Episode 354 - Can I Get You Something?
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 playing host or hostess to workers improving your home, using the last of the toilet paper, telling people how to correctly pronounce your name, and sending birthday gifts when you can’t attend the party. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members our question is about exceptions to the rules of wedding invitations. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and postscript on proper introductions in business.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social goodness. See it's old fashioned,
Speaker 1: watch how busy post and then post to act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 1: Hello and welcome to awesome etiquette where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today's show, we take your questions on playing host or hostess to workers improving your home, using the last of the toilet paper when you're a houseguest,
Speaker 1: telling people how to correctly pronounce your name when it's been a very long time that you've known them and sending birthday gifts when you can't attend the birthday party were awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about exceptions to the rules of wedding invitations, plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a postscript on proper introductions
Speaker 1: in business. All that coming up,
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in sunny Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute. I'm lizzie Post and I'm dan post sending
Speaker 1: and you have a little little birthday in your household today because our at least on our recording day, I know this releases on monday, but I'll spare you singing happy Birthday, but I will do it several times before the day's out.
Speaker 1: Uh and tell me how old is your youngest aria today? Aria is two years old and I just can't even believe it, I can't believe it, I can't believe it. It is such a fun two year old. Well I'm very jealous of the party you all are going to have this afternoon and I hope you have a ton of fun,
Speaker 1: lots of hugs, lots of kids, lots of smiles and what else is going on when we're not editing or podcasting or celebrating birthdays, right. I had an etiquette share this morning. Do tell,
Speaker 1: I'm friends with, with a woman who listens to the show and she texted me a photo on her commute to work today of a
Speaker 1: car that had, you know, like written in soap on the back of it.
Speaker 1: We just got married, help us go to Hawaii and then it listed there Venmo handle and it looked like a wedding specific Venmo handle. You know what I mean? Like it wasn't like their name or something. The conversation we had was, this is like, this is what people mean when they say something can look like a grab for gifts like
Speaker 1: that really does. That's like put it out there.
Speaker 1: But it was, it was really funny. I, I don't think we will be suggesting it as an Emily post polite etiquette, good etiquette way to go. But it's like one of those stunts that the first person who does it gets the good laugh, you know? And like I was just thinking, it's it's almost far enough outside of an invitation quote, unquote grab. Forget
Speaker 1: that it kind of doesn't violate that rule, if that makes any sense. Yeah. I don't know. Asking people to get your gifts when they didn't come to your wedding or even know you. I don't know. I I don't I don't know exactly how to feel about it in that realm. I just know that connected to weddings. This this is not a route. I would suggest people go, like you say, first time fun. Yeah, exactly, exactly, exactly.
Speaker 1: But no, that's kind of that that was we've had very minimal happenings here here in Burlington. It's like there, isn't it? It's been a quiet week, you and I have been working hard to keep editing the book and get that out. And so I feel like it's
Speaker 1: like it was funny. I was talking to someone the other day and I was like, yeah, yeah, yeah, like we'll play golf this summer, like, don't worry, we'll play golf. And I'm like, wow, it's already like we're pushing into the end of june the second half of june and I like, I haven't hit the length yet. I've just I need to get this book done because I need to get this book finished.
Speaker 1: Uh so that I go enjoy some some engage with people. Like I was the other day, I was like, wow,
Speaker 1: I'm still having very pandemic esque days where like, I I work all day at home, I go for my run, I take sonny for a walk, I walk the dog, dogs it for, you know what I mean? And it's like you just kind of like do all the things and then the day is over and you need to go to sleep to start the next day. And I like, I haven't gotten
Speaker 1: totally to that point where at least right now with this workload where I'm like out of my house again, you know, and like really out of my house regularly daily. It haven't hit that yet. We got to release me. It's so ironic. The writing of an etiquette book could socially ISIS writing of a social behavior but could socially isolate you. It is no, it totally is. I'm living that irony right now.
Speaker 1: But no other other than that, like I said, things have been really simple. I'm excited to have my garden going and oh no. Can I tell you what the horrible story by all the little critters, the little critters discovered our garden. It was so beautiful pooch went french intensive raised bed like very organized role rose. And
Speaker 1: we were getting lots of greens, kales and lettuces and it was just starting to really yield. And some critic critter or combination of critters have found it and it's just their buffet now every morning, like another section of the garden is gone and you can tell it's a critter, It's not just Ernie the big dopey lab from down the street, right. These are delicious, succulent little, but their bites, there things have been taken bite so that such, that's such a shame that such a shame and that's the most excitement we've had up on the hill. I had a critter running myself, which was, I had a chipmunk that ended up inside my house.
Speaker 1: I thought I had gotten him outside my house or her outside my house
Speaker 1: and then he moved, she moved in and then it was about four o'clock in the morning that the cats rediscovered the now in the house
Speaker 1: chipmunk. And and I spent last week good for for a shift helping to gently and without as much as possible scaring this poor little creature who was in just such a foreign environment at that point,
Speaker 1: I like was able to corral it into a cat carrier and get it outside so that it could go outside and boy did it book it when it got when I opened that. Well there it was, it was great. But
Speaker 1: that's like, yeah, it's quiet quiet on the home front other than like, I feel like you and I are living breathing and scrutinizing this book that we are writing right now and I'm very grateful for that opportunity. I'll say, well, shall we answer some listener questions and get back to our editing
Speaker 1: dan. I think that is an A plus plan for the day. Let's do it,
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 80285 A kind that's 8028585463 You can also reach us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily Post insist on instagram, we are at Emily Post Institute
Speaker 1: and on facebook we are awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: Just remember use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: Yeah
Speaker 1: mm.
