Episode 390 - Do You Stack
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 stacking plates at restaurants, writing thank you notes for gifts given to your small child, responding to suggestions from others about your career choices and addressing a repeat mistake by a business. For Awesome Etiquette Sustaining members our question is about expressing sympathy for someone with a chronic illness. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript where we go meta and look at the power of your etiquette questions and salutes.
Speaker 1: maybe it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy. That's old fashioned
Speaker 1: watch act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 1: Mm hmm.
Speaker 1: Hello
Speaker 2: and welcome to awesome etiquette
Speaker 1: where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 2: On today's show we take your questions on stacking plates at restaurants, writing thank you notes for gifts given to your small child,
Speaker 2: responding to suggestions from others about your career choices
Speaker 2: and addressing a repeat mistake by a business
Speaker 1: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about expressing sympathy for someone with chronic illness at work.
Speaker 2: Plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a post script where we go meta and look at the power of your etiquette questions and salutes
Speaker 1: all that's coming up
Speaker 2: awesome etiquette comes to you from the studios of our home offices in Vermont and is proud to be produced by the Emily Post Institute. I'm lizzie Post
Speaker 1: and I'm dan post Senning
Speaker 2: because you've got one note, thank you data for our intro topic. I'm so curious.
Speaker 1: Oh well I'm
Speaker 2: sure come into your life view your Children. Well,
Speaker 1: so at the end of three weeks of essentially being shut in a house together, the four of us who love each other dearly are bouncing off the walls.
Speaker 2: I can imagine
Speaker 1: that has a big part of that. And as I'm running around the house doing the best I can and
Speaker 1: this and that and works going on back in the home, overlapping schedules and
Speaker 1: it's just no school at the moment. So that's all adding to the um
Speaker 1: the dynamic of our lives overlapping a lot. And I was in a moment the other day where I was moving around the kitchen and I'm
Speaker 1: firing up dinner and I'm listening to one thing and I'm thinking about another thing. And Aria comes through and she asked me for something from the refrigerator and
Speaker 1: that little sliver of my brain that was available was able to respond and get the thing out of the refrigerator and hand it to her.
Speaker 1: And she gave me a thank you data before she just turned around and went back to the living room and I had a moment where it worked on me not as
Speaker 2: a proud magic,
Speaker 1: not as a o she's doing those things that I'm teaching her and that makes me feel so good. But
Speaker 1: the thank you that she offered me work the way I thank you was supposed to
Speaker 2: and it made me feel
Speaker 1: better. It was so magic. And
Speaker 1: it reminded me of how magic the work that we do every day is and how magic those little kindnesses and those little courtesies that we afford each other.
Speaker 1: R and I had to share it. I had to get it into the show and I didn't know how I could communicate because it was so small and it was so significant for me when it happened. And
Speaker 1: and not in the way that it so often is significant for parents when you're proud of your kids. But significant because
Speaker 1: what she knew how to do made me feel good the way it was supposed to
Speaker 2: just the way that you'd want it. If she was saying it to anyone else, you would hope they gathered those feelings from it too. Yeah, exactly, exactly.
Speaker 2: The magic worked on you. Thank
Speaker 1: you. Aria is what I should be saying at the start of today's show.
Speaker 2: No, you're welcome. Right, right. You're welcome.
Speaker 1: Well, and it did. It grounded me right down and I went and had a lovely, whatever it was I want to say, 15 minutes was probably more like five time with my daughter.
Speaker 2: That's awesome. That's funny. The magic words have been on my mind recently.
Speaker 2: I was noticing how when we've talked about you're welcome before, I've often brought up the perspective that some people think you're welcome can sound or feel a little arrogant when it's delivered. Um, as just a you're welcome. Like stark like that are simple like that. Maybe it's in a text with just a period afterwards and I'm the person that typically will say my pleasure, no problem,
Speaker 2: you're welcome. It was my pleasure or you are so welcome. Like something to help adjust it, right and not just let that you're welcome be there. And I've wanted to test
Speaker 2: my ability to try to get behind that you're welcome as just you're welcome, nothing more than you're welcome. And I realized that my brother in law offers me the perfect opportunity to get comfortable with this because he says you're welcome as just a straight, you're welcome often
Speaker 2: that when I've really noticed and I feel like he's passed it on to his kids more so the, the almost five year old than the almost two year old, but like, which makes sense. But I noticed Jasper saying you're welcome to me and and I'm enjoying seeing that. And so I've really been trying in my communication with matt
Speaker 2: rather than doing my own version of you're welcome. Typically I've been trying to do his version to him a little bit of that Platinum rule treat treat someone
Speaker 2: you know the way you think they are out there treating people in the world and it feels good to get practice with someone who I know uses it this way and I believe appreciates it, you know? And, and so I'm kind of trying to start, I was thinking about
Speaker 2: our listener who wrote in saying that their, their goal for the year was to kind of up there etiquette game, right? And we were talking about all the little manners that can make that happen. So for me this is one
Speaker 2: that I was, I was trying to work in and flex a little bit, but it's fun seeing kind of how the magic words are playing out in our lives this month because well
Speaker 1: you can take some inspiration from our area and take it for a
Speaker 2: tour.
Speaker 1: Well, we'll spend a little more time working on your welcome because I don't see us getting out of the house anytime soon. But for now
Speaker 1: you can take some
Speaker 1: inspiration from our area and maybe take that. You're welcome on a tour tested out around town a little bit.
