Episode 327 - Voice-control
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
Welcome to Awesome Etiquette, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today’s show we take your questions on gift expectations for your partner’s family, politely turning down sweets from a coworker, how to handle multiple people making requests of the smart speaker at once and holiday tipping for housekeepers. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members our question is about planning a friend’s baby shower and asking for assistance from their family members. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and postscript where we discuss spoons.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashioned.
Speaker 2: Watch. How is he post and damn posts and act as host and hostess.
Speaker 2: They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person. Really Friendliness. Hello
Speaker 1: and welcome toe Awesome etiquette,
Speaker 2: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 1: On today's show, we take your questions on gift expectations for your partner's family, politely turning down sweets from a co worker. How to handle multiple people, making requests of the smart speaker at once and holiday tipping
Speaker 2: for housekeepers for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about planning a friend's baby shower and asking for assistance from their family members.
Speaker 1: Plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript where we discuss spoons from the Wonderful Book of the Rituals of Dinner by Margaret
Speaker 2: Visser. All that coming up
Speaker 2: awesome
Speaker 1: 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
Speaker 2: and I'm Dan Post sending, and I have to start off today's show by saying Lizzie Post. Thank you for your patience with me this
Speaker 1: morning.
Speaker 1: E came in
Speaker 2: hot. I came in hot. I don't have a lot of time. We gotta We gotta We gotta get our time slot scheduled and stick to it. I've got so much to do today. And then who wasn't ready to record when that moment arrived?
Speaker 1: It's okay. It was funny. Gave me some good entertainment while I while I sat and picked through the script. But I'm I am glad we figured out a way to get you on the mic and with headphones when your headphones had driven off today. So everyone up to speed. Yeah, Dan, Dan Dan was missing his headphones, and they're in a car that's currently getting snow tires
Speaker 2: put on it. So maybe not up to speed, but down to speed.
Speaker 1: There you go. There you go. That was the short version. But as I'm
Speaker 2: running around looking for these headphones, Lizzie is on. Um, she could I can hear in my ear, but the family that I'm running around as I'm like, flipping over laundry baskets and looking by and couch cushions can hear me and my half of the conversation and not Lizzie's. And Anisha looks up at me and I sort of enlisted her aid. Anita, I'm looking for my headphones. Can you help me find them on? Doll Is he hears is are
Speaker 1: you recording a podcast from Anisha? Are you recording a podcast? Dad, it was very
Speaker 2: cute. Well, I appreciated her offer to help and your patients and that still didn't find those headphones because I am pretty sure there in that car. And you were also very patient walking me through using face time on the computer so we could figure out other ways to do this. And
Speaker 1: Oh, Dan, Dan, I'm gonna ask you to quiet yourself. Now we're going to redirect the conversation before the audience finds out just how non computer skills you are.
Speaker 2: It's so true. In some ways, I'm very adept and in other ways,
Speaker 1: Like anybody, I t guy half the time.
Speaker 2: And when those gaps appear, they they feel very significant.
Speaker 1: It's okay. It was It was a lovely morning puttering around and also listening to the chaos on the other.
Speaker 2: I'm glad someone was enjoying
Speaker 1: it. You know, I've had coffee is a good morning Taylor Swift released a new album last night. I'm happy girl like, Yes, I already downloaded and listened to the whole thing on the walk with Sunny this morning. I know you weren't such a good mood.
Speaker 2: What? I called you. You called this morning.
Speaker 1: Well, I was. And also I was I was in a good mood because last night I got a night with my parents, and they are my people that I could see based on our orders here in Vermont. And so it was really nice. I got to decorate the tree with them, but it was really funny is when I walked in, I was late, um, walking into the evening and they had, um, started Ah, wine tasting online with one of our local restaurants. Trattoria Delia. It was really cool, because when I walked in, the face I saw on the screen was that of our senator. And it was just wonderful to see him in a social capacity, participating on a zoom call for the subject of Italian wines and enjoying Italian wines and some anti pastie with 56 other people. And it was delightful. It was really fun. It was really easy to participate. Well, on that 56 person call, I was Florida. How great all of it was. The wines were fabulous. And the little antipasti is that they said were awesome. We actually delayed our dinner because we had enjoyed eating all the little niveles so much. But it was just such a cool experience and toe. Also, just have, you know, someone that our state is really, really proud of and to get to see him and his wife, you know, kind of in a in a moment of not having toe work, you know what I mean? It was really awesome and encouraging as he then left to go, you know, just try to make things better for all of us during this very difficult time. So it was. It was really a cool, fun kind of experience that I hadn't done before. I hadn't done like a wine tasting via zoom before.
