Episode 340 - Pay me, please
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 sticking to the registry, entertaining a lot due to where you live, smelly foods at work, and asking to be paid for the work you’ve done. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about wine at a business dinner. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and postscript on folding linens.
Speaker 1: Maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social goodness. See, it's old fashioned
Speaker 1: watch how busy post and then post to act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 1: Hello and welcome to awesome etiquette,
Speaker 2: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and
Speaker 1: honesty. On today's show, we take your questions on sticking to the registry, entertaining a lot due to where you live, smelly foods at work and asking to be paid for the work you've done
Speaker 2: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about wine at a business dinner,
Speaker 1: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript on folding
Speaker 2: linens. All that's 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.
Speaker 2: I'm Lizzie Post,
Speaker 1: and I'm Dan Post sending
Speaker 2: because good evening, How are you doing tonight? I'm doing all right.
Speaker 2: I have to say, I had so much fun talking to you earlier in the week. It's Saturday now, but I had so much fun talking to you earlier in the week
Speaker 2: because you were literally like talking around the globe. This week was all fired. Everybody has been talking a lot about remote work, working from home. So many people are doing it. So many people are going to keep doing it even after the pandemic.
Speaker 2: But we've seen our company really go this route even a little bit before the pandemic. But we used to be like 11 people in one office, and now it's like a patchwork of players. And now, thanks to a couple people taken some long extended trips, it's It's a global patchwork of players.
Speaker 1: It feels like it's getting more and more distributed. And at the same time, what had me so excited on Thursday when we talked was that it felt really coherent
Speaker 2: that I was. It wasn't like messed up time zones and things like, Well, it was that
Speaker 1: to the funny thing was to negotiate a call with, like a 10.5 hour time difference. It took three days to get it right,
Speaker 2: but
Speaker 2: the struggle is real
Speaker 1: and at the same time what was so exciting to me was there was a particular project that a group of people are working on together and there are different parts of it and coming at it from three different places, all three people ended up working on the same thing toward the same goal.
Speaker 1: So one of the Web guys is in on a beach somewhere in Mexico. The Yucatan, I think, and another in a high rise in Miami and
Speaker 2: dance on his mountain in Vermont.
Speaker 1: Exactly. And I can keep. And I could keep going through the list of calls that ran through the morning. Usually you and I check in at some point in the morning, but it had been a particularly busy day, so
Speaker 1: we push that call back. We had agreed that we were gonna push the callback, but the call ended up pushing back into the afternoon. So by the time I talked to you, I was I was sort of flying high. I felt like I was, you know, I got my headset on. I'm zipping around the world and I'm talking to different people, and it's all happening. And
Speaker 1: it is something that we have been working towards pre pandemic, even. And we had talked about We sort of envisioned this version of Emily Post. And
Speaker 1: in some ways we were really pushed to figure it out maybe faster than we would have liked. And
Speaker 1: a few months later, 10 months later, I was sort of appreciating frankly, how far we've come as an organization working like this and
Speaker 1: thinking about the future direction of Emily Post and the way we were conceiving of it when we first set out on this course when it was something we were choosing.
Speaker 2: I remember when I was writing higher etiquette that the time that I spent and the freedom I had to work from home and work as deep well, not just from home. There was a big research trip to, but to dive in, to have the space away from the desk to be working on this.
Speaker 2: It was like one of those things where, as it came to an end, I was like, I'm really gonna miss this. Even though I love seeing people, I love getting together. I like the feel of going into the office. I'm also really now well adjusted to the idea of produce from home. Make that content happen. Make your meetings happen.
Speaker 2: Walk in a circle between your living room in your kitchen, you know, and you're on your calls. But I remember we weren't yet at the place where we had completely abandoned our two office spaces at that point.
Speaker 2: But I also remember how long the arc of getting sort of rid of our office space was. And we still technically have an office space that we
Speaker 1: can use. Ones were able to go use
Speaker 2: it again, but it was going from for me, a building that I had been going to since I was a child like that. My my parents owned their advertising agency in the building. And then they also ended up owning the Emily Post space in the building later on, selling both spaces.
Speaker 2: And so for me, it was really, like a 36 year let go
Speaker 2: of that particular building in that space being a space that was so, um, identified as my workspace in my in my world since you know, I would go and sleep on the floor in the office when I had a sick day with my mom, like, you know what I mean? Like, it was it was just so my other home, and
Speaker 1: I used to jokingly lovingly call it Emily Post global
Speaker 2: headquarters.
Speaker 2: But I really have appreciated the breaking free of that space. And the higher etiquette book for me really taught me that I was ready for that. And then, as we let go of things both last year and then finally this year, really moving completely out of that building, like 100% out of it,
Speaker 2: it's felt really good. It's felt really fresh.
Speaker 2: Okay, maybe not after a year of working as isolated in my home as I have been, I will really be excited to have Dan actually join me in my home office every now and again, and vice versa. But it has its felt really fresh. It's felt really good. It feels like we're working in the kind of more flexible,
Speaker 2: comfortable ways that you and I literally sat in your office in that building. We just described, um, and we would we would have dreamy conversations about what Emily Post might look like. I can remember when, when Dan was like Liz, I want to get to a place where you don't have to worry about waking up at like, five o'clock in the morning to get your workout in before work like to make it
Speaker 2: and make everything work. He's like it would be so cool when we can get to the place where it's more of a fluid work. Life balance. And I will say I mean, this year, 100% did that for us.