Speaker 1: For our first question today, we're starting off with a voicemail from melissa titled hosting house painters.
Speaker 2: Hi dan and lizzie, my question for you is this my husband and I are fairly new homeowners
Speaker 2: and we are having a lot of service people come through in the next several weeks,
Speaker 2: such as house painters,
Speaker 2: wallpapers,
Speaker 2: folks to do extermination services work on our crawl space and things of that nature.
Speaker 2: I'm wondering to what degree do my husband and I play host and hostess
Speaker 2: to service people who are coming to do work on our home?
Speaker 2: Do we need to provide them with water, snacks,
Speaker 2: coffee, etcetera, use of our bathrooms? Um, I'm very new to, to hiring people and I'm just wondering
Speaker 2: how does the host death dance apply in this contractual service relationship?
Speaker 2: I really look forward to hearing what you both have to say.
Speaker 2: Thank you so much
Speaker 1: Melissa. That's a great question and a kind of like a classic 1, 2. I feel like this. I mean it's not like as frequent as thank you notes, but
Speaker 1: I've certainly heard this, especially with new homeowners where you are all of a sudden in that position, you're like, I want to be polite and friendly, but I've also been paying someone does, how does the host guest role here work? And
Speaker 1: I'm in the camp of I think it's really nice to offer a glass of water, coffee or tea, bathroom facilities, that sort of thing. But beyond that, I don't feel like I don't, I don't feel like you have to offer someone lunch. I have before on a random occasion, but it was like the only time I've ever done it damp.
Speaker 1: I agree. I think that it's a really nice gesture to offer a glass of water or a cup of coffee. I have found that most people
Speaker 1: don't even accept that, that most people who are coming to work think of it as a work
Speaker 1: event or day and they've got a lunch plan and they got a thermos full of coffee because not everyone is so kind and considerate and you want to have lunch and you want to have the cup of coffee that you like to have in the morning.
Speaker 1: So it is in some ways analogous to that host guest dance, maybe that drink of water would be really appreciated. So be prepared to provide it if you get, but especially in the summer months. Right? But it is a perfect example of that little, this is a kindness. I'm thinking about you as someone that's in my home
Speaker 1: and probably you've already thought about that also and do this regularly and are either very comfortable saying yes, that'd be awesome or no, that's quite all right. I got a therapist in the truck.
Speaker 1: I feel like often when I've heard from folks who do a lot of work in other people's homes that their etiquette goals seem to be to make as little an impact or disturbance on your life as possible
Speaker 1: to be, you know, as as little of a, I don't want to say the word burden because you've hired this person and they're aware of that. Like, you know, it's, but it's more just as little of an impact as possible. That being said. I've also heard things like, oh my gosh, we were so
Speaker 1: grateful when she brought out this big fan that could like blow on us while we, while we were debating the outside of that house or
Speaker 1: you know, that if people who are working outside but are also smokers will make comments about how either it's, they try to do things like make sure that they don't leave any cigarettes around or that the smoke isn't blowing into the house.
Speaker 1: Things like that. I've been surprised sometimes at some of the things that come up that I wouldn't have thought of that are very thoughtful on the workers behalf.
Speaker 1: I feel like this was on an old house column, we did dan H O U Z Z, the website where someone was talking about how they try not to just like sit out on someone's front lawn, having lunch or a smoke break or something like that. And and that was just an interesting perspective I hadn't thought of before, but um
Speaker 1: I'm sorry, I could go on and on about how considerate the guest is often being in the same space, but the question is much more for our host and I think that you're right dan is, it's a business relationship and you do want to think about it that way in a lot of ways. And I think that being aware of
Speaker 1: where someone else is coming from, what they're doing, what their expectations of themselves are, help you accommodate them. And the other thing that you mentioned at the start of this question that I think really supports that idea is the idea of offering someone a bathroom.
Speaker 1: And I was thinking about the particulars of the courtesy of someone is working in your home to make as little disturbance as possible. And I think early on, particularly if people are going to be there for
Speaker 1: a day or a couple of days,
Speaker 1: mapping out the bathroom, that's the good one to use and figuring out a way to get in and out of it that maybe doesn't require taking off work boots every time or oh dan, I saw a great thing that homeowner did to help that, and that was to put
Speaker 1: like, they just got some, you know, brown paper, like kraft paper uh and rolled it out or some plastic and and rolled it out between the path that the, that the workers would take from outside to inside to the house
Speaker 1: and they, it was definitely a hit because exactly what you just said, no one had to remove boots or say, oh I forgot the little disposable booties that people sometimes have.
