Episode 389 - Mistakes Were Made
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
Guest co-host Kelly Williams Brown, joins Lizzie post for a special edition of Awesome Etiquette celebrating the launch of their joint project Mistakes Were Made.
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 etiquette for save the date responses, consumable gifts arriving in non consumable fashion, signing thank you cards for you AND your partner, and a complicated tipping scenario. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about sending thank yous for gifts that were never received. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on the launch of our fun book Mistakes Were Made which is coauthored by Kelly Williams Brown who is also co hosting today’s show.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashioned
Speaker 1: 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 etiquette around, save the date responses, consumable gifts arriving in a non consumable fashion
Speaker 1: signing, thank you cards for you and your partner and a complicated tipping scenario
Speaker 1: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about addressing or not, a ghost gift, a gift that never arrived.
Speaker 1: Plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a post script that celebrates the launch of our fun and newest book mistakes were made which is co authored by the incredible kelley Williams Brown who is also co hosting today's show. All that's coming
Speaker 2: up,
Speaker 2: awesome
Speaker 1: etiquette comes to you from the studios of my home office in Vermont and this week my co host home office in Oregon and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute. I'm lizzie Post and today I'm joined by a near and dear friend and fellow authoress
Speaker 1: kelley Williams Brown kelly, thank you so much for co hosting this episode with me
Speaker 2: lizzie. I could not be more excited to be here. This is truly the culmination of a years long dream. I am so excited to get into these questions and talk etiquette with you?
Speaker 1: Well, I'm so glad to have you here. Do you want to take a second and just tell our wonderful audience about your wonderful self and how you and I are connected.
Speaker 2: Sure, I mean where to begin? Gosh, so I was born. No, I'm just kidding. So
Speaker 2: as you said, I am an author. I've written three books most recently uh funny book about some very bad times. I had called easy Crafts for the insane, but before that my books have all been pretty advice e and etiquette esque. I wrote one called adult ng How to become a grown up in 535 easy ish steps
Speaker 2: That is for the confused 22 year old in your life. Goes
Speaker 1: over how
Speaker 2: bleach works, what you look for in an apartment, how to ask for a raise, that kind of stuff. And then I also wrote another book called Gracious on charm, tact and unsinkable Strength, which is about the quality of graciousness
Speaker 2: and that last one is actually how you and I first connected because I, I was a big, awesome, adequate fan and I also really felt that you and I should be friends, which is not an uncommon feeling to have about a podcast
Speaker 2: person. But in my case, it actually worked out for me,
Speaker 1: that's true. You were calling the Emily Post Institute, you've scheduled an interview with dan to interview him for your book, Gracious and I happened to answer the phone. And in that moment it took then 45 but normally it's just oh great. You're calling for Danwon second, I'll put you through, hold beat, you know, go over to dan back when we had an office
Speaker 1: And you and I ended up talking for 45 minutes and we totally blew the call
Speaker 2: time
Speaker 1: and dan wasn't upset at all because he actually secretly wanted us to become friends. He had met and spoken with you to book the interview and I remember him saying, listen,
Speaker 1: I talked with this woman and she's a fellow author, she wrote this really great book, it's a new york times bestseller, that's adult ng
Speaker 1: and he said, I really think it would be cool for you to have like contemporary author friends like people who do what you do and get it like, you know, and it was honestly, it was a gift of a friendship that, that, that he gave us and I really appreciate it because
Speaker 1: we have become really good friends throughout the years and at the same time
Speaker 1: during our, the creation of our friendship, I think because of what we both do for a living, we thought it would be a really good idea to do some kind of written projects together
Speaker 1: And I, I was just so glad that that has come to fruition and that on February 17, so it should now be out
Speaker 1: our wonderful audible original title mistakes were made is going to launch or did launch, excuse me and I'm so excited for it
Speaker 2: kelly, oh my gosh, me too. And dear listener if you listen to the following episode of awesome etiquette and think I need more of these to give me more. I have wonderful news for you. There are literally hours available to you and I will say our questions are a little bit different than those that you get here on automatic. It,
Speaker 1: yes, this is a good and fair warning. In fact, we know that sometimes parents listen to the show with kids and I think our post script is actually tame enough, but just in case
Speaker 1: we should really put a cautionary out there that this book is more of the PG 13. Moving into R rated context. These are the stories you can't get on awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: They are often a little bit more embarrassing, detailed. And shall we say adult in nature, there's a lot of adult things going on in
Speaker 2: this book, I would say uh these stories are
Speaker 2: PG 13 at minimum,
Speaker 2: so,
Speaker 1: so,
Speaker 2: but you know, etiquette, lizzie etiquette can live everywhere, you know, And etiquette lives
Speaker 1: exactly,
Speaker 2: exactly. Um, but not to worry, uh, you know, I don't think you've wrestled up any especially naughty questions for me today. Have you?
Speaker 1: No, no,
Speaker 2: no, no, no, this
Speaker 1: podcast is still very much so in in the open to everyone category. And today's questions will be as well in our post script. We're going to discuss our wonderful mistakes were made, book in more detail. Um, but until then, do you think that we should get to some questions,
Speaker 1: awesome etiquette is here to answer your questions. You can email them to awesome etiquette. Emily post dot com. Leave a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463.
Speaker 1: Or reach us on social media on twitter. We're at Emily Post on instagram. We are at Emily Post institute
Speaker 1: 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 show.
