A bunch of family is meeting for lunch. I feel compelled to bring a hostess gift. Should I? [more inside]
If you normally wear prescription glasses, when do you wear sunglasses instead? Do you wear them when you go outside and switch when you go indoors? Do you wear them only when driving? Do you carry both pairs around with you? Please explain the nuts and bolts of wearing sunglasses (and glasses) to me. [more inside]
Please recommend an appropriate gift for a professor from an auditing (ie, non-credit and ungraded) student. [more inside]
I'm a bit of an etiquette buff. Not that I follow all the rules, but I'm intrigued by what "the rules" are. I was wondering though if there were etiquette books or blogs that address really modern issues. [more inside]
After reading this WSJ article about two types of responders to the work-life balance (the "integrators" who mix up work time and home time, and the "separators" who try to draw a line between the two), I realize that I fall firmly into the first camp. I often write emails at midnight or later, after the kids are asleep and the house is quiet. But is this unfair to the recipients of my late-night messages? [more inside]
I have hard time meeting people. While driving for lyft, I am very professional and have good reviews and at times I strike up a nice conversation with the riders especially women and feel like getting to know more about the girl(about 5% of time). But I chicken out in the end and just stay professional, wondering if it would be appropriate to ask a girl her number, or if she has a bf etc. Is it okay to ask people out? If so, how you do it without sounding weird? what is a good exit strategy if it doesn't work out?
Next week I'll spend several days together with clients from Shanghai coming to Europe for a project we are producing for them. As it's the first time we are working for a Chinese client (specifically: an advertising agency and their client), it would be great to know in advance any specific business etiquette (beyond usual international practice), and any relevant cultural pointers to keep in mind during our work together during the day, and dinners (that we will be offering) during the evenings. [more inside]
I sent an email to someone with questions about a job listing they posted. Their reply said that the position is still open, but they are on the road and would write back next week. I replied "Great – talk to you then!" It is now six days later. I want to say, hey, are you back yet? but without sounding badgering or unprofessional. What's a good way to say this? This person and business is not formal, so formality is not necessary, just politeness and professional-style respect.
I am unsure if I should invite my coworkers to my baby shower - the dilemma - I live 2,000 miles away from the office. [more inside]
My wife has started doing some freelance writing, and her first story will be published in tomorrow's edition of our local newspaper. Yay! Unfortunately, someone in the editorial chain made several errors, including misspelling a simple word in a section they (poorly) rewrote, and misspelling the name of one of the subjects of the story in several of the photo captions. They also rewrote another portion into a bunch of short, choppy sentences that totally ruin the flow of the article. How should she respond? [more inside]
In a middle-of-the-road restaurant (i.e. not upscale, but not fast food), is it or is it not okay to leave a bunched-up, used tissue on a finished plate, alongside a bunched-up napkin, leftover food scraps and used cutlery?
I am responsible for introducing (in English) a number of honoured guests from Japan at an event in Canada. I am looking for the appropriate English honorifics (His Excellency, Her Honour, etc) for some specific government officials, as well as some general honorifics. [more inside]
Yesterday I was minding my own business, working on my laptop in a "McCafe", when someone approached the table and handed me a sketch (portrait of me) they had drawn. I thanked him and complimented the drawing. But how would you react? [more inside]
I am currently living in Austria, where it is typical for people entering a semi-public space (e.g. doctor's office, barber shop) to greet the entire room and receive a greeting back. What is the appropriate response when greeted with "salaam alaikum" (selamün aleyküm)? [more inside]
A friend just lost her baby in the second trimester of pregnancy. She's invited me to the funeral. I want to go to support her. I cannot imagine the pain she's going through. But I'm 8 months pregnant and all is going fine. Would this be upsetting for her? [more inside]
I'm a native U.S. English-speaker, they might not have been. I've twice been at U.S. job interviews where I haven't been able to understand my interviewer; they had an accent and I couldn't tell what words they were saying, even after they slowed down and repeated. How should I handle this? [more inside]
Much to my pleasant surprise, today in the mail I received an invite from one of my oldest friends to his son's Bar Mitzvah celebration. They live thousands of miles away, I'm sure they don't expect me to make an appearance, but it seems . . . . . inadequate . . . . . to just check the "no" box on the RSVP card. More context below, but the TL;DR is -- what, if anything, would be an appropriate Bar Mitzvah gift for a young man that I barely know? Or should I just send a card to sort of the whole family? [more inside]
A wedding guest just told us that her plus-one has tricky dietary restrictions our caterer cannot handle. What are our obligations? [more inside]
A friend of the family is dying, and soon. She was diagnosed recently with cancer and given days to live. She is in her home and aware, but under hospice care. Rather than send flowers when she's dead I thought I should send them now while she is alive to know we are thinking of her. What should I put in the card? I'm leaning towards just "Thinking of you" and our names. Any better suggestions for the card?