Speaker 1: Um it was, that's a, that is a really good tip,
Speaker 1: We're just telling them there's a bathroom off the kitchen, feel free to go use that one, you can come in the back door, I think that kind of a host guest dance. To me, it's analogous of the shoes on, shoes off Now, it's the work version of it, where you're aware of what they're trying to accomplish, of minimizing that impact and you help them do it in a way that also meets needs. And it is, it's a different kind of host guest dance, but I think that those are the two points that you mentioned right off the bat that I think are the place that
Speaker 1: it's most likely to happen, the cup of coffee or water and how to get to the bathroom essentials during a workday essentials, during a workday
Speaker 1: melissa. We certainly hope that you are enjoying your new home and all of the fixing up. That it sounds like you are doing. It's a it's a really wallpaper. I want wallpaper. I know, I'm like, oh man, I wish I wish I could do some of these projects again, but we truly hope that you're having a good time with it and thank you so much for the question.
Speaker 1: Well that sounds like a leading question but let's have it. Well if the worker has only 10 minutes is it possible for him to get to the place, get his coffee and get back in that length of time?
Speaker 1: Well I hate to put it like this job but that's not my problem. Well it isn't yet. It is.
Speaker 1: Our next question is about toilet paper troubles. Hi, lizzie and dan with restrictions lifting. It's great that we can host guests again and also visit our friends and family. We haven't seen in a while. This past weekend I was a guest in my friend's quaint apartment. We shared a bathroom over the course of my four day stay.
Speaker 1: On the second day I finished a roll of toilet paper and looked around to replace it.
Speaker 1: Not snooping obviously, but under the sink where I'd expect extra rolls to be, but there were none.
Speaker 1: I asked her where the extra toilet paper was and she said that was the last of it and asked if I had finished it. When I said that I had finished it, she became annoyed that I hadn't said anything before using the last of it because she really needed to go.
Speaker 1: Should I have noticed it was low and asked for a replacement before finishing the current role. Would you assume as an overnight guest that there is extra available? Should I have asked if anyone else had a more pressing need to use the bathroom? Isn't that PM I sincerely TP troubles.
Speaker 1: OTP troubles. This is the first, I can definitely say that because wouldn't you agree? I think we've had bathroom questions. We've even had toilet paper questions
Speaker 1: but not this particular sit down for a while. I know we did, but this is really different because this is someone getting annoyed at you for not for frankly their lack of good hosting skills, I'm just going to call them out on it.
Speaker 1: Like if you're inviting someone to come stay with you for four days, please make sure your toilet paper is doctor. If you know that you're running low, remember to say oh when we're out, remind me to get toilet paper, we're running low.
Speaker 1: This is like, I think this is some shirking of responsibility here. I think I think TP troubles has, has had the like the blame of the situation put on them and I don't think that's necessarily what should have happened. I agree with your overall analysis. I think there was a moment of panic and probably you found yourself
Speaker 1: um sincerely TP troubles at the front or the receiving end of that panic.
Speaker 1: From my perspective, I assume that I'm going to find that toilet paper under the sink. I definitely keep extra rolls there, but that's also just my perspective. I haven't really checked broadly, I know that it's a assumption among people I share houses with, but I'd be really curious
Speaker 1: audience feedback. Do you keep an extra roll of toilet paper under the sink? Is that a reasonable place for someone to go look for one and to assume they would probably find one. I'm just going to go out there as a response right now and say, we do suggest in our etiquette books that you keep things like this in the bathroom just in case the guest runs out.
Speaker 1: Um and that it it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect it, diving deeper into this problem though, this moment that these two are experiencing. So it happens all of a sudden you're like, oh my gosh, there really isn't any toilet paper in here and I did just use the rest of it. I think one way in the moment when your host has has kind of breached their host role and and let you know their moment of panic with it, I really need to use the bathroom and there's none left. Great. What do I do? I think a like going to that solution oriented brain of are we
Speaker 1: in a home where it's easy for me to run out even while you're in the bathroom, you know,
Speaker 1: is there another soft paper product in the house that maybe you can't flush? But that could at least be used. You know what I mean? Like there there it's like it's like is there paper towel or their Kleenexes or is there something that might work here? I feel like we've all been in that panic moment, even in our own homes alone
Speaker 1: and figured out what to do, even if that's like jumping in the shower right afterwards, like something, but I feel like jumping straight to the taking on the blame of should I, you know, the question is, should I have noticed it was low and asked for a replacement before finishing the current role?
Speaker 1: It's a, it's a great idea. I think few of us when we're running into the bathroom expect that every time we're gonna see a low roll, you know what I mean? It's like I'm not going to put a shit on this one. I am not going to let our teepee troubles should themselves on this one.
Speaker 1: At least deeply troubled if you're willing to join me and you're not shooting yourself on this one, you know, was supposed I agree 1,000%. This is not one that I would beat myself up over in the spirit of thinking about really being 100% in control of myself and what I can control in a situation. If I was imagining the future preventive action, I would say throw a little travel pack of Kleenex in your travel toiletries
Speaker 1: just in case you find yourself anywhere where toilet paper is not available
Speaker 1: and you never know, you might end up being that person who has a Kleenex or a little something to wipe up a spill or some extra toilet paper if someone else needs it. Tp troubles, we certainly hope that you don't run into TP troubles like this in the future. Personal cleanliness is still important.
Speaker 1: It is particularly important for you to wash your hands after going to the toilet.
Speaker 1: You see it is quite possible for you to have germs in your body which don't make you sick at all. But if those germs get from your hands to the hands of someone else, he may not be so able to resist the germs as you are, he may become sick.
Speaker 1: Um
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled Curse 10. Not Curse 10.
