leave your phone on the table. Well now anytime your wrist is on the table, your phone is on the table.
Speaker 2: And if you can't silence it easily, we're going to even suggest that you take it off, if it's going to be ringing, lighting up vibrating. If it's going to be a distraction to the people around you and a dinner tables, a place where you might want to really carve that out as a
Speaker 2: um, a civil space that you want to respect in the same way you would a religious service or
Speaker 2: there are other places, an important meeting with your boss where you're going to want to hold yourself to the same standard, just like you wouldn't set that cell phone on the table and let it light up vibrate, ring, play music. You're not going to let your wearable tech do that either whether it's your google as or the watch on your wrist. So what
Speaker 1: about eavesdropping? Because now your phone is on your, your wrist, which I think is a little harder to kind of cover up.
Speaker 1: Whereas you know, like right now it's, it's not exactly appropriate or it's not exactly always a problem. I should say, when someone feels their phone buzz or something like that and they look at it, you know, your phone faces your face, you hold it kind of up a little bit. So it's less likely that
Speaker 1: like the way we're sitting right now, dan across from each other that you would see
Speaker 1: who was text messaging, calling or what appointment I had coming up, you know, what alert I'm receiving. But when it's on your wrist to me, that's like uh it's easier to tell what it's like when someone leaves it on the table and you notice. So you just got a text message from puja. You know,
Speaker 2: I would hold myself to the same standard I do with a cell phone again. And that's frankly when you're in conversation with someone, you don't want to be intermittently checking your phone and we all do it.
Speaker 1: It's Pavlovian at this point,
Speaker 2: it's common behavior, but it's probably a lot of people perceive as rude and you definitely want to keep your attention on the people you're with. And just because you can kind of
Speaker 2: sneakily do it a little better with your phone than you can with the wearable tech.
Speaker 1: I'm not even talking about sneaking though. I just mean like, you know, like you and I are talking just at work and your phone goes off and so you look at it, it's a bit more private. Whereas if it's on your wrist, it's just a harder thing to,
Speaker 1: it's harder to keep it private. I'm just, I'm picturing you in the studio, I'm holding my wrist out as if I was going to look at a watch and I'm like, you know, would, would danby was on, it feels more exposed to me.
Speaker 2: Does it feels like I'll tell you. And this comes back to the first thing we were saying, it feels like a gesture
Speaker 2: because for so long that checking the wristwatch, if you think about it, you see in fashion ads and you see it in the movies. I mean it's it's supposed it's a gesture and gestures have meaning and significance. There there are language all to their own
Speaker 2: and we can all think of gestures to communicate things very clearly.
Speaker 2: Um
Speaker 2: I'll tell you just while I'm thinking about something else I mentioned for the early adopter is be prepared to be an object of curiosity, be prepared for people to want to touch this device and I mean some people are gonna want to talk to you about it and know about it, but there's a certain number of very curious people are gonna want to touch it. They're not physically interact
Speaker 1: weight, but can we give them something to say back off my watch? Like how do you let them know? Like
Speaker 2: I love my new watch
Speaker 1: then I see it.
Speaker 2: I'm sorry, I'm watching
Speaker 1: new etiquette. How you're listening to New etiquette happened right here and now? Yeah. How are we going to do that? If some, if you are looking at that watch and someone's like, oh cool, you got one and they go in towards it. Okay. Chris is chiming in with some our sound engineers chiming in with some good advice saying, hey, give me a second, I'll take it off. You can,
Speaker 2: you can look at your comfortable, you can take it off and handed someone you might have a standard reply. You know,
Speaker 2: everyone's curious. I'm just not taking it off anymore. It's so terrible.
Speaker 1: What terrible. It's just awkward because you know why it's awkward for us to say it is because nobody's used to saying it. It's just the same way as like when people first their pocket was first ringing. So excuse me, I have to take a call.
Speaker 1: How awkward was that? Your pocket never rang before. This was a new thing.
Speaker 1: So it's going to take us a while to get comfortable and find the language around. You know what, that's my call. I have to go or you know what, I don't want to show you what's on my watch. We'll find language for it as it becomes a ubiquitous thing. If it becomes ubiquitous. Got it, you got dance, making it out. Eureka,
Speaker 2: head him off at the past. Have a cool feature or to, to show somebody oh, that's the new watch. Oh yeah, it's amazing. Let me show you. I love the mickey mouse face and you can hold it got an alarm, you can wind it, it tells the time
Speaker 1: the time you know what it's no different from your phone it's just a quarter the size.
Speaker 2: We're just using the reporter that I was talking to mention something else that he really liked about it.
Speaker 2: Um He's limited the access to the watch to a list of VIP contacts has a sub list because it does come directly to the wrist because it's not as easy to keep it in his pocket. He doesn't take it off. He wants that to be a very select and smaller group of people. And his wife says the watch has saved the marriage because he's now got this tiered system. He doesn't answer his phone all the time because if the phone rings he knows it's not the VIP contacts that are getting too, it's not the emergency contact. So the phone has become more like the laptop where he manages email, but he manages communication there. That's one tear back the immediacy of that wearable tech
Speaker 2: physically on his person,
Speaker 1: physically separates the very important from them. Maybe important. You got it.
Speaker 1: Oh, I like
Speaker 2: that. I thought that was fascinating and was a potential future social implication of the wearable tech that the people in the context that you allow closer to you physically are the ones that are more important to you. I thought that was a fascinating emerging quality to this new communication technology. Anyway,
Speaker 2: I'm sure
Speaker 1: there'll be lots more to come as we get more used to the gadgets that come into our lives.
Speaker 2: Big, big picture advice. Early adopters be ready, be ready for the curiosity seekers and be a good ambassador. Really. Be thinking about your device and the people around you and hold yourself to high standards and
Speaker 2: for a broad thought treated very similarly to how you would a cellphone keep your attention on the people you're with established relationship expectations that you can meet over the long term and enjoy. I'm so jealous.
Speaker 2: Social courtesy does pay, doesn't it? Thanks.
Speaker 1: We like to end every episode of awesome etiquette with an etiquette salute and today's salute comes from Emily Sir,
Speaker 1: Dear lizzie and dan first. Let me thank you for your charming and informative podcast. My husband and I recently returned from a vacation in Saint Lucia. We listened to your podcast on the airplane ride home. We would like to nominate the staff of the villa beach cottages in ST Lucia for the etiquette salute because of their commitment to kindness.
Speaker 1: We were married in ST Lucia two years ago at the Villa Beach Cottages.
Speaker 1: We were overjoyed to return to the island and the villas to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Each staff member goes above and beyond their job requirements to ensure that each guest is comfortable and welcomed. The following are a few small examples of why we are nominating. The staff
Speaker 1: housekeeper met us on our way to the airport to give us a gift
Speaker 1: for our two year old niece that attended the wedding. After a long day of travel, we were greeted upon our arrival with a warm meal and a cold beer. We appreciate your consideration for the etiquette salute again. Many thanks for your good work sincerely, Emily Kreutzer.
Speaker 1: Well now wasn't that better?
Speaker 1: Look at the effect of a little
Speaker 2: politeness.
Speaker 1: That's our show for today as always, thank you for listening and spending some of your day with us. We hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. And don't forget there's no show without you. So send us your etiquette questions, your etiquette salutes and your suggestions to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com.
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Speaker 1: on facebook where the Emily Post Institute on twitter. I am at lizzie a
Speaker 2: 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.