Episode 301: Memory Lane
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
Welcome to the Awesome Etiquette podcast, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today’s show Lizzie and Dan take your questions on: feeding extended family for free, addressing racial slurs, invasive questions for essential workers, addressing an email during difficult times. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about reflecting on past behaviors. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript where we take a trip down memory lane.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashion.
Speaker 1: Watch how busy post and damn posts and act as host and hostess.
Speaker 1: They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person. Really Friendliness. Hello and welcome toe Awesome etiquette, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today's show, we take your questions on feeding extended family for free, responding to racial jokes and slurs, invasive questions for essential workers and addressing an email during difficult times for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about reflecting on past behaviors, plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a post script where we literally take a trip down memory lane. All that coming up
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute. I'm Lizzie Post. I'm Dan Post sending, and we got a little blast from the past this week. It was very timely. We did. We absolutely did. We heard from Jackson, who was the producer. I believe her Booker over at a dinner party download for years and spent many a month during our time doing a one once a month segment on that show reaching out to us, sending us questions, seeing how we're doing a real behind the scenes part of that experience. And Jackson is now booking for other shows, other podcasts and shows and and reached out to see if we wanted to collaborate and have some guests on our show, which I think we're gonna be saying yes to. But it was so great great to hear from him, but I almost wanted to tease him. I didn't actually tease him, but he sent his email to our generic awesome etiquette email address and I'm going, Jackson, you've got my email. Jackson. You've got my cell phone number like my actual personal one. Not my work one. So I fully admit this guys I like. It was probably 11 o'clock last night. I texted Jackson and was like Jackson, I'm just seeing your email. I hadn't checked the box all week. I'm so excited to hear from you and hear how you're doing. But it was like I just wanted to be like, Dude, just text me no he feels like family like E family and he is a family because he was around before awesome etiquette. When you mentioned the dinner party, download some of the newer listeners to the show. Those of you who weren't here from Show One, where we talked mawr explicitly about the origins of the show, being a guest appearance that Lizzie and I used to do monthly on an American public media show called The Dinner Party Download. And it was those monthly meetings where we joined host Brendan and Rico toe answer etiquette questions, and they had a section on their show where they used to ask etiquette questions to celebrities and they would get really outrageous answer. So the Rolling Stones answer your etiquette question, or Ed Asner answers your etiquette question or you name it. That show had a great book or his name was Jackson on. He used to get really great guests, but what they discovered was that they actually wanted somewhat serious answers, and their audience really responded to Lizzie and I coming on and giving an answer. That was rooted in some basic etiquette concepts and
Speaker 1: the origin of this conversation about etiquette that was a little mawr informal was achieved or happened. I guess you could say that's definitely where we got our feet wet where we got our first taste for for what a show could sound like. What answers and responses from audience could be like. We gleefully cling to the wonderful compliment that we got from the dinner party download audience of Could you save our question for the posts, please? I mean, like every time I saw that, it just made me feel. But like it warmed my heart and made me feel like, Oh my gosh, people like what we dio and that all built into
Speaker 1: getting a phone call from someone else whose name those of you who have been with us from Day one or who have gone through the archives will recognize. And that is Hans Butto. And long ago, on a summer afternoon, we set up a phone call to discuss the fact that American Public Media wanted to create a network of podcasts and they were interested in doing an Emily Post etiquette podcast. And would we be interested? Oh, would we? It's on Lee your dream. What a great idea, Hans, what did you have in mind? We'd be delighted to talk with you about that. Oh, a 40 minute Q and a show. We would love that, and Hans really shepherded us through the development of awesome etiquette. He served as a sounding board as a source of her ideas and inspiration as a check on some of our more ambitious and maybe unrealistic goals. And
Speaker 1: he by the time we had worked with him for a couple months, we really had the structure for the show that you're listening to now pretty well established. We really relied and leaned on our audience, and it hasn't changed too too much since, No, for for the questions that air the meat and substance of the show. But we've got the feedback section and the post script and the etiquette salute. And the way that that comes together was also something that Lizzie and I didn't have a lot of experience with. Editing sound Getting a final recording toe
Speaker 1: simulator achieve something close to the experience that you have when you're in the room recording. It takes mawr wizardry than
Speaker 1: you might imagine, and it was just such a Frito work with such competent professional people to help us figure out how to do that. So, sadly, though, after about 100 episodes on Scott, I would, I want to say, promoted to another podcast without being insulting to us. But he did, and that show is called terrible Thanks for asking. And he actually says, Stayed at that show up until the end of 2019. When Hans Doo Doo doo doo doo doo doo major Congratulations and kudos. So he is the senior producer of audio content at The New York Times. Now just huge Congratulations and collapse. Thio Hans, Just It's been awesome following his career since he was with us on little awesome etiquette. E think his humor had a really big impact on this show. Quietly, I think, behind the scenes, his sort of irreverence, um, was one of the things that really got us going and encourage Lizzie and I toe try to bring some of ourselves to this podcast. So I will second that congratulations from my cousin and out of thanks, Hans for everything that you do. The people you're working with now are very lucky.