Speaker 2: I like it. Take your welcome out for a tour. That's cute. I like
Speaker 1: that because and lizzie Post because
Speaker 1: I can't think of a less awkward transition. We have a show to get to.
Speaker 2: We absolutely do. Let's answer some questions.
Speaker 1: 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. Leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463.
Speaker 1: You can also reach us on social media on twitter. We are 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 post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 2: Our first question is an etiquette classic. It's titled pile the plates. Question Mark.
Speaker 2: Hello etiquette tears, love that. Happy New Year and thank you for your informative and entertaining podcast. My question involves an issue that I thought was clearly settled, but it continues to crop up perhaps due to changing times and renewed empathy for restaurant wait staff
Speaker 2: When one is finished dining,
Speaker 2: is it preferable to stack the salad or bread plate onto one's dinner plate, thus reducing the number of items for the wait staff to lift? Or should one leave the place setting intact?
Speaker 2: Many years have passed since I initially read up on business dinner etiquette, but I distinctly recall noting that there were several faux pas that would inadvertently display a strong unfamiliarity with good table manners,
Speaker 2: things such as licking a knife, reaching across the table or stacking ones, plates were at best seen as unsophisticated. Is it possible that it might be acceptable to stack at a casual restaurant with friends, but not a more formal setting Also,
Speaker 2: I wonder if the pandemic has brought renewed empathy to servers and the concepts have changed.
Speaker 2: I have seen several scolding social media posts recently, admonishing groups who left a table as is without tidying and stacking the plates.
Speaker 2: If you have a take on this one, I'd love to hear it. Also, if this has been asked and answered and I missed it. Sorry, best regards Annie
Speaker 2: dan. I don't think we've actually had this question
Speaker 1: Andy thank you so much for the question. I absolutely love your list of faux pas to avoid. It took me to a place almost outside of etiquette because they're the examples at least the licking the knife example. It's so egregious that
Speaker 1: it's not one that we often bring up and yet it is, it's such a classic, it's like maybe the biggest utensil mistake that you can make or one of them. And
Speaker 1: anyway, it's fun to see it on the list. The reaching across the table is one that my mother mentioned every time she did it. So it also looms very large in my own imagination.
Speaker 2: Was that like a permissive? I know I'm reaching across the table
Speaker 1: exactly that when someone does it every time they do a little thing, it tells you how much they think about it every time they do
Speaker 2: it, she could hear her mother's voice in her head,
Speaker 1: exact pardon, the boardinghouse reach? She would say,
Speaker 1: oh
Speaker 2: I have heard her say that.
Speaker 1: I'm sure Sydney setting, it's a classic and I'm sure she learned it from her parents. Another thing that I've heard our grandfather, Poppy Bill Post to talk about. My mother's father is stacking plates and
Speaker 1: it's another etiquette classic. And the general rule is that you don't do it because it can damage the dishware.
Speaker 1: And the allowance that we often make is that in your own home with your own dishes, you can do whatever you like.
Speaker 1: And if your own dishes aren't likely to be damaged by stacking them,
Speaker 1: what I would call akin to what's described here as in a more casual setting, A more casual restaurant,
Speaker 1: I think of it more as are they my plates. So am I the one making that decision and I'm thinking about it along the lines of, well, I'm probably not going to stack the
Speaker 1: find china that's been inherited because it's not been stacked and it hasn't been chipped. It's been taken really good care of
Speaker 1: or is it the current contemporary stuff that we replace all the time? Because it's breaking all the time
Speaker 2: because it's breaking. Sorry, I just had visions of you guys just toss in your everyday wear around like super casual are
Speaker 1: true everyday, where is now version of plastic was gonna
Speaker 2: stay with kids in the house. It's a little different probably,
Speaker 1: but back to the question. So generally before I would stack up late either at someone else's house or in a restaurant. I would want to check with the people that were
Speaker 1: responsible for that dishware, Either the owners of it or the serving staff. So I would ask, I would say something like, would it be helpful if I did this? Although
Speaker 1: that brings up a whole other question about the interaction with the server. And I'm wondering before I keep going lizzie post, if you have any thoughts on that particular issue
Speaker 2: uh in my former life as a server in in three different capacities. I never ever desired for my tables to please stack my plates. That is a total personal anecdote. It is not a,
Speaker 2: you know, it's, it's not a studied thing. It's not like I speak for all servers out there or anyone who's ever held a serving position, but
Speaker 2: it never bothered me. It was my job to clean up this table. That was a part of the tasks that I had agreed to do. And I really appreciated it more. So
Speaker 2: when people did things like not
Speaker 1: leave sneezed
Speaker 2: on tissues as opposed to, you know, like your, your napkin, I'm believing it's going to get, you know, to your mouth that it's actually pretty germy thing that I, the person clearing, I'm gonna need to touch or figure out how to remove.
Speaker 2: But I really appreciate it when people didn't leave like a Kleenex or used tissue either to the side of a plate or or worse on the table itself that I then had to pick up and move on to something. I could always use a rag to pick things up with so that I'm not directly touching them. That was another thing that just reassured me.