Speaker 1: Hello, awesome etiquette from a longtime listener. I love the questions you discuss in the perspective you bring when questions are posed on the podcast. I often pause to think how I would handle the matter prior to listening to your recommendations and advice.
Speaker 1: I have a question of my own and would love you both the way in.
Speaker 1: I have a name that given the spelling can be pronounced equally likely one of two ways. Think tara
Speaker 1: or terra for the name tiara.
Speaker 1: I have no problem politely correcting people when I first meet them. But every once in a while someone will get the wrong pronunciation rooted in their brain
Speaker 1: and I'm not sure how to best correct them. Weeks, months or sometimes even years into knowing them.
Speaker 1: It just feels so awkward at that point.
Speaker 1: Think neighbors, co workers, et cetera. An added element is that it often comes up that it's said incorrectly in a group conversation at a backyard cookout or during a staff meeting where it feels really off to interrupt the flow of the group conversation to make the correction.
Speaker 1: Any thoughts on the matter would be so appreciated. All the best Kirsten. Not
Speaker 1: Kirsten
Speaker 1: Kirsten, thank you so much for the question Lizzy and I both knew a Kirsten growing up and she did not want to be called Kirsten.
Speaker 1: In fact, you are not alone in this. And this is another example of how important it is to get people's names right and how easy it is to get people's names wrong. As you point out, the same spelling can have different pronunciations. People can be very familiar with
Speaker 1: one pronunciation with one spelling and it can take more than one try hearing and saying to get a new name right or to,
Speaker 1: as you say, build that groove in your brain to get it right, that's as strong as the groove in your brain. That gets it wrong. And I will say it is amazing how strong those grooves can be. Like it's it can be hard to get out of that rut once it's been created. But we do think there are ways to help it happen. Absolutely. And most people, the vast majority of people will want to get it right and they will appreciate you getting them a good correction that helps them get it right in the same way you feel awkward noticing this occurring in relationships that are ongoing. It would be really awkward for someone else to discover that they've been making an ongoing mistake. And that's one of the things that makes delivering this. What is going to be to them bad news, potentially, Well, really important.
Speaker 1: I think so too. Right. It's always the how that matters for me, dan. I think that my first go to action to try with someone who I'm starting to notice might be in this category of repeated offender and to place them in the situation that Kirsten has given us, which is in a group setting,
Speaker 1: is to give a very quick, just someone says Kirsten and you just say Kirsten, it's a very quick correction. They'll probably say sorry and you'll say it's okay, you know what I mean? But I can see that happening in a moment in front of others
Speaker 1: and when you deliver it casually and quickly as if you're hoping the conversation will move on, but you just want to make a point. You know, my name is Kirsten not Kirsten. I think it does more than actually that full sentence of saying to someone in the moment.
Speaker 1: My name is Kirsten not Kirsten. It's just it's quick, it moves you forward. You're a little bit I think banking on the idea that they
Speaker 1: no the actual name, they're just not using it, right? And so you just get them to the usage, the correct usage as fast as possible.
Speaker 1: I think that's a really good point. You know, like, you know, it's like you got a sense that they know Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, if you've got a sense that they know and this is just an annoying mistake that is starting to be frequent. It's like just keep treating it like you know, like keep hitting them with the right one and hopefully
Speaker 1: the volume of quick corrections over time will result in that being the name they hear the name they can use
Speaker 1: but I wouldn't feel as comfortable with a longer relationship. Like having a big conversation about my name not being pronounced right? I don't know For some for some reason almost feels like it's intruding on the friendship a bit, but it's a point that you need to make.
Speaker 1: So how can you make it well when you want to kind of have that conversation aside.
Speaker 1: That is the trick how you keep the awkwardness that you feel when this is happening to you from getting transferred to them when they realize they've been doing this to you. And that's not easy to do. It requires integration of those emotions when you make that correction.
Speaker 1: And I think that's oftentimes easy with those quick corrections that you're talking about. I think that those might not work. And the other option is to mention it to the person. I think that's close to the occurrence where it happens
Speaker 1: makes it easier because you're addressing something that's not an ongoing problem in the relationship, but something that just happened.
Speaker 1: So I think getting getting that correction closer to that event is a good idea if you can,
Speaker 1: but also not necessarily making that bigger correction in front of people in the moment is strongly advised.
Speaker 1: And I think that when you actually deliver the correction,
Speaker 1: I was thinking about the sample scripts or the possibilities and the shorter and the easier they feel, I think the better they're going to work.
Speaker 1: So something like I heard you say Kirsten earlier actually I pronounce it, Kirsten to get it wrong all the time. But I wanted to mention it to you
Speaker 1: is enough. I think that is really gentle and enough to not create more awkwardness for the other person but let them know they were doing something awkward. You know, it's like pointing out awkwardness.
Speaker 1: No, you're not, you're not telling them about all the pain and hurt it caused. You're just helping them get it right so that they can feel as good about it as you do.
Speaker 1: So there's another part to this that I think can be really helpful and that's to have some allies ask some friends to help. Um, I think that it is super helpful, especially often if you're dealing with couples, you know, and you might know one member of the couple more, but the other member of the couple keeps getting your name wrong.