On public transit, do you feel threatened about people holding devices with cameras in such a way that they could potentially be taking pictures or recording? Do you feel pressure about how you hold your own camera-capable devices? This is more of a general question, but details about why I became curious are as follows. [more inside]
The other day, I was driving home from work and an ambulance was coming up from behind. I didn't pull over because it didn't seem useful, a nearby motorcyclist chewed me out through my open window: "You're supposed to pull over when there's an ambulance!!" Due to the not-so-snowflakey details inside, I'm struggling to understand what the right thing to do would've been. [more inside]
I left a job recently, and there's a former co-worker who keeps contacting me. [more inside]
How do playdates generally work for 8-year-olds? In particular, do you have any specific activity or game suggestions? What is playdate etiquette? Any tips for very introverted parents? (Location: U.S.) [more inside]
I recently had an iv line inserted by a delightful technician who was wonderful in every way except that she put on her gloves and then rubbed her nose and then proceeded to insert the line. How could I have asked her to change her gloves without causing offense? [more inside]
Okay, I feel a bit goofy asking this question...but here goes! I just got back from my trusty nail salon. For the second time this winter, the nail polish on my toes was completely destroyed on the brief 10-minute walk home from the salon. Any advice on keeping polish looking nice when open-toed shoes aren't seasonally appropriate? [more inside]
What's the commonly acceptable etiquette on reimbursing someone when you back out of a trip? [more inside]
So I have what must be a fairly common name, and I get mail for other people with my name fairly regularly because I got lucky and landed "firstname.lastname@example.org" a long time ago. This is usually not a big deal, but today I got a subscription confirmation email from a porn site that one of the other people with my name probably signed up for. Anybody have any idea what the etiquette here is, and how to maybe avoid this kind of annoyance in the future? [more inside]
My academic and professional references have asked me to keep them informed of what jobs I'm applying to, both so that they have a heads-up, and so that they can let me know if they've been called. I haven't been very good at doing this consistently because I don't know how to phrase that email. [more inside]
A friend from another country, but now legally in the US, is applying for medical residencies. He was told by a classmate to thank the various people who have interviewed him for residencies by sending a thank you card. What kind of card? Or is a short letter better? Mefite MDs, what do you think?
My direct manager is having an open house / work-related party tonight (the 30th) and he has invited me and most of the department. We are planning on bringing a small 'host' gift, i.e. flowers or chocolates. Since it is so close to Christmas my wife thinks that we should also bring a small gift for each of my manager's two children (~6 and ~2 years old). I'm unsure whether this would be seen as 'sucking up' or if this is a good idea. [more inside]
I work for a local government. I am in the equivalent of a general counsel position in the private sector. I am receiving around 200 emails every day. I estimate I actually should receive about 50 of these. I don't mind getting emails I need, but I want to stop being CC'ed unnecessarily and asked mundane questions. How do I cut down on the flow of unnecessary email without becoming the dragon lady from legal? [more inside]
I need to notify someone's online contacts that they passed away. Complications below. [more inside]
I go to a no-tip hair salon. I do not see the owner. Is it appropriate to give a cash tip for Christmas?