Speaker 1: I know here, here virtual high fives,
Speaker 2: virtual high fives for our virtual workplace now.
Speaker 1: And I'll reflect back to you. Sort of parallel track on the
Speaker 1: the side of the business, where we do a lot of training and seminars and things like that. I've now watched um, the full cycle of relationships with clients happen in this new space in this new way. So we've we've met people and done successful work with them and gone through that entire process now
Speaker 1: in a whole new way, and it's really
Speaker 1: it's really satisfying. Anyway, I was so excited to share that satisfaction with you Thursday.
Speaker 2: Thank you for bringing
Speaker 1: it back just a little bit. I'd kind of forgotten in the days since
Speaker 2: it was it was really it was it was really fun to kind of just hear about sort of the global vision of Emily Post coming to life a bit again last week. It was really cool.
Speaker 2: I would love to hear from our audience about from those who have been working at home or those who are thinking about transitioning as people get vaccinated, as as offices are opening back up. I'm curious whether you found you really like the being at home, whether you're dying to get out of it,
Speaker 2: whether you're going to do kind of a mixed hybrid of work from home and work from an office. I am exactly like I am just so curious, you know,
Speaker 2: as we move forward, just sort of what that percentage of work from home is really going to look like. I know there's an estimation that, like it'll be 25% of the workforce will be working from home by 2025. But I'd be curious to kind of see, in real time as we open back up what that turns into
Speaker 1: Me too. And, uh,
Speaker 1: good idea. I second that call. Please, please, please do share. We're so curious how everybody is managing this.
Speaker 2: And in the meantime, while we wait for your responses? Do you think that we should get to some questions?
Speaker 1: Let's do it.
Speaker 1: Awesome
Speaker 2: Etiquette is here to answer your questions, and you can email them to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463
Speaker 2: Or you can reach us on social media on Twitter. We are at Emily Post. Install on Instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on Facebook were awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the
Speaker 1: show.
Speaker 1: We start our show this week with a question about a registry Rebel Dear Lizzie and Dan Thank you both for such an informative podcast on modern etiquette and your advice on how consideration, respect and honesty can be applied to life, sometimes challenging and quirky situations.
Speaker 1: I have a question about deviating from a wedding registry.
Speaker 1: In April 1 of my friends will be having a small outdoor, covid aware wedding that will be compliant with all current guidelines, Yet I don't think I want to be compliant with the registry
Speaker 1: after looking at the registry. All that is left or smaller items such as napkins, whiskey glasses, a set of wooden spoons, etcetera.
Speaker 1: I really want to get them something nice that shows my love and support for their marriage beyond a collection of these smaller items or a cutting board. Would it be acceptable to look at what is listed on the registry for inspiration and then deviate slightly?
Speaker 1: Say they listed a set of four steak knives and I purchased a similar same brand set that included a larger variety?
Speaker 1: Or if they listed a specific plate set and I purchased one that also came with matching drink ware?
Speaker 1: How much variance from the registry, if any, is acceptable for wedding gifts?
Speaker 1: Or should I not stray from the list and get them a gift card to their favorite furniture site, which is listed as an option on the registry and leave it up to the couple?
Speaker 1: Thank you for your ever sharp advice registry rebel.
Speaker 2: I like the ever sharp advice with the knives and stuff. I don't know why. Anyway,
Speaker 1: I see what you did there Yes,
Speaker 2: registry Rebel. This is a fantastic question, and it's a fantastic question because it would be so easy to just say yes, absolutely. You can deviate from the registry. That's always an option that is like the quick, quick and not even dirty, the quick and squeaky clean answer to this one.
Speaker 2: However, I'm looking at your suggestions that you've listed, and I'm wondering if it's not worth thinking a little bit about today. We hear from so many people who are
Speaker 2: not trying to accumulate a lot of things, like with the knife situation that registry Rebel has suggested. It's the same brand. It's the same everything. It's just more knives from the set.
Speaker 2: And it's worth remembering that more isn't always what the couple wants or wouldn't always make it better. Sometimes people think, Oh, that the storing of the extra things becomes cumbersome or, you know the plates are great, but we already have, you know, the glassware. So getting the extra glassware doesn't
Speaker 2: you know it's not necessary?
Speaker 2: It's also worth looking at. What if they show it? Sometimes they don't show up what's already been purchased on the registry so that you know, like That's
Speaker 1: the situation.
Speaker 2: Yeah, it's one where I want to say, Go ahead. This sounds lovely. You're wanting to give and do more, and you've already turned down the other suggestion we would have had, which is,
Speaker 2: you know, feel free to do a collection of the items that are left on the gift registry. But, you know, give people like to put some thought into gifts, and sometimes that can feel a little too random. You know, like they said, a whiskey glass or,
Speaker 2: you know, some napkins, and it doesn't necessarily feel like a set of things or something. So it's It's like
Speaker 2: I want to give a lot of credit to this question because I actually think it's a little more nuanced than I was expecting.
