Manners Monday: TV Show Spoilers

Cherished readers, The Lady admits that she loves to watch Game Of Thrones, like most of the world that is able to get HBO. After last night’s show, she noticed that many people were creating status updates with ‘spoilers’ that would ruin the watching experience of those who had not partaken of the show yet. The question is this: Is it rude and unmannerly to post such things? The Lady has read angry posts and threats on social media toward those who are revealing all. Goodness….this is a modern etiquette problem.

The Lady advises thusly:

If you are creating your own status update/tweet/blog etc….it is courteous to preface the entry by informing others that you will be revealing things that may interfere with their enjoyment of the show if they have not watched yet. If you post such a thing and someone reads further, they have no right to be angry with you. You were honest from the start!

If, on the other hand, you go to someone else’s post and deliberately post a spoiler, you’ve basically asked for them to be angry with you and you cannot be confused or upset that they are. The Lady suspects that these people who post take a bit of aggressive glee in ruining things for others. This is extremely rude! Keep it to yourself or risk feeling more wrath than Cersei Lannister inflicted on the Sept of Baelor!

Best No-Spoiler Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

 

Sunday Ask The Lady: Uninvited Guests

Cherished readers, today’s question comes from a reader in Florida who finds that her prime locale attracts friends and family to forget their good manners and ‘drop in’ to see her whenever they are in the vicinity.

Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett,

My husband and I moved to Florida three years ago and we love it here. Apparently, most of our friends and family from back in our old state do, too. Little did we know how much everyone loves it down here, especially in the winter. I can’t tell you how many times we have been spending a quiet weekend when the doorbell rings and we answer it only to find our distant cousins, former neighbors, and long ago coworkers waiting on the doorstep. They almost always invariably say, “We couldn’t come down to the theme parks without stopping in to see you.” The problem is, we have never actually issued invitations to any of them, never mind a standing invitation to just come by whenever they are in town. This is annoying enough, but there have been times they have actually brought their bathing suits in order to use our pool. My husband and I are not rude people and we do not know how to stop this from happening without being rude. I am tired of having our peace and days interrupted. We both run our businesses from home and it is very disruptive. 

Frustrated in Florida

Dear Frustrated in Florida,

The Lady is not sure how you’ve managed to keep your cool! The Lady is very disappointed to learn so many people have terrible manners. Naturally, it is extremely rude to just stop by unannounced especially in this day and age of cell phones and instant communication. There is absolutely no excuse for just showing up anywhere and expecting to be entertained. The Lady thinks that perhaps some people see where you live as not really being part of the real world but as some place of permanent vacation.

It is imperative to stop this intrusion for your own sanity or it will continue to get worse. If you continue to open your door and find the uninvited do not allow them inside. Tell them “I am so sorry, hubby and I are working and cannot take any time away from that to see you. Will you call first the next time you would like to visit and we will see if we are able to arrange a visit.” And leave it at that. It is NOT rude to do so.

Best Visitor Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

 

Food Friday: Cocktails with Mr. Babcock and Mame

Cherished readers, The Lady hopes you will enjoy this fun, short snippet from one of her favorite films, Auntie Mame starring Rosalind Russell. Little Patrick Dennis demonstrates impeccable manners in his dealings with Mr. Babcock. A true gentleman host!

Best Friday Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

 

Thursday Ask The Lady: Eavesdropping Over The Cubicle Wall

Cherished readers, firstly The Lady begs your pardon for being absent from the blog this week. Some tasks came up that needed her attention and she needed to focus on them. She is heartily sorry for not posting.

Secondly, Today’s question. Many years ago, The Lady was employed at a large insurance company and had her very own cubicle. She can relate to the writer of today’s question. Enjoy!

Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett, 

I work in a large office on a floor with approximately 100 other people. We work in our own little cubicle villages, but as you can imagine there is very little privacy. There is one co-worker who is ridiculously obnoxious to all of us around her. She listens to every conversation, both business and personal, and pokes her head over the wall and comments or advises without invitation. While I realize anything you say on the floor can be overheard, I find the fact that she makes no bones about letting us all know she knows what is going on and seems almost proud that she is an eavesdropper. So what do we do? I am writing not just for myself but for the group of us who are forced to sit near her. 

Frustrated in Cubicle Purgatory

Dear Frustrated,

Oh my.

The Lady prefaces her answer by acknowledging that this person may be lonely and just looking for something to talk about. Also, she might not even realize what she is doing is rude because of the expectation of no privacy on the floor. If she is one of these people and you will know it usually, The Lady advises kindness. Just smile at her when she comments or thank her. Maybe even taking a break together and being friendly will help. Steer subjects to things other than work. The lonely and the clueless can generally be rehabilitated.

