Difficulty level: Dutch/Canadian/Australian. Mr Fish and I are getting married in July. A lot of Mr Fish's Canadian family are coming, and this is my first time meeting a lot of them. We absolutely do not expect gifts but we're already getting questions about registries. Do international registries exist? [more inside]
I need to back out of a project that (thankfully) hasn't started yet--how do I write an email that doesn't sound flaky or weasel-y, and ideally lets me keep my client? [more inside]
I am getting married in the middle of July 2014, and have a link to our gift registries on our wedding website. We sent out "Save the Date" cards in January that had the URL for our website printed on it. So it is now the end of February, and we are already starting to receive giant parcels of food processors and other household items which we have put on our registry. Should we wait until after our wedding to start using these items, or should we treat these items in the same way one would treat a wrapped Christmas gift, and wait until the actual event for which these gifts were purchased for has transpired? What's the normal etiquette for a thing like this?
Cross-country skiing on trails also used by snowmobiles: Apart from common courtesy and common sense, is there any etiquette that I should be aware of? [more inside]
This weekend, I'm going to have a home infusion nurse in my house for approximately 4 hours a day while I'm hooked up to an IV. This process is going to repeat every 4-5 weeks indefinitely, to treat an autoimmune condition. What do I do with her? [more inside]
I work in a co-working space with folks who all have their mobile ringers turned on with the shrill "rotary phone" ringtone turned all the way up. Please help me write an email to solve this. [more inside]
I live in a big city and am a part of a group of 10 or so women whose babies are all turning 1 in and around the same month. At best, I would say the majority of these women are acquaintances, people who it's been nice to spend time with on weekdays while on maternity leave, but who I may not see after that. The birthday party invites are starting to come out and we are being invited to many of the family parties. Problem is, for my babies birthday we intend to have a small gathering of family and a handful of very close friends and maybe a couple of the women from the group who I've become close with. Would it be appropriate to write the group and indicate that we are having a small party for family only and tell the two women I'm inviting not to mention their invites? Should I suggest to the group that we do the birthday equivalent of a Secret Santa to save us from buying 9 presents for the other babies? I should add that I am currently unemployed and a bit concerned about the expense of gifts for all of the babies. Thoughts and any suggestions to navigate this?
How can I set up Facebook from scratch with minimal spam/leakage into other accounts and minimal leakage from/to people I don't know? [more inside]
At a restaurant, if I'm not tipping on my card (either because I've left cash or because someone else is leaving the tip), is it better to make a note of this or just leave the tip line blank? [more inside]
My husband and I are disagreeing about check writing and cashing etiquette. [more inside]
We're going to a gig tonight that is massively sold out … and we're on the guest list. Are guest lists completely at the whim of the venue, or are there general guidelines that apply to most venues? We want to enjoy the show, but don't want to be “that guy” who ruins it for those nearby. [more inside]
I had a first interview for a job today. Before I left, they said they wanted me to come back next week for a second interview (yay!). I sent a thank you email when I got home after the interview. I'm usually in the habit of sending a snail mail note after a first interview (it has secured a second interview in the past) but with a second interview already planned should I send the snail mail note this time around? Or save that for after the second interview? Thanks in advance for your advice.
Is tagging OK when you want to make sure that specific people will see (or, at least, be notified about) a specific post? Even if it would mean tagging about 20-30 people... [more inside]
After years of saving and planning, I've been able to realize my dream of traveling the world for a year. I'm 6 months into my trip and I've been posting photos or updates about where I am in the world on facebook about 2 or 3 times a week. While many people have expressed appreciation for the updates or interest in what I'm doing, I've noticed about 7-10 friends who used to interact with me all the time on FB and real life have totally stopped liking/commenting/sending messages although they're still very active on the site. I kind of suspect some of them have blocked me from their timelines. I know not everyone will have an opportunity like this and I try to be sensitive to that. I'm not preachy about "the importance of travel", or posting pics of 5 star hotel rooms and fancy restaurants (I'm doing this as cheaply as possible, mostly hostels in developing countries and couchsurfing.) At the same time I LOVE seeing others' travel pics and, well, want to share some of the exciting, amazing things I'm experiencing with people in my life. But some people seem put off by this, so I'm wondering - am I being a jerk? What's the etiquette here?
A friend of mine (let's call her "Sarah") came over for dinner at my flat last week. Some way through the meal (just after the first bottle of wine was finished) she told us that her partner had recently been tested for a very serious medical condition. She then said that she "hadn't intended to talk about it". She will have recently received the results of this test, and I'm wondering whether it's appropriate to ask her what the result of the test was. I care a lot about Sarah and her partner (who is an incredibly warm and wonderful person), but I don't want to intrude. On the other hand, I don't want to be unsupportive. A few details are below the fold. [more inside]
I'm about to finish my PhD this coming Spring in the U.S., and although the funding I received was specifically for creating "practitioners" I'd actually like to sharpen my research and publication skills via a post-doc. The thing is, most researchers in my area are in the U.K. How do I introduce myself to them? [more inside]
My partner and I got married a few months ago, and now we are receiving Christmas cards from people who had not sent us any before. Why? [more inside]
My SO applied for, was interviewed for, and subsequently was offered an academic post (lectureship). Some stuff just wasn't right from the outset, and all the contact with the department made it clear that it's not the right place to be working. Please help us to say 'no thanks' correctly. [more inside]
Usually I think of sending flowers when I won't be able to attend a funeral. I will be attending one this week, for a pretty close relative, and another relative asked me to go in on some flowers. Is it customary to send flowers even if you're attending? This is in the US.
