Saturday, October 3, 2009

"So Rude" and Other Comments to Avoid by Using Etiquette

We think people would just naturally know how to respond to situations without offending another, but I guess the beauty of human beings is our variations. Take for example, etiquette. People have different responses to situations and many do not realize that one’s reaction to things do require a proper response and our lack of considering others really does have an effect on the impressions someone has on us. In some cases the responses to one’s lack of consideration is often, “How rude!”
How can we avoid someone thinking that we are rude? By following some simple etiquette guidelines:
1. E-vite.
This online personal invitation is a great tool. When you receive one, I recommend responding right away. If you don't know if you can go to the event then just reply “maybe” with an explanation you have to check your calendar or talk to your spouse or whatever it might be the reason. But here is the thing, reply something at some point the first week you receive it. The invitee can see each time you view the e-vite. What is really rude is when you view the e-vite a couple times and never respond. It makes the invitee think you are just checking to see who is coming which might determine your reply. Don't think the invitee can't see what is going on here. If you don't respond at all, I will just say, "How Rude."
Last February, my husband and I threw an open-house party showing off our fixer-upper home we had been hiding and working on for over a year. I was surprised how many guests didn't reply to the e-vite or who replied and didn’t show up or those who canceled last minute with no reason. We had a great party, but I was amazed at how many people didn’t reach back out to us. A non-reply gives me the impression that they do not care enough to reply. Here is the question: should we drop unresponsive guests from our e-vite list for future parties?

2. Ending a Conversation.
Ending a phone conversation gracefully is important. If you have been talking for the last ten minutes to a friend and the comrade has been listening all that time and then you say, "Well, I got to go, I'm late for my meeting," well that is not very nice to your friend. She/he wasn’t the one keeping you. You were doing the talk’n. Maybe at the beginning of the conversation express how much you love hearing from this person, but you have to go in ten minutes and you will call this person back at such and so time so the other can talk too. A good way to close a conversation without making the person feel bad for keeping you from something is just to say, "Thank you so much for calling. It was so good to hear from you. We'll have to touch base again soon." If the person then starts talking again and doesn't realize that you are closing the conversation, then say, "I would love to keep talking to you, but I have a meeting clear across town so I need to go. We'll talk again soon."
3. What NOT to do in the Office.
In Amy Vanderbilt's "Complete Book of Etiquette" she gave a list of things not to do in the office such as: (a) Don't eat at your desk. Eat in the break room. (b) If you do eat at your desk put a napkin over the key board and lap. (c) Don’t heat up leftovers in the office because of the odor stinks up the office and makes it seem unprofessional.
In our office, we fail each of those etiquette tips. We eat at our desk, no napkins draping over the keyboard, and yes we big time heat up leftovers and anyone who walks in the office has to smell it the rest of the day.
I do have a few things to add to the list to NOT do in the office (a) Talk with your mouth full. So disgusting. Yes there are some in our office that will take a bite and then start talking – not even trying to swallow or apologize for the behavior (b) Walk around the office eating. I can't even take a person serious when they are eating their sandwich as they walk from desk to desk. (c) Call out for a person from across the office and not even bother to get up and go to them (or use the phone), (d) Talk loudly from desk to desk across the office. (e) Walk around the office without their shoes on. These are a few of my office-behavior pet peeves.
4) Responding to E-mails and Voice Messages.
(a) Reply to e-mails within 24 hours. If you are having trouble with your e-mail going into trash or deleted folders, then check those folders daily to make sure you haven't missed an e-mail. (That is what happens to me, and yes sometimes I forget to check, but I sure try.) (b) Return phone message in 24 hours! If you are in a business and do not respond to e-mail or voice messages in a certain time period, then you may be considered incompetent and if you don't respond to personal correspondence you are just perceived as a person who does not care.
So let’s pick it up a bit and try and do our best by taking effort to be considerate to others.

What other etiquette guidelines can you think of that people should observe? What lack of etiquette or other behavior annoys you the most? Please share so we can all learn what NOT to do, because we don't want to be rude!

Here is an interesting article about etiquette written in the Australian newspaper (click here) and a blog called "Simple Etiquette" (click here).

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  1. Please put your phone down and don't text or check text messages while you are talking to someone! I see this from places of business to even the soccer field. I am not a big texter but I think that this can wait until you are done talking to the person in front of you.

  2. I agree with your etiquette suggestions. I don't ever want to forget these basic rules of etiquette. Thanks Sharon!

  3. these are good and I fail at alot of them! Yikes, now I will realize more how my unresponsiveness can be perceived as rude, and I never want to be perceived as rude! So thank you I need to respond to some e-vites and e-mails. :)

  4. I agree with the person who suggested not texting when talking to someone. In my opinion it's also rude to talk on your cell phone while you are checking out at a store. I try very hard to wrap up any conversation I may be having before I get to the checker. Also, if you had a bad day/night at home/work don't take it out on those you may be working with or serving at your place of business. We were in the town I grew up in last week visiting my cousin who was dying of cancer. My sisters, mom and 2 of our kids went to a local restaurant for breakfast. We were a party of 6. That waitress decided the moment we walked in that there was something she didn't like about us and proceeded to be the rudest waitress I have ever had. It was just amazing. Little did she know that my sisters are both former waitresses and huge tippers so she lost about $10 because of her attitude. Check your attitude at the door before you head in to work! And one last thing...DON'T text in the movie theater - it is so distracting to the people sitting behind you. That's it! Thanks for the reminders, Sharon!