Speaker 2: Well, I don't think many people probably
Speaker 1: have before the last few months. Yeah, no, it's it's probably true. E. What's intriguing
Speaker 2: to me about it is ah, wine tasting, where you're not worrying about how you're going to drive home or who's going to do it?
Speaker 1: It was fabulous. And I will say we were quite cheery will say in the post family after the wine tasting and we kept drinking our wine. I'm surprised my head feels OK today. But no, it was it was fun and it made decorating the tree really fun. We were getting sentimental and silly. And we facetime some of my parents neighbors who they're really good friends with. And and we got sentimental and silly with them too. And I kept going up and showing them the ornaments, like up click it just completely interrupting the conversation, like with ornament to the camera. A nice You're putting this one. Look at this one. You know, the conversation goes on and then you're who I love that one. And then it goes back and then go hang something. It was I could have been five years old, like it was It was very
Speaker 2: fun. Sounds like the holidays. It was
Speaker 1: a good night. And speaking of holidays, we have to wish everybody who celebrates Hanukkah Happy Hanukkah.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. The Festival of Lights. And for those of us in these northern climes, there could be no more appropriate time to think about lighting some candles. The days air so short. I cannot wait for the solstice moment when we actually start to get a little bit mawr light every day. But
Speaker 1: until then, I think we probably have some questions to get to you. I think we dio Let's do it. Let's do it
Speaker 1: Awesome Etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them toe awesome etiquette and Emily post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463 or reaches on social media on Twitter, we're at Emily Post Inst on Instagram Where at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook. We are awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: Our first question this week is about shopping for siblings, and it came via Instagram. My significant other is lovely, but not too helpful in this respect. When
Speaker 1: I asked
Speaker 2: them whether I should plan to get gifts for their siblings, they say they had no idea. In fact, it hadn't occurred to them to consider getting a gift for their siblings fiance until we had this conversation. My family is very into giving gifts to everyone. So I think we're also coming from different backgrounds in this sense. So given all of this, what
Speaker 1: should I do
Speaker 2: in terms of deciding whether to give gifts to my significant other siblings? And
Speaker 1: how can I manage
Speaker 2: this while ensuring the siblings feel as comfortable as possible? Thank you for your help. Sincerely, agonized gift. Er,
Speaker 1: agonize gift her. Let's take the agonizing part out of it because it sounds like you and your family have that really fun spirit of generosity with gift giving, where it is kind of fun to go big or toe just get really into it. And it can be really hard when you're met with ah partners, family who maybe is, or a partner even who isn't that way almost like a little deflating. And then e can understand the feeling of uncertainty of how, then would gifts and gifting be received, and I think that we have a solution for you. My vote Dan, you can correct me if you think I'm wrong, is to start small and to maybe do a little tradition of ah baked good. Or if you're crafty, way should say, if your quality crafty homemade item or, you know, a very small item that kind of anyone could use. And I don't mean like, just hand warmers. But maybe they're like, nicely sewn hand warmers or something, as opposed to, you know, the fact that I get from Costco. Um, but doing some kind of ah, little gift, Uh, and it's I would probably recommend doing the same thing for all or all the households that would be gathering so starting small and then as you get to know them better as they get to know you as a gift giver, better you can start to get more personal with the items, you know. And I have a feeling, Dan, correct me if I'm wrong, but I have a feeling that starting in this way, where you start with a small gift that's kind of for everyone or the same gift for everybody. People aren't going to feel as like Oh, my gosh, I didn't get this person anything. What should I do? You know? Oh, this This is awkward. Do we have to start getting gifts for this person now? I think it's really It's sort of I don't know. I think the way that delivery happens, same gift to everyone or a big gift that everyone can share it kind of just totally to me shows that generosity of spirit as opposed Thio. Ah, confusion about reciprocity. You know what I mean?
Speaker 2: I really do because and I'm so appreciating the advice that you're giving you're getting directly to the advice I would ultimately resolve to.