Speaker 2: Well, it absolutely is.
Speaker 1: And I'm in the exact same places you that the clear etiquette answer is it's completely up to you. The registry is a suggestion, and it's designed to make your life easier to the extent that it does, so
Speaker 1: you're not obviously obligated, and at the same time it does give you some bread crumbs to follow. It does take you in a certain direction, give you clues as to what they might be interested in.
Speaker 1: So if you were sort of looking for that, if you didn't have something in mind like, Oh, this is what I love to buy couples under 30 when they get married because it is the perfect wedding present. No one thinks of it, and it's awesome.
Speaker 1: Um, sometimes there's something like that that you just really want to give Go for it.
Speaker 1: The question of using that registry to point you in the right direction, to me is trickier. And I was particularly, um, not worried. But I wanted to offer a caution about doing slight deviations from things in the off chance that someone behind the thing that you slightly deviated from Oh
Speaker 2: my gosh, I didn't even think of that.
Speaker 1: So you end up with a situation we're actually getting too close to. What suggested might be the riskiest
Speaker 2: thing. Totally, because then they end up with both. Maybe
Speaker 1: so. In some ways, I want to say, Really think about what you want to give them and let that
Speaker 1: guide you. But don't ignore the registry completely. It's a great question because there's some subtlety to the ways you can approach it or think about it.
Speaker 2: You know, they're really, really our registry rebel. We've given you a number of different things, like sort of cautionary things to think about As you travel down this road.
Speaker 2: The big answer is yes. You may absolutely deviate from the registry.
Speaker 2: Yes, use that registry to help guide what you purchase and do not forget Dan's suggestion of Don't get too close to the items that are on the registry. Otherwise, they might end up just being duplicates of what the couple gets.
Speaker 2: I think with that, the final advice to end on is to tell you to get something you feel really good about giving them. That's usually one of the you know, we always say Stick within your budget, but one of the other big ones is get something you feel really confident about getting for the couple.
Speaker 1: It is the thought that counts.
Speaker 1: Why, yes, I think you've made a good start towards getting ready for men.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled Too many guests. Aloha, Lizzie and Dan. I adore your podcasts and want to thank you for how it has enhanced so many aspects of my life in small but impactful ways. I've had a long standing issue with guests. I live in a tropical area so folks often want to come visit. We typically have different guests arriving monthly,
Speaker 2: most for extended periods of time, 1 to 2 weeks. The guests are typically good friends. I work full time, have multiple Children AM and I am in a postmasters educational program, so my time is precious.
Speaker 2: When folks ask about coming to visit, I usually respond enthusiastically and make sure to offer dates that work for my schedule. Often, despite my stating clearly which dates work for my schedule, folks will opt to arrive outside of that time frame or stay later.
Speaker 2: They typically purchase tickets and say something like Just let me know if you need me to change it. I have 24 hours. I feel uncomfortable being firm about the dates that work for me. Once people purchase tickets, usually they tell me a reason why the dates I offered just don't work for them.
Speaker 2: But the week before or after works great for them.
Speaker 2: Additionally, as the visit draws near, I've started offering a run to a discount grocer with my grocery card upon arrival as groceries. Where we live are pricey. My family is on a very restricted diet for health reasons, which makes our groceries even more expensive.
Speaker 2: This is my attempt to let folks know I don't plan on paying for their groceries.
Speaker 2: I am making 2 to 3 meals a day for my family, so it feels very rude to not feed my guests. People staying with us have made comments about how strange it is that I don't take time off from work or take my kids out of school to spend time with them. They don't seem to get that. I'm not on vacation.
Speaker 2: While I adore hosting people on my terms, I do not like hosting people for extended periods of time.
Speaker 2: While I am working and living a normal life. It's not fun, and I feel like a subpar host.
Speaker 2: Is there a sample script you can help me with? For when people asked to stay and then book tickets outside of the dates I say work for me? How can I politely ask people to purchase their own food?
Speaker 2: Any other tips are welcome. Please help me. I am becoming a bitter host. Best cranky entertainer. Oh, cranky entertainer. I want to stage an intervention. I know
Speaker 2: we do Hugs from afar. Hugs if you're willing to take them hugs from afar,
Speaker 2: this really is the pits. It's like you've got you live in this beautiful place that people would love to come to. And yet when they're coming, they're acting like you should just be living on vacation all the time. And that is just That's not reality.
Speaker 1: No. And there are all kinds of conditions here that make this what I'm going to call a special case hosting situation, and I just want to get straight to solutions. I want to start thinking about what you say to prepare people, because I think a sample script that clearly communicates
Speaker 1: that this
Speaker 1: isn't the traditional hosting
Speaker 1: and guesting roles that people would expect to play around the house around a house visit,
Speaker 1: particularly because you do this so frequently and you want to be able to continue to do it. And that means you have to make some adjustments. And I think if you tell people that write up from people are going to understand, and I think it sets the terms very clearly. The sooner that you do it, the sooner you articulate that, then it's not about any particular problem they're presenting. It's just about the nature of the visit that you're preparing them for.