Speaker 1: But as we continue our little walk down memory Lane, as is often the case with transitions that transition away from Hans as a producer. And eventually our transition away from the podcast network at American Public Media opened the door for us to do something else that was pretty exciting, which was work much more closely with their own team with some of the folks we knew from Vermont Public Radio Chris Albertine, who is our current sound engineer and just does such an incredible job on this show. We love and adore Chris Albertine. He's also our editor. He edits the entire show, too. He does some day, and we hope to hear from you. Thio. Add your voices to the chorus of two here behind the mix to get Chris to step out from behind that soundboard and maybe add his own New York sense of humor to this show just a little bit.
Speaker 1: It's one of the saddest things about not recording in studio with him anymore at this point is because Chris has these wonderful New York comments that come out, and I can only call them New York because it's New Yorkers who have this like amazing ability toe like make a comment or a dig it something, and somehow it just doesn't even come off rude. It just It's funny, It's entertaining. It's got bringing value. It's like whether it's serving as a check, whether it's serving as a nudge, whether it's serving as encouragement, it's like it's it's really funny, but it's it's this interesting space. Andi Chris occupies it really, really well. It's a little harsh. Yeah, exactly. It's a little harsh. It's a little critical, but it's also pretty riel and usually usually very witty, exactly which somehow adds that value that you're talking about. So it's not just taking people down a notch. It's like, Oh, I'm gonna take this down a notch and at the same time, I'm going to say something kind of insightful that's gonna be revealing about what I'm talking about,
Speaker 1: and we then lean back in our chairs and say, Chris, do we just put that in the show? He says No, he never lets us. I always have to cover his face with with with an emoji if we capture a picture of him. But he is, he is a riot and he's been a delight toe work with, and you also have to know that behind the scenes I mean, we've really gotten to know Chris over the years. We watched him fall in love with his wife, Betsy, and we went to his wedding. Um, and we've We've seen him become a step dad in that family and two adult Children. But it's it's seeing his life blossom and change over the six years of the show has actually for us been a big part of that show that we don't always get to share with you. You know, mostly for protecting people's privacy, but it is a big part of it. I mean, Betsy brings us treats often. Do you realize I have not had a blueberry Betsy muffin in freaking four months? And it's like, I don't need anything else on the thighs right now, but I could really do with Betsy Muffin you guys. She gets that kind of like like that crisped top to the muffin so that the dome of the muffin like is like that little bit of sugary, buttery crumble. I mean, it gets you, and then it's soft and the blueberries air like juicy and oh, my gosh, does she know how to make um of it. It's so good. It's so good and we haven't had them. We haven't had any Betsy treats in four months. When you said that's his name, I said, Okay, because we have named Betsy. We're gonna have to talk about the baked goods for a little while now. So thank you for taking us there as well on no pressure, Betsy. I'm sorry for doing it in such graphic detail, but you know, Yeah, no pressure, Betsy, but we do have mailing addresses. We would totally take you up on extra bait case. I'll do yard work and exchange for them. But there's another person beyond our wonderful Kristen Betsy, who's joined our team.
Speaker 1: And she is young and she is fun and her name is Bridget Doubt, and she has been a huge asset. Um, she has helped take over a lot of the script, writing off my hands e focus on writing, and she she goes through all the questions and the feedback, and she's often forwarding us responses and comments and things like that, and it's been really exciting to see her blossom, and she had a real drive to want to learn how to produce and work on podcasts. And so we started working together on that. And, um, she's just she's come so far and we're so proud of her. It's fun picking up the phone and talking to Bridget about the show or about what's going on, you know, in the rest of her life, outside of awesome etiquette, she does amazing things. She's like a rock climber, and she's a pet lover. And she works also in radio. And so to her, the entire audio experience an audio storytelling is something that she wants to help bring to it. She created an interview for us, for people to get to know damn in me a little bit better. That's in our bonus content over on our patryan site. But she she does really care about storytelling and what I love it. Whenever she sends us clips of the news pieces that she's done and she's she's really good at what she does. So we're really glad toe have her here and also to have someone with a young mind. I hate saying it that way, but it is true. Dan and I were like, you know, we're like Liege Now way were younger when this started. Guys, Dan's got two kids and some gray hairs. There are a few other people that we should mention just as we continue our little walk down memory lane and that are all the guests that have been on the show and have held us continue to deliver episodes. And I know that some of those guest hosts are also regular listeners to this show. So, um Cindy Post Senning, Peter Post,
Speaker 1: Bill Post Thank you so much for your support of Lizzie and I threw the Emily Post Institute, but also specifically your willingness to put yourself out there. Come on the show, get on the mic and talk about your family. Are you guys going to go in on this with me and say, um Dan, you're missing one very important member who's been a guest multiple times? It was the reason, I e, I guess. But thank you, Lizzie, for being the one that was not me just going that giving kudos to my spouse? No, but Pooja has been a guest on the show number of times. I love the episode where pooch and I got to be together on the show without you, and she took on even this almost like announcer like Radio host Personality. It was awesome and so much fun to bounce off of. I was like, This is way too much fun. We gotta have more pooch on the show. I think she'd do it, But you're right. It's been really fun doing the show with our different guests on bits. It's been fun to bring in family members, especially because they do have a tie to this, you know, And they do always ask. Whenever we go to the holidays, you know what's going on at the institute. How's it going? How is it going? Or I remembered a story that I wanted to tell you guys. Someone reached out to me, you know, it's nice. It's nice to involve them and get our audience to get to know them. What I'm realizing, as we do that list is that there's one other family member who I would love to get on the show, who I don't think has done it yet. And that's Peggy Post. Oh, really carried the tradition for a number of years. On her own was the solo author on a couple editions of the big etiquette book and I think would be a voice that our audience would be really interested to hear. It's sometimes a little tough to coordinate with her. She's enjoying her retirement in Florida, but I think we could do it. I think we could get her well, Well, A blast from the past and a walk down memory lane has brought us to future ideas. It has indeed. Do you think we should close this intro and bring us to some questions? I think we should. Let's get to some questions.