Speaker 2: So in some ways, we're playing our classic roles on this question. But I was getting to a very similar place. I love that idea of starting small and, um, from sort of a core etiquette concept. We've talked on this show a lot about gift giving, not needing to be reciprocal on. Oftentimes, that advice is delivered to the party who's receiving the gift and doesn't have anything prepared on. And the tone and the spirit of that advice is it's OK. You don't need to feel bad. You can. You can enjoy that gift. You could receive it. You can appreciate where it came from and and you don't need to feel bad about the fact that you're not reciprocating in that moment right then. And the Onley etiquette requirement of you is an appropriate thank you. At the same time, if you're entering a situation like this as a gift giver with a little pre knowledge that it's likely it won't be a reciprocal exchange, I like your idea of moderating your impulses so that you don't
Speaker 2: risk putting someone else in that uncomfortable position. That's a really considerate, thoughtful way to proceed. You don't need toe not do the thing, but moderating it a little bit makes so much sense to me both in terms of observing those sort of classic traditional etiquette guidelines and maintaining those traditions and sharing this experience that you really love and treasure with people that you love and treasure. I can't respond to a question like this and not tell a personal story. And
Speaker 1: I had a feeling e. So Pooja
Speaker 2: and I come from very different backgrounds, and she grew up celebrating. Christmas is an American secular holiday, so she has some experience of it. But it wasn't ah, cornerstone of her sort of holiday experience growing up the way it was for me and we both met each other and went through our first several Christmases together as sort of serious romantic partners and then is unengaged couple and then as a married double the Each year there's been a version of this question that's emerged, and I've done almost exactly what we have advised here. And there was definitely some communication that went on around that. Most of it happened through Pooja eso that her family felt comfortable receiving the gifts didn't feel like there was a requirement to reciprocate.
Speaker 2: That was a helpful part of that, because we were having a pretty open dialogue about that at the time. It was relatively easy toe. Get that in there,
Speaker 1: Wait. But I have to interrupt you in this part of this story and say, You all need to understand that for my cousin this this is like, really holding back because he loves gift giving at Christmas time. Especially like like I'm the one sitting here saying all Thanksgiving, that big meal, that's my favorite holiday and Dan's going No, no, no, no, no. Getting gifts for people is so much fun. It's like, I mean, he's a kid in a candy store with blank list and like filling out that list, figuring out what it is. Just nailing it on gifts for people is like such a point of of your character and how you like to celebrate this time of year. And I could imagine it being kind of like like screeching brakes scratched record to kind of find out. Wait a minute. You guys don't like Go, go do like Christmas Pelusa like you know me and there's
Speaker 2: a risk that I could make people feel uncomfortable doing that
Speaker 1: uncomfortable s.
Speaker 2: So I want to give the happy ending to the story from From my perspective, I think from everyone. And that's the this year and we're now people have listened to the show for a long time. Can do the math six years in, maybe like approaching seven to been able to count that first year sort of how you count that first year. But it's been so much fun for me this year. Toe watch Buja, Just delighting in the kind of gift giving the I came into our relationship liking to Dio and and watching her not just doing it because it's something that I do, but something that she's genuinely taking pleasure in. And it's been so much fun for both of us to sit there with the list of the siblings and to do exactly what our question asked her asked about so the other. The other thing I just have to say is from personal experience. Have some patients give this some time and
Speaker 1: you can spread this generous spirit. It's catching. It's
Speaker 2: quite good pages,
Speaker 1: agonized gift giver. We hope that we're able to take the agony out of the giving and that you and your partner and the entire extended family have a fabulous and safe holiday.
Speaker 1: This'll is just a quick break to remind you that our books make excellent gifts this holiday season. Whether someone's just gotten engaged, secured their first job are just learning their magic words or our etiquette geeks like us. Our library of books has something for everyone had to Emily post dot com, our gorgeous new website to place your order. Now, while you're there, pick up something for yourself, too, And now back to the show.
Speaker 1: Our next
Speaker 2: question is about being careful with candy.
Speaker 1: Hi, Lizzie and Dan I work in an office, and with so many people teleworking during the pandemic, it's often just me and one coworker in the building. My coworker M is super sweet. She often brings me treats like cookies and Candies, and I'm so touched that she's thinking of me, but I kind of wish she wouldn't as I'm trying to get into better shape. I don't want to reject her kindness, but I also don't wanna have chocolates on my desk staring at me. Normally, I'd give the Candies away, but in quarantine, there's no one around to give them Thio. Is there a nice way for me to respond to this? I'm hesitant to tell them that I'm working on my fitness because the last thing I want to do is hurt her feelings. Thanks and stay safe in 2020. Kate, Kate, Thank you
Speaker 2: so much for this. What I'm going to call a classic question is totally classic, and it's a classic question that I don't think we've talked about in several years. Here on the podcast.
Speaker 1: It feels like it's been a while, and that might just be because of so many people are working from home We haven't had many office questions, but yeah, I'm feeling Yeah, it's been a long time since we've had this
Speaker 2: one, and I'm sure that the feeling of being with just one other person makes it feel like a more personal situation. In some ways, I mean, there might be other relationships that air that close, but I can see how
Speaker 2: the
Speaker 1: one on one,
Speaker 2: the one on one nature of this sort of raises the stakes a little bit. And the added little twist of that, there's no option for me to give these away to someone who would really appreciate them. Which would often be the first line advice on this, which is you received the gift well, and then maybe put them away. So they're not staring at you,
Speaker 2: reminding yourself, exercising that discipline in whatever way works for you, whether it's, you know, putting them out of sight or out of reach. But you received the gift and then
Speaker 2: figure out what to do with it. That's appropriate for you.