Can you tell me about your experience with shared or "communal" tables at restaurants or coffee shops? Where are they common? Can you point me to any research, analysis, or good commentary about them? [more inside]
I have some craft and design projects I'd like to create with *quality* scrap hardwood, *quality* scrap leather, and game animal skulls/teeth/other bones. The bigger the wood/leather scraps the better. Other than Etsy suppliers, where are the best places in my community to try to look for these things and get them for little to no cost? [more inside]
That's it really. I live near a large, park-like cemetery and I'm wondering about the etiquette of walking my dog there. It's a modern, suburban cemetery which is quite, um, active. If I were to take my dog there, he would be leashed at all times and if I saw a funeral actually occurring I would keep far away. Would if be upsetting if a person was at the cemetery to visit the grave of a loved one and they saw me casually walking the dog as if it were any other place?
My 87 year old Mother likes to help in my office. She is healthy, but frail. Should I mention to clients that I don't want them coming in to see me when they are sick and that I would prefer they have a flu shot? Is there some sort of proper business etiquette for this? Thanks. I'm in casual California, if that helps.
How can I become a more polite driver on the road? I try my best and usually succeed at the basics--using turn signals, not cutting people off--but I still run into situations on a regular basis where 5 seconds later, I think, "Man, I was kind of a jerk there." How can I learn to be aware of these situations before the fact? [more inside]
I recently had a job interview at a perfect-for-my-current-circumstances employer. I thought the interview was okay but I could've done better. Didn't hear a peep for two weeks. I received an email this Tuesday asking if I could come in this Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday to interview for a different and higher-paying position. I'm looking for some advice on how to handle interview #2 tomorrow. Confusion & mitigating circumstances inside! [more inside]
What is the current day etiquette around maintaining and removing connections on LinkedIn? [more inside]
Several different Twitter users with accounts showing female faces have followed me on my Twitter account with the same line - so, what's this about? [more inside]
(ugh.) Friend B from this post is getting married next month, and I don't want to go. Or I do want to go, to support her fiance and be with old friends. But I don't want to celebrate her in any way. How do I proceed and keep my dignity? [more inside]
I was raised with the expectation that men's hats* MUST come off when entering a building.** This does not appear to be true any longer, or at least isn't true for baseball caps. What's the consensus on leaving a baseball cap on or taking it off? For context, I have explained the exceptions to the rules as I was lead to understand them under the cut, and if it matters I am a 30-year-old white guy living in a city, and I'm looking for the casual-hat rules, not the formal-hat rules. [more inside]
When I'm on the (cell) phone with another person, and I'm not able to hear what they are saying clearly, I get stuck. For persistent low-quality voice calls (i.e. when "can you talk a little louder" isn't the solution and "can you repeat that?" doesn't help), what can I do or say that doesn't make me look like an incompetent, impatient jerk? [more inside]
I love wearing hats. I have many: fedora, bowler, newsboy, boater, summer straw, cowboy, porkpie . . . . How can I make best use of my suave accessories? [more inside]
A friend is having a 2-day wedding to a man whom only one of the 4 of our invited group has met, in a location that's an expensive pain in the butt to get to, and will make us all late for work Monday. None of us really want to go. Are we horrible people? [more inside]
I'd like to give an inexpensive token of thanks to each of around 40 people. They are physicians and nurses who are helping on a project. It needs to be something I can get quickly, travel with easily, and ideally no more than $4 US. My ideas so far are Amazon gift cards or Starbucks gift cards. What token gift would you like to receive if you were one of them?
One of my favorite colleagues has a cat, and it is dying. She is just waiting on tests to come back from the vet so they can decide if palliative care is an option or not. I'd like to do something nice to let her know that I'm thinking of her, but need ideas that won't memorialize me as "That girl who did that crazy thing in a misguided attempt to nice." Also looking for a sanity check - if this is a bad idea, please say so (and why). [more inside]
Indians of me-fi: is it commonly accepted etiquette that splitting a restaurant bill with Indian parents is an insult? [more inside]
So, I've jumped into online dating. It's going oddly better than expected, such that I now have a couple etiquette questions: 1) how do I politely turn down a request for a second date? He seems like a kind person and I'd like to avoid hurting his feelings inasmuch as possible, but I wasn't quite feeling that spark of attraction. Is there some equivalent of Miko's breakup talk for this that will help here, something clear but gentle? Also... [more inside]