1. Sara

    So I just arrived at work a little while ago. Because it’s Valentine’s Day I decided to get a little dressed up..I am wearing boots and a black skirt, black tights and a pink sweater. I walked in and one of our part time employees (I am 28, she is 50 something) say “you look like a British nanny! What the heck is that about? How does one respond to that? I just smiled and took off my coat and ignored her. Her daughter works in the same place and dresses like a street walker. Is there something verbally I could have said to shut her down? She is always making annoying comments to people.

    • Ashleigh

      I’m sorry but this completely made me LOL! People say literally the most bizarre things!! I’m pretty sure I would have gone more with “festive” than “British nanny,” especially since SuperNanny Jo is quite fond of skirt suits. :) I’m sure there are a number of things that could have ranged from cute-icey cold that you could have said, but I highly doubt that she is going to change her quips anytime soon. She sounds like one of those people who thinks she’s being just adorable by picking on everyone, when in reality, nobody can stand it.

  2. Alicia

    The best polite work appropriate reaction possible. “Wow! ” Pause looks of shock on face . Then walk away. Makes the other person uncomfortable without in any way shape or form being rude.

  3. Anita

    I have a situation I’d really like some etiquette advice with, if anyone wouldn’t mind sharing their opinion. Wish my mom was here to ask! I was recently working a promotion gig, and one of the other girls there lent me some shorts to wear. I was sure to graciously thank her, she did really help me out. At the end of the night/gig everyone was scattered throughout the place doing their own thing and hanging out with friends. I was in a hurry to leave so I left the shorts in our dressing room right by her stuff, thinking she would see them when she left. Someone must have stolen them or picked them up by accident, because they are nowhere to be found. I feel terrible. She is asking me to reimburse her $30. I feel bad for losing them, and have apologized, and don’t mind reimbursing her. Would it be rude if I just gave her $20? I feel like 30 is alot for some black shorts and I’m on a tight budget.

    • I’m sorry this happened. You don’t mind reimbursing her, and replacement value is the the highest value (i.e., what would it cost for her to get another pair of those exact shorts?). Why not give her the $30? Perhaps she is on a tight budget as well, and doesn’t have many pairs of shorts. Next time, be sure to call her attention to the shorts that you are returning. This also gives you a chance to thank her again. “Hey Jane, I don’t mean to interrupt, but thank you again for letting me borrow these. Since I’m on my way out, I wanted you to know I’m leaving them next to your purse/gym bag/other clothes.”

  4. confused

    I am retiring and received a ‘happy retirement’ card from one of my business associates. How do I acknowledge that I received the card? Is it appropriate to send a thank you card?

    • Elizabeth

      How about an email? A card in response to a card seems a bit much, but a friendly email or phone call would do the trick. “Hi Mr. X, I just received your card in the mail. It was so nice of you to think of me. etc etc …”

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      If it was just a card, i.e. no gift inside, a thank-you card is excessive. Cards don’t require acknowledgement, but if you would like to a phone call or email thanking the person for his or her thoughtfulness is more than sufficient as well as more personal than a pre-printed card.

  5. SaraJane

    I have three best friends and we all live in different cities. One of them is having a birthday and has invited a few girlfriends I do not know that well and me to come and stay overnight in Atlanta (hotel paid for). The invitation I received stated (the birthday girl has asked for no gifts). None of these girls are really close to her, so naturally I want to bring a gift and give it to her (especially since we do not live in the same city and we rarely get to see each other). When I expressed this to the “coordinator” she told me that it would just be tacky to bring one. I am just really confused. Does anyone have suggestions? I can not imagine not getting her anything.

    • I’m not really understanding the confusion – the guest of honor does not want gifts. Why would you ignore her wishes? I understand you feel you are closer to her than these other girls, so if it makes you feel better, why don’t you mail a gift instead? There’s no need to make others feel uncomfortable at what sounds like a very fun party.

      • Nancy

        I disagree. If you are close to the Birthday it is only natural to want to give her a gift. Especially if you have been exchanging gifts in the past. You stated, none of these other girls are really close to her, which is why she probably requested no gifts. I would suggest bring her a gift and just be discreet about giving it to her. If you do not live in the same city and rarely get to see each other, it would be a waste to mail it. The joy of giving a friend a Birthday Gift is seeing them when they open it. It sounds like this is something as close friends you get to experience. The coordinator and the other girls should be more than understading since you do not live in the same cities and are close.

        • No where did she say that they exchanged gifts in the past, or that giving gifts is a tradition. Though Sara Jane mentions these girls aren’t close to her friend, she also mentions she doesn’t know them well (so they might very well be close to her friend), and they are attending an overnight party for the birthday girl, indicating closeness of some sort. While I don’t like that the coordinator called Sara Jane “tacky” for simply wanting to do a nice thing, one must remember that the birthday girl specifically asked that no gifts be given. If I were one of the other girls, I would feel extremely uncomfortable if I saw others bring gifts, and feel guilty for the remainder of the party.

          • Elizabeth

            Yes, I agree with Laura about the potential discomfort to the other guests, and I think it is key to give the gift discreetly and apart from the rest of the party. It would be bad form to give the gift in front of the others who had not brought a gift.

            I think there is nothing wrong with wanting to give your friend a little something. The ‘no gifts’ aspect of it is to allow people who don’t know her as well, or for as long, or with whom she has an agreement that birthdays will be celebrated without gifts a graceful ‘out’ from gift-giving. I think this is very nice of the birthday girl, and what should be considered normal operating procedure for adult birthdays.

            Personally, I like to have a party around my birthday, never tell people that it’s a birthday party, and just bring a cake out at the last moment. (I like cake, and I like to be sung to, but I would hate for anyone to feel like they needed to buy me a gift!)

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