If you suspect that this is not the case with this person and you find she just enjoys feeling in charge and in control, when she starts to advise you about business, cut her off and say “Thank you, SoandSo, I have it covered.” If you all do this, The Lady believes that this will stop.

If it is a personal conversation, again cut her off and pointedly say, “That was a private matter that I do not wish to discuss it with you.”

The problem with eavesdroppers is that they only hear one side of things and their advice (and the gossip that they pass) only applies to their one-sided listening. If this is truly bothersome and disruptive to work, The Lady is sure that HR can call a meeting on the matter and address it as a department or company issue.

Best Work Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

Food Friday: Decorum at The Table

Cherished readers, in the past week The Lady has gotten two questions  about dining away from home. Rather than answering them separately, this week’s Food Friday segment answers those questions about how to comport yourself, be it in a restaurant or at a friend’s home.

  1. Should you be a smoker, do not smoke at the table. The Lady is not sure any restaurant allows smoking anymore, so she will say that it is important to remember not to do this when in a friend’s or family’s home.
  2. Should you be in a buffet restaurant or at a party where there is a buffet line, do not fill your plate to epic proportions the first time around. You can always go back for more. (The Lady once saw a patron at a salad bar fill up their plate in an attempt to resemble Mount Everest!)
  3. Your dinner napkin is never tucked into the neck of your shirt. The Lady goes so far as to say that those plastic bibs they give you at New England restaurants when you order lobster are also a no-no.
  4. No fixing makeup at the table, or heaven forbid…combing the hair!
  5. Using at a toothpick at the table is frowned upon.
  6. Do not pick up a dropped utensil or anything else that may have fallen to the floor. Ask your hostess or waiter for a new one. Think how picking up the dirty implement will sully the table with all of the germs from the floor.

Best Dining Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

Thursday Ask The Lady: Multi-Level Annoyance

Cherished readers, The Lady cannot be certain how widespread this issue really is, as the correspondent states she is from Texas, but The Lady  feels this might be something that some readers deal with regardless of locale.

Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett, 

How do I politely say no to a woman who is involved in a multi-level marketing company who continually pesters me to try the latest and greatest product? I have never shown enthusiasm for the products at all, but at every turn she brings up the company, the marketing plan, and actually makes me feel as though there is something wrong with me for not wanting to join. The fact is, she and the other people who sell these products are pushy as hell and I have no desire to be in  their company. I am a proper Southern Belle Texas lady, but there are times I want to be rude and tell her to back off. 

Had Enough In Houston

Dear Had Enough in Houston,

The Lady is sorry that you are being seemingly targeted by this enthusiastic person who obviously is passionate about what they do. Their passion, however, should not infringe on your peace and quiet. The Lady sees nothing wrong with telling her flatly that while you appreciate her wishing to “spread the word” about products she obviously loves, you do not wish to try them, so please do not ask. Be firm. If she continues on her quest to get you to buy or sign, she is the rude one, and you have every right to remind her that you’ve spoken to her already about your feelings on this company. No is NO.

Socialization should not be a sales pitch. In The Lady’s opinion, truly effective sales efforts attract and do not attack.

Best Non-Salesy Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

 

Wedding Wednesday: Manners for Guests

Cherished readers, The Lady loves a good nuptial celebration…and realizes that some people may need to take a refresher on what is considered good etiquette for wedding guests (or prospective guests) Let us take a look a few general guidelines:

  1. Answer all invitations promptly. A general rule is to respond within a week of receiving the invitation.
  2. Although The Lady sees formal invitations sent less and less, should you receive one that is written in the third person, it must be answered in the same way. If a reply card is enclosed (which to The Lady means that it is semi-formal) you indicate your acceptance or regret on the card.
  3. It is bad taste to ask to be invited to a wedding even if you feel you have a close relationship with the bride or groom.
  4. If, after accepting an invitation, it becomes necessary to cancel, call the bride or groom and explain why as soon as possible.
  5. Asking to bring a friend to the wedding is bad form.
  6. Do not ask to bring your children if they haven’t been invited. Even if they are invited, consider their maturity levels before accepting for them. One of the worst things to deal with at a wedding is the bored or hyperactive child who runs around hell-bent on annoying people.
  7. It is rude to skip the ceremony and only attend the reception.
  8. You are not obligated to send a present if you simply receive a wedding announcement. However, if you are given an invitation to the wedding, customarily you are expected to send a gift (even if you do not attend.
  9. Remember that the day belongs to the happy couple. It is especially important not to do anything that will take attention off of them. (No inebriated toasts!)

Best Guest Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett