All Articles Tagged "etiquette"
Amerie’s hit song “1 Thing” never gets old for me. The track applauds the one thing about a potential beau that is driving her crazy – in the right way. So much so, in fact, that it has her “trippin’.” We’ve all been there. Whether it’s the way someone laughs, walks, or speaks that turns us on, there’s always just that one thing about that special person. Unfortunately, sometimes the opposite is true, and there’s just one thing that annoys the hell out of us about the one we’re with, and that’s just no fun.
My sister-friend just started dating a guy six weeks ago that she really likes. He is intelligent, worldly and they have similar interests. He has a great job and is well established in his career. At 35, he is an anomaly. He has never been married and has no kids…
Read more at Essence.com
There are certain things one should and shouldn’t do on the job. As you spend more time among your peers than you do at home, it’s awfully tempting let your hair down and kick your feet up –but don’t fall into the trap! There are still major differences between your work and personal life. You can get fired from your job!
Do you know where the line of professionalism lies, or the type of office etiquette you should practice? Here are 10 do’s and don’ts to keep yourself in check.
Funerals are already difficult things for all to attend, especially the family or close friends of the deceased. But nothing makes thing worse (and stays as a negative memory for years to come) then when someone comes to the funeral and acts a damn fool. Whether they’re singing a song for the dead and CAN’T actually sing, telling a crude story as they recount what they consider a positive memory, or offering the worst words of support ever, you should do your best to be a positive yet QUIET support when you go to a funeral. Whatever you do though, just don’t get caught doing the following:
Issa Rae isn’t the only awkward black girl in existence. For years I’ve found myself in awkward situations and my latest socially awkward mishap came as a result of not knowing the proper protocol of addressing people correctly. Specifically, women who were a bit older than me.
Whenever I meet older women, in a professional setting and outside of work, I usually embark on a silent debate of whether or not to give them a pre-fix of Ms. If a woman appears 10 years older than me but less than 20, is it considered social suicide to put Ms. before her name? At what point is it acceptable to address her by her first name if she doesn’t ask me to, and am I unknowingly offending people by giving them an undeserving matronly title?
I know that even when you’re trying to be polite, calling someone “Ms.” can get a playful, but negative reaction (“OH NO! Please don’t call me that!”). And since some women have the tendency to be catty, it’s not unreasonable to assume that some folks are intentionally doling out titles that no one wants. I know I can’t help questioning the reasoning of any woman a few years younger than me that calls me “Ms.” anything. A five year age difference is hardly enough of a difference to warrant Ms. in front of my name, but are there any real hard and fast rules to know what age range determines when someone should or should not be addressed as such?
I just learned a colleague’s real age after several years of knowing her. I always assumed she was only a few years older than me, but it turns out that she’s old enough to be my mother’s age, and she just has extremely good genes. I’ve been calling her by her first name because I didn’t know she was so much older than me and now I’m wondering if calling her simply by her first name was disrespectful. She never corrected me and she never told me what she’d prefer I call her when we initially met, but now, knowing the vast age difference, I’m in an awkward position. Or maybe I’m overreacting?
I can avoid using her name altogether in many different situations by utilizing different monikers like “homegirl” or “sista.” Or I could listen intently as introductions are given and try to decipher if I heard her add Ms. before her name. Or, I could even ask her what she prefers to be called, but then again, being awkward as I initially stated, it hasn’t been my first thought. But what would you do? And how do you determine who you want to call “Ms.” and who you address by their first name? And how do you feel if and when someone pulls those two letters out on you?Ashley Brumeh is the creator of www.everythingelo.com a blog dedicated to Christ, culture, and everything in between.
It’s your first day and you’re worried about what to wear, all the new colleagues you’re going to meet, and the new assignments you’re going to get.
It’s only day one, so relax. Everyone will be there to welcome you to the team. However, there are some things you might want to avoid saying and doing right off the bat.
“When you see a coworker who looks like they’re having a bad day, now is not the time to ask 21 questions,” Black Enterprise advises. “Say hello, make small talk, and keep it moving.”
Indeed. For more on how to avoid the pitfalls of a new job, click through to BlackEnterprise.com.
Manners don’t take a break for the holidays. Even if nonstop boozy holiday parties make you lose your composure, your lunch, even your pants once or twice, there are some formalities that we can never do away with.
For that, we turned to our friend Stephanie Hunt, director of Swan Noir, a company specializing in etiquette classes and programs. Below are Hunt’s five etiquette rules for making it through the holiday season. Have you broken any yet?
1- Say “Thank you”
If the gift is not handed to you personally, do not forget to send a thank you email, call, or, even better, send a handwritten note expressing appreciation and discussing how you will use the gift. The point being, please do not let someone have to seek you out to make sure that you received their gift.
It is OK to roll with technology, just be creative and expressive. A “thx” text is not creative nor expressive. Most people just want to feel appreciated for the things they do for others, whether the gift is big or small. So, got a bright red sweater from Grandma? Tweet a pic of yourself to your network and send a pic to Grannie. Your smiling face wearing that sweater can be sweeter than words to some.
2- Giving Cash
To some who may be traveling or extremely busy at holiday time, it may be downright convenient to give cash. Should you give cash to someone who is unemployed? It depends on the relationship. Not everyone who is unemployed is strapped for cash. But, if you know the person is really suffering and doesn’t have much savings, by all means give cash. Gracefully, of course, no strings attached. Privately give a card with a caring message and cash inside if you think giving the cash gift in front of others will cause any embarrassment. You could always give anonymously as well.
3- Should we say Grace at the meal?
If you know that you will have a few guests of different faiths or some that are nonbelievers then you can preface Grace with, “If you wish to share in grace, please join me if you feel comfortable.” You can skip Grace and your guests can say what they are grateful for, or you can make a nonreligious statement thanking them for their friendship, love, or generosity.
4- Give a gift or a Tip? Here is the short list for who to tip and who should receive a gift during the holidays:
Tip- Doorman, Building super, Handyman, Paperboy ($10-$50 dollars)
Gift- Assistant, Teachers, Home health aide, Nanny, Day care staff (Stay away from intimate gifts. Gift cards are best. Or gifts made from your children are great for nanny’s and teachers)
Either a Gift or a Tip- Hair dresser, Dog walker, Trainer, Cleaning lady, Babysitter (One week’s pay or amount of one visit)
Keep the gift in its original packaging. The packaging shouldn’t be worn or torn, faded from sunlight, etc.
Never re-gift something broken, used, has a part missing or doesn’t work.
Never re-gift to the person who gave it to you.
Never re-gift something personal or intimate.
Never re-gift an item that is out of style or off the market.
Working on your fitness? Pat yourself on the back boo, because it takes a lot to find the time to hit the treadmill, the weights, or the elliptical rather than opting for the easy option to eat Cheetoes on the couch. Seriously, you’re a champ. However, as you get your body and mind right at the local fitness center, know that you can’t just walk up in that joint doing just anything and wearing just anything either. Too many get way too comfortable or use the gym experience as the opportunity to see how many numbers they can get. Hey, do what you do, but know that somebody (like me) is giving you the side eye if you do the following…
Maggie Kuhn, founder of the Gray Panthers, said once, Speak your mind-even if your voice shakes.
As a black woman in America, who according to one study is often shrouded in the cloak of invisibility, I always found this to be a powerful sentiment. Speaking your mind even if your voice shakes is more than about being opinionate. It’s about speaking up for your truth even in the face of others, who wish you passivity and deference. Socially, black women find themselves in an interesting place; when society speaks for women, they usually mean white women. And when they speak about blacks, the person envisioned is usually black men. And the only time that they speak of us is when there are questions about our hair and our love lives.
That’s why I feel that it is important that women, particularly black women, reject the notions of being a lady and construct our own version of womanhood. By definition, taken from Webster, a lady is defined as: A well-mannered and considerate woman with high standards of proper behavior; 2. a. A woman regarded as proper and virtuous. b. A well-behaved young girl. The key words are “proper” and “behaved.” And what exactly is expected of proper and well-behaved ladies? According to the advice I have heard throughout the years: Ladies don’t talk too loudly or brag about their accomplishments. Ladies are reserved, demure, regulated and ornamental. Ladies are never in bad moods or if they are, they keep it to themselves out of respect for others. Ladies are not supposed to ask too many questions. Instead ladies seek to be civil, good mannered and maintain their integrity and classiness at all time. And they certainly do not curse or use foul language because that is the ultimate breach in ladylike etiquettes.
Well to that I say fawk being a lady. I cannot tell you how many times unwillingness to accept a subordinate position in an effort to maintain ladylike qualities has been misconstrued as being “bitchy” and/or “aggressive.” But for every story I have about being called out of my name, I can tell you a story about how my “bitchiness” and “aggressiveness” managed to advance me in some regards – even if it was just down the street.
Like most construction projects in the city, the crew basically tore up portions of the street, put a bunch of orange cones and barriers up and then went home for 2 months. Anyway, I managed to turn the corner and maneuver my tiny economy car around this big gaping hole at the intersection and right turn onto a small side street when an oncoming car sped up all the way up to my front bumper and blew the horn. “Move back,” said the older white man in an SUV. Um, where am I supposed to move? “Don’t you see this construction behind me? Didn’t you see me driving around the construction? Don’t you see these other two vehicles behind me, impeding my ability to go in reverse? “Stop being a jerk and just move back!” The man grew more agitated and insistent, “Look lady, I’m not moving my car for you, you entitled little Beyotch. So you better figure out how you’re going to get through me or else move your car!”
Oh Sophia! “Well then you better get comfortable because I ain’t moving ish,” and then I leaned over to the passenger side, pulled out a bag of Frito Lay corn chips I had just gotten at the Wawa, split the bag opened and took one of the most defiant bites I have ever taken in my life. True Story. The image of me casually tearing up a bag of corn chips, like it is Sunday in the park, must have been too much for his sensibilities because he hopped out of his SUV and stormed over to my window. To which I responded by rolling up my windows. I’m not a dummy. He leaned in close to the window and yelled through the glass, “Your mother is an ignorant Beyotch, you know that?” The implication of course, is that my mother failed to teach me about respect and the proper manners to know that when a white man walks/drives into your path, you are suppose to step out of his way, curtsey and bid him a good day. Well you’re right, my mom didn’t teach me that. And because she didn’t, your behind is going to sit here. With no other recourse, at least legal one, the man got back into his vehicle and moved his vehicle back so that I could get through. As I passed he glared at me. I smiled and started humming the chorus to “We Shall Overcome…”
In his groundbreaking research paper, “Ladies or Loudies? Perceptions and Experiences of Black Girls in Classrooms,” Edward Morris argued that while black girls in a predominately minority school performed well academically and were less likely to create disruptions in classrooms; they were more likely to have their manners and behavior questioned by educators and perceived as negative. The reason, he asserts, is based upon a desire to have young black women assimilate to “prototypical White middle-class views of femininity,” which rejects assertiveness and rewards a certain level of docility and complacency. “Some tried to mold many of these girls into “ladies,” which entailed curbing behavior perceived as “loud “and assertive. Such an attitude and style within classrooms is not surprising when considering the historical experiences of most African American women, who have long struggled against race and gender oppression in ways that differ starkly from white women.”
But while Morris says that this compartmentalizing of black girl’s behaviors and manners has also meant that they are less restrained by the dominant, white middle-class view of femininity. As such, “Black girls’ constructions of femininity also led, in many cases, to a positive view of education, serious attention to schoolwork, and pride in academic achievement.” Through his research, Morris draws correlations between black girls’ high rate graduation and placement in AP classes and their ability to speak up and demand attention in class.
It is that virtue that we must hold on to – even in the face of not being considered well behaved and proper. It’s the only defense we have in a world which likes to interpret being black and being a woman as the essence of subordination. Our aggressiveness and ill-manners are how we level the playing field, to push for better pay, to stand up to and for the brothers, who can’t or won’t do it themselves. Yeah I can be polite but I won’t be proper. I like stylish things but prim for the sake of the standard of beauty is something I will not abide by. And yeah, at times I am subdued but you should never confuse that with being timid. So yeah, fawk being lady like. Well behaved women rarely make history.
