1. Should I have said something?

    This morning when the commuter bus that I ride was leaving the park and ride a man came running across the parking lot, waving his arms and the like. The bus is already leaving (though we technically haven’t pulled out into the street yet), there was another bus behind us that leaves in about five minutes, but this man found it necessary to try and grab onto the bus and bang on the door.

    A couple of ladies (including myself) gasp and one even screams.

    The bus driver opened the door, and told the man that what he did wasn’t safe… in a very professional way. This man berated the driver back… he said something to the effect of “when I want you to stop, you stop.”

    The bus driver then simply said, “alright then.” Then the man spent probably close to a full minute fiddling with his bag and wallet to get his bus pass out… which I found very annoying.

    I realize that the bus driver most likely couldn’t say anything, but part of me felt something should have been said. I know you shouldn’t correct the etiquette of strangers, but this man did something dangerous and then verbally abused a man who was simply doing his job… and then wasn’t ready to board the bus.

    I didn’t say anything. I was sitting in the front row and gave the man THE LOOK (which he either never saw or didn’t acknowledge). Should I have said something, and if so then what?

    • Graceandhonor

      This is one of those countless episodes we encounter everyday where commercial transactions break down and overflow into “etiquette” questions. It is the responsibility of the enterprise, whether a private company or municipal provider to see that their employees, i.e. your busdriver, enforce rules and procedures for the safety, comfort and fairness of all their customers. Your driver failed in his enforcement with this man and it would have been unwise for you to have engaged this man in discussion of his behavior, particularly in view of his demonstration of lack of regard for rules or others. Better that you engage the bus service in discussion of better driver training in dealing with this type of rider.

  2. Jody

    I disagree with some of what Grace and Favour said. It sounds to me like the driver did attempt to enforce safety, but the passenger was intent on provoking a fight. He may have taken the best way out at that moment. What I’ve done in similar circumstances is had a kind word for the driver as I left the bus; I’ve also e-mailed the bus supervisors commending the driver for handling a difficult situation under provoking circumstances.

    I do agree that it would not have been a good idea to chastise the other passenger, as much as he deserved it.

    • Graceandhonor

      Yes, the driver did note to the man his safety violations but did not follow through with enforcing the rules of catching the next bus and being ready with his boarding pass; thus everyone already aboard was kept unfairly waiting for the intimidating scoffrule. Your email follow-up is a good example and our driver should be commended for what he did do but should be encouraged to fully execute his duties.

    • When I exited the bus I thanked the bus driver, as I usually do, and then I told him that he was very professional.

      I took the advice above and emailed Metro, not naming the bus driver or the bus number, explaining the situation and how I felt that the bus drivers should be given full authority to deny entry when someone behaves in an unsafe manner.

  3. IB

    I’m curious what you all think about following up after applying for a job.

    The background: I’m an editor who freelances a lot, and I’m interested in moving to freelance work full-time. One of my frequent freelance clients has a job opening for a full-time freelance editor, and I applied (to the editor in chief) about three weeks ago. Since I applied, I’ve continued to get work from the company. If I had no business contact with the company, I would have followed up by now, but I feel that it would be inappropriate as I’m currently working for them on other projects.

    I work closely with a managing editor there, but I also think it would be inappropriate to ask her if she has any information. Should I ask her for an inside scoop? Should I follow up with the editor in chief? Should I just chill out and see if they get back to me (again, it has been three weeks). On the one hand, I don’t want to do anything that would make me lose them as freelance clients. But on the other, they clearly like my work enough to keep giving me projects, so why not ask?

    Help! I’m thinking too much!

    • Graceandhonor

      Yep, thinking too much. Follow up with a cordial, professional inquiry with the person you initially contacted. Don’t spread knowledge of your application too far afield in the organization because if you don’t get it, it will not become awkward with everyone you continue to interact with.

    • Nina

      I’m so pleased I can offer an answer to this one–I get such good ones from this site.

      At my company, I often have to hire freelancers on a per-project basis, but I wouldn’t have anything to do with a full-timer being hired. The two processes are very different, at least at my company. So I definitely agree with Graceandhonour: it’s fine to follow up with whomever you originally spoke to; it’s likely others might not even know what’s going on.

