Episode 400 - Recommended Recognition
In this episode of Awesome Etiquette
Welcome to Awesome Etiquette, where we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty. On today’s show we take your questions on mishaps with save the dates in the mail, what to do with your winnings at a charity event, awkward office lunchtimes, and thanking people who write letters of recommendation for you. For Awesome Etiquette sustaining members your question is about telling the host you didn’t attend because you didn’t want to. Plus your most excellent feedback, etiquette salute and a postscript on Revisiting episode one postscript 'pinkies out'.
Speaker 1: maybe
Speaker 2: it's just that you don't know how to use social courtesy.
Speaker 1: That's old
Speaker 2: fashioned
Speaker 2: watch, act as host and hostess. They know that courtesy means showing respect, thinking of the other person, real friendliness.
Speaker 2: Hello
Speaker 1: And welcome to the 400th episode of Awesome etiquette where
Speaker 2: we explore modern etiquette through the lens of consideration, respect and honesty.
Speaker 1: On today's show, we take your questions on mishaps with save the dates, thank you notes and invitations in the mail.
Speaker 1: What to do with your 50 50 raffle ticket winnings at a charity event, awkward office lunch times and thanking people who write letters of recommendation for you
Speaker 2: for awesome etiquette sustaining members. Our question of the week is about telling your host you didn't attend because you didn't want to
Speaker 1: plus your most excellent feedback etiquette salute and a post script where we revisit episode one's post script titled Pinkies Out
Speaker 2: 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 dan post Senning
Speaker 1: and I'm lizzie Post, Happy 400 because Happy
Speaker 2: 400 Happy Spring Day. Happy Welcome Home. Happy Mother's Day to day after for most people. But for us it's Mother's Day.
Speaker 1: Exactly, no, it's it's actually really exciting getting to episode 400. I mean 3 65 was cool, right because you could do 11 episode a day and and listen for a whole year, but 400 definitely feels impactful, you know that I'm very excited about 500 but I'm like, this is,
Speaker 1: This is big. We got, we got 400 episodes under our belt. We've been doing this a while
Speaker 2: Somehow in the force that 500 number, that's always been your sort of overly ambitious goal for this podcast.
Speaker 1: It
Speaker 2: feels within striking distance.
Speaker 1: And we
Speaker 2: were talking about that 365 you were the one that
Speaker 2: sort of brought my attention to the idea that that was a significant number because you could listen to a show a day for a year and I thought that was really cool
Speaker 2: And I was thinking about 400 saying to myself, oh well we just celebrated 365, but
Speaker 2: That's 35 weeks ago. That's really, it's amazing how time passes. It really is.
Speaker 1: It really, really is. And I'll tell you not that long ago we were talking about how you were about to have a really crazy week doing the most travel you've done in two years and one in like three days
Speaker 1: I want to hear. How did all of your adventures go,
Speaker 2: Oh boy, I would love to tell stories and stories and stories, but our intros aren't that long. So I will,
Speaker 2: I'll sum it up as best I can. It was just awesome to be out on the road again to be face to face with people that I've, I've been in dialogue with and have been doing good work with. But to really spend time with people again was just
Speaker 2: for me such a treat and such a treasure. And it's such an important part of the work that we do, that human connection
Speaker 2: that it felt particularly invigorating to be feeling that connection as I was getting to deliver a lot of the messages that we talked about on this show all the time and that
Speaker 2: I know you're so invested in and I'm so invested in and
Speaker 2: to really be living that again was was just awesome. It was amazing to me how quickly it became very easy that it didn't feel awkward for very long.
Speaker 1: Oh good. Oh good. I'm so glad. It was definitely really cool catching up with you and kind of hearing
Speaker 1: that wonderful high that you get after you've done a successful event and you know that you've met the client or the partner's expectations and maybe even exceeded them. I dare to brag about my cousins abilities to be a speaker. But it is such a,
Speaker 1: such a great feeling of satisfaction and to, to go through it and experience it after two years of really not doing that I can imagine was both impactful and very normal. Like, like a real return to normal.
Speaker 2: It absolutely was, it was really exciting for me. I'll give just a couple of details. I got to travel within the course of four days from new york to Seattle to do too,
Speaker 2: very different events. One was a talk for a boys prep school. So I was talking to an audience of hundreds of teenage boys.
Speaker 1: That's awesome.
Speaker 2: And in, in, you know, very close to lower Manhattan, just right in the center of that new york world in a lot of ways. And
Speaker 2: three days later I found myself working with a very small leadership development program in Seattle but sitting around a table with some some very high functioning people talking about how to navigate that web of human relationships that define so many of our lives and so many of our careers and
Speaker 2: to really spend that time for
Speaker 2: many hours with such a small group and then to conclude it with
Speaker 2: two hours around a table sharing food and talking about dining etiquette. It was just a quintessential etiquette experience
Speaker 1: a true etiquette geek out.
Speaker 2: So I felt like I covered, I covered the gamut both in terms of time and space and also material and audiences. It was
Speaker 2: um, it was a trial by fire, a jump into the deep end of the etiquette pool
Speaker 2: to re emerge to mix all my metaphors in human contact.
Speaker 1: The old pro that wasn't a trial by fire.
Speaker 1: But no, I'm, I am really glad that you had such a great week. I know it was a big deal preparing for it and I was, I was really excited when we talked on friday night and that you were feeling stoked about everything and just like back on top, here we go
Speaker 2: and home in time for
Speaker 1: Mother's day and home in time for Mother's day.
Speaker 1: Well a very big happy mother's Day to all the mothers out there. We hope that you all got to enjoy a very special day and
Speaker 1: I think that we should probably get going onto some questions so that we can go enjoy our mother's day with our mothers and the mothers in our lives.