Speaker 1: Awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email your next question toe 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're at Emily Post Inst on instagram were at Emily Post Institute on Facebook. We are awesome etiquette. Just remember to use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show
Speaker 1: mhm.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Our first question is titled Free Food for the Family.
Speaker 1: Dear Lizzie and Daniel. First of all, thank you so much for putting out such a wonderful podcast. I always look forward to listening and find your answers to be so insightful and always kind. Since I'm having a bit of an issue myself, I thought I would write in for the first time. My husband's sister is in the habit of asking us to pick up food on the way to her house. She has four young Children, so we often go there versus them coming here. We only have one son who is, too.
Speaker 1: She'll usually ask us to go to a nearby restaurant and get the take out order, pick up pizza or stop at the store to pick up a few ingredients. This usually ends up being much of the meal, such as hamburgers and hot dogs, plus aside or all of the ingredients necessary for a pasta night.
Speaker 1: While we're happy to help, she never pays us back or even mentions it. We're also not offered anything to drink, and they will drink their drinks right in front of us without offering were asked to cook and clean the whole kitchen and often leave feeling a bit off. We're happy to host and provide all of the food and drink, but are rarely taken up on our offers. Is there a polite way to ask for payment for some of the food that we pick up? Or should we stop picking up food in general and make an excuse as to why we can't? It's very important to my husband that we go every two weeks or so, as that's the only time he gets to see his family. Thank you, Rachel. Oh, Rachel, this is definitely an awkward family situation. You're dealing with a couple of things here, and I guess the first thought that comes to my mind is that part of the difficulty here is that the rudeness is coming from another party here, and it can be difficult toe correct other people's behaviors that the simplest fixes air, not in your hands. That puts a lot of responsibility on you. And my first thought from that angle is that this might be and this is sort of a tough reality situation, a pay to play kind of situation where
Speaker 1: your husband's really committed to seeing his family, and this is the best that they can organize. That the four kids or just a lot and Theus assumption is that you, with two kids are going toe, have toe carry more of the load to make it happen on any kind of regular, consistent basis, and that they might have internalized that thought. They're just leaning on it at this point.
Speaker 1: That's awkward, and it also might be that it's your responsibility to say whatever that cost is. I'm willing to pay it for the sake of family relationships, and part of that's a material cost, and part of it is the psychological cost. That's a lot to ask of you, But in some ways, that's the easiest, quickest solution. It might in fact, even be that Rachel's husband, who's expressed that this is really important to him to go over there at least every two weeks, has already decided for himself that this is the cost in doing that, that in order to be able to go over there about every two weeks, we're just gonna pay for dinner and they're not gonna offer us stuff, and we're going to do all the cooking and cleaning, and that's just how it's gonna go. And he might just have said, Okay, we're just This is the way it is. And I think that the disconnect might be happening then when Rachel's like, No, but I don't feel like this is a good, you know, host guest, family interaction going on. It doesn't feel right to me to go over there, pay for everything, do everything not be thanked, not be offered anything. And that was when Dan and I discussed this question ahead of time. One of the points he brought up was that even if there was some way just to encourage a thank you toe happen, and that's what that is, a really, really tough piece of etiquette advice to deliver to someone. Excuse me, could you thank me more? Could you appreciate me a little bit more? I'd feel better about this if just maybe, maybe you acknowledged it. We all really know that we all really feel that it's super super riel way harder than Dude. You got broccoli on the tooth like way, way, way harder.
Speaker 1: And it's worth saying, because this kind of relationship where sort of reciprocal hosting or reciprocity in the host guest relationship isn't always achievable. And if that is the practical framework that you're dealing with, a genuine, sincere thank you to the person who's expending effort is so worthwhile.