Speaker 2: Dan. I think that's such a good idea, because it sounds to me like unless you truly are on vacation. Cranky entertainer. It's almost like
Speaker 2: Come use my house, not come be my house guest.
Speaker 2: And I think a lot
Speaker 1: of it's an important and subtle difference.
Speaker 2: Yeah, it really, really is. And I think it's also
Speaker 2: it is okay for you to be super clear about that. My folks, for instance, often their house, which you know they're in, like half of the year. They overlap. Sometimes when people who ask to use their house and come up for a ski weekend or something like that,
Speaker 2: they end up overlapping. And my folks are always really clear about whether or not they are going to be able to entertain guests while they're there, or whether literally, you're all just kind of crashing in the same place.
Speaker 2: And I don't know about you, Dan, but I would feel comfortable when I'm first asking someone Hey,
Speaker 2: I know you live in Hawaii. We're thinking of planning a trip there. Would your place be an option for a place to come? Stay that, you know, the kind of conversations that happen between friends. Or you said You said Come stay
Speaker 1: with you
Speaker 2: were thinking April, we're checking in.
Speaker 2: And this is when I think you could say, you know, you you come back with your dates that that are good for you. And you can say
Speaker 2: I can do these dates where I can be a host and participate with you Anything outside of that, you're welcome to come. But it's really a different structure because I am so busy with the family and kids. We really end up just being a place for you to crash. And it's just so the way we've we've figured out that it works based on our family schedule, and if you guys are okay with that, that's fine.
Speaker 2: But if you're not, I just don't want to disappoint you when you come to visit. I want to be really realistic about whether this can be a trip we're all on or whether it's us providing you, you know, a free place to stay while you're in Hawaii.
Speaker 1: I love that language where you're saying I don't want to disappoint you. I want to be really clear about what I can provide because I'm thinking about you
Speaker 1: and and that's so important. While you're being clear about what it is you can do,
Speaker 1: I'm also thinking about someone that is so disrespectful that they don't listen to your clear dates about when you can host them at your house and then purchase tickets that don't coordinate with those dates.
Speaker 2: That's like not okay, that's people being rude.
Speaker 1: It's It's so not okay in my book, I think it's
Speaker 1: really appropriate, particularly within that 24 hours to let someone know I said these dates. I want to be sure that you know when I can host, because these are the dates and those aren't what I'm hearing from you now. I think it's reasonable to say you are welcome to stay at my house for these dates. But if you book a ticket that
Speaker 1: is outside beyond
Speaker 2: that,
Speaker 1: it's up to you to find a place to stay. And
Speaker 2: that's just standard houseguest rule. I mean, that's really standard stuff like people should understand that they shouldn't. Yeah,
Speaker 1: and I think it also helps impress upon people exactly what you're doing for them. And if it's really not registering that, this might be saving someone hundreds of dollars a night, as well as giving them an opportunity to see an old friend. Um, that might, um, start to clue them into all of the different things that are at play.
Speaker 1: And I think it's reasonable at that point to do it, because boundary setting at that point to me is really important, because someone's overstepping in ways that I think you have to address.
Speaker 2: Thanks, so, too. There are lots of ways to that. People talk about contributions or how how we're going to kind of financially divvy up the time we spend together. There are some folks that expect to be hosted full on, and
Speaker 2: I think that because they do exist out there, it's why it's really important to have that conversation that you've started to try to have about like the groceries and things like that. But I think it is really okay when you're talking about 1 to 2. This isn't a a weekend or an overnight trip.
Speaker 2: I mean, if it's a one or a two night trip,
Speaker 2: I might choose to just say, Please eat with us. You know, we have a restricted diet. You're welcome to order takeout if you want. You know that kind of a thing. But if it's you're talking about a week to two weeks, that is a lot of extra food, a lot of extra prep, just a lot of extra care that's going on. And
Speaker 2: I think it's really reasonable. Dan. I know that even even when our families have gone on vacations and things like that,
Speaker 2: the parents or the people who are kind of in charge of the trip are always either keeping a tally or using some kind of an app to figure out roughly how much is being spent by whom and how to reimburse those who are spending more.
Speaker 2: And that's that's really, really common, so I wouldn't shy away from having that conversation. I think it's good that you started to wade into it, and I think you can be even even clearer with it
Speaker 2: so that that part of it really gets dealt with because again, just the 1 to 2 week nature of these trips puts it at something where it's really OK to be discussing costs like that and impacts like that.
Speaker 1: I would even say important and
Speaker 1: using something like an offer to help someone with bulk groceries.
Speaker 1: It's a great way to open that discussion, but I wouldn't lean on that as the sole signal. Like Lizzie says, use that positive offer to open a more explicit conversation where,
Speaker 1: like you say, was either really clear about what it is you can provide as a host and
Speaker 1: what they're going to need to be thinking about themselves.
Speaker 2: So I I feel like we've really given a lot of encouragement to be firm with your dates, to be clear about what a guest might expect, depending on when it is that they come to visit, how to handle that ticket being booked without, you know, sticking to the dates that you've suggested.