Speaker 1: Say, hey, could you, could you mention to so and some of them, it's actually
Speaker 1: Kirsten, not Kirsten and I do it with a friend of mine whose name is Gillian and often people see the name and think it's Gillian and so when we go into two meetings or group gatherings together, I often will remind someone, especially someone who I've heard get it wrong, you know, in conversations
Speaker 1: I'll say, hey, just a reminder, it's Gillian not Gillian,
Speaker 1: I really like, you know, and you don't even have to go further than that. Just just a quick reminder. Her name is Gillian not Gillian. And the other person is often like, oh thank you so much. I I always blank on which it is or I get confused and it's it's funny dan you really do lean into that, the idea that people want to get it right
Speaker 1: and that it makes a big difference to kind of de escalating the awkwardness of getting it wrong. Absolutely
Speaker 1: Kirsten. We really hope that this helps you deal with the situation you're facing and maybe help some other people out there who are dealing with a similar problem, make friends. Thus your name here tori
Speaker 2: a
Speaker 1: story of refusal to admit defeat.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: our next question ask, ear's are baffled by a birthday question Hello, to be read in proper lizzie tone. How'd I do Lizzy? Because I think you did really well. That was really funny is that I learned the hello from you who stopped doing it very quickly.
Speaker 1: I always think of it as a your thing and I'm trying to mimic it. That's awesome.
Speaker 1: Hello? Pretty sure. Comes from Seinfeld to be honest. I think it does. Okay, back to our question folks, recently, we broke it to our friend that if you are invited to a wedding or a shower and you can't attend that, it's proper etiquette to still send a gift. It blew her mind
Speaker 1: fast forward to today when that same friend asked about a birthday party that she can't attend. We had no idea. Is it still proper etiquette to send a gift or do birthdays not fall under the expected gifting umbrella? Thanks in advance team Toledo.
Speaker 1: Oh, team Toledo. You've popped a can of worms here. There's all guy like the
Speaker 1: gift obligation question I think is such a,
Speaker 1: it's ascending scale of gift obligations. Yes. And like, and like how, why they even existed. It still service anything. Text proper etiquette mean it's allowed or expected, you know, and that's that's a really good one
Speaker 1: because even here, I'll tweak the advice that you gave your friend uh years back or fast forward to today. However long ago it was
Speaker 1: that the wedding is the one where if you can't attend the wedding that technically you're still said, I don't know where the technical comes from, but technically you're still supposed to send a gift. Um it was a very, very big, very generous invitation to receive from someone. And the
Speaker 1: event itself was so monumental, monumental in life for something significant. Yeah, that's probably better word
Speaker 1: that it really warranted that. I think today I'm still questioning the whole obligation of it, but we still hold firm on the on the quote unquote rule that you you send a gift even if you don't or can't attend a wedding, the shower is a little bit different
Speaker 1: if it happens to be a wedding shower that we're talking about, not a baby shower, that we're talking about.
Speaker 1: Wedding shower guests are always guests who are invited to the wedding itself. And so you're, you're already getting a couple of gift for the wedding whether you attend or not, and with the fact that you could be invited to multiple pre wedding events. Typically the pre wedding parties don't carry that same obligation, dan,
Speaker 1: with that all parsed out, Do you? What do you think? And, and again, you can still get the wedding shower if you can't the wedding shower gift, if you can't go to it, it's acceptable, it's acceptable. It's perfectly expected. It's not expected. That's such a good way to put it because um but what do you think about it when it comes to that first birthday? I like this birthday theme that not theme today, but question today on arias birthday.
Speaker 1: I would like to complicate things even further, to work our way to the first. I'd like to throw a baby shower out there and just imagine the scenario where you're invited to a baby shower and aren't going to attend. In my mind, the vast majority of people who are close enough to someone to be invited to a baby shower
Speaker 1: who couldn't attend are probably going to want to send a little gift and you might not do it. You might not
Speaker 1: think of it as an expectation as part of receiving that invitation,
Speaker 1: but I think it's not an uncommon reply also. So I wrestle with this idea. Is it an obligation? Is it required of me? And I think of that wedding gift is one that's got a bigger social expectation and the shower ones as having less of a social expectation.
Speaker 1: But the complication comes from the reality that I think really good etiquette or sort of thinking about those relationships and and how close they're meant to be. You know, significant these events are. I think a lot of people want to do it
Speaker 1: and which is one of the reasons that
Speaker 1: social expectation develops to begin with. But again, it's I think it's, as you pointed out less for a shower than a wedding either kind. And I think we stepped down another step down that stare to first birthday party, although I think all the same things we've said about the wedding or either shower continue to apply that if you feel inspired
Speaker 1: to send a card or a little gift that
Speaker 1: there's certainly nothing inappropriate about. In fact, it's a very reasonable response to that invitation whether you're going to attend or not. I think so too. And that the trick is with these
Speaker 1: a party, like as you said, I love the visual of like stepping down, like the showers are stepped out, you're still close, but the showers are stepped down, the birthday party, you're still close, but it's a step down.
Speaker 1: They are different.
Speaker 1: The shower, I think what's tough to is that you can have multiple showers, you might have an office shower, you might have a yoga group shower, you might have a friend shower in a family shower and
Speaker 1: when it comes to the birthday party,
Speaker 1: I feel like if you say yes, and especially if we're talking about kids parties, gifts are pretty much the norm, unless parents have said no, we really don't want gifts. He's one or she's one or their one and they have plenty. But it's funny because it doesn't require you if you can't go to have to give. And I also just
Speaker 1: the difference between
Speaker 1: a requirement and then I feel like I would want to give this even if I don't go is a really big difference
Speaker 1: and we don't in the world of etiquette really try to place on people a ton of obligations that are financially or often financially related.