Speaker 2: Our
Speaker 1: first question kelly. I'm going to toss this one to you because you have lived this experience. It's titled save the date response and it's a very short question. It begins. Should you notify the bride or bride's mother that you are unable to attend the wedding after receiving a save the date card. Thank you anonymous kelly. What do you think
Speaker 2: lizzie? I I love a simple and straightforward question with a simple and straightforward answer, which is right where we are right now, the answer is yes. Absolutely. You should let them know that number one,
Speaker 2: even if you haven't planned a wedding, you probably know that every little extra space can count. And so by letting them know that you can't be there, that will allow them to move someone up into your place on the guest list number one and I think the best way to do that. I always like to send a note and
Speaker 1: go old school
Speaker 2: handwritten old fashioned, you know, especially if maybe, you know, I, I hadn't gotten to convey some longer well wishes upon engagement. I think I would say something, you know like
Speaker 2: dear Sarah, I so wish that I could join you and john uh for your wonderful ceremony. But unfortunately I know right now that I'm not going to be able to attend.
Speaker 2: I just wanted to tell you, I am over the moon for you too. I have always so loved you two as a couple. And while I'm sorry, I can't be there at the exact beginning of your new lives together. I cannot wait to celebrate with you and toast you as soon after as were able and I get to hear all about the honeymoon. So
Speaker 2: please accept my sincere regrets that I cannot make it and enjoy every moment. All my best kelly.
Speaker 1: That's why we're friends. That's a great note kelly.
Speaker 1: It's hard. Well, I mean definitely like you could, you know, for audience, you could pair it down if you wanted to. But I like the fact that you went into how you were really happy for them, excited for them that you were wishing them well on this, on this wonderful adventure. That is the planning of a wedding. I just, I love that.
Speaker 1: And I couldn't agree more. I'm like, yes, yes, yes. And yes, I think you've nailed this question.
Speaker 2: Well that is great to hear. And of course if you want to you can send a gift, but I don't think you're you're not obligated to in any way to send a little something.
Speaker 1: I was trying to think of that because like, you know that if you if you send out a save the date, you're definitely getting an invitation
Speaker 1: and I don't want anyone to get the idea that that you can quickly cut off the obligation of that wedding gift by saying no before the invitation arrives. But I do think that I don't think anyone would be terribly offended if you had received to save the date. Let people know that you wouldn't be able to attend the wedding and then didn't send a gift. And I could definitely see that happening.
Speaker 1: For some of those folks that feel like why am I getting this wedding invitation or wow, we're pretty far removed from each other. But that's nice that they included me. You know, or I guess save the data is what I mean. But it's it's interesting to me that that's sort of the before the actual invitation arrives, there's still this
Speaker 1: technically you're on the guest list, but because you're going to remove yourself, maybe it removes that obligation.
Speaker 1: And we're guessing here there is no actual traditional etiquette that makes a defining piece of advice here.
Speaker 2: I think you could certainly send a little gift along with it if you feel like it. But I think the real gift would be
Speaker 2: sincere, loving, well wishes and perhaps a little special shout out to what makes that couple great in your eyes. I think
Speaker 1: so too. I think so too. And I do think that even though the save the date isn't an invitation that it's it what it brings with it is the intent of an invitation to follow. You never send a save the date to someone who isn't going to be on the wedding. Like you just don't, it doesn't serve like an announcement which you do send to people who aren't going to be a part of the ceremony or reception and you always send that after the ceremonial reception. But to save the date, it's not like you are
Speaker 1: making an assumption by then calling the host and saying, you know, I just want to let you know, I already know I won't be able to attend this event or I won't be able to attend your wedding and or this wedding depending on whether the host is the couple or the host is the, you know, in this case the mother of the bride is referenced.
Speaker 1: But I think it's it's important to recognize that that there isn't any, any sort of assumption being made here. It's clear if you've gotten that, save the date, you will be getting an invitation and letting someone know ahead of time is really helpful, especially if you know you're a 100% you can't do it
Speaker 1: kelly. Thank you so much for that question and thank you to our anonymous listener who posed it. I hope that our advice mother, why do you suppose mary didn't invite me to her party? Are you sure you didn't get an invitation? Maybe they thought he wouldn't want to go to a party?
Speaker 1: They probably thought I wouldn't know how to ask. Hey now your name?
Speaker 1: Cindy, not Cinderella.
Speaker 1: Okay.
Speaker 2: This is called consumable gifts, not consumable. I recently graduated with an M. B. A. And as a congratulatory gift. My brother and sister in law sent me a gift. This gift was food that was to arrive frozen. However, the package that was supposed to arrive on a friday was delayed and didn't arrive until monday after sitting on a truck all weekend in the warm texas air, the food arrived, thought and unsafe to eat. So I had to trash it.
Speaker 2: My question, I know what that is a very sad
Speaker 1: thing. I am, I am
Speaker 2: sorry to this writer. My question is how to best handle this kind of situation.
Speaker 1: First of all, I love this question because gifts always have such good intentions and there are and you know, we live in an age where we send a lot of stuff to each other. Like you don't always know how it arrived and is it going to feel awkward telling someone the gift you sent that was so generous you know and everything arrived broken, ruined spoiled,
Speaker 1: it feels like it's going to be insulting to the other person and yet I know kell that if I sent you something
Speaker 1: in fact a sort of version of this happened to us. I remember I sent you for christmas one year, my holiday toffee that I make and you very smartly. I can't remember if I wrote the ingredients on it or you called to ask what was in it.
