I'm a stickler for thank you notes. I send them promptly (within a few days to a week). A big reason I like to send them promptly is so that the giver knows I received the gift and that it didn't get lost in transit. I do wonder, though, if I should also call or text the giver immediately (and sometimes I do). My question: is it ever rude NOT to acknowledge receipt of a mailed gift immediately - by phone, text, or email - when a mailed thank you note is imminent?
"Thank you in advance." This is a phrase that annoys me. Should it? [more inside]
I hate responding to small-talk interrogations. I'm a private person, and I just don't feel ok with giving relative strangers answers to personal-feeling questions, even though the questions themselves may be fairly innocuous. I also get confused and flustered when people ask me a lot of questions, and I will make mistakes, even though they are about me. How can I avoid answering these kinds of questions? [more inside]
When should a restaurant bill be split evenly between all parties? [more inside]
I've recently had occasion to take a multi-hour drive with someone who who very consistently drove in a matter that felt very dangerous to me. There was a lot of tailgating, sudden lane changing, and more than a few last-second turns. I sat quietly in the back seat. [more inside]
Little Llama's grandfather takes care of her for a few hours after school some days, before me or Mr. Llama get home from work. What are some sensitive, deft ways to get your beloved family member childcare provider to go home at the end of the day? [more inside]
A quick question about Korean culture and receiving gifts. [more inside]
Over last weekend I spent a whole bunch of time with a lovely woman--dinners, picnics, walks, wine under the stars etc. These weren't explicitly dates, but it all seemed pretty romantic. At the end of the evening on Saturday and Sunday we had these awkward pauses when my insecurities and my desire to--give a goodnight kiss? Express my attraction? Or something--were warring. I don't know what she was thinking but it was awkward on both sides. Now I won't see her for a month. Do I email her and explicitly say that I'm interested? [more inside]
I have emailed a professor about volunteering in her lab and, propitiously for me, she said that she'd be happy to give me this opportunity and will be in contact with me in September. Where do I go from here? [more inside]
I've been invited to sub-contract on a proposal by a friend/colleague who works for a larger firm that's putting in the bid. While my role would only be related to one specific piece of the overall project, I'm reading the draft of the whole proposal, and I think the document needs significant polishing. Can I tell my friend/colleague? How to approach it? Snowflakes -> [more inside]
I am not a regular strip club attendee, so when I went to one today I had an unusual experience that I don't know if it was normal, and if it is how others handle it. It's NSFW and embarrassing, so details inside. [more inside]
What is the proper way to carry a furled umbrella? [more inside]
So my fiance and I broke up recently. While a lot of the people in our community know, I continue to encounter situations in which I'm asked, "How's your fiance?" or "What's new with you?" I want them to know so they stop asking me. But if I say, "Actually, we broke up" their face falls and we enter a very awkward conversation full of forced empathy neither of us want to be in. What can I say in a sentence or two to avoid this fate? [more inside]
Our friend gave us a loathsome housewarming gift, and we are in an etiquette bind! [more inside]
So from what I understand you're supposed to do it zig-zag style, especially in a nice restaurant - fork-stab with your left hand, cut with your right hand, then switch fork to your right hand and eat. I don't do that. [more inside]
How do we politely decline children's clothes? [more inside]
I'm in the process of interviewing mid-senior level candidates and would like to let them know when they are not making it to the next level in the process. If you were a job hunter in this situation what would you want to hear while being turned down for further consideration? I'm looking for an email script! [more inside]
I'm afraid I don't understand the ways of the barbershop. Perhaps you can help? [more inside]
Facebook Filter: Possibly beanplating the etiquette of birthday wishes on social media. Details within. [more inside]
I have looked at other long-distance breakup questions, but mine has additional complications. We are semi-long distance, they have a car and I do not. In order to get to their place I take a train, they pick me up at the station, then it's a twenty minute drive from the station town through a rural area to his town. Cabs are extremely scarce and generally unwilling to travel between towns. How should I do this? [more inside]
At the behest of a third-party acquaintance, I'll be visiting the house of someone I don't know, to see a Cool Thing that's relevant to my interests. What (if anything) is an appropriate gift to bring along in these circumstances? [more inside]
I frequently get asked for information or asked to answer questions that I have already provided/answered in a previous email. This is time-consuming. How best to deal with this? [more inside]
I am a pre-med student, and have been shadowing lots of doctors lately. When I finish shadowing, I usually write a thank you note to the doctor, and to the staff in the office where I've been shadowing (basically thanking them for being welcoming while I'm in their work space). How should I address the notes I'm writing for this most recent shadowing, where a Nurse Practitioner is also in the office? [more inside]
I went "no contact" with my birth family years ago, but I will have to see and likely interact with all of them for the first time since then at my sister's wedding, which is happening soon. How can I make sure that I can ably address whatever might come up with ease and clarity? I am not looking to re-establish any sort of regular communication with them at all, I am just trying to figure out how to gracefully handle encountering them at a single event. [more inside]
We no longer need our dog walker's services. How much notice is enough? [more inside]
Something very strange happened to me yesterday, and I'm trying to figure out whether this sort of behavior was an individual quirk or if I've run afoul of some obscure but very strong taboo. More detail inside, but basically I asked somebody to step aside by tapping her shoulder and she ended up shouting at me and slapping me several times with both hands on my shoulder. I don't understand quite what happened there. [more inside]
Imagine you are in 19th century Britain and sharing a cocktail and a cigar with some upper crust gentlemen. What are some subtle actions that, while not essentially rude in nature, would still come across as a huge faux pas or violation of etiquette in that time period, specifically among the wealthy? I'm more interested in actions performed incorrectly, rather than spoken statements which are unintentionally offensive.