Speaker 1: And you could start to see how if birthdays followed the same suit as a wedding, if showers for weddings and and showers for babies or or new Children joining the family like that. There are often
Speaker 1: multiple of these that someone might go through. I mean certainly birthdays, you're going through them annually
Speaker 1: and then there's lots of them. I mean I could I could just see us getting to a point where if that was true, if you had to send a birthday gift for every birthday you were invited to that, it could get to be too much very, very, very quickly. And I think there's a piece of etiquette that's really recognizing here.
Speaker 1: The wedding is often a once in a lifetime event
Speaker 1: and the wedding shower shore. But there's like we said, lots of lots of small parties that can happen
Speaker 1: before a wedding, baby shower might be a once in a lifetime event, might be a five times in a family's, you know, lifetime event. But that once in a lifetime event or the likelihood that that wedding is going to be a once in a lifetime event even with current divorce and remarriage rates it's there and it's kind of special
Speaker 1: and it's different from these other types of parties in that way. I think that's a really good thing to keep in mind. And it's, it's not about the other parties being less, it's just that a wedding is a really special thing. Team Toledo, Thank you so much for this question. I don't think I've ever thought of a gift obligations
Speaker 1: dare way before the series of levels on it
Speaker 1: and I really appreciated your question and how it pushed us to think about etiquette.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: yeah,
Speaker 1: thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 8028589 That's 8028585463 Program it into your phone
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Speaker 1: Mm
Speaker 1: Okay.
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Speaker 1: and to those of you who are already sustaining members. Thank you so much for your support.
Speaker 1: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer in the topics we cover today. We have a voice mail from Jessica about wearing white to weddings, high, lazy and
Speaker 2: dan. I don't think I'll talk to voicemail before, but I feel like I'm calling my besties right now.
Speaker 2: This is Jessica. And when I heard the question on this week's episode about wearing white to weddings, I had to call and share this story, especially when was he talked about seeing teenagers wearing all white dresses. This exact thing happened at my wedding. One of her cousins who shall remain nameless was still in high school and she really wanted to wear her all white homecoming dress to our wedding.
Speaker 2: It was sure that and it didn't look like a wedding dress at all. Sort of 0% offended by this, like -0%. But I had to laugh a little bit. Um when later in the night, during dinner, some spaghetti and meatball fell on her dress.
Speaker 2: Getting those stars out of the white glass is very easy task. Perhaps this more than when we return to our home, went to fancy dinners. Hope you and all your listeners are doing well and have a great week.
Speaker 1: I am cracking up over here. And it is not that I am laughing at someone's misfortune of spilling on their dress. But I am laughing at the irony.
Speaker 1: I know I'm gonna try to parse this out politely. I would probably can't really pull it off. Oh my gosh, Jessica! Thank you so so much for this. Also for giving us the perspective that the wearing of the white dress did an address that really did not look like
Speaker 1: a wedding dress. Like made just zero offense to you the bride. I think that's an it's an awesome perspective to get out there.
Speaker 1: We're obviously always telling people because you might not know don't do it. But I think it's awesome to also hear people voice up like, yeah, this is no big deal. This wasn't a problem until the spaghetti came out. Like, it's such a great it's such a great image like, oh,
Speaker 1: oh, Jessica, thank you so much for the feedback.
Speaker 1: Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please do keep them coming. You can send your next feedback or update to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com. You can also leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: It's time for our post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today our post script is inspired by a listener text message to so, you know, I get really like excited when you guys text us. I don't know why. I just think it's wicked, cool. Um use my East Coast language. But we are doing a postscript segment that was inspired
Speaker 1: by one of our listeners through text message and it's on business introductions, the details, the nitty gritty
Speaker 1: dan. You are a resident business expert and I almost want to throw this to you the way you like to throw wedding questions to me. Test me on it, test me on it. Okay. I'm not the first point, right? I was gonna say the reason I know that you would ace the test is that I had my little list going and then you made a point that I was like, you know, that's the first thing on the list, Take it away. So the very first thing on the list when it comes to business introductions or really any introductions is to make them feel confident, making them make them frequently. Like it's
Speaker 1: well, it is the biggest thing is just get really comfortable with making introductions because even if the worst offense that you're going to make is that you're reintroducing to people who know each other,
Speaker 1: you laugh about it for half a second and move on when you create a moment with someone where you don't introduce, like since the three people are standing there and and you're playing middleman between them and you, you don't make that introduction. I feel like
Speaker 1: it creates this like fly on the wall sense of anonymity for the person who hasn't been introduced whose names don't aren't known to eat to one another. Um, and that would be probably two people in this given situation. But
Speaker 1: it does, it kind of like it pushes someone into that category of forcing them to be anonymous in a moment. And I just think that's unnecessary, especially in business where we're trying to make connections, we're trying to build things and do things together to, you know, move that revenue stream. I feel like it's
Speaker 1: really important in business to make introductions. That would be how I'd start anyway, because that would be my my take off in the speech in the seminar.