Speaker 2: But it was, it was my job, especially when I was a bus boy
Speaker 2: to clean up all the stuff that people left behind. And it was just a part of that job. So I didn't see it as something where if someone stacked all of a sudden, my job was so much better and so much more pleasant and made made me feel so much more wonderful about the people who had been sitting there before
Speaker 2: and and I was at a pretty busy restaurant and I was the only busser, so it was, you know, I did have a lot to do,
Speaker 2: it's wonderful to consider staff and if this is something that you really appreciate and you really believe makes a difference or you think is the right thing to do, I might just either ask the staff like, you know, hey, would you like us to to stack up our plates or kind of clear up the table before we leave?
Speaker 2: They might say, hey, that'd be great. They might say, please don't worry about it
Speaker 2: either way, I think is fine if it's something you just really want to do, I have a feeling you're gonna do it. I would definitely not ever suggest doing it in a formal setting. Uh it's really, it's, it's just not the scene, I can't think of a,
Speaker 2: of a really practical thing off of my head, other than just that in informal dining, we tend not to do cleanup, we allow the staff to do that around us. It's part of the experience of formal dining
Speaker 2: and they're not expecting or looking for you to do this type of thing to make their job easier. If anything informal dining. The thing that is the most considerate to do for wait staff is to be courteous in your interactions with them, so to say thank you when they pour you more into your water glass or your wine glass and
Speaker 2: and to uh, to say yes please as they offer you something or set something down in front of you.
Speaker 2: Um, but to do those, those, um, small but elegant and important communications, I think at the table is
Speaker 2: more where my etiquette is going to be focused than on stacking the plates to make it easier for them to carry them to the kitchen to be cleaned.
Speaker 1: I couldn't agree anymore. And I was so hoping you would say something exactly like you said, particularly at the start from your experience as a server. Was it helpful? Was it not helpful? And the idea that
Speaker 1: it's, it's not particularly helpful, but what really matters to you is that they haven't left a disgusting mess and that they're courteous with you. And I kept returning to the interactions is what are so important. Even when I thought about
Speaker 1: sample scripts for asking, could I do this or could I help with that? It's less about thinking that they're actually going to say yes, that would be so helpful and more about wanting to communicate well with the server and have a good relationship there, have a good understanding there and to show proper appreciation for the service that that you're getting
Speaker 1: and some recognition to the person who's doing it.
Speaker 1: All of those things seem really fundamentally important to me. Whereas the stacking of the plates starts to introduce an awkwardness.
Speaker 1: I do like how you separated that from the tidying up of the table that I could definitely see leaving a table in a condition that was just more mess than that meal necessarily presented and that that could be seen as taking advantage of that situation. Someone else is going to clean up after me. So I just made a mess of things
Speaker 1: and there's clearly some bad etiquette there, but
Speaker 1: I wouldn't conflate that with an unwillingness to stack plates. And I would be so curious to see the social media that called this out. What was the exact situation here? And and did we start to
Speaker 1: across our streams a little bit in terms of the messages that were, that were extracting from a particular social media situation, I'd be curious to see the origins of this one.
Speaker 2: Maybe maybe an e will be able to provide those to us
Speaker 2: dan. I feel like I could probably talk about this question for forever, but I know that we, we have to move on to some of our other questions of the day. Annie, thank you so much for bringing up this question and giving us a chance to talk
Speaker 1: about stacking
Speaker 2: verse no
Speaker 1: stacking when you're dining out
Speaker 1: everybody likes to eat. Of course, each may have his own individual preference, but no matter whether it's a hot dog at the county fair or a full course dinner at the Ritz. There's no denying that people like to eat.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled cards from kids.
Speaker 1: Hello team awesome etiquette.
Speaker 1: My etiquette question falls under the correspondence category.
Speaker 1: I love writing thank you notes and I love using my personalized stationery.
Speaker 1: I'm a new mother to my son cow and for my baby showers and welcome baby gifts. I wrote thank you notes on personalized stationery that was from me and my husband as a couple
Speaker 1: that felt appropriate for those days.
Speaker 1: We are getting closer to cal's first birthday and I wonder with his first birthday gifts and all gifts going forward. What is the proper etiquette for gifts addressed to a small child?
Speaker 1: Should I buy stationery personalized with cow's name or monogram only to be used and signed by me. His mom,
Speaker 1: Am I supposed to write them from his perspective, that seems silly
Speaker 1: or am I to get some personalized family stationery on which to write cows. Thank you notes. This seems a bit too formal for the toys from his baby friends that will come for his birthday. I am appreciative of any guidance that you may have with. Thanks kim,
Speaker 2: kim. I know you stated that you felt that maybe it's too formal for toys and his baby friends for birthday gifts and things like that. But I am loving your idea of family stationary that you could write the thank you notes from cal or from you and cal to friends and things like that as he's in this sort of beginning of toddler state. I mean one is still still kind of in the baby zone, but it's you're you're on your way to toddlers.
Speaker 1: And
Speaker 2: I think it's funny, I've seen a big mix of things that have been done and and most of them have all been done well and
Speaker 2: I think the the way they're done really well is when they fit with your personality and what works for you. I remember receiving thank you notes from my God daughters with both from the perspective of the kids or from the perspective of my best friend as she's writing on their behalf,
Speaker 2: letting me know that they really loved the gifts or something like that. And I enjoyed both of them equally. It never made me enjoy the thank you less or be excited that that the girls were probably enjoying the little gifts they've received. It just always felt like a nice moment of connection. So I think if you're flip flopping between what perspective to do it from
Speaker 2: either I think is going to be fine. And mostly the important thing here is that you're really focused on getting
Speaker 2: your gratitude out to people and communicating it and that I think is just excellent dan. What do you think about some of these other questions and details that kim has brought up.