Speaker 2: I think that is a great idea. Let's do it, 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 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
Speaker 1: on instagram, we are at Emily Post institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette. Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your
Speaker 2: social media posts
Speaker 1: so that we know you want your question on the
Speaker 2: show.
Speaker 2: Our first question this week is about a mishap in the mail.
Speaker 2: Dear lizzie and dan, thank you for the humorous and insightful podcast. Thank you also to the Emily Post Institute for keeping the essence of etiquette alive
Speaker 2: With this email. I hope to learn from you how to retain a laudable 1920 to practice in 2022's landscape
Speaker 2: when my husband and I had the joy of celebrating our first daughter's bat mitzvah this past september, we learned that numerous guests either did not receive the hard copy of the save the date announcement or the paper invitations. We either discovered or concluded that a significant number of the mailed invitations disappeared into the ether
Speaker 2: never to have been returned to us. Despite a very prominent return address label,
Speaker 2: there was no apparent rhyme or reason to the lost invitations,
Speaker 2: proximity to our home was not a guarantee of receipt.
Speaker 2: Our best guess is of the 192 invitations sent discounting the save the date cards more than 20 were never delivered. We only ever received one as returned to sender for address not found seven weeks after we sent the invitation
Speaker 2: And our cousins have resided in that home for 19 years.
Speaker 2: We consequently had to quickly pivot to a belt and suspenders approach and emailed invitations to all our guests who have yet to reply,
Speaker 2: putting all of those hiccups aside, We insisted that our daughter handwrite her thank you notes and dutifully mail them via the United States Postal Service. To her credit, she accomplished the task some time ago,
Speaker 2: several months later than with the spring ba named mitzvah season underway. I have begun to hear similar horror stories from other parents whose invitations were also significantly delayed or never received by their guests at all. It has become evident that our dear USPS continues to struggle with reliability
Speaker 2: in order to avoid our generous guests from being offended that they never received a thank you card? How do you feel about either our daughter or us sending a BCC email explaining the issue?
Speaker 2: If not, what other way do you suggest? We can fade to our guests That thank you. Notes were sent in a timely manner.
Speaker 2: I'm just so concerned that given the track record for invitation delivery, that the thank you notes were susceptible to the same mishap and we would otherwise never know if they were received.
Speaker 2: Thank you in advance for your consideration of this issue. And for any advice you may have sincerely male challenged mom.
Speaker 1: Male challenged mom, thank you so much for this situation. Although very sorry that you're experiencing this uncertainty. Unreliability with, with delivering things via the mail. I think that's really frustrating.
Speaker 1: Um, but it's, it really has my head going in a couple of different directions because, and I'm going to map a couple out and then let's dig into them. But one of them is just the idea of do you, I'm totally on board with following up with an email to make sure that thank you notes got received and being able to explain it from a position of, hey,
Speaker 1: have actually heard of a lot of mail not being delivered and did want to really check in to make sure you received a thank you note from
Speaker 1: our daughter or whether that comes from the dark? So there's the whole like go for it on the email thing that I'm at least in the go for it camp. But then the question is
Speaker 1: do you do BCC, do you do from the kid from you? You know, I think there's there's a bunch of different detailed questions in there. But then the other thing that's got me thinking about is a little moment that we had the other day around the idea of sending a thank you
Speaker 1: or you're welcome or a sure thing to someone for an emailed thank you.
Speaker 2: And it's a
Speaker 1: slightly different topic.
Speaker 1: But right now it has been in the position wondering why the heck did we never developed a welcome note. Your welcome note, a note that says you're welcome because then you would know that the thank you had been received. I mean I guess no matter what note you're sending, there's always a chance, it might not get through and and
Speaker 2: because
Speaker 1: the interactions can't go back and forth for forever.
Speaker 1: But it does just bring me to that idea of when does that conversation and what situations weren't being checked up upon to make sure
Speaker 1: that
Speaker 2: sort of the
Speaker 1: thanks for the invite her to say that are the something has been received. And I guess as I even sit and think about it, it just brings me to that place of there, there will always be the chance that maybe a message didn't get communicated and we've got to have communication skills to lean upon to be able to deal with those situations,
Speaker 2: I think that you're onto something there in that
Speaker 2: one of the great things about letter writing or sending something in the mail is also one of the challenges of it, which is that it's a bit of a leap of faith that you're sending these these messages out into the world whatever form and
Speaker 2: maybe it's the unreliable post office, maybe it's somebody has lost their email password or maybe it's that someone doesn't check their social DMX, whatever the medium of the communication is, it's never 100% or 1000%.
Speaker 2: Yeah.
Speaker 2: In some ways I think about making a decision about how how concerned I am, how much work I'm going to do to verify based on the seriousness of the message, how important it is to me that it's received and evaluation of the risk that it wasn't. And in this case I think we have two of those things rising to a level where it clearly becomes worth the effort.