Speaker 2: But what about these tough comments that people are making, like I mean, you heard I couldn't hold it out of my voice when I read the question the take my kids out of school to spend time with them. I was never allowed to come out of school for anything like not even our own vacations. Like my parents never did that.
Speaker 2: Like what? What is this? That people are expecting that people's lives are dropped just because they're coming to visit?
Speaker 2: I don't get that.
Speaker 1: It's awkward, and I think in some ways you just ignore it because it's rude. You say to yourself, That's them. That's their business. And I'm not going to let that impact me or how I feel
Speaker 1: And
Speaker 1: at the same time that hurts. That's not good. And if there is something you can do,
Speaker 1: sort of
Speaker 1: cut that off or arrested ahead of time, it makes life much easier. And I think that's part of that discussion that you have right at the start about what you can do. And
Speaker 2: you like what you can expect for the trip. Yeah,
Speaker 1: my experience with family that live in Hawaii. They love it when people come to visit because
Speaker 1: it helps them to maintain and feel a connection to a lot of people they know
Speaker 1: on the mainland, in the continental U. S. So they, like cranky entertainer is describing really enjoy inviting people to come
Speaker 1: take advantage of the beautiful place they live and stay with them for extended periods of time. It's It's not an uncommon situation and just explaining and flushing it out for people in a way that they can understand. The role that you're playing for a number of different people is, I think, a way to help give some context to some of those decisions that you're making in the moment
Speaker 1: that sometimes maybe put people off.
Speaker 1: I don't think you do anything wrong, but a little extra communication might help other people to understand that as well.
Speaker 2: Cranky entertainer. We really hope our answer helps.
Speaker 1: I can hear the older wines
Speaker 1: big.
Speaker 1: Our next question is about foul foods.
Speaker 1: Hello, Dan and Lizzie. I work as a janitor in an office setting. The other day, I entered a room and was immediately greeted by a strong, unpleasant odor. I thought there was something spoiled in a trashcan and looked everywhere for the source so I could remove it. I finally identified the smell.
Speaker 1: Someone had reheated steamed Brussels sprouts in the microwave for their lunch.
Speaker 1: I received complaints about the odour and many requests that I remedy it, but all I could do was spray some room spray and wipe out the microwave
Speaker 1: in terms of etiquette. Should certain foods like brussel sprouts, broccoli and seafood be avoided when bringing your lunch to work? I've been listening to your podcast for about a month now while I work and enjoy it thoroughly. I think it's amazing you are continuing Emily's legacy. Thank you, Rachel.
Speaker 2: Rachel, thank you so much for the question and this. This is actually totally a workplace kitchen classic.
Speaker 2: It's really hard, I think, some places say, actually make rules about not certain foods in the microwave specifically. But
Speaker 2: it's also one of those where it's like you kind of have to decide that you're going to go there as an office. I don't Did we at our office ever end up saying like no fish in the microwave or no Brussels sprouts in the microwave?
Speaker 1: No, I don't think your father hung up a sign that said, Don't mess with the sink.
Speaker 2: Yes, he did do that. I think that this would be one where if it's noticeable that this was such a big I mean, a lot of people have written to you I would I would make the suggestion to management
Speaker 2: that there is sort of a limit on what goes in the microwave, and I would limit it. Yeah, no Brussel sprouts, No
Speaker 2: seafood.
Speaker 2: Broccoli So hard, though, where do you
Speaker 1: draw the line?
Speaker 2: I know Well, for instance, I learned very early on this show that bananas are really offensive to some people. In fact, I learned later, while researching this newest book, that Emily herself listed bananas as a potentially offensive odor.
Speaker 2: And so that was like news to me like this list. I wouldn't put broccoli on the list, but I I wouldn't know to put Brussels sprouts. But fish, I would think that's a pretty clear one for most people,
Speaker 2: a lot of people, some
Speaker 1: people, and
Speaker 2: I kind of like
Speaker 1: fishy smells. So go figure,
Speaker 2: so go figure.
Speaker 1: But it is really sound business etiquette advice to not mess with the kitchen and definitely keeping your antenna up, letting people know that a particular meal
Speaker 1: made the kitchen unusable for people
Speaker 1: should be enough to have that person not repeat the mistake. So letting people just know without necessarily calling someone out or accusing them of anything is another option that
Speaker 1: might help the problem go away pretty quickly.
Speaker 2: Okay, I like that because you might not put a no fish, No Brussels sprouts, no broccoli in the microwave. Sign up. But you might put up a little note that said
Speaker 2: it was Brussels sprouts, like you know what I mean? Like that smell you've all been writing me about. It was Brussels sprouts,
Speaker 1: like leave it at the humor can help the medicine
Speaker 2: smiley face.
Speaker 1: Definitely.
Speaker 2: Rachel, we hope that this gets the conversation rolling and hopefully the odors control. Thank you so much for being a listener.
Speaker 1: Are you trying to tell me that I smell? Oh, no.
Speaker 1: I smell your stink. Now you listen here. How you listen to me. This time you did more listening and less talking. It's time
Speaker 2: you found out why your own buddies hold their noses.