Speaker 1: One other detail that kim brought up was the question of whether or not to get cal his own stationery. And I could definitely see that feeling like maybe it's a little too soon. This baby is not quite a year yet
Speaker 1: to which I might offer a counter thought of
Speaker 1: stationary doesn't go bad.
Speaker 1: Mm hmm. And you could think of it as setting someone up for a lifetime of having a stationary wardrobe that they could see evolve and change over the course of the life. Or maybe there are certain components that are leftovers from different stages when you re upped it with slightly different styles or in different times.
Speaker 1: Well, I don't think there's gonna be a lot of uses for it and he's certainly not going to be toppling over to the box to take it out and write a thank you note. Although he might want to get his hands on it.
Speaker 1: I think there are ways that you could do it. That would be fun. And doing a real simple monogram or just a simple name stationary could be a fun thing to do if you were approaching it in that spirit.
Speaker 1: I think that you are absolutely right though. That some, some family stationary that has
Speaker 1: all purpose use utility is a is a great idea and you can have fun with that
Speaker 1: family stationary. It doesn't need to be super formal. It can have fun colors, fun borders, even little images on it. Little houses or little families.
Speaker 2: So
Speaker 1: I think you got a lot of good options. I also like your general theme very similar to the previous question that it's what's inside that counts. It's not
Speaker 1: whether or not you stack the dishes, how you treat the server. It's
Speaker 1: a little bit about the card itself. But it's more about the message that it contains. And
Speaker 1: we talk about including kids when you write those notes, whether they're drawing on them or just signing or your idea of where you're the composer, where they're giving you ideas and you're writing on their behalf even before they can write themselves are all really good ways to include your child in that note writing process that can grow along with him.
Speaker 2: Absolutely
Speaker 1: kim thank you so much for this question. You're talking about some of my favorite things, kids. And thank you notes. So thank you so much for this question.
Speaker 1: Mm hmm.
Speaker 1: Mm hmm.
Speaker 1: All manners.
Speaker 2: Our next question is titled just in quotation marks, my job,
Speaker 2: Good evening lizzie and dan. My question is this how do I respond to people who tell me I'm wasting my potential. I'm a teacher's assistant and not to toot my own horn. Pretty good at it.
Speaker 2: I've had many people tell me that I should go for my full teaching degree and become a licensed teacher. I am not interested in being a licensed teacher since I have Children of my own. And I know how many hours outside of the classroom teachers spend working. I have many teacher friends. I am quite content being a support in the classroom and being able to balance work and home life.
Speaker 2: I feel like it is rather rude when people say that I am just a teacher's assistant,
Speaker 2: we work just as hard and it would be similar to saying someone is just a nurse.
Speaker 2: What is a polite way to
Speaker 1: respond.
Speaker 2: Thank you so much. And I look forward to many more episodes. Just a teacher assistant in Oregon.
Speaker 1: Oh my my my I don't even want to repeat the name the way it's signed. Just a teacher assistant in Oregon because that word just is so minimizing, it just reduces everything that follows.
Speaker 2: You taught me that actually you taught me that about this particular word that dramatically reduces anything that comes after it and that stuck in my head, daniel post Senning, it has stuck
Speaker 1: Well, it's one of those grammar lessons that stuck in my mind. I read an essay about it once that an english
Speaker 1: teacher had written and it made an impression on me and unfortunately I passed that impression on to you. It's inescapable. Once you've got it embedded in your mind, you start hearing the use of the word just and how people use it to reduce things and to minimize them
Speaker 1: sometimes that's entirely appropriate. The word just
Speaker 1: has many very good uses. But when it gets overused or when people use it unintentionally to minimize something or in this case someone's profession, someone's chosen profession. It is really rude. It goes from being a
Speaker 1: a minor faux pas a mistake with language difference in perception around the world. Just between somebody that's read an essay talking about minimizing it isn't someone who has never thought of it that way, but in this case there's I I just have to affirm that it that it is the height of rudeness and it's entirely inappropriate. And I think the real etiquette challenge here is how you
Speaker 1: don't respond in kind, how you contain yourself in a way that you can represent yourself and represent what you do in a way that it makes an impression on someone and that they don't make a mistake like that again in the future, particularly with you. I have 1000 sample scripts that are coming to my mind. I think my most important advice is to deliver them with good humor. And I'm wondering if you can get us started in that spirit because I think that spirits so important here,
Speaker 2: there are so many different ways that I think you could do this and dan, you actually had some good sample script in this uh answer that I'm going to bring up, but I think you you can respond very easily to something that strikes as negative with positive. So when they say,
Speaker 2: oh, but you would be so good as a teacher, you shouldn't be just an assistant, You could say, boy, you know,
Speaker 2: I love my kids so much. I wouldn't change a thing about my schedule and this set up, you know, and I think that's a really sincere one. The humor
Speaker 2: That Dan suggests is a really good one I think is are you kidding? I love my job and how it fits my life right now. How many people can say that? No way am I changing this setup?
Speaker 2: And I think that's another both positive and kind of funny version of how to let someone know they really walked down the wrong alley without being mean or rude about it.
