The Early Bird Ruffles No Feathers

Le tout nous gardons un homme attente,
il réfléchit sur nos lacunes.
~ French Proverb

The English translation to the quote above is, “All the while we keep a man waiting, he reflects on our shortcomings.” There is truth in this! If you're late for work, a meeting, an assignment, event, or any occasion you run the risk of engendering negative thoughts about you in the minds of those who are punctual or who you've kept waiting. To some, being tardy equates to being undependable, untrustworthy, unsuitable and even unlikeable. 

You’re Hired! Making a Smooth Entry into Your New Position

Hard work spotlights the character of people:
some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses,
and some don’t turn up at all.
 ~ Sam Ewing, American Writer and Humorist (1920-2001)

You did it! You’ve been hired and you’re starting your new job. Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of your job search and now you’re beginning another journey – one in which you must remain sharp and professional to achieve job and career success. 

Job Search Series – Going For The Gold

"Not that you root for failure," Vasgersian said,
 "but he needs one more crash to guarantee a spot in the next round."
 ~ NBC 2014 Winter Olympics Announcer Matt Vasgersian   

The above-captioned statement was uttered during the men’s freestyle aerial ski jumps last week in Sochi during the play-by-play commentary. The speculation was that for American Mac Bohonnon to qualify for the finals one of his competitors would have to make a mistake, thereby making Mr. Bohonnon’s point score sufficient. No sooner were these words spoken when Renato Ulrich of Switzerland took his turn at the aerials and crashed. 

Dining Etiquette Series – Responsibilities of a Guest

Did you ever have the feeling that you wanted to go,
and still have the feeling that you wanted to stay?"
 ~ Banjo, from The Man Who Came to Dinner

Banjo is a character from the classic play about an insufferable guest named Sheridan Whiteside, who reluctantly accepts a dinner invitation and then because of a freak accident not only overstays his visit but behaves badly the entire time. So, to entertain Banjo’s question, perhaps there have been times when, as a guest, you’ve been ambivalent about whether you wanted to stay or go. However, as you know that the foundation of good manners is to put others ahead of yourself, I’m betting that you did not behave as Sherry Whiteside did. Because whether at a formal affair or a beach party, a guest has certain responsibilities that mirror those of the host (see last week’s post, Responsibilities of a Host), as follows: 

Supermarket Job Savvy

“A person buying ordinary products in a supermarket is in touch with his deepest emotions.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith, U.S. Economist

The observation that an ordinary task can be an emotional experience is a concept that anyone who works in a supermarket should understand about its customers. Developing empathy for and respecting customers is key to the success of all retail enterprises. But why is this especially so for a supermarket? 

Summer Job

Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.”
~ Malcolm S. Forbes

 (Please note that I'm interrupting my series on dining etiquette
for a few weeks to focus on the topic of summer job etiquette.) 

Sticking to one’s job in a positive and productive way is the key to making progress. And, speaking of making progress, the U.S. is seeing some of the strongest summer employment numbers for teenagers since the 2007 discovery that the world was in the midst of the largest disaster since 1929. These figures might also include summer internships, which differ from the time-honored summer I-need-to-earn-some-money job; but still the job picture is improving. If you’re among the lucky teenagers, as well as college students, to have summer employment, this entry is for you!

National Etiquette Week 2013

“O, Times! O, Manners! It is my opinion
That you are changing sadly your dominion
I mean the reign of manners hath long ceased,
For men have none at all, or bad at least…

~ Edgar Allan Poe, Poetry, Tales and Selected Essays

If Mr. Poe was bemoaning the decline of manners in the 19th Century, perhaps there has always been an element of incivility in society. We are most certainly hearing an outcry about the widespread lack of common courtesy in the early 21st Century. However, we know now, as the learned knew back then, that those who master etiquette skills generally are more successful in their social and business lives. 

And, now there is something in which Mr. Poe most likely would have been happy to participate: National Etiquette Week (NEW), which is being observed during this week, May 13-17.