I’m sure you read the title and just happen to be thinking, “slow news day?” right now. But seriously, I really want to know, because I got put in my place about it at church of all places and didn’t realize that this was a form of etiquette and that I wasn’t possibly minding my manners.
So while attending Sunday services a few weeks back, I was seated next to a woman who was the last person in our row, close to the main aisle. Because I got to church a little late, it was the best seat I could get, and it was close enough to the aisle that I could make a mad dash to the door once benediction was over. Score! Midway into the service, it was time for altar prayer, and while headed up there to hear the deacon say, “Jesus…Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. What’s his name? JESUS,” I was met with kind smiles and hands pulling me to get things off of my chest by talking to the Lord. But when I got to my seat and sat down, I was met with some disdain by the lady sitting next to me.
As the choir began to sing, and I walked past my pew neighbor with my butt in her face (not that close though) and with an “excuse me” sent her way. When I finally sat back down, she turned to me and said, “Dear, just so you know, when you walk past people to sit down, you shouldn’t put your backside to them like that.” She flashed me a quick grin and went back to listening to the choir. When I told my friend later what happened and asked if there was a right way to move past people, we both agreed that her etiquette lesson probably wasn’t all that necessary in the middle of church after I was in good spirits post-altar call. And oh yeah, butt is probably the best option. But then it made me think: what really is the right way to move past someone who is seated? Do I give them the crotch or the booty?
Both options aren’t that pretty either way. Give someone the butt and you can only hope that they’ll sit back and not be bothered, but give someone the crotch as you walk past and you run the risk of falling backwards and busting someone in the back of the head with your ample buttocks. Plus, how do you balance yourself when you’re walking…eh…crotch first? You have nothing to hold on to, and if you trip for some reason, the person you’re moving past will have another reason to have an attitude. It’s a lose-lose situation, but for years, booty first is probably the only way I’ve seen people move past one another in tight seated spaces. And in all honesty, if you don’t want my butt or my crotch in your face, why don’t you do us both a solid and stand up when I’m trying to move past you? Or at least help a sistah out and do the knee turn? As much as this woman wanted to set me straight about what I should have done when I came back from an emotional prayer, I could have told her to how nice it would have been had she made an effort to help me move through the pews without her knees pushing into my calves. But I didn’t. Why? Because it wasn’t that serious whatsoever, which is what I wish this woman would have realized. But hey, I did take a few things from her lesson. Maybe next time I move through a packed aisle at church, at an arena or a movie theater, I’ll be sure to get my flight attendant on and ask them what they’d like to view: Would you like a** or crotch today?
(Replace a** with booty in church of course…)
It may sound disgusting, but I have seen people clip their nails and floss their teeth at their desks. And these are just two no-nos, according to “9 Things To Never Do At Your Desk” in the HuffingtonPost. In fact, all hygiene issues should be done at home, though flossing in the bathroom is acceptable after lunch.
Workplace expert Susan Battley, of BATTLEY Performance Consulting, Inc., agrees. “ALL personal grooming activities, especially those involving air pollution such as hair spray and nail polish should be done at home,” she tells us.
Among the other don’ts: Have a problem with hubby? Don’t call him up and scream at him in your cubical. Wait until you get home to finish that argument.
And, says Battley, don’t start cursing people out on the phone — or in person. “Foul language and cursing are no-nos,” she says. “These are absolutely unprofessional and disrespectful under all circumstances.” Tell this to Damon Dash, who used to spit out curse word after curse work when he was running Rockafella with Jay Z.
You can keep your house as messy as you want, but your desk shouldn’t be a pigsty (check out our article on how to organize your workspace). Not only can a desk in disarray make it difficult to work, but it is an eyesore for you, your co-workers and clients who may venture into your area.
Also avoid talking bad about co-workers and customers. “Bad-mouthing peers, bosses or customers behind their backs. The temptation to do so can be strong when you’re frustrated or stressed and you’re right at your phone and computer,” says Battley. “You are likely to become regarded as a complainer, under-performer or untrustworthy of people’s confidences.”
So keep the nail clippers, the foul mouth and the floss at home.
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