Speaker 2: And then the sample script that I came up with was just to play on the word just since we were so focused on it and you might respond with something like, oh, I feel like being just a teaching assistant is just the right thing for me.
Speaker 2: And if you wanted to, just in your own little mind, have your own laugh at just, that would be a way that you could, you could double down on the just and and and put it to a positive use rather than rather than a negative use.
Speaker 1: Teacher assistant in Oregon, thank you so much for the question. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to talk about just just a little bit. And also thank you for sharing the pride and pleasure that you take in your work and we hope that other people don't minimize it in the future
Speaker 1: to develop the art of teaching takes years of practice and hard work.
Speaker 1: Many mistakes
Speaker 1: and many disappointments
Speaker 1: above all
Speaker 1: it demands that a teacher cares
Speaker 1: that the boys and girls who are our future shall develop their potentialities and acquire the knowledge to fit them to make satisfactory lives for themselves and to become useful and responsible citizen.
Speaker 1: Mhm.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled botched by the bakery.
Speaker 1: Hello lizzie and dan. My question is about communicating with a small business.
Speaker 1: My small city has a great local bakery that I used to frequently order custom cakes from When I placed the order, I explained how I'd like the cake decorated at least half the time I received a cake with decorations not consistent with what I specified.
Speaker 1: Sometimes it would be completely off and other times it was a more forgiving minor detail.
Speaker 1: They offered discounts if I pointed out an error at pickup. But given the frequency of mistakes I just stopped ordering from this business.
Speaker 1: Do you think there's any way I could have approached this concern in a gracious way to continue giving them business?
Speaker 1: I avoided the subject because I appreciate local businesses and didn't want to be negative or critical when I know they're working hard.
Speaker 1: Thank you anonymous.
Speaker 2: Oh, anonymous. This is such a tough call because on the one hand you're right, you you want to have that I support local businesses. I know everybody makes mistakes. Everyone is usually working hard when they make mistakes and that's like such generous thought. It's such good
Speaker 2: acknowledging thought of the people around you and yet at the same time
Speaker 2: this business has made enough mistakes with you that you're no longer using them as a business. And for me that becomes something where
Speaker 1: if
Speaker 2: I worry that this is really gonna be a problem for them and they're gonna lose a lot more business. That might make me more willing to actually bring it up to maybe order something again. But
Speaker 2: discuss the issues that I've had at the time that I'm placing that particular order or two right into the business with a letter or a thought or an email probably would be the best thing I would not post this publicly. But I would say something like I find myself so conflicted, I really want to support you guys. I see so many wonderful things things you do.
Speaker 2: And yet I had X number of orders with X number of problems
Speaker 2: and I really wanted to bring it to your attention because I'd like to remain a customer. And I'm hoping this can be the kind of constructive criticism or pointing out of things that a customer could do that would that would help rather than to make anyone feel bad because I can really see the hard work that people do put in. But the result
Speaker 1: I was
Speaker 2: ending up with was enough to make me not want to order anymore
Speaker 2: every now and again, I think having that kind of a conversation with a company that you really do want to be supporting, but you've you've had some of these hang ups where it becomes hard to support them. I think it can be worthwhile and from
Speaker 2: at least the time that I've had in the retail space, I know that hearing from a customer that they value us a lot and they really want to be our customer, but they have a hurdle, it gives me something really tangible to work on to see if I can clear that hurdle for them and maybe clear it for other people who weren't willing to speak up.
Speaker 2: So I do think it's hard to deliver, but I think it can be really, really useful.
Speaker 2: So because that's if you were going to be really thoughtful and and maybe even kind of intense about um what do you what do you think are some other options? Because discussing it isn't the only option that we have.
Speaker 1: No.
Speaker 2: And one of the
Speaker 1: places that I would look for a moment of opportunity is a moment where you're making a purchase or you're about to make a purchase. That's a one of those moments in the retailer customer or service provider, customer, in this case, bakery and customer relationship where
Speaker 1: there's a lot of interest from both parties and I think it's a perfect moment to offer a little bit of direction that maybe isn't as direct as the follow up communication, but that gives them a chance to both understand what it is you're looking for very clearly
Speaker 1: to also know that you've had some issues in the past
Speaker 1: and to give them a chance to really focus on this order this time getting it right and
Speaker 1: in that way, perhaps starting to earn your trust back and your business back. And
Speaker 1: I think it's both a way to give them a chance to do that and a way to hopefully communicate and deliver a message at the same time. And for me that sample script would sound something like,
Speaker 1: hi, I'm interested in placing an order for a cake.
Speaker 1: I want to be sure when I
Speaker 1: place the order that I'm really clear about what I want on and I've had a couple cakes in the past that came out with some mistakes, some big, some small and I just want to be sure that we're on the same page about what it is I'm looking for. I so love your
Speaker 1: lemon filling or whatever it is that you love about it and I can't wait to get it for my birthday. So I is there someone I can talk to to really be sure we get this order right, And I'm sure with that level of intentionality they're going to pay attention to that or they're gonna get it for you and maybe they're also going to get the message in that moment, as they talk about, Being sure they get this order right, that
Speaker 1: oh there have been a couple of mistakes in the past and that's some accountability and that's a reminder
Speaker 1: um to really pay attention and that just because you're small doesn't mean you're providing great service,
Speaker 1: that it can feel very personal, but
Speaker 1: you can't rely on that to guarantee customer satisfaction and happiness that you do have to really focus on delivering.