Speaker 2: Our last question of the day is titled. Your invoice is due,
Speaker 2: dear Awesome etiquette. As someone who doesn't make a ton of money at work, I tend to take on side projects to make extra income. But sometimes people take a long time to pay me for those jobs. In a time where so many things are uncertain. I try to be understanding, but at some point I really need the money.
Speaker 2: Can you provide a sample script for checking in on the status of those payments? Thanks, Denise.
Speaker 1: Hi, Denise. Thanks for the question. And I'm resisting the urge to give you a cheeky answer like send messages that just have pay me written out in all caps,
Speaker 2: a little money bag emojis.
Speaker 1: And
Speaker 2: the drama is just that there
Speaker 1: is a business etiquette version of a note that says, Pay me in all capitals and it's an invoice.
Speaker 2: It's true.
Speaker 1: What I would really suggest is, if you are invoicing people, then take a look at your invoice. And if there's an option to put a, you know, payment appreciated by date or something like that, um, definitely take advantage of it and be sure that's included.
Speaker 1: Um, take note of when you issue invoices, and it's perfectly okay to follow up on invoice after a couple of weeks. If you haven't heard anything from the person
Speaker 1: whether they've acknowledged receipt or sent payment, you would want one of those two things, and if you haven't got it following up on an invoice is, uh, perfectly reasonable thing to do.
Speaker 1: If these are
Speaker 1: the kinds of side projects that aren't something you would invoice for, where it really is. Just, um, something between friends where it's a handshake. Agreement of verbal agreement.
Speaker 1: Um, you might want to start to practice and build into the way you make the offer. Set that up. What your expectation around payment is
Speaker 2: Oh, that's a good idea at the start, The expectation. And then what would you do? Would you do something like when the job is done, like, really clearly say,
Speaker 2: kind of if they don't have the money to pay you in the moment, something like, Okay, I'll stop by tomorrow or, you know,
Speaker 1: absolutely. If they haven't said something, it's okay to bring it up. It's okay to say, I'm wondering how we're thinking about payment.
Speaker 2: How do you want to handle payment or I take cash and check, you know, or a check in Venmo.
Speaker 1: You can ask the question. You can have options. Those are great components to a sample script.
Speaker 2: I also think there's nothing wrong with reaching out. As you say. You try to be understanding, so sometimes you'll give people some time? A. You don't have to do that. They made an agreement. You're owed the money. It's really okay for you to check up when you feel it's appropriate.
Speaker 2: I like adding the be understanding if they say something like, Oh, you know what? I get paid next week. Could we arrange it for then, you know, and then you check in next week or you make the arrangement to go next week to do it.
Speaker 2: But I actually had someone do this Recently. I had had a cleaning service done on my house, and there was like a $50 extra that we hadn't settled up yet. And the person who had cleaned wasn't coming regularly. So it wasn't someone I was gonna see again. And
Speaker 2: we just had said we were going to settle up the rest of the $50 like in a week or two, and then another round of lockdowns happened and a lot of stuff happened in this person's life. And
Speaker 2: four months later I received a text
Speaker 2: that I will admit I was a little at that point, like I don't remember there being a $50 to settle up, but We jogged my memory and I got back there. But the text said, Hey, I'm checking in. I have a note or a reminder that we still have $50 unsettled from the cleaning that I did, and
Speaker 2: it felt perfectly fine, even though there had been so much distance. Um, I really owed the $50 and I did get it to the person.
Speaker 2: But it's really okay for you to reach out and say these things, and you might have to jog somebody's memory. But even that's okay. I can say, having had my memory jogged
Speaker 1: because I remember when that happened. And
Speaker 1: speaking of memory, it is often much easier to remember what we're owed than what we owe. And it is just such a normal and natural part of business to check in with people, whether you're invoicing or doing verbal handshake agreements among friends, this is a perfectly reasonable role to be playing in a
Speaker 1: in a relationship where money is changing hands.
Speaker 1: Denise, we hope that this answer gives you the confidence to follow up and get paid on time.
Speaker 2: Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers. to awesome etiquette. At Emily post dot com. You can leave a voicemail or text at 802858 k i n d. That's 8028585463
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Speaker 2: Yeah,
Speaker 1: yeah.
Speaker 1: If you love awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get an ads free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content. Plus, you'll feel great knowing that you helped to keep awesome etiquette on the air.
Speaker 1: And to those of you who are already sustaining members, thank you so much for your support.
Speaker 2: 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're hearing from a listener we previously gave advice to.
Speaker 1: Hello, awesome etiquette. Some time has passed. But I wanted to follow up on my original question to you both and let you know how things went
Speaker 1: to return the favor When our family friend gave us so many baby clothes
Speaker 1: and expecting nothing in return and even declined other offers of reciprocation.
Speaker 1: I'm pleased to let you know that over the holidays we got a pasta maker and we're able to make fresh pasta for them. And I dropped it off with a gift for the holidays.
Speaker 1: Thankfully, also, in that time they just had their second child, a beautiful baby boy, and my wife and I were able to send them a baby bundle of clothes packaged for their son.