Speaker 1: Let's transition and talk about things that Rachel could do in this situation that that might address some of the specific questions and make it easier to bear that psychological cost or the material cost. But my guess is that it's that psychological cost. That's the bigger drain in this situation. So the brain goes to the 22 classics that my confrontational brain usually goes to. And those are, Do you speak up and say something? And if you're going to speak up and say something, how and when are you going to do it? Because there are some schools of thought that would say with the drinks thing, for instance, I might just say I fully admit I am a host who often forgets to offer someone who just stops by quickly or something like that, a glass of water I have to make myself remember. And so that's one where I'm like, Oh, I don't know, maybe they're doing it intentionally. Maybe they're not. But it's one where I might just say, like, Oh, do you mind if I grab a glass of water? They may also think of you guys as such family that it's expected that you walk in and serve yourselves. That's one where you could you could test out a little bit, leaning into it and saying, Oh, great mind if I grab a soda or, you know, great. Oh, here. I could grab a bowl to put those in or something like that. They're giving you a lot of space to play as host and free range in the house. When they're asking you to do the cooking and the cleaning,
Speaker 1: you might lean in a little bit if that's not the direction you want to go. When you it comes toe actually saying something more directly. This is where and you know me. I always lean into this direction is I would talk to my husband. I would talk to my partner who is related to this family more directly, and I would say, Listen, I'm struggling, you know, with this part of it, and if we are going to make a change in that department. If the two of you have decided, we're not gonna lean in dance direction of this might just be paid to play. Let's just take take the hit on this for a little while. Then you say we've got to address it. Do we have you her brother? You know, the brother talked to his family directly and say, Hey, you know, we love coming over and we want to make this a regular thing. But it is starting to feel like a little either taxing financially or like we come over. And we're not sure if we're allowed to help ourselves to things, but at the same time, we do all the cooking and cleaning. We're just hoping to kind of balance out to get together a little bit more. You if that kind of conversation is gonna work, great. If it's not, you know, you might take that quick, leaning approach of like, um, they call and say, Hey, can you pick up, you know, take out from the Vietnamese place on the way there? Sure. Great. Sounds like the order will be about 80 bucks. Okay. If we split the cost and just ask then, when that order is being made or when you're being requested to go pick something up about how that cost is gonna be split before you say yes to picking it up. Dan, what do you think to me? The parallel there is is immediate to the R S V p expectation that when you accept an invitation, that's the time toe map out the conditions. Oh, I'd love to come to your dinner party. I I am having trouble eating X, y or Z right now. Could I offer to bring something or is there something on the menu that doesn't have X, y or Z? It's those conversations that happen around the establishment of the event were oftentimes it's easiest to set the parameters that you're comfortable with.
Speaker 1: Oh, I'd be happy to stop by the store. I've did it the last few times. Could you call it in and pay the bill over the phone? I'd be happy to pick it up is a very reasonable thing to say to someone who you've got a sort of familial, casual back and forth relationship with you're not saddling them with the bill you're offering to help your offering to contribute, but you're giving some indication about a division that'll make you feel more comfortable. It is also okay if you've done that kind of preparatory work to follow up,
Speaker 1: if they don't then offer to pay half when you show up or toe, pay the bill over the phone so you can just pick it up. It's okay if that's been part of your agreement. When you discuss what you're going to do for you to follow up and say, Oh, hey, I've got the receipt I was hoping to get half of it. Do you have cash? Would it be better if I then mode you a receipt or how, how how would you like to settle up? And you give them that opportunity toe? Participate in whatever way, makes the most sense for them, and hopefully that should let them pick up the ball in some way. That's gonna be more equitable. Moving forward. Rachel. We know this is a lot to parse out, but it's kind of like Step Step one in our minds is definitely you and your husband getting on the same page about what you're willing to expect and willing to take on from these visits and then together figuring out if that means you're gonna communicate that to your in laws. But mostly I hope that you are able to find a way, whether it's a frame shift or whether it's actually addressing the issue to move forward with having these great interactions between you and your in laws and all the kids and their cousins. It sounds like you guys have a big family with a lot of like, ah, lot of good intention.
Speaker 1: My, That was fun, wasn't it? Doing things together is fun. It can be in your family to whether it's seeing movies. Is this family dust or working and playing together in other ways, as other families dio? Our next question is about a response to racial slurs.
Speaker 1: Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I'm wondering if you could provide me a short answer to the best way to comment or call out an inappropriate racial slur or joke. I know it probably depends on your relationship with the person and how it was said, but maybe just a general line for an acquaintance, white person and I am white or also someone who may be older. Thank you so much for all that you do, Tracy.
Speaker 1: Tracy. I definitely think way always want to start this with the Lord's Safety and that you want to make sure that you feel safe about taking action if you choose to take action. And I think that's always just the first filter to pass through. After that, I think it really it. I almost don't want to say it depends on the situation, even though I know that that is the truth. But I think in some form figuring out what your different levels of response could be so that you have them in your back pocket ready to go to. I know the times when I've said I don't find that funny or you know, to me I'm not comfortable hearing language like that. I don't appreciate being around it. I do go more serious with my tone with it. I just that's that's not a joke in my book. Those kinds of things are the things that I'll say when I do feel comfortable speaking up. And if I don't I often just excuse myself or walk away. I really have a hard time sitting around laughing at things that aren't funny. So it's for me that that's how I tend to handle those situations. I really like your answer, Lizzie. And one of things I like the most about it is how true it is. And we talk about honesty being an important component for good etiquette. But part of being honest is being sincere, being genuine with yourself. And if you're in a situation where somebody is saying things that you really don't agree with that air making you uncomfortable, I think part of being sincere and authentic is acknowledging that to yourself and to the person who's causing that discomfort. So I don't find that funny with a serious tone and a willingness to leave or disengage if they won't correct it, I think are really reasonable and wise first courses of action.