Speaker 2: It doesn't feel exactly right or or or feasible in this situation. The other etiquette concerned, I think you've really accurately identified, is that you don't want to be,
Speaker 2: um, generous. You don't wanna be sort of curmudgeonly and refusing gifts that are given in good spirit. It's a bit of a rock and a hard place.
Speaker 1: It can definitely feel like it's a rock and a hard place. However, this is also one where the stakes aren't terribly. Hi, I'm It doesn't sound to me like these air homemade treats. Maybe maybe they are. But it more sounds like a one. Coworkers sharing with another just a little pick me up, you know what I mean? These aren't like high stakes like beautifully gorgeous made cakes that you're rejecting, you know? But I think that it is important for you to stand up for what works for you. And before the next round of treats come, I would let her know that you've decided to make some changes and that while you have loved her sweet treats in the past, if you feel you could say that you'd love to find a different way to connect or share a little encouragement moving forward and you know that's at least a way to start the conversation without saying I'm working out, I'm you know, watching my calories. I can't be tempted by chocolate to instead just say I'm making some changes. And while while I've you know, I've really appreciated the gesture, I would love thio, replace it with a different tradition between the two of us or something like that. You know, a different exchange, whatever you think, works well for your own language and situation. But I think letting someone know that you do want to change this because it is so directly one on one right now. I think it is the way to go if it's truly bothering you. And you can't, as Dan had said, do things like put the chocolates away and give them to someone else or get them, you know, out of sight, out of mind, that kind of a thing. You know, maybe it's that you bring them home. I just don't know what would work. But
Speaker 1: I think that those are the kinds of things you can start looking towards. T change the interaction that you're having with this person, but still let them know you've enjoyed the idea behind it. You know what I mean? And the little connection or the thought behind it. But that you are trying to do some things in your life to not invite things like chocolate into your world regularly.
Speaker 2: I love that idea of having the conversation in a way that communicates information before you're asking for changes. Necessarily.
Speaker 1: Well, and even before the next moment, where those chocolates are in front of you, you know what I mean? Where it s so that it's not quite so much like you've now got Oh, okay. Well, then I'll take them back. You know what I mean? Like, you don't have that kind of awkward moment if you address the situation when it's not being handed to you. Right then you know,
Speaker 2: a framing that sometimes works for a conversation like that is something along the lines of asking someone to help you help yourself or help you do something that you're working on.
Speaker 1: Get in on it with, um, you know eso
Speaker 2: the request becomes an affirmative positive request of them. And you just need to do enough of the the staging work ahead of time so that they understand that request when it comes.
Speaker 1: Kate, good for you. For setting goals and thinking about ways to both stick with, um and be polite to other people in your life. This'll Little girl's mother told her never to take candy from strangers.
Speaker 2: Well, she forgot, but her brother didn't. He started to yell. Remember that, Kids, It's a good trick.
Speaker 2: Our next question is about a smart speaker situation. Hello, Lizzie and Dan. I was curious if this etiquette issue is new or has been around since smart speakers and now is happening more often,
Speaker 2: this is best clarified by describing a recent interaction with my husband. We were sitting listening to Christmas music on the Alexa Speaker, and it stopped playing. I asked it to resume. Then my husband immediately followed up with a different request. Which request is priority. We both feel like it happens on the regular. Thanks. I love this podcast. Lisa.
Speaker 1: Oh, Lisa, this is I have to answer yes to your question, because it is both a new issue. And it's been around for a long time, not just in smart speakers, but this is a classic. Who gets the remote? Who? You know what station are gonna listen? Thio on the car ride. You know, I'm just gonna go way out there and say, Set up a scoreboard like you know, who changes the diaper. You did it last. Okay, I get, you know, all that kind of stuff. I think that this is classic, You know, you're trying to share a device share, Uh, in this case enjoyment. Whether or not that music is on is the question of whether or not it's enjoyable. E think. I think you did say, Lisa. Different request. And that doesn't necessarily mean the opposite of what you had said, um, to the to the speaker. But I mean, Dan, what do you think? Isn't this just classic who gets the remote like,
Speaker 2: I love your who? You got no idea. And like the Who gets the remote question, I think there's so many. It depends. There is no no way to answer this question. And I started to do this like hierarchy in my head because that's the way I think, where I'm just saying, Well, who started it? Who initiated? Was it a program that someone had put on and they were watching
Speaker 1: because I think that they have some
Speaker 2: prerogative if it's not finished yet. Oh, but if
Speaker 1: it's a music room first. That
Speaker 2: just goes on continuously forever. Then there might be some priority around when you would interrupt that to do something. So is the thing that is, um, interrupting a discreet toe ask or is it a different channel? These sorts of things, I think, are relevant. They do matter in terms of the specifics of the behavior. Is it rude or is it polite? The action Isn't router polite? It's how you do it, really that matters.