Speaker 1: Thanks for your help and suggestions to make sure I do what I can to be mindful of the various aspects and angles of friendship. Thank you for all you do sincerely, thankfully, clothed.
Speaker 2: Oh, you know, I am a big, big, big fan of the fresh made pasta. I think that is a really, really, really great gift.
Speaker 1: I got the hand crank er from Abuja for Christmas.
Speaker 2: Did you? I haven't done it yet.
Speaker 1: Well, and I used to make a lot of ravioli at the restaurant I worked at as a kid. It's taking me back in some really incredible ways. What an awesome gift. And thank you so much for checking in and letting us know how it went. We always say, Check in, Let us know how the advice that we give lands. Let us know how it works out. And it's It's so good to hear. Thank you so much.
Speaker 2: Yeah,
Speaker 2: Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates, and please keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. Or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 802858546
Speaker 1: three
Speaker 1: It's time for our post script segment, where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette, and today we're going to revisit Margaret Visser is the rituals of dinner, and she's going to take us into the world of folding linen.
Speaker 2: It's really funny because this was
Speaker 2: one of those things that you thought might have escaped the next edition of Emily Post. But no, no, no. Like I found myself writing the details of the table linens, So this is kind of a really satisfying little section
Speaker 2: for a very long time. One of the virtuosity ease of the dinner table was the folding of the linen
Speaker 2: table clause. When spread out were crisscrossed with creases. These had to be straight and clear. There was a superstition that a wrinkled fold forming what was called a coffin meant death to one of the diners. I mean, this is dramatic.
Speaker 2: The delight taken in effects derived from fastidious folding was, can be seen in tutor quote unquote linen Fold wood paneling.
Speaker 2: Until the 18th century, tablecloths were screwed into linen presses to keep them sharply folded when not in use. Could you imagine having to store that the cloth had to be laid with perfect symmetry on the table,
Speaker 2: We still like the central crease to lie down the exact middle of the table top.
Speaker 2: But during the 19th century, folds were so severely out of fashion, the careful housewives kept their tablecloths rolled on tubes so that they would lie as smoothly as possible on the table. I can tell you that that is still done at my house with certain tablecloths. My parents, my parents house,
Speaker 2: like there is a section of my mom's closet
Speaker 2: that's like a couple of tubes with some, like like either special, sentimental or like really nice table cloths rolled up on them. The rest are folded in a drawer.
Speaker 2: However, the glory of linen folding beginning, apparently in the late 16th century was the napkins
Speaker 2: in rich households and on special occasions. These were starched, then folded, bent and twisted into enormously intricate shapes. Quote unquote of fish, beasts and birds as well as fruit, wrote Giles Rose, translating from the French in 16 82
Speaker 2: which is the greatest curiosity in the covering of a table well in rich households and on special occasions. These were starched, then folded, bent and twisted into enormously intricate shapes of quote, of fish, beasts and birds as well as fruit, wrote Giles Rose, translating from the French in 16 82
Speaker 2: he continues, which is the greatest curiosity in the covering of a table. Well,
Speaker 2: end quote, napkin folding was an art and a profession in itself. One day before he was to give a dinner party, Papiss went home and they're found one laying of my napkins against tomorrow in figures of all sorts,
Speaker 2: which is mighty pretty and, it seems, is his trade, and he gets much money by it.
Speaker 2: At Versailles in the 17th century, napkin folding probably reached its zenith.
Speaker 2: Soviets were folded into frogs, fish boats, herringbone pyramids, chickens with eggs, peacocks, swans into the cross of Lorraine. If the Duke of Lorraine was the guest of honor and into a score of other shapes,
Speaker 2: it was a breach of etiquette to demolish these. However, other napkins were provided for mere use.
Speaker 2: During the 19th century, napkin folding came to be considered over, ornamental and pretentious. This is where Emily Emily enters the arrow. I mean, sort of. She's way late that Aaron wasn't even an etiquette expert by then. But
Speaker 2: during the 19th century, napkin folding came to be considered over ornamental and pretentious, like cracking the little finger when holding a cup. Emily Post, in tune with the bear and functional ideals of the 19 twenties, pronounces that quote.
Speaker 2: Very fancy folding are not in good taste,
Speaker 2: end quote, and she also disapproves of what had recently been the custom of folding the napkins simply and hiding the bread roll in it, she says. The bread quote unquote usually fell on the floor
Speaker 2: when the napkin was lifted.
Speaker 2: Napkins should be folded square and flat, she states, and laid on top of the place plate. Never put a napkin at the side because it looks as though you are showing off the beauty of your place plate quote. It is very much like wearing a ring over a glove end. Quote.
Speaker 2: We are talking of formal dinners, so there is no question of side plates on the table.
Speaker 2: I must say it's always fun to see Emily Post pop up in Visser, and it's also one of those where I go poof. And now we do say it's okay to put the napkin to the left of the fort.