Speaker 1: You know, one of the other tactics that you can lean into is is that that is a bit more leaning in the direction of if you're with someone who's willing to maybe have and I don't want to say like an educational moment, but but a moment where they explore and learn and it's someone you feel you could broach that with you might say something like, You know, for me, what you just said really falls under the category of privilege, and it's it's what privilege sounds like when we talk. And it's funny because it's not always what people imagine it sounds like and those airways to start to engage in calling out our question asked. Tracy did refer specifically to a racial slur or joke, which I think much more falls under the category of the blatant. I don't find that funny or that's not language I'm willing toe tolerate being around, Um, whereas I think there's There are a lot of other things people say they falls into that category. They're just not aware yet that what they're saying is really hurtful. I like to give that benefit of the doubt. It's not always there. Sometimes people are really aware of the things that they're saying and how hurtful they are. But I do find that there are situations we're approaching it from that, you know, I really learned that. That's what that's what white privilege sounds like, or I really learned That's not what I thought. It waas, I think, admitting those kind of things and moving those things forward is perfectly appropriate. Also, be smart. See where you get, You know, it's like people. Sometimes they're ready to have those conversations. Sometimes they're not. Sometimes they're ready to let you just brush off and walk away, and sometimes they're not. And that's why we say Put safety first was that you had a sample script in our show, notes that go something like, I've learned that saying things like X, y or Z are are often heard differently by other people or by others. And I like that idea also of of doing education, doing in a way that's not, um, sort of hypercritical or accusatory, but also includes you as part of this learning process. You're sort of acknowledging that maybe I didn't know before that that thing that you just said might really be offensive to someone. But now I know it and guess what I wanted to clue you in because I think you would want to know that also, and that's ah spirit or a tone to education that can start toe, take something that someone could feel really defensive about and give them a point of access or away Thio To see it, the way you see it, which is really the best possible outcome here
Speaker 1: or just hopefully gain more perspective. Yeah, Tracy, we hope that that helps. It's certainly a difficult topic and not always easy. And we hope that you are able to find good solutions for the situations you may encounter this in.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled Etiquette for Essential Workers.
Speaker 1: Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I'm an essential worker who works in the service industry. Specifically, I'm a teller at a local credit union in my small, relatively rural area. I love my job, and one of my favorite aspects of my daily work is making small talk and pleasant conversation with the members they serve. Usually, this consists of a very polite and brief conversation that occurs during the one or two minutes it takes for me to process a members transaction. I will ask how their day is going, what their weekend was like or compliment them on something I like about their style or something of that nature. Typically, most members engage in this brief small talk, but it doesn't go further than that. Occasionally, though, I get asked a strangely personal question that sounds something like. How much do you make, or do they pay you well enough?
Speaker 1: This has always caught me off guard, since we're generally not supposed to answer these types of questions around members of the public or our co workers who work in close proximity to me. Even if I were allowed to discuss the information about my wages, I don't know that I would personally want to. This question has gotten even more uncomfortable with the addition of Are they giving you hazard pay or versions of that inquiry? Since Covad, 19 has affected our area and caused a change in protocols,
Speaker 1: my employer is a great employer toe work for and has a positive company culture. I feel that I make a fair amount of money for the work that I do, and I feel respected and appreciated at work. I appreciate that members are concerned for my well being and want to make sure I am well compensated, but I just always get so caught off guard. When asked this question that I can never come up with an eloquent response when I have asked my supervisor in the past how she would like me to reply to this question. She simply reminded me that our organizations policy is not to disclose this information, but somehow it feels like I'm hiding something to simply respond by saying I'm not allowed to disclose that. Sorry, I'm curious to hear how you would deal with the scenario in which a service employees is being asked a very specific and in my opinion route, but probably well intentioned. Question. Do you have any sample language that is not off putting yet respects the company's policy of not revealing such personal information? Thank you in advance for your response and thanks for everything you do on the show. You bring such joy and positivity into my week every Monday. Sincerely confused in California, confused in California. I'm sorry that you're feeling confused. You have laid out a very clear situation for us to respond Thio, and that has helped clarify a lot of the confusion. You are already doing a lot of the work that Lizzie and I would suggest. You've talked to your supervisor about what it is you're supposed to say. You've internalized your own feelings about the place that you work how comfortable you are with it and how you're paid. You're coming from a place that's pretty well put together, and I think it's gonna let us give you an answer. That's pretty short. You are definitely dealing with rude behavior here.
