Open thread

by EPI Staff on August 25, 2010

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

michele August 26, 2010 at 8:41 pm

I recently was a guest at a luncheon. The table my friend and I sat at was full of people we didn’t know but tried to engage in conversation without success. All of a sudden one of the women confronted me about where I was sitting and told me to move. I was a guest and embarrassed. I did as she said. I thought no one was the wiser and just waited for the luncheon to end. I said my thank yous and good byes. I decided never to return. I’ve now been contacted by the president via email and assured I am welcome back. My friend also knows of the email and wants to get together again. I am too embarrassed and just want the whole thing to be forgotten and I just want to disappear. What do I do?

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Jodi Blackwood August 29, 2010 at 7:07 am

Hi Michele,

I am sorry for your experience. I have attended many luncheons, both on a professional and personal, social basis, so I have an idea of what the experience can be like. Often times the seating at tables is pre-assigned and you are seated with a specific table host, which makes things much easier. However, from what you describe, I think you handled your situation very well; it was the other guest(s) who were rude and out of line. Consider this: if you were sitting in a “wrong” spot, why didn’t someone say something to you to begin with, instead of waiting until you were seated and chatting (or attempting to do so) with your table mates? By the way, I’ve encountered those women before — nothing you could have said would have resulted in friendly conversation!

As for considering yourself a “guest” to be ordered about, think about what the word guest means … a person who is accommodated and given hospitality, and by my definition, treated very well. It doesn’t sound like that was the case, so you have nothing to be embarrassed about and shouldn’t take on that responsibility.

Without knowing the details of the group or organization, I would still tell you that it is an honor to receive a note from the president; obviously something was said so that he/she is aware of your experience. Get together with your friend and allow the group the opportunity to make-up the experience for you. If you find it is still not as friendly and welcoming as you like, then remember that it is the tone of the group that you don’t care for. As long as you are friendly, polite and approachable in your manner, you have nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of and can walk away with your head held high and simply say, “It wasn’t for me.”

Best of luck with the experience!
Jodi

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michele August 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm

During the summer my sister and her family came out for a visit. While here there was a gathering with a distant Aunt and Uncle. When I approached her to say hello and greet her with a kiss, she turned from me. During the rest of the evening she did not make eye contact or speak to me. It was a special occassion for my sister and her family, so I did not want to draw the attention to me. I acted like everything was ok. Later that night, when I was at home, my sister called me and brought up how rude my aunt was to me. My reply to my sister was I hope she hadn’t noticed. That the evening was about she and her family and celebration. That I just chalked it up to old age( my Aunts) and not to worry about it. What I am uncomfortable about is that other people noticed and make an issue out of it. I would rather the whole thing be forgotten. What should I do?

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