Speaker 1: But either way you had to let me know that you are like deathly allergic to walnuts and I pretty much almost killed you at christmas,
Speaker 2: you
Speaker 1: know get the peanut brittle
Speaker 2: instead to be fair it's a mild allergy but you know I I and I I love your toffee and I love your brittle and christmas is a hard time for those of us with walnut allergies. I'll tell you what, you know, I think a good first step is always can I salvage this myself so that by the time I communicate with them, if the problem has been fixed and I can focus on how much I love the gift with the funny thing that happened is more of an afterthought than the central theme, you know what I mean,
Speaker 1: literally I do I do. What do you think are the steps you could take in
Speaker 1: this case because it's coming from like a third party companies company. Yes. So it's not like
Speaker 1: they, you will blanket and sent it to you or something.
Speaker 2: Right? And thank goodness because that, that is the kind of thing that would be a lot harder and trickier and maybe even involve a little more finesse. But you know in this case, if this is a company that sends frozen foods, presumably this is not the first time they have ever encountered this problem in the history of
Speaker 1: the enterprise.
Speaker 2: And you know, I would just, I would give them a call and I would say you know, I I received this wonderful gift tragically enough when I opened it up and it was thought due to you know the delay and I was just, I was going to request that you send me
Speaker 2: Send me another one
Speaker 1: a replacement. Yeah or ask if a replacement is an option like how do you handle this situation?
Speaker 1: And and and most companies, I would say in this day and age seem to have some kind of a backup plan or some some kind of a reimbursement or something that could happen. I feel like a lot of companies actually are really good about customer
Speaker 2: service and
Speaker 1: that they recognize that just making this customer happy
Speaker 1: is so much better than leaving people who are in their situation with absolutely nowhere to go. So I really, I really like this tip of turned to the company first.
Speaker 2: Yes. And especially because you know if if it's a
Speaker 2: especially if it's a gift company then it is, you know it is in their very best interest to make sure people are loving these gifts, you know, So usually I I have always found great luck with that and I would again I would probably
Speaker 2: wait until after things were sorted out to even let them know of any excitement happening in the first place.
Speaker 1: Do you think they would they would because we can like track a lot of the gifts we send nowadays. Do you think there's anything to they saw the gift did
Speaker 2: finally arrive
Speaker 1: and then there's quite a delay before they maybe hear from you. Is there any kind of like perception you think we have to be aware of their
Speaker 1: I don't know, I'm I'm guessing right now it's and I feel like that's a
Speaker 1: to each their own kind of a thing. You know,
Speaker 1: I always say like better late than never, but at the same time if you're if you do want to wait until you have that genuine moment of oh these things, you know, I made this dinner and it was so fantastic and I can really tell you about the gift
Speaker 1: then you've got that longer period of time, where is the question did the gift show up? Have you gotten? Did you like it? You
Speaker 2: could also you know sort of you know just send a very initial reach out like you know, a little bit like text like oh my gosh, the food got here, thank you so much. You know, expect a full report in the days to come when we enjoy it. Oh,
Speaker 1: I love that, I love that. And then that gives you something to right into the thank you
Speaker 2: note. Exactly.
Speaker 1: So as you're fixing the disaster,
Speaker 1: send the text that says it arrives and that you'll let them know how everything tastes and turned out very soon and then you'll get your package from the company and you'll be all set. There is a very cool twist to this particular question kelly and that is that our listener actually
Speaker 1: tried handling the problem and wanted to include their feedback and I thought this was really, really cool.
Speaker 1: So here's how they handled it.
Speaker 2: If
Speaker 1: interested, here's how I
Speaker 2: handled it. I
Speaker 1: found that I could directly contact the company and that they offered to resend the item instead of asking my brother to handle it. I then texted my brother and sister in law to thank them for the gift but told them what happened by saying something like unfortunately I'll have to wait to enjoy it because
Speaker 1: yada yada yada but their customer service was so great. I look so forward to enjoying this.
Speaker 1: And then our listener asks, should I have not mentioned
Speaker 2: what happened
Speaker 1: and just said thank you
Speaker 1: and after reading this, I'm feeling that the, I feel like the way they went was perfect. Like I don't, I wouldn't
Speaker 2: feel
Speaker 1: bad or
Speaker 2: wrong thing
Speaker 1: as the person sending this gift if I had that wonderful thank you of you know, here's what happened to the whole thing but I can't wait to enjoy it. It's gonna arrive soon. Like I'm first of all I'm loving the honesty,
Speaker 2: but I just,
Speaker 1: I think this was so cool to hear. Like even
Speaker 1: before we answered the question, we're going to get the feedback of how it went.
Speaker 2: Well, I love it and yeah, I think absolutely, you know, and and this might also be in deciding whether to share that information or not. You might just take into account who the person is. Is this your brother and sister in law that are very laid back and you're super close to or is this sort of a distant very type a relative who
Speaker 2: can get very upset when things don't go perfectly smoothly. You know, in that latter case we might not even mention it,
Speaker 1: we might adjust and just say thank you
Speaker 2: exactly,
Speaker 1: anonymous, thank you so much for this question. This was a real delight to tackle. And we really hope that when that new package of food arrived, it was awesome.
Speaker 1: She asks advice well ahead of time.
Speaker 1: She has learned that what is correct in terms of etiquette is also highly practical and logical.
Speaker 1: So she asks what foods she should offer.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled handwriting. Hitch,
Speaker 2: dear
Speaker 1: lizzie and dan, but
Speaker 2: kelly, I'm
Speaker 1: very excited to be writing. My first question to you to this one is short and sweet.