Speaker 1: We continue down the road
Speaker 2: evolving. We evolved, we evolved. But this or does have an absolutely right Emily Post wrote in an era when it became like a sign of being pompous and overdone. If you were making these kinds of extravagant napkin folds, especially anything like what you would have seen at Versailles,
Speaker 2: where literally you're not even using the folded napkins just there, like they are literate their decoration
Speaker 1: well. And now my best napkin advice is if you get a paper napkin, don't unfold it. Treat it like a paper napkin into your lap. It goes.
Speaker 2: And I guess that should bring us to the point that while it is, it's kind of fun to think about how linens have been handled over the years. I still can't get the image of, like, um, the big,
Speaker 2: either a slab of wood or something that it's pressed in between, almost like a giant flower pressing. You know,
Speaker 2: um, and that that's how you would hang it and keep it straight that they hadn't yet gotten to the place where you would roll it up and definitely not something you would fold. I had no idea that creases could be a superstitious element to the table.
Speaker 1: No, but when we tried to do photo shoots for dining etiquette, I know your mother has worked so hard to get the folds out of the tablecloth, and I appreciate it.
Speaker 2: I do, too, because when we do them on the fly and we don't take that extra time, the shots look terrible and we use them anyway. But it's It's a reality that it makes a difference when everything looks all nice and crisp and clean and again that is for super formal situations for more casual situations, it's not going to be as big a deal.
Speaker 2: I did like kind of hearing about the napkin throughout the history. It's It's one of those pieces of manners that we talk about. It doesn't go away. It's not going to change over time. No matter what technology probably comes into, play
Speaker 2: your napkin as soon as you sit down at the table, should go into your lap and it should be used. You shouldn't be smearing it across your face as a catch all. You know, you kind of want to dab and use it as delicately as you can. You don't want to have
Speaker 2: gobs of sauce and things like that always, you know, facing out to others.
Speaker 2: But it is. It's this thing that we've had for just generations upon generations upon generations, and that we all still use the same way. For the most part
Speaker 1: here here, the primary utensil
Speaker 2: like I feel like we can talk about the history of napkins without talking about how we use them today
Speaker 1: and there ended the lesson. Lazybones, thank you so much for bringing us this selection from the lighter side, which turned out to actually be a semi serious etiquette topic. Betty's arm shows that she is trying to be at ease and just act as she always does. Notice. Now how she's spreading her napkin. Is that correct? One of Bob's way of opening his napkin and talking a corner in his belt. Could that be all right?
Speaker 1: Bernie and Helen seemed quite certain of the way they opened their napkins
Speaker 1: and place them in a half fold in their laps. They seem to be really at ease.
Speaker 1: Mm hmm.
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. Today we have a salute from Lacey.
Speaker 1: Hi, Lizzie and Dan. Thank you for your encouraging. An informative podcast. I am a new listener and currently binging all episodes. I'm on Episode 1 92.
Speaker 1: I want to give an etiquette salute to my dear friend Maria,
Speaker 1: as we all know we are in heated times, politically speaking in this nation, and friends don't always see eye to eye with more interactions happening on social media these days between friends, political posts on social media can be a friendship hindrance. Such was the case with my friend and I
Speaker 1: coming from the opposite sides of the political spectrum. We both made political posts from our side
Speaker 1: when I was especially hurt by a post made. There was a discussion between us about how I was feeling.
Speaker 1: I wish I could say that I did the respectful when you I feel statement. But I had not yet been exposed to those tools and instead handled the conversation very anxiously and chaotically.
Speaker 1: Maria was gracious as she always is. She even told me that it didn't matter how she was feeling. It mattered how she made me feel. She really wanted to practice the platinum rule and handled the conversation with the most respect I'd ever been given.
Speaker 1: Because of her graciousness, we are able to enjoy a friendship that could have been ruined due to conflicting political opinions and my inability to handle the situation with calm and ease.
Speaker 1: Now, as a listener. I'm taking notes on how to more respectfully handle difficult conversations. The post podcast and Maria will be my guides. Thank you all.
Speaker 1: And yes, it was Maria who suggests that I listen to the podcast. Now we bond over stationary and dinner parties and I love having my friend back. Thank you. And take care now. Politically polite.
Speaker 2: I love this post. I really, really do. I on this salute. I mean, it is such a win. It is. It can be so hard.
Speaker 2: I've had politics divide friends and I and we can't talk about it. And it's so amazing to hear how this was handled between the two of you
Speaker 2: and that you see room for your friendship and experience to grow and your your participation in it. Like the idea that I can get better at this. You know, like I can and you can't always react perfectly. But I just I love so much of the spirit of this, like I can and I will. And I just I love that I really, really love that.
Speaker 1: I finished reading that feedback and I felt like I had a big exhale. Yes, it just made me feel better. Thank you so much. Politically polite, both for what you're doing in your friendship and for sharing it with us.
Speaker 2: Thank you for listening
Speaker 1: and thank you to everyone who sent us something. And everyone who supports us on Patreon.
Speaker 2: Please connect with us and share this show with friends, family and coworkers and hopefully on social media to
Speaker 1: you can send us your next question feedback or salute by email to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com
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Speaker 2: show is edited by the Awesome Chris Albertine, an assistant produced by the incredible Bridget Dowd. Thanks.
Speaker 1: Oh,