Speaker 2: one We have a
Speaker 2: demonstrated failure of that system recently with this exact same group of people probably using a very similar group of addresses if not identical addresses
Speaker 2: and it's a thank you note that you really want people to receive, it's a significant life event and an important part of the host guest relationship around that whole event is is that handwritten note of thanks and having put the time in to do it. Having gotten yourself 95% of the way there, I think a little,
Speaker 2: a little verification check in through a different medium makes so much sense in this case in particular
Speaker 2: lizzie, what do you think of the BCC? I love it, I love the idea
Speaker 1: of and I'll
Speaker 2: just say what I think of it, that it's a perfect and appropriate use of BCC without revealing everybody that something is being sent to your able to distribute a message that
Speaker 2: it's probably going to be very similar for most of those people, there might be one or two that you really want to personalize or customize that note. Maybe there's a group that
Speaker 2: didn't receive the invitation and they get slightly different language than the group that you know did receive the invitation. Maybe there's there's a couple of clusters, but I think even that's
Speaker 2: making a lot of effort doable and it's doable. I think that 11 note could also work very well. I think it's a good use of BCC, we hear about bad uses of it, I think this is a really good
Speaker 1: one, goodness said it better myself. I think too, that it's a good use of BCC, there's the little part of my traditionalist brain which does exist in my head
Speaker 1: um that that says, oh, oh, but, but what about, you know, sending things to people individually or would you want a phone call this in to check up on it? And
Speaker 1: I think then the realistic version of me comes out and says, I think the BCC email is just fine. I would make sure though that I'm writing to people who I know really use their email. If there are people on my list who I don't have emails for
Speaker 1: those are the people I'm going to pick up the phone and do the same conversation, but via phone instead of email
Speaker 1: for me, I think that if I'm going to be writing it on behalf of my child or even if my child is writing it for themselves,
Speaker 1: I would mention that thank you notes had been sent out the week of or something like that. And given that we've had so many issues with mail not being delivered really wanted to make sure at this point
Speaker 1: that either you had received it or if you hadn't, that we can get you one because that's really important to us. And I think I would do it that way rather than going the route of maybe saying and I don't know if they'll challenged mom was going to use this exact language, but the saying that the thank you notes were sent out in a timely manner.
Speaker 1: Um, I think you can just use the, the date, the rough date of when they were sent as opposed to
Speaker 1: kind of giving that nod towards the good effort that the kid made. I don't know if that makes sense, but I want the focus to be on the people receiving the note rather than sort of the praising of the child for having done it in a timely manner. It's a really good thing. But outwardly I think you want the focus to this group be on.
Speaker 1: Did they get the note of appreciation that you're looking to make sure they get because you want to express that gratitude?
Speaker 2: I think that sounds good and you sort of mapped out a very simple version of the sample script at the start of this answer that I thought was really good right off the hip lizzie post and
Speaker 2: I can't remember it word for word right now, but if we were to jump back, I remember liking it when I heard it.
Speaker 2: There's one other thing that I want to mention before we wrap this answer which is that I am so saddened to hear that this has been the experience that male challenged mom has had with the postal service.
Speaker 1: I
Speaker 2: personally have always found them to be very reliable and dependable.
Speaker 2: The for the most part, if I get the correct address on something and I get it in the mail on time,
Speaker 2: I'm usually delighted to discover that it gets there. If not around the time I expect usually a little before and I would be really curious to hear if other listeners have had similar issues, whether it's something that maybe has happened more recently. I want to maybe offer some sort of
Speaker 2: late pandemic sort of rationale and, and just I've got my fingers double crossed that this is something that can be sorted out over time. Maybe as we start to have more and more normalcy in our lives or maybe it's something that's, that's specific to an area to a particular region of the postal service. But those would be good things to know and I appreciate getting a heads up
Speaker 2: that it's something you might want to think about. If this is something that you really rely on and depend on
Speaker 2: checking in with a few people being sure that things are being received, particularly among that closer circle where it's easier to get that kind of verification. It might be something that's worthwhile. Also,
Speaker 1: just for right now, whenever you're sending something via the mail, it's a good point.
Speaker 1: Male challenge. Mom, thank you so much for the question. We're sorry that a frustrating situation caused you to have to send it in. But we really do hope that you're able to cross check with your guest list on those Thank you notes and that all of those guests get to hear and experience the gratitude that you so clearly have for this wonderful life event that your daughter just went through
Speaker 1: in
Speaker 2: good weather and
Speaker 1: in bad weather, the mailman brings us our mail.
Speaker 2: He always tries to be
Speaker 1: on time.
Speaker 1: He works quickly for
Speaker 2: he knows where each piece
Speaker 1: of mail belongs. The
Speaker 2: mailman is friendly
Speaker 1: and helpful. Almost
Speaker 2: everybody likes
Speaker 1: him for
Speaker 2: almost everybody likes to get
Speaker 1: mail.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled Cash for a
Speaker 2: cause,
Speaker 1: dear dan and lizzie, I hope you can shed some light on a favorite charity event practice.
Speaker 1: I've been to many charity events over the years that have a 5050 raffle at some, it's obvious that it's expected that if you win, you donate the winnings to the cause. At other events, the organizers immediately handed over an envelope to the winner and it was obvious they were expected to keep the
Speaker 2: winnings.
Speaker 1: Is there any way to tell what the expectation is for a particular event?
Speaker 1: I'm always a bit nervous when they start drawing the winner and could use some reassurance, kind regards tom
Speaker 2: tom this is such a sweet question, I really appreciate the spirit that you're asking in and
Speaker 2: I'm gonna just rub my lapel here for just a second and say you're talking to a 50 50 raffle
Speaker 1: winner, one
Speaker 2: of the great 50 50 events in the state of Vermont the UvM hockey,
Speaker 1: I still can't believe you won that.
Speaker 1: I mean, Oh man, that's that's a big deal. This was immediately. This brought up memories of 5050 Raffle and I've never won the Raffle. I actually didn't know that you won the Raffle.
Speaker 2: I was young and I hope I don't get anyone in trouble for it because I was, I was probably 14 or 15 years old when I, when I won the Raffle at the UVM hockey game. And for me, the experience was very much one of going to a little room and sort of a facilities area where they handed me an envelope full of cash.