Speaker 1: I'm sitting down to write thank you notes and was wondering about a specific etiquette of writing a note for a joint gift. My partner didn't grow up writing. Thank you notes. So I write the majority of our notes.
Speaker 1: If I write a note from both of us, is it wrong to have him sign his name in his handwriting
Speaker 2: or should
Speaker 1: I sign both our names for Congruity?
Speaker 2: I
Speaker 1: think his own handwriting is a nice personal touch. But I was wondering if there's a proper rule for this happy new year, anonymous.
Speaker 2: Well, lizzie, do you wanna do you want to take a crack at this one? I have, I actually have some,
Speaker 2: I mean, not big conflicting thoughts. Yeah, I would love to unpack this with you.
Speaker 1: For me. I say have him sign his own handwriting if he's there and willing tons of times partners, parents. Um, even roommates who get something and send one note, you know, back to whomever sent them something. Um, you know, could sign, could easily sign for each other. There's, there's no, uh,
Speaker 1: there's no rule that says, you can't, but I'm a fan
Speaker 1: of what our listener is is advocating for, which is
Speaker 2: that their partner
Speaker 1: sign in his name and and being his writing, I I always like it because it's like the other person was in on the note, you know, but
Speaker 2: if I don't see
Speaker 1: it, I'm not bothered by it in any way. And I mean I've even done it jokingly with Sunny obviously and I don't like, you know, I don't put his paw print on the thing. Sure like
Speaker 2: to sign his name. Yeah, yeah,
Speaker 1: but I don't know for me, I think it can go either way and it's your own personal style and sometimes it's just about who's in the room and around when you're writing the note, you know,
Speaker 2: that is very true. And also, you know, just as a quick thing to say,
Speaker 2: uh to our letter writer, you know, if if you always write the thank you notes because you absolutely love writing, thank you notes and I, I truly understand that love of the game and I salute you. Uh, but you know, just because also your partner didn't grow up writing thank you notes. You know, they're not particle physics, it's it's something that
Speaker 2: we can learn and that we can do and
Speaker 2: you know, so I certainly hope that, you know, while you happily each individually signed their name, that if it's ever something that you thought about, you were able to be like, well, and maybe you get to take this one,
Speaker 1: I like it share share the load of the writing as well or get someone in on it just because they didn't grow up with, it doesn't mean it can't be a habit they adopt now. I like it kelly. I likely,
Speaker 2: well, you know, and I think if I was used to getting, you know,
Speaker 2: letters from a couple that was clearly usually signed and written by one person, then it might be really a treat to get one from the other person,
Speaker 2: you hear that they appreciate it as well.
Speaker 1: Okay, so about that, I have um, friends of mine, Jennie and frank and I love the fact that frank actually reaches out to me, they're married couple and it's been really like, I, I love the fact that rather than kind of
Speaker 1: lose my friend to a marriage, which does happen, friendships can be really, really impacted by marriage or
Speaker 1: I would say really strong close relationships. Um, but I really feel like I gained a second best friend when they got married and I love the fact that all right to the both of them with an invitation or something like, hey guys, you want to do something on saturday, we go Vermont ng and frank will often be the first one to write back and be like, oh, that sounds great, let me check with jen,
Speaker 1: you know, and like I just love that. So I count me all for the encouragement of, don't, you know, you don't have to when you're a couple, you only send the thank you notes to your crew and they only send the thank you notes to their crew. You know it's you you can mix it up a little bit and that could be a nice way
Speaker 1: both to show yourselves operating socially as a couple. And to to kind of
Speaker 1: get in there with your mates mates. You know?
Speaker 2: Absolutely. I I would say that that would definitely uh impress and delight me. So thank you so much anonymous letter writer for not only being someone who enjoys writing those thank you's but is really thoughtful enough to think through every detail. I'm sure you write beautiful
Speaker 1: notes,
Speaker 1: walter. How do you write such good social letters?
Speaker 1: Well nora, it's a talent some people have it and
Speaker 1: that's not true walter Barlow. And you're going to sit down right now and tell me the secret.
Speaker 2: Mm hmm
Speaker 2: Bye.
Speaker 2: Alright. So now we get to a question called tripped up by tipping
Speaker 2: tipping question and coming my boyfriend and I recently enjoyed a spa day editor resort. We had a massage out by the beach and then used the private 1 to 2 person sauna. We had to pre book the sauna.
Speaker 2: However, we were given the bill to sign after the massage but before we went to the Sauna, the bill showed the massage cost. Then the sauna cost than a 20% service charge. Then the tax in total.
Speaker 2: We were told that with the 20% service charge. 17% of it went to the massage therapist and the remaining 3% is retained by the hotel. I was baffled on what to tip do I tip on only the massage costs since the therapist was not the staff assisting with the sauna or tip on the total. Do I tip 20% as I normally do or reduce that because of the service charge?
Speaker 2: I don't know what additional pay the therapist receives. I'm still not sure if I over or under tipped hopefully over if either my thanks for your input from. W.
Speaker 1: W. This is a really tough question and it I think it gets at the crux of where a service charge
Speaker 2: it can
Speaker 1: it can really confuse people and I know that in um delivery people often get confused about service charges and delivery charges and in room service you often get a room service charge and in those two cases these often don't go to the staff that's actually conducting the room service or the delivery. And so you really want to make sure to put in that tip which they get.