Speaker 1: Yeah, confused in California mentions it, and it's It's the truth, you know, in my opinion, rude and so that instantly shows me. I don't love this question coming to me. I don't find it something that even if I could, I want to discuss. And I think even that was explicitly said here. And therefore, I think you've you've already gotten to the place of you would like to find ways to deflect this not only because your company asks you to not talk about it, but also because you personally wouldn't really want to talk to about it. For me, that gives you a lot of agency to say, Um oh, I'm sorry. I can't discuss pay or I'm sorry, I don't discuss pay, but I love my job. And if you're looking to know that I feel great about where I work like I think those airways to kind of get at what's going on here, but in a friendly way, not deflecting but saying, You know, I don't discuss what I get, you know, for a living. Or, you know, I'm not comfortable discussing hazard pay with you, but still letting them know I like where I work because I think that's what Dan, as you pointed out when we discussed this question earlier together that the thing this person cares about is they have a good job and they understand the other person is just trying to be well intentioned, you know, they're trying to say, Are you taking care of? And I think there is a good intention behind the question, and it's really rude. So the point of etiquette is that you're not supposed to ask people probing or personal questions if they haven't opened the door to the conversation. And the little pneumonic little memory device that Lizzie and I use for thinking about the most intimate or personal conversations is that their conversations that have to do with family or finance and I kind of throw health under that family umbrella. But if you're gonna ask people questions about their family or their money, you wanna be really confident that that door has been open to the conversation that you know, the person well, enoughto have that kind of a conversation that you've asked permission to have that kind of a conversation, and I don't hear any of that going on here. This isn't a scenario where that's possible. So both from a professional standpoint and from a personal standpoint, from a social standpoint, you are not obligated to answer this question, and you're not even necessarily obligated to be polite. And your reply you can just decline like a declining is polite. That's a boundary setting that is a totally appropriate boundary setting that let someone know their question wasn't appropriate or appreciated. Um, but I like the Lizzie approach. I like the idea of softening this. Just so you all know it is so weird for the two of us to talk about not being polite. Uh huh. But at the same time, it's really there are these moments where you don't have to be rude about it, but you do kind of get toe live in the space of We're not in the realm of polite right now because you've asked me how much I make for a living while I'm sitting in an open air environment and my colleagues are around and like and we don't have an established relationship. Yes, exactly Know exactly, Dan. It's all those things that make that moment like and the other person isn't getting it. They just think that they're reaching out to make sure that you have a help line in case somehow you aren't being paid properly. And it's that good intention that I really want to acknowledge. Because while we've been very clear that this is rude,
Speaker 1: I wouldn't respond in a harsher, cold way because a lot of rudeness comes from people who are either unaware or who have good intentions that are coming across differently than they intend. And I am really strongly guessing that the intent of that question is for the person who's asking it to show that they have concern for you and your well being concerned that you're being paid enough to play a role, that they feel a supportive in their life and that they might be wanting to know this so that they could advocate on your behalf or modify their relationship with the employer in a way that is sensitive and aware of that that situation. So in some ways, I'm trying to put on the person who's asking this question the best possible of intentions, and that's and that's not a big stretch for me in this case. So I like the idea of an answer that both denies the information that they're requesting. I don't talk about my pay or it's our policy that we don't talk about pay at work, but but then softening that by telling them exactly what you've told us, that you feel good about the place you work and the way you're treated there that you feel respected there. I think those are all things that if I was concerned about how someone in a place that I patronized was being treated,
Speaker 1: and I asked an inappropriate question and I got that as a response, it would make me feel better. I would feel like the intent of my question was answered,
Speaker 1: confused In California, we hope that this helps cut through the confusion just a little bit, and we're so delighted that you've got a job that you find satisfying,
Speaker 1: so you learn to share with others you'll like it. Your friends will like you to. Our final question today is titled Anxious Emailer. Hi, Dan and Lizzy, Thank you so much for the work that you do as a person with social anxiety. Listening to and learning from awesome etiquette has given me a lot of peace in my day to day interactions with others. I have a question about letter and email writing. During these difficult times, I usually begin letters or emails with I hope this letter slash email finds you well, is that still appropriate Now, when so many people are going through a hard time? Can you please give me some alternative openings? Thanks again, Eve. If we actually talked about this in a number of media interviews over the past couple of months, people saying things like, Boy, the regular old how are you doing? Or, you know, how are you holding up? It just feels tough. And it feels tough to say, You know, I hope I hope this finds you well, but at the same time, that one, I think, is actually still a really good line. Sometimes I've seen a lot of a lot of people, especially in the past, couple of weeks saying, You know, I hope you're doing all right through these difficult times or things like that. Maybe not so much. I hope you're doing well, but kind of softening it down just a little bit. Not like I hope you are having the best, most amazing week of your life. While there is a lot of unrest, that's, you know, obviously not the direction you want to go. So instead, you know, I hope this email finds you safe. I hope this email finds you doing all right. Right now. Those things, I think help tone it down a little bit. If well, feels too big right now. I was trying. I hope this finds you keeping busy, staying warm, staying dry, well rested. That s or other things about someone state of being but or maybe more specific to
Speaker 1: whether or season or for the degree of work. Is it that if I make a joke, Dan, it's June Who needs to be warm? Listen, some of those summer nights can get kind of cold. Alright, guys, remember, Dan lives on a mountain in Vermont. Okay, so it's were well below 10,000 ft here okay. And by the way, that okay is how Anisha talks. My three year old has revealed to me every language construction that I overuse and okay, toe elicit agreement is something I say all the time. So my three year old says so, Dad, we're gonna have dinner now. Okay, Um, other ways to open emails. The I hope this finds you is sort of one sentence you can modify. You can also go with something as simple as good morning or good afternoon, particularly for something that's arriving in a timely manner, like a email or the text or instant message or something like that. That that's another way that you can begin without jumping right into the purpose of the email That just sort of says hi, Good morning, Good afternoon.