Speaker 1: This one to me might be one that that could be solved with a little communication ahead of time. So what if you're, you know, looking at at your living room with the Christmas tree and you're thinking it would be nice to just sit in there with some Christmas music on. And, you know, I don't know what whatever whatever you like to do is you as you cozy up and feel the spirit of the holidays. But you might, before just putting the music on, say, Hey, I'd love to listen to some Christmas music. Do you mind? Or, you know, like you know is, would that be all right with you? And you just kind of get the other person's buy in. And you know, your sweetheart might pop up and say I'd love to, but I can really only take it for, like, half a Now, er is it okay if we shut it off after that? And now we've got a little bit like negotiation. Just like, what show are we gonna watch, right? Like you proposed the idea. You know, you recognize that it might have an impact on the other people that you live with, and you tryto work around how to get what you'd like out of it, while also not just, you know, having them sit and be like, Oh, this is going on again And I don't know that that's what Lisa's husband was thinking during the during the exchange. But, um, but I think that I just I think it's a good way to go is to kind of like anytime you're gonna fill a space with noise is to kind of get some people's by in, or at least check in with them first. You know,
Speaker 2: I like that idea, the sort of on the flip side of that equation, as opposed to the
Speaker 2: the atmosphere creating effect of some choices that you make with voice commands. I think there are some. I'm thinking of those moments when we're all in the kitchen
Speaker 2: and we're listening to music and I say, Alexa, how many cups air in a court?
Speaker 2: And Alexa gives me the answer. And
Speaker 2: if my phone is plugged in sitting on the counter, I might say, Siri, how many cups air in a court? So I don't interrupt that music. There's a certain courtesy to not doing it if you don't have Thio. And at the same time, the way we use that Alexa in the Kitchen in our house is about so many immediate tasks as well that the idea that you wouldn't do those things just because there was music playing wouldn't necessarily fit our rhythm. And that's something that also, you might clear up just by mentioning it. When it's not happening,
Speaker 1: you know, it's got me thinking about the fact, like, right. I'm in my house alone with my speakers, so I get full reign over. You know, I found that the few times where I was ableto have somebody over before we kind of went into major social distancing up here. I remember feeling a little awkward when I would say something like, I just tell Alexa to start a timer even if I was cooking with my friend, you know? And it's like, That's no zits. Not that it's no different for me just setting the timer. It's the modern version of it, or it's the smart speaker version of it. But it was funny having to issue a a command to the smart speaker request to the smart speaker in front of someone else. I don't have to do that for having you and Pooch are probably, you know, like used to hearing each other kind of shout out to the speaker like when you were telling your like, you know, if I'm in the kitchen making something, maybe I'll say it thio Syria on my phone instead of Alexa on the smart speaker that everyone's listening Thio. You know, good music, Thio or with? And I was thinking, Or what about if your hands aren't sticky and covered in flour or something like that, you know, just doing the actual search on your phone so that you're not even interrupting with the command to something. I'm very curious about this. This, like command slash request interruption that it's a vocal interruption that we have to do to check on something like a how many cups in or whatever you know,
Speaker 1: it's different. It is. And
Speaker 2: there are some of those natural parallels to I'm gonna go back to your remote analogy. If someone's watching TV, you don't walk in front of them between them and the TV repeatedly. If
Speaker 1: you don't need Thio,
Speaker 2: you know if there's an equally easy path around the back of the room, you take that. And these were the circumstantial things that there's so many. It depends. I don't think there's a firm answer, and I think there's a lot of etiquette involved. I think in any particular situation it could be rude or polite. The choice that you make eso it's it's I think it's worth sitting out some of those things, and I think it's hard to say, Oh yeah, the second person who's the most recent request gets the priority because they were last so there
Speaker 1: first.
Speaker 1: Lisa. While we can't solve exactly who should take the priority, we hope that this conversation helps you and your husband figure out how to handle the smart speaker. Etiquette is usually defined as conventional requirements as to social behavior. Proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion for more asked me to give you more definitions for etiquette. Did that answer your question?
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled Holiday Tips for Housekeepers. High Lysine Dan. I was intrigued by the question today about tipping during the pandemic, and it led me to ask this question about tipping during the holidays. About a year ago, I started using a cleaning service every other week. I know people tip their housekeepers during the holidays, but I'm not sure what to do in this situation. The lady I contacted with initially owns the company and has several crews of 4 to 5 cleaners. I'm not sure how to split up the tip between that many people. Plus, I don't have the same cleaning crew every time. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you so much, Amy.