Speaker 2: Yes and happily you know I do like that there's that transparency of where it's going. I don't get why the hotel just needed to tip an extra 3% but that's between you and the hotel. So I know
Speaker 1: exactly it's kind of one of those where
Speaker 1: often we say that an average tip for this type of service is 15 to 20% and a lot of people just leave 20
Speaker 1: And you can see the hotel being like we're going to kind of add an automatic 17% tip to our massage therapist.
Speaker 1: Um we retain three for the other 3% of the service charge. So that's almost like the actual service charge. They could just say 17% tip to the massage therapist. Service charge 3%. You know what I mean?
Speaker 1: But they don't do it, they call it all a service charge.
Speaker 2: Exactly. And and that's the problem is that in a lot of cases you really won't know and you certainly don't want to not tip someone. Uh you know and and there's another component here of course which is do you tip on the total cost which would include the cost of the sauna which the massage therapist is not a part of. Or do you just tip on the massage part?
Speaker 1: So I feel like if I had been handed this bill and there was the explanation that 17% is going to the massage therapist.
Speaker 2: Typically
Speaker 1: I tip 20% in a massage situation and so I would probably want to add like a 5% or 3% tip. You know but I do some kind of a small extra tip that goes directly to the massage therapist
Speaker 1: knowing that they're covered for the majority of the tip via the service charge is already being charged.
Speaker 1: So that's probably where I would think about the ex the adding the extra. Um And I just wouldn't worry about the fact
Speaker 2: that
Speaker 1: or well here now I'm getting confused because it's a little confusing. I'm wondering when it comes to adding that I'm gonna choose in that moment not to try to
Speaker 2: parse
Speaker 1: out. I think I would choose to not parse out between the sauna and the massage unless the sauna was like the same cost as the massage.
Speaker 1: You know what I mean? So if it's like the sauna is just like maybe 20 bucks reservation fee or something like that. I'm not gonna worry about that as much but if it's if it's like the full cost then I'm probably gonna do that 5% extra that I'm trying to add in or I might I might buffer it up a bit but I'd probably do it on the
Speaker 1: on the cost of what the massage is listed for.
Speaker 2: Yes. Does that sound like
Speaker 1: too picky or you know you think that's okay. I
Speaker 2: Think that is I think that's just fine you know I think people who work for tips do certainly no you know what 20% of the cost of their services and you know I mean I'm I'm always you know in the camp if you're gonna under over tip obviously should over tip you know and usually when I know the gratuity is already going you know via a service fee I will just still add on five or 10 bucks you know particularly if something
Speaker 1: so maybe do it as a cash amount as opposed to a percentage.
Speaker 2: Exactly. Exactly. And you know that that brings up one I think pretty important consideration when you're looking at these fees which is that you know not all
Speaker 2: Hotels, restaurants etc are created equally. You know, here in Portland, it's it's quite common that you know, there's a 20 or 21% surcharge on on a restaurant and it will say you know our staff do not work for tips, we pay them a living wage with full benefits, you know, which which is lovely and then you have that nice transparency whereas if it's just a
Speaker 2: service charge, you know, you really don't know and particularly in places where you know there probably aren't great wages to be made and people really rely on those gratuities in the hospitality industry and I'm from one of those places New Orleans, I think it's always a great plan if you're out and enjoying yourself doing things like this to just have some cash on you.
Speaker 2: So that way you know that it's really going where it's supposed to.
Speaker 1: That's true and I like the idea that you could leave a cash tip, you do want to just double check that they're allowed to accept cash tips, some someplace some spas won't handle cash whereas others more than happy to, so definitely
Speaker 1: worthwhile, but I like the preparedness to have that cash on you just in case it is something you can offer and then you're getting the tip directly to the person who's supposed to get it. There's no
Speaker 1: it you know it's coming through this percentage at this cost and it's tallied with this thing, it's like no no they just get the money right into their hands
Speaker 2: and as someone who has worked in the service industry quite a bit, there is nothing better than a cash tip,
Speaker 1: yep I definitely couldn't
Speaker 2: agree more. It was
Speaker 1: always my favorite tip, whether I was a server or a bus boy or I'm getting tipped for babysitting. Like it always, always cash is king.
Speaker 1: Oh w thank you so much for this complex question. It is so great to get into the finer details of tipping. We really hope our answer helps.
Speaker 1: Thank you for your questions. Please send us updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette. Emily post dot com leave a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463. Or you can reach us on social media on twitter. We're at Emily post inst that's I. N. S. T. On instagram. We are at Emily Post institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: If you are enjoying awesome etiquette, please consider becoming a sustaining member. It means so much to us and you can do this by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette.
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Speaker 2: and
Speaker 1: It's now time for our feedback where we hear from you about the questions we answer in the topics we cover and today we have feedback from Pamela on episode 358 Kelly.
Speaker 2: Yes.
Speaker 1: Please take us away with his feedback.
Speaker 2: I would love to
Speaker 2: Hi awesome etiquette team. I love your podcast. I found it just before the holidays and I'm working my way backwards. I have to comment on the future mother in law, being rude to her son's fiancee.
Speaker 2: My mother in law has said some horrible things to me in the 24 years we've been married. I would just sit there and look like a deer caught in headlights. The comment that sticks in my mind is considering you never clean your house. It doesn't look bad,
Speaker 2: exact words. I
Speaker 1: already
Speaker 2: have some thoughts for you, gentle writer. I know of course we cleaned, but at the time we had two cats and a dog and a three hour round trip commute. So we didn't vacuum every day like she did,
Speaker 2: fortunately she has mellowed out considerably since sent.