Speaker 1: That would be another way that you might approach the whole situation. For me, it's a little less direct and I'd probably skew in that direction first.
Speaker 2: Yeah, me too.
Speaker 1: Um I really like the way you're thinking about supporting a business and being willing to communicate really honestly, but hopefully in a way that people can hear you also, so I think they're both both good options once a problem has progressed to the point where you've taken your business elsewhere
Speaker 2: dan, as a final thought, I want to sort of flip the perspective on this one and and say that it's, it's really important when we do hear from our customers
Speaker 2: to pay attention and to bring it up, if you're hearing someone come in saying something like I had multiple problems and I'm kind of, I'm trying again as a last hope and again, that's not the way dan said to deliver that message, but when you have a customer,
Speaker 2: I just, I remember the times um when I was working like high end men's retail and that's something where,
Speaker 2: you know things have to be fitted right and it wouldn't always go right and and there would be a point in time where a customer needs to tell you about an error or a correction that needs to be made. And
Speaker 2: it was so good to always bring that up or communicate it with the rest of my team so that we all knew what to be looking out for if a mistakes were coming in as a regular thing, oh we're always messing up to this.
Speaker 2: Or if it was just simply to alert people, this is what this customer's experience was like. I feel like it's one of those things that when you you don't just take that and make it perfect for the one customer. But you alert the team that you work with to what what went on and how you trouble shot it so that you can grow and learn from that as a team. It's just one more way we can kind of all all keep tweaking and and working to make things better when they have gone wrong
Speaker 1: anonymous.
Speaker 1: I too have had some on again off again relationships with some quirky bakeries in my small towns and I really appreciate your thinking on how to keep this relationship as tasty as possible.
Speaker 2: Thank you for your questions. Please send us your updates or feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette at Emily post dot com.
Speaker 2: Leave a voicemail or text message at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463. Or you can find us on social media on twitter. We're at Emily post inst I N S T on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette.
Speaker 2: Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your social media posts so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: All right,
Speaker 1: if you love awesome etiquette, consider becoming a sustaining member by visiting us at patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get an ads, free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content plus you'll feel great knowing that you helped keep awesome etiquette on the air and to those of you who are already sustaining members. Thank you so much for your support.
Speaker 2: It's time for our feedback segment where we hear from you about the questions we answer in the topics we cover and today we have feedback from co about episode 3 81
Speaker 1: during the holidays. I am not on a schedule and listening in order and I was drawn to this episode as the to go tipping Perplexes me often,
Speaker 1: both of your advice has been so very helpful.
Speaker 1: This episode also discussed bullying an ethnic insensitivity at a workplace social event.
Speaker 1: I felt that Daniel's advice was a safe answer from a legal talking point and not helpful or situational to this event,
Speaker 1: lizzie's advice of addressing it at the time of the event was empowering and hopefully the norm response for similar situations in the future. Thank you both for this podcast and your guidance. I enjoy what you both bring to the podcast discussion. Co
Speaker 2: co thank you so much for your thoughts and we often do the thing where we kind of take,
Speaker 2: I wouldn't say we take different sides because this wasn't different sides or explore different ways that you might handle the situation and depending on the exact moment or the exact situation which we aren't always perfectly privy to in all the things that we read, it's important to to explore both the direct communication and something that's a little less direct
Speaker 2: so that
Speaker 2: people who feel more comfortable in either situation get get the advice and are able to move forward in some kind of way. But I I agree with you. I'm a big fan of making sure that we address things in the moment whenever we feel that we're in a safe position to do so.
Speaker 1: And it's very helpful for us and our listeners to hear feedback on our answers. Thank you for the feedback
Speaker 2: and thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please keep them coming.
Speaker 1: You can send your feedback
Speaker 2: or update two awesome etiquette Emily post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text to 802858 kind. That's 802858546
Speaker 1: three.
Speaker 2: It's time for our postscript segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today we're going to dive deeper into daniel post settings brain because because you've actually been inspired by this particular
Speaker 2: podcast, prep for paternity leave slash vacation time that we've been in as you've been seeing all the questions and salutes coming in.
Speaker 2: Can you tell our audience a little bit about what's been going through your brain?
Speaker 1: I'm gonna do my best and
Speaker 1: I also wanna, I should start off this post script by passing on a really nice thank you. That lizzie and I received from chris Albertine this morning who is preparing himself to head south. And
Speaker 1: he was saying how much he appreciated the efforts that we've made to get him a bunch of shows ahead of time so that he could really enjoy as much of his time away off as possible and relax and
Speaker 1: um really have that vacation. And he was saying how much he appreciated the work we put in on it and the work that everyone out there had put in
Speaker 1: getting us questions and getting a salute so that it was possible. And
Speaker 1: I am also going to be a beneficiary of that largesse, I will also get a really um a really nice paternity leave and I just, I really appreciate that and
Speaker 1: we asked. And the awesome etiquette audience delivered with both questions and salutes.
