Spreading Germs At Work Is Nothing To Sneeze At



 Staying home when you’re ill can be a bummer.
But, going to work is a whole lot dumber!

With so much in the news about Ebola and other dangerous viruses and bacterial infections, we need to remind ourselves that most people are likelier to be catching the common cold or coming down with the current seasonal flu bug. Together, these viruses cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars each year in lost wages, business profits and healthcare costs. Even worse, they cause inconvenience, suffering and in rare cases the flu can result in life-threatening scenarios.

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. 

National Etiquette Week – May 11 – 17, 2014


A degree will get your foot in the door; good manners will open it.
~ Jeanne Nelson

You might recognize the above quote as the motto of my etiquette consultancy and training brand, PROWESS Workshops (Protocol for the Workplace and Etiquette for Social Situations). As we observe National Etiquette Week 2014, it’s important to remember that the underpinnings of etiquette – respect, kindness and consideration for others – are also the most prized qualities sought by employers of job candidates and employees. Today, employers are looking for attitude over aptitude, and that says a lot about the importance of good manners and the practice of proper etiquette. 

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. 

The Department Store Job

Would Macy’s Tell Gimbels?

The time-honored adage above refers to the legendary rivalry between two great New York-based department stores. In the end, Gimbels-- which owned Saks Fifth Avenue, was where Lucy Ricardo shopped, and which started a Thanksgiving Day Parade four years before Macy’s did -- closed its doors. Macy’s, of course, is still around. And, while stores can go out of business because of mergers, acquisitions and poor management, the deciding factor in a department store’s success or failure is its ability to attract, retain and increase the numbers of customers who shop there. 

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!

Dining Etiquette Series – The Appetizer Course 1



“…since people still needed them shrimps for shrimp cocktails…”
~Forrest Gump, in Forrest Gump 

“These are Escargot. It’s French for snails. It’s a delicacy. Try it.”
~ Edward to Vivian, as their appetizers were served
during the dinner scene in the movie, Pretty Woman

Whether you’re dining on a spectacular shrimp cocktail like the one pictured above, or indulging in one of Edward’s favorite delicacies, Escargot, as Vivian did, or tried to (I think those who recall the scene in question know how that turned out), you will be enjoying your appetizer course. Depending upon where you are dining or the host’s preference, your appetizer will appear with either the first or second course. 

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.