Speaker 2: I did think of a sample script I was going to use if she says something awful to me again, thankfully she didn't, I was going to say, I'm sure you didn't mean that the way it came out.
Speaker 2: I think that would have been a gentle way of saying, please don't talk to me that way. What do you think wishing you both a great 2022, sincerely Pamela.
Speaker 1: Ah This is like feedback with a slight question to it.
Speaker 2: It is, it is and I, I love, I'm sure you didn't mean that the way it came out. That is actually one of my go twos and you can also just say sort of curiously,
Speaker 2: what did you mean by that?
Speaker 1: Okay, get down at the heart of it, you know?
Speaker 2: Well, and, and also that, that is telling this person to take a beat and think about why they just said the thing that they said
Speaker 2: uh and and forces them to take a little bit of responsibility for it.
Speaker 1: I feel like people often have sometimes the desire to give the, um that made me feel the, when you, I feel kind of statement response and for that I would think that this would be a little along the lines of like, oh, Evelyn, that's kind of, that's kind of hurtful to me since we aren't in a position right now
Speaker 1: to be prioritizing like daily vacuuming or cleaning as regularly as we'd like to,
Speaker 2: but I've
Speaker 1: found in my life that while it is really good to be able to express your emotions that sometimes taking the emotion part out of it is a good like clean, like just being really direct, oh we clean but we do not have the time to clean daily with our commute and it's it's okay with us for now,
Speaker 1: you know, like just kind of like that, just like, no, I'm sorry, we clean like, you know what I mean? Let me let me correct that misconception there.
Speaker 1: We clean. It's just not as regularly as we might like or you know, it's not as regularly as we could if we didn't have these commutes
Speaker 2: well. And you know, I would also say that one of the best things that you can do for yourself when you're dealing with someone like this
Speaker 2: who is perhaps just not a very polite person because polite people don't say hurtful things all the time.
Speaker 1: That's true
Speaker 2: is just remind yourself that, you know,
Speaker 2: this is how they are, it must be difficult to be a prickly individual like this and thank goodness you're not and enjoy that peace of mind.
Speaker 1: Sometimes kelly. It is saying nothing. That is the best response at all.
Speaker 2: You know, it's just like, oh
Speaker 2: that's nice of you to notice
Speaker 1: who they are
Speaker 2: okay. Yes, this is who they are
Speaker 1: anyway dinner tonight right?
Speaker 2: Exactly. And and just realize that you know,
Speaker 2: one as somebody who has a beloved dog and some fur on her floor right now. There is absolutely nothing wrong with prioritizing time with your partner with your pets and just having fun over vacuuming every day. So I hope you feel fine about
Speaker 1: that Pamela. Thank you so much for your feedback and thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please do keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update two awesome etiquette Emily post dot com
Speaker 1: Or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8 028585463.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: it's time for a post script segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today we're going to talk about a
Speaker 2: drumroll please.
Speaker 1: The release of mistakes were made our audible original
Speaker 1: kelly. I am so so happy to have you here for this. But I want to give a fair warning just before this starts that
Speaker 1: that the content we are going to be hoping that people go and listen to is does have explicit language. Adult scenarios are definitely prevalent. Um, if it had warnings like it was on tv, I think they would be smoking language sexual content substance use drinking muppet death, which would be a new one. Um, I don't think we have violence or gore right? Like, but there's medical scenarios
Speaker 2: and and for the record this was this was a metaphorical death of a muppet? I want to be clear, there's no actual muppet violence it within the book. No, but I mean, I, I think, you know, saying that it's a little bit of the, you know, sort of PG 13 r rated version of awesome etiquette is, is correct. And actually that's kind of how
Speaker 2: I, we even began the project. Shall, shall I get the back story?
Speaker 1: Yeah, I would, I would love for you to give the backstory. And um, and I'm very excited to tell our audience. I just wanted to give them fair warning that the book actually does contain all of these things.
Speaker 2: Yes, yes, this is this was would be a different, I mean, perhaps similar in terms of themes but different in terms of the content of the challenges posed in this book. And actually, you know, I I am someone, you know, lizzie, I don't do it every day like you do. But I've always loved etiquette books I've written about etiquette.
Speaker 2: And and one thing that I thought was always kind of funny, it was the idea of, okay, but what what about etiquette and really salacious
Speaker 2: embarrassing cannot be addressed Emily Post wouldn't even dream of these things
Speaker 1: with
Speaker 2: a 10 ft pole. What is the etiquette there? You know, what is the
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 2: Like what is the etiquette in a hookup that has gone awry or what is the etiquette when you have brought a friend and he has vomited into your host handbag. You know
Speaker 1: what,
Speaker 2: I think
Speaker 1: there are
Speaker 2: those situations too and you know audible had approached me a long time ago and I,
Speaker 2: I said, well I don't know if I want to do that by myself, but what if I did it with my friend lizzie
Speaker 1: little did I know what I was in store for, but I was, I was really intrigued by the idea when you, when you first brought it up after we became friends and
Speaker 1: it sounded like a fun place to go. Some of you even write to us awesome etiquette audience with some wonderful tales that don't always make it into the show
Speaker 1: and I wanted a space to explore some of some of the ridiculousness, some of the stuff that would never make it onto, onto a book or onto a you know, um more widely distributed podcast. I really appreciated the opportunity because I think
Speaker 1: so often it's where the humor and the ridiculousness is found and I like those spaces, they're fun spaces to be honest about and to laugh about and to have fun with and
Speaker 1: we all have those moments where we wish there was a paper bag to put over our heads or at least the paper bag face emoji to be able to send us someone and it just, it's it's it's a reality and I think
Speaker 1: that for some reason these moments make me feel more comfortable about real etiquette and about some of the moments where I do want to be really formal, really proper and really engage with the formality of etiquette because I think
Speaker 2: it helps
Speaker 2: in
Speaker 1: my own life to feel like they're like, it's okay, it's okay that it's all there. You know, it's okay that you can write a proper thank you note, attend a formal dining event and be someone
Speaker 1: who might trip and have their dress go well over their head with no undergarments. You know what I mean? It's like there there's just a reality to the humor of that.