Early last week, I had a meeting where there were two people from my organization, and three people from an organization we're hoping to work with in the near future. At the end of the meeting, we agreed on a future date/time for our next meeting. The following day, I emailed everyone in attendance, with (our shared impression of) the date/time/location of our next email in the second sentence of the email. Today, it became clear that everyone on their side of the meeting thought it was supposed to happen today, and I thought it was happening tomorrow. How should I respond? [more inside]
I'm from an immigrant family and I have never really learned American social customs. Reading the comments on recent etiquette questions has made me realize that I lack an understanding of unwritten social rules that most people take for granted. [more inside]
My brother Just got engaged. I'm trying to come up with a good present for him (and more importantly) his wife-to-be. [more inside]
In a few days I will be attending my grandmother's funeral in the south. While I love her very much, we were never particularly close. Based on my past experiences with these situations, I know myself well enough to know that I most likely won't be crying or even really upset at this funeral. Please help me prepare so I don't seem callous or further upset my grieving family. [more inside]
In a line of cars driving around a parking lot, waiting for a slot to open up, who is the bigger arsehole? [more inside]
Is it okay to ask guests not to take photos during our wedding ceremony? [more inside]
My downstairs neighbors are two of the sweetest people I know. They've done me many favors, from bringing food to inviting me for dinner to watching my cat. I would like to do something in return, but can't think of anything I could do that's equivalent to their generosity. [more inside]
Just called a friend with a severed tendon to see how his visit to the doctor went and he was still in the exam room. He said he had to get off the phone because there was a sign saying "no cell phones in exam room." I'm wondering why the sign is there. He was alone at the time, waiting for the doctor to return. Is the rule due to an equipment issue, or is it because of doctors being annoyed by rude patients talking on cell phones while the doctor is examining them, or something else?
I made a dinner faux pas that I would like to get input on how to handle afterwards. [more inside]
How important is having a .com suffix to the perceived legitimacy of a website? How does it affect traffic/success, etc? Does holding onto .com as the ideal make sense in this world of domain squatters? Can we make a list of good and bad choices?
I'm about to quit my job. I'm becoming increasingly aware that this is going to come as a huge surprise to my boss and coworkers. Should I have been dropping hints? [more inside]
Help me, etiquette mavens of AskMe! Fiance and I are in the midst of planning a wedding for this fall, but we just found out that he's losing his health insurance soon. How ok is it to have a courthouse ceremony now, but still hold a "real" wedding in the fall? [more inside]
My wife and I were writing a brief thank-you note to some friends, and she was helping to edit. I then signed it off as 'Arandia & Wife' -- only my wife says that it should be 'Wife & Arandia', since *I* wrote the letter and it is coming from my email address. [more inside]
We have dinner plans with a couple (A & B) they're calling in just under 2 hours. I woke up today with a stinking cold. It's got worse all day. I feel crap and I'm not looking forward to a night in a loud restaurant, shouting cos my ears are blocked, and blowing my nose every minute. But my SO hates cancelling plans, and doesn't want to go out with the other couple without me as he'll feel "like a gooseberry" (even though he's known A for 20 years, and they're very sweet, nice people). I'm begrudgingly going to make myself go. Then it dawned on me - is it actually ruder to turn up with the cold and probably pass it on to them (as we're sharing a taxi there and I'm at the constant sneezing/sniffling stage), or just to cancel? [more inside]
I'm using Tumblr for the first time (link in profile) and posting lots of quotes (as 'text') every day. I don't want to spam people or muck up their dashboard, so please enlighten me about bad or annoying things people do on Tumblr so I can learn from their mistakes.
Is this a normal amount of time to expect to wait when YOU'RE BLEEDING IN THE DAMN BRAIN?! [more inside]
What are the best ways to politely decline people on internet dating sites? [more inside]
In a dating scenairo, when a girl respond to a guy's request for a date with a nonspecific "maybe some other time," does it actually means "No"? [more inside]
I usually over tip--22-25 percent. But I was confused about something that happened tonight. I went to a new bar, kind of a renovated dive, with a friend. We both ordered cocktails, I ordered a charchturie (sp) platter and he ordered a pizza. My food came right away, and both of our drinks came quickly. The bar was empty for our first drinks, but was filling up quickly. We ordered a second drink. The bar was filled with people that the bar tender seemed to know. The second drink came. No sign of pizza, it was more than an hour at this point. We remind the bartender, who is also the server twice. He finally says, five minutes, and five minutes later, the pizza comes. This would have been 90 minutes. No offer to comp the food, no apologies, but the food was really good, the drinks were strong, and I would like to go back...I tipped 4 on a 32 bill, after tax. They also split the bill in a weird manner. My friends kind of shy, so I took his lead, and didn't complain. How much should I have tipped? Should I have complained? Should I go back to complain? What's the protocol here?
I had an interview a week ago with an HR person and was told the company would be in touch soon, they liked my resume, etc. Since then... nothing much. I know who my next interviewer would be. Would there be anything weird about... emailing them and asking for an interview? Or should I wait?
What are your thoughts about the closing "Fondly," -- is it a little weird? [more inside]
My preschooler is getting just old enough to have a proper social life (playdates, birthday parties, etc.). I've got some specific questions about the parental etiquette expectations surrounding these kiddie get-togethers. [more inside]
Suggestions for nice things to do for the couples who are nice to you (especially when you're single and kind of broke)? [more inside]