Speaker 1: First piece of advice is make them it's so important. The oldest cliche in businesses. That business is built on relationships and one of the original relationship skills for growing your networks and your relationships is introducing people to each other.
Speaker 1: I tell my younger audiences that this was the original social networking skill. Every time you introduced to people to each other, you build a social triangle that includes you.
Speaker 1: And as you continue to be at those triangles, you grow a network of people that you're connected to, that are connected to each other. And it's it's just critically important. It's the human architecture that our business lives are built on
Speaker 1: the elaboration on that point for our contemporary current moment
Speaker 1: is that we get to make introductions all the time. And it's not always in person. Oftentimes that first meeting right now is happening via a video call.
Speaker 1: It happens via email introductions via conference calls. And I
Speaker 1: I want to emphasize for our points today, the in person introduction. Because that, like the handwritten letter is the height of formality. It's the formal structure from which we depart to make choices about good um introductions in
Speaker 1: environments where that most formal structure doesn't necessarily apply. But if you understand the components of it,
Speaker 1: you can try to honor those components in the medium that you're operating in. A video medium, A text medium, a phone call.
Speaker 1: So what is the first rule or guideline for a good introduction in person. When you're introducing to people, is to address or speak to the person that you want to honor first.
Speaker 1: This comes from the older tradition of presenting someone, a junior person to a senior person. So you start off with the senior person, you would present the other person to them. The way that we honor that tradition today is we address the person that we want to honor first. So who do you want to honor?
Speaker 1: Okay.
Speaker 1: There's a really simple three part hierarchy that can help you figure out who that person is in business. Oftentimes, usually it's a visitor, a guest, an outsider or a client. So someone who's coming to do business with you or your organization
Speaker 1: gets the priority. You think of them as being your honored guest, even if the person that you're introducing them to internally outranks them in some way. Now
Speaker 1: the second consideration is about organizational hierarchy. If there isn't a visitor or a guest that you really want to honor in some way you're going to respect organizational hierarchy and the structure that you're working within, you're going to start with people of more seniority experience or are higher up on that organizational ranking chart.
Speaker 1: So
Speaker 1: occasionally that hierarchy question will
Speaker 1: um supersede the question of the guests are the visitor, you might be introducing
Speaker 1: someone who's visiting to the ceo of Samsung and guess what the ceo of Samsung gets addressed first for for most situations that were operating and you want to think about honoring that visitor, The third
Speaker 1: sort of tear in your organizational thought processes, age. If all other things are equal, you're going to honor and respect age and experience and start with the older person first, if you know their age, we've got to always put that in there, right? Like sometimes sometimes age can be a little bit of a guess
Speaker 1: and all other things being equal. Start with the person who is the guest in the situation. Sometimes you're in conversation with someone and someone enters and you're all just friends or casual acquaintances or co workers in those situations. I'm thinking about the
Speaker 1: the experience itself whose entering, who's already talking, those sorts of questions start to
Speaker 1: direct my thinking about where I begin.
Speaker 1: So once you've identified who to speak with first you're going to start by addressing them. And it might sound something like this Mr guest I would like to introduce our senior account representative tom smith to you.
Speaker 1: So you've started with the person that you want to honor and you've introduced the other person to them. Now this is a little technical point
Speaker 1: sometimes that to you at the end of the sentence will drift up into the middle of the sentence. It's a pretty common usage for a lot of people and it might sound something like this. Mr guest. I would like to introduce you to our senior account representative tom smith. Now
Speaker 1: technically you have inverted the order of introduction when you're going to say that sounds different to me because
Speaker 1: this is a really interesting point. Most people won't notice what's gonna matter to most people is that you start with the right person that you get the names right, that you um really that you begin with the right person and that you present the other person to them.
Speaker 1: But if you want to get the order of introduction, technically correct, you hold the to you until the end of the sentence.
Speaker 1: Those are the little details that if you get worried in your mind about getting right might prevent you from making that introduction to begin with. I mentioned the detail
Speaker 1: because I
Speaker 1: I like to include it and if you want to dot your I's and cross your T S. Hold that to you till the end of the sentence and you'll have your order of introduction technically correct starting with the person that you want to honor because you're reminding me of as we've been editing and working on the 20th edition and
Speaker 1: we do try to use a lot of sample scripts and things like that. And introductions was one of the hardest spaces because
Speaker 1: the the true formal way to do it as a way that I'm not sure if I've ever been properly introduced formally. Either being the person you know on the lower of of of the introduction or the person that's having people introduced to them, you know,
Speaker 1: whichever the honored position is, I'm not sure I've ever even experienced.
Speaker 1: May I present lizzie post to someone? I don't know if I've ever been presented to someone even. It was one of the hardest parts in the book because you want to honor so much of the formality. And yet often
Speaker 1: the way we speak today just isn't formal even in a lot of formal situations. Well even just the use of the word introduced as opposed to the word present starts to de escalate the formality.
Speaker 1: Absolutely. And place us more in our current moment and less 100 years ago or less than extreme formal situations. Yeah exactly. So some other things that you want to keep in mind as you make this introduction of business situation is that you want to give each person the title the full name and the position or the work that the other person does if possible.
Speaker 1: So. Mr. So and so our senior account representative. Mrs so and so our ceo
Speaker 1: is
Speaker 1: important and useful information for someone to have when you're doing a business introduction. And that's all public information. When you're working with people.