Speaker 2: And after
Speaker 1: and feedback, after a couple of weeks of putting out the call, they really started to stack up in our inbox and
Speaker 1: it brought a couple of things to my mind, first of all, before we had seen that response and when we weren't sure we would have enough to really stay on schedule with recording, I had put out the same call to friends and family. I had asked people particularly for salutes and after my first round of asking, I hadn't seen a lot back, so I followed up with people explained a little bit more about the nature of the salute at the end of the show,
Speaker 1: I found myself saying it's really not that hard, just think of someone in your life who's done something worthwhile, something good. And the idea is to acknowledge them and thank them publicly for that to to specify what it is that that you appreciate about someone else and to offer them thanks.
Speaker 1: Did
Speaker 2: you tell them that, like, doesn't even have to be specific, could be like something you observed between other people, like someone picking up a bag for someone else or something like that,
Speaker 1: Anything big or small, and I wouldn't even want giving an example to bound
Speaker 2: it in that
Speaker 1: that region because we get salutes for things that are
Speaker 2: just you wouldn't have
Speaker 1: significant that yeah, that are really significant because there are little things that are really significant, they're big things that that that really span the gamut and what's important is that acknowledgement and that
Speaker 1: feeling of gratitude that is expressed for that thing that's being acknowledged.
Speaker 1: So after I had gone through a process of explaining a little bit more that it wasn't something I felt people needed to work too hard to find. But just to think of things that they were seeing around them that they wanted to acknowledge.
Speaker 1: And I started to get some replies from people. The replies were so sweet, they worked for me and for the people giving them to me the same way they work on the show
Speaker 2: became
Speaker 1: these little heartwarming moments that we got to share with each other that that ended up being kind of significant between us. And
Speaker 1: it reminded me that we all have things in our life like this things where there are things that we can see around us that are worth acknowledging and that there are real rewards that we gain when we appreciate those things when we really recognize them and when we share that recognition between us that it really cemented our social bonds and our our understanding of our world is a place where good things happen.
Speaker 2: Because I feel like for me it's that it's what you just said that keys it so much for me that makes us salute so different from just being pleased that you do see good behavior out in that work in the world and that's the word, sharing that to take the time to communicate a good behavior that you witnessed
Speaker 2: to someone else, whether it's a friend or whether it's your on the phone with your mom that night or it's writing into the awesome etiquette podcast.
Speaker 2: I think we observe a lot of really lovely moments throughout the day. But unless you talk about them to someone else there they are just that like a quick observation and that can be fulfilling in a lot of ways. But there's something and I think you're you and the folks that you, you solicited salutes from try saying that five times fast
Speaker 2: would make like probably experiencing this where it was the sharing of it. It was the being asked to communicate it to someone else that
Speaker 2: made it even more special that made it live a little longer in the world, do a little bit more good pass it on spread. You know, spread spread the feel good feeling a little bit and I think that's a magical little part of the salute and ending the show with a salute.
Speaker 1: It absolutely is. And I do think you're right in keying on the,
Speaker 1: the forming it up is a concrete thought, putting the words around that feeling and that experience and sharing them with someone else where
Speaker 1: it becomes real and alive and something shared in a different way. And I think it's, it's easy for me to see that in the salute. I think it's a natural place to see it and this is where I wanted to step a little further a field in our post script today and
Speaker 1: that's that I started to notice a similar feeling that I was getting from the questions that we were receiving that I am imagining and this is me imagining that there is a certain percentage of our audience that listen to this show who heard us ask for questions and said to themselves, you know, I don't usually submit a question, but
Speaker 1: I'm going to take a moment to investigate a little bit and see if there's something I can ask to help the show out
Speaker 1: and in my imagining our audience going through that process, I was thinking about the power of that, of
Speaker 1: taking the
Speaker 1: the act of asking an etiquette question of yourself and really concretize ng it concretize ng concrete, agonizing it,
Speaker 2: making
Speaker 1: it real, making it concrete in some way and giving it words and giving it structure and really identifying the people involved in this
Speaker 1: specifics of the situation and
Speaker 1: it's communication that's really powerful. It's the structure of our show, it's what it's based on you and I are invested in the process of inquiry of asking questions and thinking about solutions and talking about those solutions together,
Speaker 1: but I think there's something really powerful just about the asking of the question and in the same way that I think we can find inspiration in our world by looking for things to acknowledge and appreciate and share.
Speaker 1: I think there can be a real power in
Speaker 1: consciously actively looking for questions that we can ask about, ways that we behave, things that we can do, things that we might be able to do better ways we could have improved things we've done in the past or
Speaker 1: prepare for and anticipate things that might happen to us in the future.
Speaker 1: And
Speaker 1: I started off this post gripped by thanking our audience for being willing to do that for us for for putting those questions together and sending them in and it makes it practically possible for us to record the shows and and take a bit of a hiatus. But I also found it inspirational in that there's a real willingness
Speaker 1: in our audience and the awesome etiquette listening audience too.
Speaker 2: Question
Speaker 1: Two Question to look for people to look at their lives and say, what is going on around me and how could I do this little better and how could I share that and how could we all learn lessons from that? And I just think it is so powerful and it's inspirational to me and in a different way than those salutes are inspirational, but I think it's really important
Speaker 1: and that's the thought that I really wanted to share on the post script today.
