Monday Manners Quote:

“Oh Tigger, where are your manners?”

“I don’t know, but I bet they’re having more fun than I am.”
A.A. Milne

Oh Tigger, I love you!  🙂

Manners don’t have to be boring.  Knowing etiquette for social and work situations actually will set you free, because when you know the rules and are comfortable in any situation, you are free to stop worrying and have FUN!

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A Nosy Co-Worker Is Making Me Crazy!

Dear PRIMcess:

Question for you- when in a work environment and you get up to leave your desk or cubbie (either to lunch or for the day or whatever), do you think it is appropriate for a co-worker who sits nearby to say (loudly) “Where are you going?” or “What’re you doing?  This is driving me CRAAAA-ZY!  I am considering mayhem!

Annoyed to the Breaking Point in Tampa

Dear Annoyed:

Feel free to throat punch Mr. (or Ms., but for the sake of brevity, we’ll assume a Mr. today), but only in your mind.

Once you have had your imaginary fun, and feel your stress level decrease, you have two choices.  The first, and I admit, more adult possibility would be to approach this person, and let them know that everyone in the office is past the “need a baby-sitter phase” and to knock it off.

If that is not an option, and I wouldn’t be shocked, after all office politics are a funny animal, then formulate a pat, yet polite answer.  Then use it for everything.  Headed to the bathroom?  “Oh, I ‘m just stepping out for a moment.”  Doughnuts in the breakroom? “Oh, I ‘m just stepping out for a moment.”  Meeting that you, and he, are due to? “Oh, just stepping out.”  The key is delivery.  No irony, no sarcasm, can creep into your tone.  Keep it light, pleasant, and professional.

He WILL eventually give up and dig in someone else’s business.    And when he does, you can share how you got him off YOUR back.  🙂

My friend is always “snatchy”-how do I cope?

Dear PRIMcess:

I have a really good friend, who I like a lot.  One thing drives me crazy though, if I have something in my hand, like a book or a game on my phone–really anything–she will say “Let me see.”  But then before I can react she will actually grab whatever it is out of my hand.  This makes me crazy, and then I have to keep after her to get the item back, unless I want to just snatch back. How do I get her to back off?

Grrrrrr in Greenville

Dear Grrrrr:

Since you mention that this is someone you like a lot, I assume you get along in most other aspects of your relationship, and this is one of those “one-off” things, like chewing gum with your mouth open, or heavy breathing, that is for the most part relatively harmless, and a situation where the person in question probably doesn’t even get that they are doing anything annoying.

You could always try confronting your friend, kindly of course, and say something along the lines of “Do you realize that you are snatching this out of my hand?  Uber-annoying, please knock it off.”

But, let’s say that you’ve already tried that option, and are not pleased with the results.  Let’s again assume that the friend in question is unaware of the effect of their actions (they are not being annoying on purpose, like a little brother would).  I would say practice your grip, and illustrate just how out of control the snatching really is.  For example, you just scored a record on Plants vs Zombies.  Announce it, and prepare for Ms. Snatchy, but don’t give up the phone.  Be strong, even if you have to wrestle.  If it comes to that, saying something along the lines of “Jeez, calm down.  I just wanted to put it to the score screen before I gave it to you.”  Say this lightly, like its a little bit funny, but a little bit weird to.  Then put the phone to the score screen and hand it over.  Let her have her fill, offer her a chance to beat your awesome score, then make an excuse for getting your device back (in this scenario, adjust as needed depending on the circumstances).  You have to text your mom an update of when you will be home, your battery is about to die and you can’t charge it right now, whatever.  Just say something true, or at the very least true-ish.  Then text your mom, and put the phone away.    This may require a couple repeat performances, but unless your friend has bricks for brains, she will figure it out.

 

Oh, and just to spell it out, never NEVER okay to grab things out of someone else’s hand,  Doesn’t matter if its your mom (especially NOT your mom), your best friend, or your oh-so-deserving little brother.  It’s annoying to everyone, not just this poster.  The best way to determine what is good manners is to consider the Golden Rule.  Do to others what you wish they would do to you, to paraphrase. 

Happy Birthday America! Flag Etiquette

“The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.”

 

Happy birthday to this great country!  As completely crazy and divided as Americans sometimes are (or at least ACT), I think if you sat most down, they would agree it is a lucky accident of birth (or a conscious act, for those who chose to come here) that we call ourselves Americans.  Although I have said, both publicly and privately, that I dream of living in England someday, I’m not talking about, like, FOREVER, or anything.  One of the most moving ceremonies I have ever witnessed is the swearing-in of new citizens at the Seattle Center every Fourth of July.  If your town has something like it, check it out!  It will give you a little extra pride in being an American.

Today’s post will take a special trip down etiquette history and how old-fashioned procedures are still in use today.  Most flag laws were written hundreds of years ago, with very little change.  For instance, the right hand over the heart for the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag dates to during Medieval times,, when the right hand was sometimes marked if you were a felon.  To raise, or draw attention, to your right hand was to show your honestly (or lack there-of) and became the hand of truth.

The quote above is directly from the United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1.  The flag, as a living thing.  It certainly makes the image of a soldier’s flag covered coffin seen in a different light, doesn’t it?  Perhaps a protective, and loving embrace?  Of the image of a country in distress, with the flag flying upside down.  A living entity hanging upside down gives the symbolism a much more painful, and dire, meaning.

Now on to some useful flag etiquette!

  • When flying the flag from a vehicle, attach it to the antenna, clamp the flagstaff to window, or drape the right fender or side.  Remember this as it relates to holding your right hand over your heart while saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • The flag can only be flown at night if properly illuminated. Otherwise, it should only be flown from sunrise to sunset.
  • When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
  • Hang the U.S. flag above any other flag on the same flagpole.
  • Hang the flag vertically in a window or draped over a building, with the blue field of stars to the left as someone OUTSIDE the building is seeing it.
  • When The U.S. flag is placed next to or behind a speaker, such as a podium at the office or at school, the U.S. flag should be on the speaker’s right.
  • The American flag should be always be held upright and should never be dipped to any person or thing.  Anyone remember the brew-ha-ha over dipping the flag, or not, to Queen Elizabeth at the 2012 Olympic Games?
  • On Memorial Day, the flag should be hung at half-staff until noon, when it should be raised to the top of the staff.  Honestly, I am not sure I have ever seen this done, but will be watching next May, that is for sure!
  • The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary, and NEVER thrown away!
  • When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning.

Most importantly, let your flag fly this holiday.  Have  BBQ, watch a parade, thank a service member, and enjoy the fireworks tonight.