Margie Kelly’s Answers to FAQ
Q. What is proper cell phone etiquette?
A. Stop sharing personal information in close proximity with others. The woman in the check out line may be the sister or mother of the person you’re lambasting. Give people your full attention. Do not take calls during meals, meetings or appointments. If it’s extremely important, advise that you may get a call and then excuse yourself to take the call. Use your cell phone only where it’s allowed, keep calls private and do not yell. Please hang up and drive. The likelihood of your having an accident goes up by 400% if you’re talking on the phone.
Q. When should we start working with our children’s manners?
A. I’m fascinated by the baby sign language that our grandsons have learned. Before these boys could speak, they had learned how to sign their thanks. Last week I heard a 2 ½ year old state that saying “Yeah” is impolite. Start early. Be consistent and set a good example.
Q. Do the rules of etiquette ever change?
A. Yes, they do change. Please let me give you an example. Years ago men never shook hands with a woman in a business or social situation unless the woman offered her hand first. This is no longer the case. Today the man or woman may initiate the handshake. And women do shake hands with each other in meeting, greeting and in parting.
Q. I forgot someone’s name. What do I do?
A. If you extend your hand while stating your name to this person, he might share his own name. That system occasionally backfires. Be honest. Tell this person you’re drawing a blank…. Saying “I recognize your face, but forgive me because I just can’t remember your name” is a far more proper than pretending. Work on your meet and greet skills for name recall.
Q. Someone ate my roll off my bread plate…What do I do?
A. First of all stop whining. Your dining partner did not know about BMW. That’s when you visualize your place setting: bread is on the left, the meal is centered and water is set to your right. Do without the roll this time or when the bread is offered again, place the roll on your dinner plate.
Q. What’s the most common mistake people make when dining?
A. When you eat a roll, break one bite at a time. Butter it and eat it bite by bite.
Q. I despise name tags. Do I have to wear one at functions where they stop you and slap one on your good suit?
A. Nametags do have their uses but I appreciate your dismay. A peel and stick nametag can ruin some clothing. There are alternative types with magnetic strips and no glue. People don’t write their name legibly so the tag is useless. The host should’ve pre-printed the tags in clear, large typeface. The tag…and especially the lanyard type…ends up around a person’s chest or waistline. People need to place nametags properly. That’s high on the right shoulder so your eyes move from their eyes to their nametag when shaking hands.