  4. Marty

    I am turning 40 and I plan on having a Saturday afternoon (12-5) gathering of family and friends for cocktails and tapas. Everyone thought this was a great idea and seemed to put it on their calendars immediately. One friend e-mailed me and said the following…”A Saturday afternoon? Is there something wrong with you????” I didn’t know what she meant, so I said that I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I have been to several Saturday afternoon parties, so I am not sure what she means by her reponse. I mean, I am paying for everything…if she does not want to come, so be it. LOL A friend has a restaurant and he is going to open up his restaurant and have my party there. There will be cocktails and passed tapas, music and a very nice patio complete with a servie bar etc etc etc. Until my friend e-mailed me, I was very happy about this, now I am at a loss for what is wrong with what I have planned. So, I called one friend up and he said, it’s becasue most things like this are on a Sunday afternoon. I was like, but I don’t want my party on a Sunday afternoon. It’s not a baby shower. It’s my 40th B-day gathering. Is this so strange?

    • Graceandhonor

      There is not a thing wrong with your plans. These things are held when a host wants! Invite who you want and if they don’t come, its their loss! This sounds like a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon…what’s the address? ; )

    • Jodi

      I think your friend was teasing you (i.e. now that you’re 40, you have to have all your parties in the afternoon, so you can go to bed early.)

  5. The only reason that came to my mind is that some people are uncomfortable having a libation before 5pm. However, it didn’t sound as if you were instituting a rule saying that guests must imbibe at your party, so I fail to see a problem. I think your friend is stirring up drama. I hope you have a wonderful birthday. It sounds like everyone will have a good time.

    • Marty

      Thanks Laura! For all those who don’t drink, there will be plenty of water, soft drinks, tea, etc etc as beverage options :-) There are no rules they have to have a cocktail…LOL :-) I envision a very classy party with passed authentic Spanish tapas and cocktails (and other non alcoholic options ava). There will be music and I know my friend’s Spanish tapas will win everyone over! His restaurant is amazing and everyone I have sent there LOVES his food! So, I feel like I am in good hands. I had my 30th B-day party at his other restaurant and it was a hit! Thanks for the comment! :-)

      • Elizabeth

        I find it strange that your friend suggested a Sunday afternoon. If anything, it sounds like an evening event. But why not having it during the day? It’s your day, celebrate how you want! Happy Birthday!

  6. Alicia

    I think a Saturday afternoon party sounds like a blast and far better then a Sunday afternoon one. ( I’m always getting ready for the week on Sunday afternoons)
    I also think your friend was rude in the extreme in order to complain about your date choice. Ignore their rudeness.
    Have a great birthday!!

  7. scdeb

    Speaking of parties…what about those Regrets Only?
    I’ve always wondered if you see the person around town should you bring up “yes, I’ll be there” or do you call anyway and say you are coming. The reason I ask this is because the last 3 events that were Regrets Only had the hosts repeatedly inquiring about my status. (I was attending so I didn’t call.) For the event this Sat. I’ve been asked 3 times on 3 different days am I coming? I’ve said yes all 3 times. So do you call anyway to put the host at ease?
    Also, the email invite that keeps reappearing–you respond that yes, you’ll be there but there is another automatic email sent a few days later (to all guests) and then 3rd email…do you ignore those since you answered the first one?

    • Kiley

      What you mention is the classic problem with the “Regrets Only” method. =) A host who is really wanting to be aware of guest count shouldn’t state “regrets only” only to then pester invitees who don’t respond (as they were clearly directed not to respond in the case that they are attending) This type of host should use RSVP instead.

      I might make sure to try to mention once in passing to the host that you are excited to attend. Then if you receive an email(s) as well, respond yes once and leave it at that. If you are called by the host I might even act a little surprised and say “Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t respond Sally. I am excited to attend, but the invitation did say “regrets only” so I wanted to follow you request.”

  8. Liz Salerno

    In addresssing invites, how would you address a family where the widowed mother has a different last name from her children? Would it be Ms. Mary Jones and Smith family,
    or The Jones-Smith Family, The Smith-Jones Family, The Jones Smiths, Smith Jones’? I’m so confused.

    • Graceandhonor

      Mrs. Mary Jones and Family
      Mrs. Mary Jones/Master (13 or younger) or Mr. Bobby Smith/Miss Sally Smith

  9. scdeb

    Thanks, Kiley, for the good advice. Next time I will remind the host that they said Regrets Only instead of keeping silent & being slightly miffed.

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