Speaker 1: And
Speaker 2: In my 14 year old mind, this kind of question didn't occur to me and tom I really appreciate your bringing it to our attention because I think it's um,
Speaker 2: it's a really generous thought and my, my big picture thinking is that your winnings are your winnings and you get to decide what to do with them. And
Speaker 2: if you are feeling inspired by the cause, by the nature of the event, by
Speaker 2: your
Speaker 2: ability to do that at that time in your life. I think it's a really nice thing to think about donating those winnings back to the cause or the event that has hosted it. I don't think it's an expectation and I don't think anybody would look askance at you if you chose to go the other way with it.
Speaker 2: I really do think it's a personal choice and it might be true that there's a certain tradition or history of doing that within an organization, but I would also really hope that nobody would judge you for making a choice one way or the other, particularly if it wasn't a very clear part of the tradition or something that was clearly understood
Speaker 2: among all those who participate, that, that was an expectation or a usual or common practice.
Speaker 2: Mhm.
Speaker 1: For me, I think that tom already seems to have a sense of whether it's really expected and obvious at the event and I think if it was then the donation would be made back towards the charity, but for something like what you experienced and where sure we want to be supporting the men's UVm Catamounts because we love them.
Speaker 1: Half of that money does go to that and the other half, it really is supposed to be the fan taking it home and and enjoying the wonderful glory of, of a story, like the one that dan legendary in his life.
Speaker 1: And so I think that when you run into the situation where you're uncertain, I'd be tapping the people around me a little bit and just ask, hey, with this, 50 50 raffle is it is like, does the winner keep the money? Is it expected that they give it back to the charity? Because it's a charity event. And I do think for me in my head, most charity events where it really is
Speaker 1: um like a big fundraiser type event, that sort of thing. I think that's, that's when I'd be more inclined to give it back, but I do agree with dan that because it's a 50 50 raffle, it really should be up to the choice of the person who received the winnings,
Speaker 1: but it is more likely at a full, solely fundraising event than something like a sporting event where it's
Speaker 2: just a part of
Speaker 1: what they do, that you would give it back.
Speaker 2: I like that distinction, lizzie post, if everybody, their purchasing the tickets are all there particularly in support of a cause or if they're all part of the fundraising effort,
Speaker 2: it does feel a little different in some way than an event where
Speaker 2: maybe there's a general public crowd that's trying to be enticed into, into supporting a cause or a charity
Speaker 2: with the enticement of maybe keeping some winnings.
Speaker 1: Exactly, exactly. Yeah. Because like never once that the UVM games did, I think any of the people who won 5050 would give their winnings to the team or to the, the organization, you know, that support the booster organization that supports the team.
Speaker 1: But at a charity event, I could totally see that being the thing like,
Speaker 2: Yeah, I think that regardless of whether you're going to donate it back or you're going to keep those winnings, that good etiquette dictates that you are gracious in receiving them, That you thank the people that set the event up and are delivering you your winnings. I think that being appreciative and and humble is something that, that we can all agree is a good way to approach that moment and that experience.
Speaker 2: And then also etiquette podcast host example aside, not gloating or rubbing the people who didn't win the nose in the fact that you are the winner. Being circumspect in that moment. Is is also something that's well worth thinking about.
Speaker 1: Tom thank you so much for the question and good luck at your next 5050 Raffle gambling is America's number one money making business with an estimated profit of an incredible $6 billion.
Speaker 1: Even more startling is the fact that these profits exceed those of the 100 largest manufacturing concerns in the United States.
Speaker 1: They realized that to keep a better coming back for more, he must win occasionally.
Speaker 1: Mm hmm.
Speaker 1: Our
Speaker 2: next question is about office lunch dilemmas.
Speaker 2: Hi, awesome etiquette team. Thank you for the wonderful podcast and helping us all be more courteous and thoughtful in our daily lives listening every week has really made a difference in how I approach my interactions with others. I'm hoping you can help me with an ongoing issue I've been having at my office,
Speaker 2: I work in a friendly workplace with 75-100 people in our office on any given day.
Speaker 2: The vast majority of the people more than 90% work in department a
Speaker 2: I work in department be
Speaker 2: there's tons of overlap between these departments and members from each are friendly and frequently help each other out on projects or do activities outside of work.
Speaker 2: My issue arises at lunchtime
Speaker 2: twice a week. There's a nice catered lunch brought into the office. However, this catered food is very specifically for department a when I first started at the office, I helped myself to the food and was informed rather harshly by one of the managers that the catered lunches for members of department A only
Speaker 2: she firmly explained that they tried to order only enough for their department and that the cost comes out of their yearly departmental budget. I completely understand why they only want department a eating the catered food and I have no desire to be berated again.
Speaker 2: I tried turning to the other members of department be to see what they do on catered lunch days, but no one has a good solution other than
Speaker 2: just eat the catered lunch.
Speaker 2: I'm not comfortable eating food that isn't mine and that could get me in trouble.
Speaker 2: Most members of department A either don't know this or don't see why it's an issue.
Speaker 2: Almost every week someone asks me, did you try the soup, it was so good or hey, the lunches here, come grab some with us,
Speaker 2: responding to these very well meaning remarks with, I'm not allowed to eat that or no. That's only for your department feels rude and most certainly not in the spirit of a well intentioned lunch invitation.
Speaker 2: Do you have any sample scripts or advice for how to manage my next day of catered lunch. Thank you in advance for any advice you can give Montgomery.
Speaker 1: Oh Montgomery, I just have to say and maybe I'm not being respectful of department budgets. But I think this is a little silly like when you've got 90
Speaker 1: of a company in in one department and you're talking about only having to feed like another 10%. I don't know, maybe that is too many people. But but he's saying like Montgomery, excuse me, is saying between 75 100 people, like
Speaker 1: 10% of that. Isen't that many more mouths to feed? I feel like I'm going to take a moment and just be a little judgy. I feel like there's a little silly like that this company needs to just do lunch for the whole company. But that's that's me inserting an answer on a question that wasn't asked. Like
Speaker 2: I can only imagine what the discussion was between the managers that preceded this particular calling out of someone from department B. I can just imagine, well
Speaker 1: maybe you could
Speaker 2: all chip in from some of your department budget and we have it for everyone. And the answer being no.
Speaker 2: And then that cascading down the chain. Anyway, that's where my imagination
Speaker 1: goes where like liberation comes.
Speaker 2: Like
Speaker 1: I feel for you Montgomery in other words, feel for you, this is an awkward situation dan As I was thinking about this question, I felt like the quickest answer I could come up with that might make you feel comfortable is make sure to bring in a bagged lunch on those days. And when somebody calls you to say like, hey
Speaker 1: come have lunch with us, just bring your bag lunch and eat that with them. And
Speaker 1: whether or not you choose to identify the fact that this food is only for department A to the department a people is up to you. I wouldn't have too much of a problem with it because it's not their fault, this is happening. And I think you could deliver it in a way that just makes people aware and be like, oh you know what
Speaker 1: I learned that is specifically for Department A but let me grab my bag lunch and I'll meet you over there. You know,
Speaker 1: if you're not using it
Speaker 1: as of like, well that's only for you guys. You know, even if your blame is on the people who have set this up with that attitude. I think that attitude would be the wrong way to go about it. But if it's more of a casual like, oh, you know, I didn't, I didn't try it. It's actually for Department A
Speaker 1: when that question about how good the soup was came up or something like that. I think it's fine. What I'm more interested in cousin is the department be people who are getting away with eating the food and not getting berated. Like I'd be more curious about asking them how they do it. You know what I mean?
Speaker 2: Lizzie Post, you are the department be they get away with this and I am the department be to get called out. You always get invited to the group lunches with every other business in our office building and
Speaker 1: I'm the one who actually eat it. You're too scared to eat it
Speaker 2: well and I just feel uncomfortable about the whole thing
Speaker 1: and like the borrowing or the taking advantage of it. Yeah, I take advantage of it when they offer.
Speaker 2: I would say you're just a gregarious and generous social person and people love it when you come have lunch with them. It's,
Speaker 2: I want to say it's not fair because it's totally fair, but sometimes feels not fair,
Speaker 1: but they love eating with you to the days that you actually joined were big damn days, I'm
Speaker 2: sure, but I'm also learning something from your answer and I think that you're so right about it being the tone and spirit that you approached this whole thing with.
Speaker 2: I was thinking about the sample scripts that are provided here, that I'm not allowed to eat that or
Speaker 2: no, that's only for your department,
Speaker 2: but I'm not allowed to eat. That feels like a sample script that would be hard to make work. It feels like it's a calling out,
Speaker 1: it reminds me of when my niece sticks her lower lip out and pouts about the truth, you know, and I'm just like, I got you kid, I got you, I hear you and
Speaker 2: when I look at the words, no, that's only for your department.
Speaker 2: I feel like I could hear that two very different ways and the way that you
Speaker 2: introduced the idea that your tone is just so important. The emotional content that you bring to that reply, if it's easy and you've got somewhere else to go in your mind and with someone else afterwards, like, oh, but I'll grab my lunch and I'll come join, you know, that's only for your department. Could actually be, I think a workable sample script. But
Speaker 2: no, that's only for your department. I have a hard time even saying it with it totally. But I think it could, it could come across like that. Also, I
Speaker 1: feel like another one is if someone were to ask you, hey, how come you're not eating the food? The catered lunch today. That's another one where I feel confident being
Speaker 2: open,
Speaker 1: but not specific about why I said, boy, you know, the one time I did, I actually got told by a manager, I wouldn't say my manager or the managers or list of specific person that I really wasn't supposed to. So I've been careful to bring in a bag lunch on catered lunch days and that like just again, without blaming the exact person who berated you
Speaker 1: let someone know Hey, No, I actually got in trouble the last time I did that because what I do worry about is people from department a being like, oh, come on, I'll go up and get it for you, You know, something like that. It just feels a little too like that and I might, I might feel the need to let people know.
Speaker 1: Hey, I was really told not to. So I'm gonna listen to that. But I would really like to sit down and have lunch with you. You know, obviously the last part isn't naturally how you'd say it. But
Speaker 2: the other thing that I would also mention on this question is I wouldn't feel too bad about this if I was Montgomery, the office kitchen and the sharing of food at work is one of the most common places. People run into etiquette issues at work, even when it's not a catered lunch when it's the shared coffee and who overuses it guilty
Speaker 2: dan raises his hand. You can't see it because it's a podcast or who leave dishes in the sink or uses too much space in the refrigerator, doesn't label the stuff in the refrigerator. There are so many issues that emerge around sharing food, shared kitchen spaces, lunchtime at work. And
Speaker 2: I would very comfortably if I was Montgomery put this issue in that category, that silo and say, you know, these things happen and it's really not that big a deal. And maybe that can help
Speaker 2: reduce some of the tension and the emotion around it and make it easier to deliver that
Speaker 2: information that you're talking about lizzie that no, I'm really not supposed to do that and thanks for the offer. I appreciate your willingness to grab me something. But I I'm more comfortable if I don't.
Speaker 1: I like that
Speaker 2: with a tone that's easy and not, not hurt and not judgmental.
Speaker 1: Much like when you're declining just about anything, moving forward to a good
Speaker 1: point of contact or connection between you and this other person is a great way to go. So that like
Speaker 1: the the whole like let me grab my lunch and I'll sit down with you, gets us to that and I'll sit down with you, which is the point of connection you really want to be making
Speaker 1: Montgomery, definitely an awkward situation. No doubt about it. But we have confidence that you're going to be able to handle this gracefully and we hope you enjoy many a wonderful lunch with your department, a co workers.
Speaker 1: But now everything is ready and we can be certain that each guest will be fully aware not only of the food but of the attractiveness and convenience of the table arrangement. The table arrangement will be seen in itself as a gesture of consideration for the guests and here is the soul of etiquette, the proof of courtesy
Speaker 1: and friendliness.
Speaker 1: Our next question is titled recognition for recommendations.
Speaker 1: Hello. I asked for a letter of recommendation from a high school teacher and wanted to know the appropriate way to show my appreciation. Do you have any advice? Thank you anonymous.
Speaker 2: Anonymous. Thank you so much for the question. and I'm going to hijack the answer to use for my own personal purposes for just a minute.
Speaker 1: You've been needing some recommendations recommendations lately. You know,
Speaker 2: it's even it's it's even worse than that. I want to thank William Altman who was a history teacher and a mentor for me in high school who had a big impact on my life. And one of the things that he did for many of his students was right, a special letter of recommendation for the school that you most wanted to go to. And he was famous for his letters of recommendation. You would really invest in them and he would
Speaker 2: talk about you in ways that were different than you would generally talk about a student in a recommendation when you're doing a lot of this and teachers do a lot of this, but
Speaker 2: I have saved in my life the moment where I will go to the college that I ended up going to. I think his letter of recommendation really helped me get in and I know it's on file there and at some point I want to go read it.
Speaker 2: But
Speaker 2: I was thinking about that the other day before we even got this
Speaker 1: question
Speaker 2: and there is a very slim chance that William Altman listens to this podcast and I want to thank him for being a mentor in my life and for writing that letter of recommendation. And I want him to know that someday I look forward to going and reading it and having that bring me back in time to that time in my life and some of those relationships that were so important to me then.
Speaker 1: And did you write him a thank you note back then?
Speaker 2: I did not. I wish I
Speaker 1: So anonymous. The answer to this question is 25 years later when you started a podcast and it's been going for like eight years and you're at episode 400, that's when you thank them.
Speaker 2: Okay, okay, okay, so that's
Speaker 1: not the best way to
Speaker 2: go, but you're you're getting us back to the good answer that we have to give anonymous which is
Speaker 2: yeah,
Speaker 2: definitely thank them in person.
Speaker 2: Don't ever forget the power of your words and the power of that in person, thank you and that I definitely did do for Mr Altman. You
Speaker 1: guys got that dan wrote the answer for himself today. No, I'm just kidding,
Speaker 2: but if I could go back and advise myself, I would definitely say john William Altman a little note and thank him for making that effort on your behalf, particularly because I knew that he had made a special effort
Speaker 2: for that particular letter.
Speaker 2: Yeah,
Speaker 1: I also think that, correct me if I'm wrong, but for me anyway in my life
Speaker 1: when it comes to the kids that I might be mentors to or when it's that kind of like an adult kid relationship. I often find words to be the most powerful like my niece or nephew it does not matter what they get me for my birthday or christmas which we celebrate.
Speaker 1: It's like they honestly it's the sweetest moments when they say like thank you aunt Cisa or whatever it is. You know what I mean? That that mean the most to me or when they tell me that they really enjoy doing something with me and I think that is really true. Um I think a gift would be less expected or appropriate as a way to show the appreciation. Not that they couldn't also be nice to give something small but like I don't think this is like a
Speaker 1: buy them a beautiful pen type of a situation I think a thank you note and that in person thank you that dan described. I think those could really really make a difference and obviously you could you can say thank you when they accept the
Speaker 1: the task to write the recommendation for you and that might be your in person. Thank you boy thank you so much. That really means a lot to me and you know I'm really looking forward to it thank you again and then when they actually write the letter and I forget whether you get to see what's in the letter or not.
Speaker 1: Um But
Speaker 2: yes sometimes sometimes
Speaker 1: yes sometimes yes so if you get to you, you know in your note you can compliment how great the letter was.
Speaker 1: If you don't get the chance to to read the letter then in your note you can just simply say how how much it meant to you. There's a debate about whether you wait until you get your acceptance is I think I think give the note as the thank you and then do a follow up. You know
Speaker 2: if you
Speaker 1: no you would still be in school with them because we're going to college. So yeah,
Speaker 1: I would definitely do a follow up with this teacher if you get into the school and you especially if you decide to go but sharing that moment of thank you so much and then the exciting follow up of of what happened and if you didn't get in I think you know touching base is still fine and saying, you know boy I didn't get in but I know your letter of recommendation was
Speaker 1: it was really wonderful and I really appreciate that. I think that's also a really grown up gracious way to go about it.
Speaker 2: Absolutely. We often say send thank you notes after a job interview. And I think an important addition to that is whether you get the job or not that you're really thanking the person for taking the time to interview or in this case writing that letter on your behalf.
Speaker 2: And it's it's really nice when you get to deliver some really happy news with that. But
Speaker 2: it's not essential in terms of the gratitude that you're expressing
Speaker 1: anonymous congratulations on graduating high school and getting to this next step in life. We hope that all of your applications come back with lots of opportunities for you to attend the school or schools of your dreams.
Speaker 1: Thank
Speaker 2: you for your questions. Please send us updates your feedback on our answers to awesome etiquette at Emily Post dot com. You can leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463.
Speaker 2: You can also reach us on social media on twitter. We are at Emily Post on instagram, we are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook we are awesome etiquette.
Speaker 2: Just use the hashtag awesome etiquette with your post so that we know you want your question on the show.
Speaker 1: If you're enjoying awesome etiquette, please come on over to Patreon and consider becoming a sustaining member of the podcast. You can do this at Patreon dot com slash awesome etiquette. You'll get an ads free version of the show and access to bonus questions and content which include live calls with dan and myself
Speaker 1: Plus you'll feel great knowing that you helped to 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 and the topics we cover today. We have feedback from Beth on episode 399 and tipping tour guides.
Speaker 2: Hi dan and lizzie.
Speaker 2: Long time since dinner party download days listener, I wanted to react a bit to the question about tipping tour hosts as a frequent business and leisure traveler. Pre covid and starting again. Now I rely a lot on services for many folks on my journey's tour guides, taxi drivers, concierge
Speaker 2: bell people, servers at many kinds of places, delivery folks, bartenders, etcetera.
Speaker 2: I have started always having cash on hand specifically for tipping. I bring whatever amount of cash I think I need in fives so I can do a smaller or a larger tip depending since returning to travel, I find this even more useful while I do tip online when paying with a credit card,
Speaker 2: I also add cash directly to the person,
Speaker 2: especially at chain hotels and restaurants and tour companies. I have learned that servers and guides do not always actually receive tips that are allocated. Side note, I save all fives throughout the year in a jar, but also do a specific bank withdrawal. It makes me feel good to always have that cash on hand to show appreciation. In the moment.
Speaker 2: In any case I would be absolutely mortified to ask someone, I was tipping for change. I was so surprised to hear your advice that the guide should have cash on hand. I do always take cards from people and follow up with reviews and notes of gratitude when I get home. So I love the idea of a business card with a paypal or QR code,
Speaker 2: how to leave a review etcetera.
Speaker 2: I wish more folks like tour guides, massage therapists, at resorts and others did this. I keep these as Mementos and also to refer to if I go back to the location.
Speaker 2: Thanks much Beth
Speaker 1: Beth thank you so much for the feedback and it is a good idea to prep yourself before you go out with all with all kinds of cash. I know that before I was headed down to that dispensary for the talk, I got grabbed the wad of ones from. Similarly, I have a jar that I keep like,
Speaker 1: like sort of the cash that comes through my day, which has not been much during covid
Speaker 1: in this like jar in my kitchen and I just grabbed like all the ones and ran out the door to get back on the road on time,
Speaker 1: but it does make it make a difference to have them there.
Speaker 2: I'll tell you lizzie that cash at home jar also comes in handy with that surprise tip that you might have to give someone at home periodically. We had a delivery of pellets for our pellet stove the other day and it was so handy to have a little bit of small cash on hand when they helped unload a whole palette of pellets into our garage.
Speaker 2: Beth thank you so much for the feedback. We really appreciate it.
Speaker 1: Thank you for sending us your thoughts and updates. Please do keep them coming. You can send your feedback or update to awesome etiquette Emily post dot com or leave us a voicemail or text at 802858 kind. That's 8028585463.
Speaker 1: It's time for a postscript segment where we dive deeper into a topic of etiquette and today we're going back to the beginning because in episode 400, I'm taking us back to episode one where we discussed pinkies out in the very first post script of the show.
Speaker 2: What did we talk about? Do you remember? Did you go
Speaker 1: back to listen? I do. I went back and listened and it was kind of funny hearing young versions of us.
Speaker 1: But we we did the very first post script that we did was about pinkies out and we did it because so often people associate this affectations gesture with etiquette and being proper and you know, back straight speak politely and all this stuff and it's it's so both annoying and comical. We have an illustration of Emily that was done and there she's doing all these incorrect things and we love the fact that one of the incorrect things she's doing in the
Speaker 1: cartoon of her is that her pinky is out. She also has bare feet, I think up on her desk. I
Speaker 2: kept hair
Speaker 1: unkempt hair. Yeah, I mean it's like
Speaker 2: the shades are drawn. It's
Speaker 1: really quite fun. But I feel like the pinkies out is such a visual
Speaker 1: association with etiquette and the world of being polite. Often if we do get asked to do a photo shoot, they want some kind of a pinkies out shot, which we occasionally refuse.
Speaker 1: But it's interesting what I loved about going back and listening because obviously, I mean I've forgotten what we did five episodes ago, definitely forgotten what we did episode one.
Speaker 1: And I loved hearing dan, that you actually had like a history for pinkies out and that we kind of like start off by knocking down that, you know, people suggest it's to balance the teacup, but like how how much does that one little pinkie really balance out the weight of the teacup that's being held gently by its handle.
Speaker 1: Um there's the idea that there's no room on the teacup handle for the pinky to fit. And we kind of
Speaker 1: blow through that because you can easily just rest your pinky against the rest of your fingers. It doesn't have to fit on the tiny little teacup handle. But you you came in teaching us that it was really about the transition out of the middle ages from a time where we were using um ladles and often eating with our hands or a communal spoon
Speaker 1: to eating bite sized pieces of food to being able to show the sophistication
Speaker 1: that our food was cut for us and that it was actually about keeping your pinky and your ring finger clean and different from the fingers that you might pick up a piece of meat with and that you might like hold, hold your glass using your your thumb and your your pinky and your ring finger as opposed and leaving the other two which touched more greasy foods or something off. It was
Speaker 1: it was really interesting to hear that there was a place for it,
Speaker 1: but it very quickly exited history as being the thing to do. And it became affectations very quickly because it was sort of like a signal to an an attachment to an old tradition that no longer had function. So
Speaker 1: it was like it became the like very quickly associated as like a sign of snobbery or a sign of an unwillingness to move with the times.