Speaker 1: It's a great question,
Speaker 2: Amy. Thanks so much for submitting this. And this is one of those questions that has some classic etiquette answers. Whether you're thinking about someone who's new in your life or someone who you've worked with for many years. The general tipping guideline around an annual or holiday tip is that you think of the cost of a single service
Speaker 2: so you can start off with that number in mind. If you're talking about bi monthly or every other week cleaning, I would think roughly the cost of that service is a good amount to be sort of using as a baseline for your tip. Of course, you could always be more generous if you're feeling inspired in that way. Of course, you can also look at your budget. If you can't afford that much. It's definitely something that you wanna think about. Tipping shouldn't ever
Speaker 2: put you in a financially burdensome position, either. Mhm. Either way, your impulse tow offer some sort of gratuity is admirable and good, and you should follow through on it. And we can help you work through the difficulties that you mentioned.
Speaker 2: Whether you're giving a monetary tip or a note of thanks and some homemade goodies treats on, definitely that I think that monetary tip is often really appreciated. Um, e think so that you send it with the note of appreciation or thanks in a case like this to that owner you had the initial contact with and you tell them how much you've appreciated the service, that you didn't know how to split the tip up between the different service providers on. But you wanted to give it toe her in the organization to distribute as they saw fit or fair. And that is your best option in a situation like this. And I think you just have to trust that that they're going to make good choices about that because they have more information and a better ability to do that than you dio
Speaker 1: Oh, Dan. Oh, Dan, do I come in and tell you I think I have a better option. Is it okay? I like so much of what you said, but I do think that there is one other thing that you could dio that that might help ensure that this tip gets directly to the people who are spending the time cleaning your house. And that is to call and ask that person you initially contract ID with or whomever answers. It might be someone in reception, um, and say, Hey, listen, I know that I have a number of different people who clean my house, and I would really love to give Ah, holiday tip or holiday. Thank you, but I didn't know how to get it directly to them. What's the best way I
Speaker 2: like your ideal? Is he posed?
Speaker 1: It's one of those things where you have what Dan said. There's nothing wrong with what Dan said to Dio, and it's why it's just another way to go. But it it allows you the chance to find out they might let you know. Oh, the tips were pooled. You could just send them here, Um, and we distribute them evenly among the crews. Or they might tell you the specific people who have come to your house and you might be able to then write an individual card and insert your tip, you know, and then send that to wherever kind of headquarters is. They might even say, Oh, just the next time they come, that crew that's there, you can leave the tip with them and they'll bring it back, and we'll divide it up among everyone. But it's not dissimilar to when you go to a salon or a spa service and you've had multiple people work on you and do that kind of stuff where you ask at the front desk. Do I tip them individually? You know, is there a line for each person, or does it all get divided up? Um, and you figure out kind of what the policy is there. Either way, I think it's it's fantastic that you've been able to engage this service this year and that you've appreciated it and that you want to help spread the joy and really make the season one about gratitude.
Speaker 2: Lizzie Post, can I tell you why I love your idea so much?
Speaker 1: Why? Because it gives you can't. Because I will take praise any day of the week. Wait, wait. So please tell me it gives
Speaker 2: the proprietor of the owner the chance toe offer to do for you what I was suggesting you ask them to do for you.
Speaker 1: Oh, there you go. I didn't think of it. Is that kind of a difference? But I'm seeing what you're saying. Yeah. I mean, that's
Speaker 2: that's the way it feels to me that in one case you're saying Listen, it's not easy for me to do this. Can you help? Um but But you're asking that by dropping it in their lap, as opposed to an anticipatory kind of question about the best way to do it. And the risk there is that you might end up with more of that work on your plate. Oh, yeah. Here are the six addresses, and you can now divide up that tip that you were gonna offer. And my guess is based on the fact that you're seeking the answer, this question would be willing to do that. And I think that's good etiquette. Anytime, particularly in a case like this, where you're looking to show appreciation, your willingness to take on that work is part of your communication about how much you appreciate it. And I like the refinement. Lizzie Post Well done.
Speaker 1: And one of the things we do try to suggest that you do. Is that you you wanna have that goal of getting the tip directly to the person if you can. And we often really like to give people the benefit of the doubt. But it is true that there are tips that go missing sometimes, and the more sure you could be that your tip got directly to the person that it was supposed to go to. Often the better kind of closing of that. That wonderful exchange that you're trying to create.
Speaker 2: Amy, thank you so much for this question. It gives us a chance to dive a little deeper into a very important topic this time of year.
Speaker 2: Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers. 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 on Facebook were awesome etiquette.
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Speaker 2: time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer and the topics we cover. And
Speaker 1: today we're
Speaker 2: hearing a response from a question last week about writing dedications in books. Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I heard your most recent show and wanted to offer some feedback in response to the person who asked about writing dedications in books that they give to people his gifts As a voracious bookworm, I had to chime in if I opened a brand new book to see writing inside.
Speaker 1: Even if it was a
Speaker 2: kind note from a gift giver, it
Speaker 1: would feel a bit like seeing
Speaker 2: graffiti on a beautiful white fence. I feel that the decision about writing in a book should be left up to the owner of the book. As people seem to have varying and sometimes strong opinions about marking up their books, you address the fact that writing in a book can affect its resale value. But I also wanted to mention that I think books with writing inside tend to be more difficult to re home When buying used books myself, I'm more hesitant to purchase them if they have writing inside. If someone wants to include a note inside a book they're giving as a gift, why not put a post it note inside or took a little note or card inside the book? That way, if the gift recipient wants to keep the note inside the book to remind them of the gift giver, they could do so if they'd rather take the note out and re gift or donate the book somewhere. This gives them the option to do that. Just my two cents from a bookworm who doesn't right in their books.
Speaker 1: Ah, bookworm er doesn't right in their books were happy. Thio, hear your opinion and for any other bookworms who are out there, we would love to hear from you, too. I do. I like the idea of of the card because it gives the option, but I also there's a part of me that that like seeing that writing so I'll hold the other opinion on the on the writing
Speaker 2: and the dedications on the inside of the books book were Thanks so much for the feedback and thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please do keep them coming. You can send your next feedback or update the awesome etiquette. Emily post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 2: It's
Speaker 1: time for our post script segment, where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette, and today we're going to talk about spoons, moons, spoons. We are. Margaret Visser has a wonderful section in her book The Rituals of Dinner, and it's found on pages 1 94 and 1 95. And it is. It is all about spoons and actually carries on longer. But I'm going to try to keep it long but short. I guess we're gonna say Dan Long. But short for this postscript, Visser begins. The spoon is the safest, most comfortable member of the cutlery set. It is through the easiest implement to use babies start with spoons and the one with the most versatility, which is the reason why it's employment is constantly being restricted. Spoons are for liquids, porridge and puddings, even the last being often given over to forks in so faras spoons have an infantile image. They lack prestige. A Freudian analysis of the knife, fork and spoon gives the spoon the female role in the trio. The fork, if I understand, the writer correctly, is a male child of the knife and the spoon and like a little edifice, resentful of the knife and jealous of the spoon. Social historians are puzzled by medieval paintings of banquets, which show knives but seldom spoons. Although we know that spoons were often used, it has been suggested and viscera rights. Unconvincingly, I think that knives might simply have impressed the painters. More spoons seem, at any rate, not to have been laid down on the table's surface as knives were. Isn't that interesting that, like it didn't seem like spoons actually made it to the table? You know what I mean? They were kind of like in dishes. I'm assuming
Speaker 2: in dishes or hands
Speaker 1: or hands. They might just stay in hands. That's a good point, but no rest for them. I find that fascinating carrying on. But spoons can inspire affection as knives and forks cannot. They are unthreatening, nurturing objects. Superstitions about them show that they're subconsciously regarded as little persons to on one saucer means an imminent wedding. Dropping one on the table means a visitor is coming, and so on. Spoon handles more than knife or four Candles are made in the shape of human figures, as in the sets of 12 apostle spoons. The Welsh traditionally made love spoons carved with the lovers hands, which they gave to each other as tokens and in old English. Custom at Christmas was for all the diners toe hold up their spoons and wish health toe Absent friends, spoons were customarily classed with cups and bowls.
Speaker 1: Spoons have always been popular as presence and commemorations, whereas knives are often superstitious. Lee avoided as gifts and forks somehow fail, still to stand on their own as spoons and knives can. I also thought that was pretty interesting. I've known Dan about the thing that when you give a knife to someone as a gift, you're supposed to give it with a penny that they give back to you so that they've bought the knife for you from you so that you don't sever the relationship like not like giving someone a knife was like a sign of severing a relationship that interests learn something new every day. Ah, spoon is a bowl with an arm
Speaker 2: attached, the
Speaker 1: earliest spoon being a cup human hand. Every race on Earth has made itself spoons out of seashells, coconut shells, bones, Goard's amber ivory stones ranging from maggot to Jasper. Many kinds of woods and metal porcelain tortoiseshell either cut or boiled, impressed horn and even basketry. The word spoon, however, means in old English, a chip of wood and many spoons have been flat spatulas like those provided with ice cream tubs or like the blades of eating. And that's in quotes. Knives.