Speaker 1: And I think I really like operating in that space from time to time and we really don't do it over in in in the world of Regular Emily Post etiquette. So it was really fun to get the opportunity to partner up with you to be able to do this.
Speaker 2: Oh, it was so much fun. Um, and I really agree with you. I think the etiquette lives everywhere. And you know, and I think if we
Speaker 2: think that etiquette doesn't have a place in our most embarrassing or uncomfortable situations, maybe that's when etiquette is needed. The most
Speaker 1: Absolutely 100%. 100%
Speaker 1: let's I'm just curious, like let's tell people a little bit about the process of creating this title because you and I alone
Speaker 1: probably could, but maybe couldn't fill a book of embarrassing tales. And we actually we requested stories from people and I believe some awesome etiquette listeners may may be a part of the stories that made it to the final end. There were a number of revisions along the way.
Speaker 1: But but we asked for submissions, what was it like as we were going through that process and getting the stories and collecting them.
Speaker 2: Well, first it was pretty funny because you know, we both went to our friends and family to gather some stories. And
Speaker 2: I think lizzie I as, as someone who is not the head of a professional etiquette institute, I would say my life is a good bit saltier than yours. Like my most recent book is a memoir and it's called Easy Crafts for the insane. So that might give you a little flavor that I'm a little more open. Not, I shouldn't say open, that's not fair. But but and then there's also like the coastal difference, right? Because lizzie is
Speaker 2: from picturesque New England. Like whenever I talk to her, she's somehow doing something with maple syrup. Whereas I'm living out in Oregon were all dirtbags. Like and so when you would go, yes, when you would go through those stories, it would be so funny because it would be like a lizzie relative question, which would be like
Speaker 2: I accidentally contributed too much to the heating fund for the vicar at church. And then my friends
Speaker 2: would come in and have questions that
Speaker 2: I'm just gonna say adult situations,
Speaker 1: adult adults
Speaker 2: doing adult things and having adult conundrums, adult
Speaker 1: mistakes, There are adult
Speaker 2: adult mistakes. I it's not legal for Children to be making these mistakes. So um
Speaker 2: anyway, and I just think I I think it's like a super fun book lizzie, you and I had a blast recording it.
Speaker 1: We did, I've got to say that was one of my favorite books to record. We had a director recording this one and it's it's not that I haven't before on the other books that we've recorded, there have been directors as well, but this one in particular really got the book
Speaker 1: and it was it was really fun and again, not that the others didn't, but she just
Speaker 1: she really got the tone that we were going for and the corrections that she was making along the way to each of us the edit notes. She would give us things like that. When she asked us to repeat something,
Speaker 1: it was just so wonderful. She's an actor and it was really, really cool to see her bring her own acting experience to her directing role and and have it come out to two people who are not actors or actresses like, you know, it was great.
Speaker 2: Oh and yes,
Speaker 1: I loved it.
Speaker 2: Well, I will say this is the one challenge with
Speaker 2: recording is that of course you do this professionally,
Speaker 2: whereas I am an author who sits alone writing and then shows up once every three or four years to record an audio book. So
Speaker 2: you are just the old pro over there and meanwhile I'm like having a problem pronouncing potato and I well it definitely sounds like two girlfriends having fun um
Speaker 2: you know and I really feel at the end of the day that laughter is the best way to process these horrible things and if you're not going to laugh at it, what's even the point?
Speaker 1: I think no, I'm with you too. It was nice to take scenarios that what I loved was hearing how the people who sent us things are the friends and family that we leaned into for their experiences, how they felt about things now
Speaker 1: that it was something that they could laugh about enough in their life and and it was a cringe worthy enough moment but like that they could move on from it
Speaker 1: and that you could see it wasn't, it was memorable but it wasn't destructive, you know, and so it was, they had that nice feel of like we all lived through these moments and I agree with you, I do think laughing about them
Speaker 1: and learning from them can make a really a really big impact but also one that just,
Speaker 1: it takes it all down a notch. It lets you breathe around the topic of it and I really appreciate that part of this book. So I'm curious kelly
Speaker 1: what is one of your favorite bits from the
Speaker 2: book? Um so I think my favorite bit is from one of
Speaker 2: my dear friends and I cannot spoil this, but we did allude a little bit to it,
Speaker 2: in which you wouldn't think that a grown up woman could get in massive muppet related trouble, but you would be wrong.
Speaker 2: And I and lizzie and I are both, I mean, who's not a fan of the muppets? You know, I it's hard to imagine. And so I think this one both hit us very hard. I love that. Uh but you know, more than anything, I just I loved the breadth of experience that we heard about.