Speaker 1: And doesn't put any onus on them toe sort of reflect on their state of being. There's another way you can use it to, which is to not use it in the beginning, but to use it as as a way of wishing someone well at the close. And so, rather than hoping that the email finds them while you're hoping that you know, I hope you have a good weekend or I hope you take care over the weekend, things like that. I'm saying weekend because we're recording on a Friday. You know, I think that's another way of kind of getting the good intention and the kind of care for someone that these types of messages air supposed to be acknowledging. There's also I do just wanna stretch the conversation a little bit because there's a whole group of people that want to drop these types of niceties from emailing entirely. They find it inefficient. They find it obvious, like, you know, they also I think they think of the work day as more of, like a get work done day, and so that efficiency becomes the priority over the niceties that you might share. I noticed that we have a one of the companies that helps manages podcast sponsors. Every single person who emails from that company gives you some kind of a well wish about your day, even when you call to call the company, they expressed that they hope you're having a great day. It is ingrained in the company that you wish people well and inquire after them or wish them a good weekend, that sort of thing. And it's It's across every single person who's ever worked there. Every email says something like that each time.
Speaker 1: So it's actually like a bigger topic on efficiency and also on kind of company culture to I still like it, and I particularly like it early on in the next year. I find that the folks that I work with that are all about business that are placing a high premium on efficiency, that I'm pretty comfortable dropping those niceties as a chain develops. And oftentimes we get very information exchange by about the third email. I still like that first, even talking about me toe have just a little bit of something. Just just acknowledge the humanity of both parties. Justo, open the door and start this thing off on the right foot. I don't think it's inefficient. I think it's an investment. I think it's nice. I think it's nice if we hope that that helps you think about some different ways to address the topic as a hole in your emails and gives you some sample language for toning things down during difficult times. Good work investing in those relationships. Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers. Toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. Leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 Or you can find us on social media on Twitter. We're at Emily Post Inst on instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook were awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts, so we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: If you love awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this by visiting us at patryan dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get an ADS free version of this show, access to bonus questions and content. Plus, you'll feel great knowing you helped to keep awesome etiquette on the air. And to those of you who are already sustaining members, thank you for your support.
Speaker 1: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer in the topics we cover. And today we hear from Katherine about Episode 2 99 and the question on destination weddings.
Speaker 1: Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I appreciate your perspective on the question about destination weddings and the suggestion to focus on the question. What makes you feel married? My fiance and I started with that question as well, and it helped our framing. What also helped was the book How We Meet and Why It Matters by Preah Parker, which suggested when deciding on the purpose of an event to make that purpose divisive or divisive. While it may sound counterintuitive, the idea is that a divisive purpose helps make decisions over the course of planning an event. An example for weddings can be whether the purpose of the reception is to gather everyone that will support the marriage through the couple's lives, in which case priority would goto inviting other couples and friends who will be its similar life stages with the couple going forward.
Speaker 1: Or the purpose could be to celebrate the two families, becoming one in which case priority would goto inviting family members and making sure that they can all attend.
Speaker 1: The author also gives an example for baby showers and whether the purpose should be to celebrate a new mother or if the purpose is to celebrate both members of a couple as they become new parents together, deciding on that purpose may help the questioner decide of a destination. Wedding serves the purpose of the event. In any case, best of luck, planning and congratulations best Catherine
Speaker 1: Catherine. Thank you. I think that's great feedback. I'm of course, always gonna lean into more of that, decide on a purpose rather than come up with something divisive. But that's just my brain g eking out on positivity right there. I am totally with you there because we have a second piece of feedback and it's a short one. But it's from anonymous Congratulations on 300 shows and counting. I appreciate your growing cultural sensitivity. Earlier shows reference white lies and now you thoughtfully say innocents lies also as a gender fluid person. I appreciate that you don't assume listeners genders north, their partners genders. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Anonymous Anonymous. You are most welcome. Thank you for your feedback and for listening to the show you here
Speaker 1: on. Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please do keep them coming. You can send your next question. Feedback, comment or update toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can also leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: It's time for our postscript segment, where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette on Lee this week. We're not really diving into a topic of etiquette. Instead, we're going to take a trip down memory lane for all of our 300 episodes that you have been with us for 301 now. There have been a lot of consistencies, a lot of laughs. There have been some guests. There have been topics that we never expected would become major topics on this show. And there's also been a lot of just getting to know Dan and me over the years, and we thought it would be really fun to share some clips from Memory Lane. I've got to say, Lizzie, it's been so much fun for me to revisit the early days of this show. I hope that our audience enjoys some of this early audio as much asses we did shall we start with, um, the beginning. Let's start with the beginning. Hello? Hello. Hello On. Welcome toe. Awesome etiquette. Where we explore after 300 