Speaker 1: That's information that would be on the business card. That might be part of an exchange at some point. Or theoretically even the public information about your company.
Speaker 1: For social introductions. I like to encourage people to include a little information to seed a conversation for business. This might or might not be appropriate or important. That might really just be about getting people introduced to each other so they know each other's names. You achieve that level of formality and
Speaker 1: people are gonna
Speaker 1: find their own points of commonality and interests. And it's probably going to be about the work because what about introductions in spaces like either online or I'm thinking of like a slack channel or email or, or as we've all been doing for the past year. Zoom introductions. Did most of the standard still apply? Absolutely.
Speaker 1: Make them at the start, do them as soon as possible
Speaker 1: and adhere to the structure of the in person introduction as much as you can.
Speaker 1: A lot of the same thinking that works for the in person. Introduction works in other situations. If you're wondering who to address first in writing as well as with your words, your spoken words, the same thinking applies if you're wondering what information to include
Speaker 1: the title, the name, the position of the work that they do all really important information to write as well as it is to say when you make that introduction. So think about those same components and think about how you can translate them into whatever medium you're operating in and you should be in really good shape
Speaker 1: dan. You are such a good business etiquette instructor.
Speaker 1: I love it. I love it. I'm really because I know jake or business cards or group introduction. We just had the like off the recording conversation event. So do we go all the way through just here? Like how deep is our deep dive?
Speaker 1: But no, I think this gives such a good foundation for people to operate in and to um I'm hoping that as we are interacting more um and have more of those in person moments as things in the business world are kicking back into gear. Um that this is one of those, those muscles that we are etiquette muscles that we flex
Speaker 1: really well and and get back into sync with. Um it would, you know, I think that regardless of your coming out of the pandemic, shaking hands or not, just the, the idea of meeting new people to me is just so brilliant right now,
Speaker 1: I loved getting the chance to just hear about what that might sound like. Again,
Speaker 1: I'm looking forward to it myself,
Speaker 1: to our listener who sent in the request via text message. Thank you so much for reminding us about this juicy piece of business etiquette.
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 and that can come in so many forms. Today we have a salute from em
Speaker 1: dear lizzie and dan, when you recently celebrated your birthing of the book with a sledding party, it reminded me of a vaguely similar sort of situation in my life recently.
Speaker 1: Okay, already, this is funny because I can't imagine anything similar to a sledding party to celebrate writing a book.
Speaker 1: My divorce was finally finalized last summer for the last few years. I felt like I was always disappointing my friends who really wanted to hear good news from me and who mostly had to deal with hearing that. No, it still wasn't finalized and no, I still actually wasn't feeling any better
Speaker 1: despite trying to stay positive, but honestly feeling absolutely rotten and drained.
Speaker 1: I pulled back from socializing. But when a good friend had a baby, I wanted to make her a diaper cake. It took me a while, but I delivered it safely and she enjoyed it very much. The next time I visited her, many weeks later there was a gift bag near my spot.
Speaker 1: I didn't think anything of it until she gestured towards it and said, I just felt like getting you this. I couldn't figure out why I was getting a present but happily opened a lovely scented candle, some cookies and a chocolate bar. Thinking that this was maybe a thank you because she liked the diaper cake so much.
Speaker 1: Then she suddenly said, I saw that there were gifts with a woman hitting a man over the head with a hammer, but I thought this was nicer. Then I got it. It was a congratulations, you survived your divorce present.
Speaker 1: Her husband then came in and I showed him the goodies and he just smiled kindly and said, well you earned it
Speaker 1: and then no one made me talk about it. I know some people would want to and that is totally okay, but I had absolutely no desire to have to open that can of worms as a way to show appreciation for their gift. They handled it so delicately and so thoughtfully. I felt so honored and appreciated despite the nature of this event,
Speaker 1: I know there's no special protocol for this kind of thing and not for burning a book either. I didn't want need or expect any kind of acknowledgement or maybe I just didn't think I did
Speaker 1: in the end. This small, subtle but so very loving gesture meant a little world to me moving forward.
Speaker 1: So I want to thank not only my friends to whom I am so very grateful, but also get the word out to people who might be looking for ways to support others in similar situations.
Speaker 1: And congratulations on your book best. Mm
Speaker 1: And thank you so much for sharing this. And and thank you, Daniel! Say it from both of us for congratulations on the book.
Speaker 1: You're right. There are many things in life that we don't have formal protocols for celebrating, but they can be really worthy of celebration. For sure. For sure. I love that Your friends thought to do this for you and thank you so much for sharing
Speaker 1: and thank you for listening. Thank you to everyone who sent us something and everyone who supports us on Patreon, please do connect with us and share this show with friends, family and co workers. However you like to share podcasts, you can send us questions, feedback and salutes by email to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com by phone. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: on twitter. We're at Emily Post install on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette and the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 1: Please consider becoming a sustaining member. You can find out more about this by visiting patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You can also subscribe to the ads version of our show on Spotify or your favorite podcast app and please consider leaving us a review. It helps our show ranking, which helps more people find awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: Our show is edited by chris Albertine, an assistant produced by Brigitte, Dowd. Thanks christmas, Bridget Bridget.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Mhm.