Speaker 1: Oh kelly, I couldn't agree more that the muppets story has to be one of the best in terms of just shock value for me
Speaker 1: that it was, I you gotta understand kelly. And I went to our separate corners. Aside from the submissions, we got directly to our actual sort of submissions page, like our our web form that we had, that we had put out into the world
Speaker 1: that it was us kind of going to our separate corners and collecting these stories and then bringing them back together and volleying them at one another and just really testing out whether they were funny enough cringe worthy enough, you know, were they too much did we need to dial it back
Speaker 1: and I, this your muppet story to me was the winner because never in a million years did I. I thought we were going to come up with things. You know, people falling on their faces, nudity. All kinds of stuff like cropping up adult situations, making life funny.
Speaker 1: But a muppet, as you say, metaphorically dying, I think the muppet really died. But muppet death was definitely like nowhere on the spectrum of things I thought we were gonna get. I felt like it was epic. So it is also one of my favorite bits. But I will also tell you that um
Speaker 1: someone very near and dear to my heart submitted a story about France
Speaker 1: the and their time in paris and there's a character in that story named moe who just is along for the ride of someone else's embarrassment. And I know mo personally and mo is one of the people who can just
Speaker 1: flit and float about a situation and be in their own world around it and it's beautiful and I loved a chance to be able to
Speaker 1: share mo with the world a little bit. So that was one of my favorite stories is french scorn is the worst scorn
Speaker 2: and I will say I do not know mo But now I kind of feel like I know mo a little bit and just most seems just like pure vibes just
Speaker 1: pure vibes.
Speaker 2: Oh yes,
Speaker 1: well kelly. Do you want to let everyone know where they can find are wonderful and exciting and sometimes dangerous, audible Original mistakes were made
Speaker 2: Absolutely. Uh you are going to go to the audible app and you will search for mistakes were made and again I am kelly Williams brown. She is lizzie post you know I will certainly be tweeting and instagramming about it uh and if you want to follow me there, you know I'm on instagram mostly and that is at kelly Williams brown. I'm also at twitter on at k Williams brown
Speaker 1: Kelly, thank you so much and I am so excited for this book release Ye to the 17th. It's going to be a really fun day.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: we like to end our show on a high note so we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world and that can come in so many forms and today we have a salute from Elizabeth. I love the name,
Speaker 2: a strong name. Alright shall I read it?
Speaker 1: Yes, please do.
Speaker 2: All right, here we go. Dear lizzie and dan, I discovered your podcast this winter and I love it.
Speaker 2: I would like to salute my best friend. I'm an elementary teacher at a small rural school in Tennessee during the last year and a half. My sweet friend has brought me three surprise bags filled with cleaning supplies to use in my classroom. They've been packaged with care and love the bags were filled with disinfectant wipes sprays, sanitizers, gloves, masks and more.
Speaker 2: She has included things that have been difficult to find in our store along with a little bag for me filled with tiny healthy snacks and organic peppermint tea, which has become my favorite thing to drink while grading papers. I want to salute my best friends for taking care of me and my students during the time of the pandemic. Your new and faithful listener Elizabeth.
Speaker 1: That is such a sweet salute. I love best friends like this Elizabeth, thank you
Speaker 2: what a fabulous best friend. And you know Elizabeth, thank you for all that you are doing right now because I know it can be a tough time to be a teacher and I'm so glad that you have a best friend that loves and supports you and shows it in such a helpful way.
Speaker 1: Oh well I get to thank one of my best friends for joining me on the
Speaker 2: podcast kelly.
Speaker 1: Thank you so much for being here today with me and to celebrate the launch of our book. It was really meaningful and really fun.
Speaker 1: It was an
Speaker 2: absolute pleasure lizzie. Thank you for having me
Speaker 1: and I definitely want more people to have kelly Williams brown in their lives. So please tell everybody about your three fabulous books and where they can find you.
Speaker 2: Absolutely! So my first book is called adult ng how to become a grown up and 535 easy ish steps. It is, it's for the confused 22 year old in your life. It's,
Speaker 2: you know, explains how bleach works and what you look for when you're getting an apartment,
Speaker 2: all those different things. My second book is called Gracious on charm, tact and unsinkable strength and it is a little bit of a modern look at etiquette and the quality of graciousness, which I love. And my third book is one that I actually is more of a memoir. So that was kind of a new thing for me to write about myself.
Speaker 2: But it's called Easy Crafts for the insane,
Speaker 2: a mostly funny memoir of mental illness and making things and it was about a tough time in my life that I got through by doing a lot of crafts and thinking what the heck is funny about this
Speaker 1: and the crafts are in the book. So you can actually do the craft's too, which is really fun.
Speaker 2: They're not good craft. So let's be clear, they're, they're,
Speaker 1: they're fun though,
Speaker 2: they're fun and they're doable. So well, lizzie, I I have always loved awesome etiquette. Like I said, it's the first way that we connected as friends and you are now one of my dear dear friends and I have always wanted to be on. So thank you again for having me.
Speaker 1: You are welcome. It was my pleasure. And thank you for being here. It was really wonderful to have you here
Speaker 1: and thank you our dear audience for listening. Thank you to everyone who sent us something and everyone who supports us on Patreon, please connect with us and share the show with your friends, family, coworkers, anybody that you like to share podcasts with in the best way possible that you can share a podcast.
Speaker 1: You can send us questions feedback and salutes by email to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com by phone. You could leave us a message or a text message 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, please consider becoming a sustaining member of the podcast. It's a really great way to support the show and you can do this by visiting patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette.
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Speaker 1: Please consider leaving us a review wherever you listen to the show. It truly helps our show ranking, which helps more people find awesome etiquette. It's one of the best ways you can support the show. Our show is edited by Kris Albertine and Assistant produced by Bridget Dowd. Thanks so much chris and Bridget