Suppose two adverse parties meet in a formal legal setting (for instance, suppose plaintiff is being deposed and defendant shows up to observe). Should the parties shake hands? Would it be rude if one of the parties doesn't want to shake hands? I certainly appreciate that the lawyers or other representatives of the parties should shake hands, but what (if any) are the customary duties of civility with respect to hand-shaking between adverse parties themselves? Is it necessary, or is a grim-but-civil "How do you do?" statement between parties enough? (Or is this simply a huge plate of beans that I'm overthinking?) I guess my own view is that there is significant tension between the basic duties of civility between any two members of society and the hostile behavior or insult that has created a lawsuit.
Here's the thing: I don't have a land-line. Over Thanksgiving, my mother got upset at the thought that she couldn't reach me late at night if there were some kind of emergency - the dreaded "3 am phone call." I understand her worry, but I'm feeling very resistant to the idea of keeping the phone on at night. In part, this because I know that most of the calls I'll get will just be annoying and unwanted (I have a fairly severe telemarketing issue) but I think there is also a kind of psychological resistance. I'm a slave to my phone already for all these hours of the day, and it feels good to know it won't be bothering me while I'm sleeping. I'm reluctant to give that up. Can you help me sort through these issues? [more inside]
Given that many people are divided about Google Glass, with some people especially resistant to even the idea of someone wearing them, how, when and what would be appropriate for someone wearing them? I'd especially like to hear feedback from people who are averse to the concept. [more inside]
Some friends are throwing us a wedding reception and have requested "no gifts" on the invitation. Can I somehow ask them to change that or is that just the done thing now? [more inside]
How to respond to a self invite for a vacation? [more inside]
My stepsister is getting married this Saturday, a stepsister who has always presumed closeness to everyone in her stepfamily. I do not like her very much for reasons that are not relevant here. I am a bridesmaid in the wedding. She e-mailed all of the bridesmaids and in the same e-mail about our jewelry, mentioned that they'd be making time for speeches during the rehearsal dinner while the band is on a break (yes! There's a band at the rehearsal dinner, which is a whole other story...). She asked for us to let her know if anyone was interested in giving a toast. Should I? [more inside]
What is the parental etiquette for when someone's kid comes to your door trying play with your kid, you tell them no, we're having dinner, and kid essentially won't take no for an answer and tries to continue to get into your house? What is the best way to redirect said kiddo from this behavior again if I can't say anything to her parents? [more inside]
I'm scheduled to meet over coffee with a potential employer. What's considered good etiquette in this situation? How should I be prepared? [more inside]
My mental health took a crash and I need to postpone a job interview I have scheduled this week. How can I do it / how should I word it? [more inside]
My husband and I are in the process of adopting a dog. Based on online profiles and email conversations with foster families, we've got it narrowed down to two pups that have been fostered through two local rescue groups. Now we are scheduling in-person meetings with the dogs and "home visits" where they send a volunteer to make sure our house is ok for a dog. Should we be telling each group that we are deciding between two dogs, which we're meeting on Thursday and Friday? [more inside]
We met with a potential wedding reception venue today to get a quote, and the owner suggested that we can invite some people just to the party after the ceremony and dinner. From a cost cutting perspective that sounds awesome. But is it just too squicky, etiquette-wise? [more inside]
Is it too early - or is it a jerky move - to ask friends if they got a wedding gift I sent six weeks ago? [more inside]
My grandfather is likely to die within the next few months. I am trying to figure out how, when it comes to that point, to inform people of the time of the funeral and the shiva, because I do not want to have to think about this when he dies. I do not want to phone or text anyone except two or three of my close friends. How do I inform other people? [more inside]
When people call my cell phone and don't leave a voicemail, I tend not to call them back. Should I? Is there a pervasive cultural expectation of which I am unaware that one is obligated to return missed calls? [more inside]
After a slow, sad decline over the past decade, one of my best friend's much beloved grandmother has passed away. While I never met her ouma in person my friend has often shared stories of her life, the things she had taught her and more recently the sorrow of her drawn out illness and her fears for the future as it became clear she didn't have very long left in this world. My question is: is it appropriate for me to attend the funeral service this coming week? [more inside]
Had a great first date with a woman who seems pretty busy. She cancelled our second date, asked for a rain check, and I haven't heard from her since. What's the etiquette here? [more inside]
Okay, so mini me was born over 7 months ago and I spent a fair bit of money printing lovely birth announcements with matching thank you cards. Then, of course, I neglected to ever send them and now have no idea what the polite/appropriate thing to do is. [more inside]
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]