Speaker 2: One thing I wanted to add to that thought is that the we often talk about how etiquette is a tool that's excellent for self reflection and becomes absolutely useless when you're judging others. But I love the fact that that talking about or requesting questions
Speaker 2: from our audience also caused people to think of hypotheticals or to remember something from long ago that maybe they even witnessed between
Speaker 2: two people. They weren't, they weren't a part of it themselves, but it's the reflection, It's the reflective nature of it. I want to think about this for a minute and it it might not even be me who needed the answer necessarily,
Speaker 2: but it's too to get curious about the world around you and to reflect upon the scenarios that you either see or that you hear about other people experiencing
Speaker 2: and being willing to offer them up for discussion, like you said, of the solute, it's not just living the moment, but talking about having lived it, that extends it further. And when we take the questions even of a situation we might have just observed or pondered and we actually take the time to explore them,
Speaker 2: that there's there's so much good brain work that can happen in there and it's fun work. I think in some ways it's and it can be really hard work too, but in some ways, I think it takes the pressure off because you're not in the moment, of the thing actually happening.
Speaker 2: And I feel like we got a lot of questions that were, that were in that zone where it wasn't I'm throwing this dinner party, It's happening next week. Oh my gosh, what do I do about this seating chart?
Speaker 2: You know, it's, it's, I feel like when we've asked for questions and we're kind of pushing the audience to come up with more and more questions for us, The exploration of what they're willing and wanting to ask gets bigger, you know, and we, we see more of a range coming in, and that's been really fun to look at too.
Speaker 1: That's so true, because I hadn't thought about that particular side of it, that
Speaker 1: in many ways, I feel like our discussion has broadened over the last couple of weeks. That's been another, I think, really beneficial byproduct of this little exercise,
Speaker 2: because thanks for giving us the chance to to sort of go meta on the show and explore some of
Speaker 1: my favorite thing to do. Oh, my favorite
Speaker 2: asking for these questions and salutes and feedback at this particular time in the show's life.
Speaker 2: Um we really definitely, really appreciate getting the chance to kind of just talk about that for a little bit
Speaker 1: lizzie. It's my pleasure in the spirit of our intro today, I want to say you're welcome, but it doesn't feel quite
Speaker 2: right,
Speaker 1: well, you're you're most welcome. And I look forward to a return to a more traditional post script next week.
Speaker 1: Now there's what
Speaker 2: I call a friendly guy,
Speaker 1: Hey, you're really thinking about this business of being friendly, aren't you?
Speaker 2: Well, it sure would be a lot
Speaker 1: friendlier world if everybody were like that. Most people are like that. But being friendly is a two way proposition. Find out how friendly other people are. You have to practice being friendly yourself,
Speaker 1: yep,
Speaker 1: mm hmm,
Speaker 1: mm hmm.
Speaker 1: Mhm,
Speaker 1: mm hmm.
Speaker 2: We like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world and that can come in so many forms. Today we have a salute from James.
Speaker 1: Hello Lizzie and Daniel. I'd like to give a salute to my kids, my 16 year old daughter and my 11 year old son,
Speaker 1: I've always been proud of their good manners. Like most kids, they do their best to be courteous. In large part because they genuinely care about the well being of other people.
Speaker 1: But basic good manners are not why I'm saluting them right now. I'm particularly proud of the ways that they have internalized the principles of consideration, respect and honesty and practiced them in ways that my wife and I never could have anticipated.
Speaker 1: It's one thing to say please and thank you because that's what you do because that's what your parents expect and they do in fact do that, but they're also great at paying attention to contemporary ways of being polite and letting their parents know how nuances have changed or when we're being thoughtless or less than considerate.
Speaker 1: One example is pronoun usage. They're both very conscientious about paying attention to other people's pronouns
Speaker 1: definitely not a lesson I was thinking of 10 years ago, although I completely agree it's basic manners. Now they go above and beyond though, by kindly reminding me when I've made an assumption about someone's pronouns or appropriately correcting me if I just plain get them wrong,
Speaker 1: to be clear, I'm fully on board with respecting folks, gender identities and pronoun usage and always have been. But I'm also old enough to have outdated habits that I'm not always paying attention to and I appreciate my kids reminders
Speaker 1: so with great love and affection, I salute my kids. Simone and Arthur James,
Speaker 2: James, thank you so much. I feel like you and you and Simone and Arthur and your wife to have all been a part of the awesome etiquette family for a long, long time now.
Speaker 2: It's wonderful to hear about the kids growing up. I can't believe their ages by now that boy, the years of the podcast, people age with them and that's just oh my gosh, it's exciting.
Speaker 2: But I think that this is a really wonderful reflection and such a very cool salute to share. So thank you so much for sending it in. James.
Speaker 1: I have to second that James and James, you should know that. I don't always read the salutes before the end of the show. I like them to come as a surprise for me when I get to read them.
Speaker 1: And um I just, I love the way your thoughts are paralleling with our intro today and I really appreciate your sharing this with us.
Speaker 1: Thanks again for sending this salute
Speaker 1: and thank
Speaker 2: you audience for listening
Speaker 1: and thank you to everyone who sent us something and everyone who supports us on Patreon,
Speaker 2: please connect with us and share this show with your friends, family and coworkers. However you like to share your podcasts,
Speaker 1: you can send us your next question feedback or salute by email to awesome etiquette Emily Post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463
Speaker 1: on twitter. We are at Emily Post inst on instagram. We are at Emily Post institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette and the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 2: Please consider becoming a sustaining member of the podcast 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 Kris Albertine. An assistant produced by Bridget Bridget