episodes, you followed us through almost six years of our lives and six years of etiquette in America and abroad. Thanks to our international audience, we've gotten it right. We've gotten it wrong. We've put together Oh so many sample scripts. And together we have learned so much We always start the show with an intro Unscripted where Lizzie and I catch up on our lives and work and check in. Here are some of the highlights from all those check ins. My health life has changed a T Emily posted to do We know that people come to us at four major life events, and one of them is when they get married. I'm engaged. In fact, she said yes. Yes, yes. Uh, dude, I know, right? Something different happened this weekend. No, Dan and I were at a strange folks show together. We saw each other outside of work. It happened. Really happens. I've been playing so much golf. That doesn't really sound good. Okay? Nobody cares about the woodpile. Do you know What is so freaking awesome? Everybody, about the woodpile. Do you even know it's football season? I've been waiting for football season since the Super Bowl, and I can't disagree with you. Oh, yes, you are. And you are back. And I have a new dad. Absolutely. Yeah, Give it to me. Give it to me. It's also our 50th show and old No, I do feel not. Just because of that, I'm just trying to show you up, that's all. You're good at the scripts. Vegetables were never really my focus before. You know, I'm not judging anybody else. I've been a mediator for years. Like, you know, I was exhausted last night, but I still finished painting the trim in my bathroom, and I put together the storage Selves and I cleaned up my Yes, I have a dressing room, my dressing room, and I always hear my own verbal tics, and I say to myself, I need to get better about that. And months ago it was indeed I was always agreeing by saying, Indeed, I've been so bad about my New Year's resolution. E need help. I need reminders. I need rubber band snapping on my wrist anytime I let the wrong word fly. You've all heard so much about Pooja. It really is a delight and a pleasure toe. Welcome her to the studio today and, yeah, in our arms. Little Venetia, She's right here. This'll show is, of course, based on your etiquette questions. And we have taken your questions on Cem. Really classic geeky etiquette themes that we just love. If you bring someone a gift when you go to meet their new baby, should they send you a thank you note at a family style dinner? What direction do you pass the food? Is it still Incorrecta? Wear white to a wedding if you're not the bride. If someone invites you to their home for dinner for your birthday, do you bring something e, flowers, wine, etcetera or not? And we've gotten some questions that aren't as usual. I'm sitting in traffic. The lane next to me is closing up ahead for some reason, and yet people keep passing me in an effort to get to the end and then squeeze in. What is my driver's etiquette as faras letting them in? I would love to know what is the appropriate etiquette for breastfeeding during a party. Tell us when was the last time someone touched your hair? Has it been a day? Was it today? It was yesterday. Unbelievable. During an opera last summer, the man behind me cough without covering his mouth. While something like this hardly qualifies for calling in the etiquette police. In this case, the force of the cough was so strong that it literally and I mean literally, not figuratively blew my hair forward.
Speaker 1: I think almost most of all, we've loved hearing your responses over the years For us, the discussions on pizza toppings, zipper merges, breastfeeding and accessible bathroom stalls are standouts. That got a lot of responses,
Speaker 1: not to mention the ever classic shoes on shoes off. And we've introduced you to some of our family with guest hosts. And I'm Bill Post and I'm Cindy Post Senning. Hi, I'm Peter Post. I'm sitting in for Dan Post, sending today
Speaker 1: and to our team by thanking them each week. Thanks, Kristen, Bridget. And through it all, we know that it's because you listen that we have a show each week that we've made it to 300 episodes. I just I can't do this without crying and that we carry the hope to make 300 more e tried you guys. That was like six steaks and I couldn't do without crying. Dan, take us out. Thank you for making awesome etiquette possible.
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 have a salute from Laura in Washington State.
Speaker 1: Hello, awesome etiquette team. Thank you so much for your podcast. I am especially impressed with your ability to pivot recently and discuss etiquette situations that we could never have imagined. Six months ago. I am writing with an etiquette salute. I live about 100 miles from my mother, who is living independently in her eighties. During normal times, I see her at least once a month. But since my city is in more of a virus hotspot than her smaller town, we have only been able to connect remotely Well. Her smoke detector started chirping, and she was having trouble changing the battery. I couldn't believe she was climbing a ladder in the first place, let alone planning to go up there to wrestle with it again. I was struggling with how to help her and decided to email the fire station near her home. That same day, a crew went to her home and installed long life batteries in all of the smoke detectors in her home. They were so responsive and kind. I was overwhelmed with relief and gratitude. And my mother was so thankful for the help and happy to have a bit of company brighten her day.
Speaker 1: My etiquette salute is toe all of the first responders who help us solve the little problems in life when we don't know who else to call. In addition to being there in emergencies, especially the men and women of Lacey Washington Fire District three Station 35. Thank you, Laura. In Washington state.
Speaker 1: Ah, Laura. Thank you. That is a great salute.
Speaker 1: After an unbelievable 300 etiquette salutes. I'm so glad this is Salute 301
Speaker 1: Thank you for listening. And thank you to everyone who sent us something and thank you to everyone who supports us on Patryan. Please connect with us and share this show with friends, family and co workers. However, you like to share your podcasts, you can send us questions, feedback and salutes by email. Toe awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can leave us a message or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 on Twitter We're at Emily Post Ends on Instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook Were Awesome Etiquette and The Emily Post Institute. Please consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting patryan dot com slash awesome etiquette. You can also subscribe to the ads version of our show on Spotify or your favorite podcast app and please please, please consider leaving us a review. Our show is edited by Chris Albertine and a system produced by Brigitte Dowd. Thanks Chris and Bridget.