Speaker 2: I remember more clearly as you walk me through it. It's it's amazing how it brings back to my mind that research that was done 400 episodes ago
Speaker 2: and and how much that research supports the impression that I have of that gesture today as you raise this as a potential topic for our post script. The the thing that I was thinking that I
Speaker 2: that I wanted to say about it today was that it remains such an iconic image for etiquette. I think precisely because it Weds two sides of etiquette that are very real for people and the side that's about things that we really care about. Something like a tea service. That's a ritual
Speaker 2: that that matters to people. That has significance the people enjoy. And
Speaker 2: that at the same time for many people, etiquette has a lot of negative associations and connotations that it is about snobbery or judgment or
Speaker 1: exclusivity
Speaker 2: and artificiality that there's something just put on and affected about it all that that's unnecessary and to have in in one very visual image, these two things coming together. One the sharing of hot tea, a delightful experience with something very affected, something much less delightful
Speaker 2: in some ways. It's an appropriate image for etiquette. And obviously on this show, we really we really skewed towards the consideration, the respect, the honesty, the parts of etiquette that we care about that we think are important and valuable and worth maintaining. And we put
Speaker 1: People 1st and that sort of thing.
Speaker 2: Exactly. And for all those reasons we say, you know, bring that pinky in, tuck it in and it's still just but it's such an evocative image. And thank you for reminding me of some of the history. I remember the viscera research. We, as everyone knows, love this are on this show and her descriptions of those very elaborate eating protocols where you would use the different fingers for the different foods that were served in the
Speaker 2: the earliest days of the development of modern table ware.
Speaker 1: Well, because 400 episodes later, we can still say that pinkies out is not considered technically polite that it it is affectations still that it's it's not the way to go. It's not it's not necessary by any means.
Speaker 1: And I would say that I I would be surprised if 400 episodes later we would, we would say anything different. I think that pinkies out are going to be
Speaker 1: is going to be an out trend for a long time to come
Speaker 2: Lizzie Post. I'll make a deal with you. If we get to episode 800 will go back and listen to episode one together and we'll also listen to this episode together to see how much things have changed
Speaker 1: you. Pinky swear on that.
Speaker 2: I do
Speaker 1: Awesome. Well audience, thank you so much for joining us for a 400th post script.
Speaker 1: We certainly hope that we're going to make it 400 more.
Speaker 1: Yeah,
Speaker 1: Barbara knows the girls are fearful because they have never attended a tea before. Actually, there is nothing to be afraid of.
Speaker 1: The girls are enjoying themselves. Their fears are gone.
Speaker 1: They can look forward with pleasure to other parties.
Speaker 1: Each of the girls has learned for herself. The real meaning of etiquette,
Speaker 1: we like to end our show on a high note. So we turn to you to hear about the good etiquette you're seeing and experiencing out in the world and that can come in so many forms and today we have a salute from Dan and me to all of you.
Speaker 1: We want to take a minute to thank our wonderful, incredible audience for sticking with us. Whether this is your first time joining awesome etiquette welcome or whether you have been with us since before we even had a show and we're making appearances on the dinner party download, often referred to as the dinner party download days on this podcast.
Speaker 1: We are so grateful for the opportunity to be able to sit at the mic each week and to hear the questions that you ask, the feedback that you give your interest in etiquette topics through our post scripts and of course
Speaker 1: to hear your most wonderful etiquette salutes that are proof positive that etiquette does exist out in the world.
Speaker 1: And I am just, I am so grateful that we are at episode 400 because I think it's really, really remarkable and incredible. And I think back to audience members who have been memorable over the years, whether that's because they've written infrequently
Speaker 1: Or whether because they asked a really stunning intricate question or had a beautiful salute or some really great thought that might have even helped us change the advice we give in the future. It's pretty incredible that this show has, has gone on for 400 episodes and I am so grateful to everyone who has made that happen. And that's certainly in no small part is our audience
Speaker 2: was you And I used to sit around our offices at South Union Street and talk about wanting to do a show like this. We would talk about how
Speaker 2: the conversations that you and I got to have sitting around that office were so much fun and that if people could just see what that side of work at Emily Post was like, they would
Speaker 2: not have images of pinkies in the air and stuffy, uptight people that
Speaker 2: I think you and I firmly believe that consideration, respect and honesty are important to a great, great, great many people and that the more we can talk about that and share that and
Speaker 2: build a discussion and a community around those ideas and those principles and discussions that are those things
Speaker 2: that that would have value and that that would be something worth sharing and to find an audience that agrees with us, I think has been a real treasure, has been an experience in my life that I really value. And
Speaker 2: we used to say on this show all the time, thank you so much. There would be no show without you to you, our audience and I want to say that again today, thank you so much without you. There would be no awesome etiquette and
Speaker 2: I think that there is a place in this world for awesome etiquette, I think it's something that we can all use and I really appreciate 400 episodes. So thank you so, so, so much.
Speaker 1: Thank you audience and
Speaker 1: thank you audience for listening
Speaker 2: today and thank you to everyone who sent us something and everyone who supports us on patreon.
Speaker 1: Please connect with us and share the show with friends, family coworkers, someone you just met on the bus or walking down the street. However you'd like to share podcasts, you
Speaker 2: 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 2: on twitter. We are at Emily Post on instagram. We are at Emily Post Institute and on facebook were awesome etiquette and the Emily Post Institute.
Speaker 1: Please consider becoming a sustaining member of our 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 do consider leaving us a review. It helps our show ranking which helps more people to find awesome etiquette. Our
Speaker 2: show is edited by Kris Albertine. An assistant produced by Bridget Dowd.
Speaker 2: Thanks thanks Brigitte
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