Speaker 1: The flat spoons of some North American Indian bands could be so large that they were used partly as plates. Spoon bowls have been made in many forms from round all the way to banana shaped
Speaker 2: Margaret Visser. Take us further down the rabbit hole of spoons. Please
Speaker 1: E no. I've got one more paragraph for you to end it on. The fake shaped spoon bowl was roughly triangular, with the handle attached to the pointed end and the front end almost straight it was introduced to Europe during the Middle Ages from the eastern Mediterranean Onley wooden cooking spoons are still commonly made in this ancient shape. It probably reflected the practice of drinking from the front end of the spoon Ah, usage, which is still correct in many European countries. The British and North Americans treat the bowl of a soup spoon like a cup and drink from the side of it. French visitors to Britain often expressed their fascination with this mannerism.
Speaker 1: The word ladle means the bearer of a larger than usual load of food or drink. Ladles, like most spoons made for dipping into deep bowls, are usually provided with upward turning stems. Modern oval shaped spoons with horizontal ladles became conventional in the 18th century. They mark the transition to the custom of eating, most commonly from flat or shallow plates.
Speaker 2: Huh? Lizzie Post, I'm so enjoying hearing this section. I've often talked in the course of teaching dining etiquette about eating off the side of the spoon verse, eating off the front of the spoon and thio sort of the North American or English I that eating off the front of the spoon seems a little strange, childish like here comes the airplane and the idea that there's, Ah distinction within the European community and that have some idea of where that difference comes from. That's the sort of thing I just love. I love Thio. Learn that, and I love to know it and be able to share it with people. Thank you for bringing this to our show.
Speaker 1: No problem. I loved all the little things. Like the idea of the Freudian utensil said, You know what I mean? Well, she anthropomorphize
Speaker 2: is and then does an analysis of them, which is remarkable.
Speaker 1: No, it is. It is really fun. And it's a section worth going to and carrying on with because I do love how she talks about form. She talks about function. E mean it's a history book. So she's giving you Really? How we got to where we are, which is, you know, for us. At least here in North America, you know how our spoons then connect to our very flat plates, you know, and I think I just I do find it fascinating. I love dipping into this book. I have one other section that I was I was thinking about doing for next week's show on feasts and and sort of that festival times and things like that, and it's I just I love the depth that she goes into with everything. And she then, like drops in these lovely little bits of humor or her own thoughts, for instance, that we heard twice in this one. And it does make it such an enjoyable way to learn about things that we have used since before we knew what they were called. You know what I mean? Like a spoon has been a part of your life your entire life, pretty much no matter who you are. And it's fascinating to think that we don't know very much about how they came to be. But we know a little more now, and I was gonna ask you to keep fighting as these
Speaker 2: gems. So consider yourself encouraged to return with more Margaret
Speaker 1: Listen, E will I will. Holidays are days to be glad, and all good manners are ways to make people glad.
Speaker 1: We like to offer help or to help. When asked,
Speaker 1: We like
Speaker 2: 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
Speaker 1: that can come
Speaker 2: in so many forms. Today. We hear from Meg, Hi, Lizzie and Dan. I haven't etiquette salute.
Speaker 1: It's a little
Speaker 2: overdue, but better late than never.
Speaker 2: Earlier this past spring, I was volunteering at a local tree planting. Early on in the project, one of my fellow volunteers in the group pulled out his phone to start taking some pictures and video. Before doing so. He quickly explained that he was a local rapper and very into his social media. He asked if we minded him taking video and photos of our work as we might be in some of the pictures. No one in my group minded. But I really thought that the consideration he had to ask us and allow us the space to decline being in photos was very thoughtful. I thought this was a lovely showcase of modern etiquette. Thank you for your excellent show. I absolutely love it. Happy holidays, Meg.
Speaker 1: Oh, Meg, That just brings a smile to my face. I love stories like this. It's It's simple. It's modern. It's etiquette. It's people taking half a second to just be thoughtful and it's I love it. I love it. It's great inspiration, especially for this time of year when a lot of people are rushing around and for getting to do things like ask, Do you mind if I take this picture and post it? Awesome? Awesome. Awesome salute. Thank you so much, Meg
Speaker 2: E.
Speaker 2: And thank you for listening.
Speaker 1: Thank you to everyone who sent us something and thank you to everyone who supports us on Patryan. Please connect
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Speaker 1: etiquette. You can send us questions, feedback and salutes by email, toe awesome etiquette and Emily post dot com by phone. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463 on Twitter. We're at Emily Post. Insist on Instagram were at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook were Awesome Etiquette and the Emily
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Speaker 2: Our show is edited by Chris Albertine, an assistant produced by Brigitte Down
Speaker 1: Thanks, Christine Bridget.