Open Thread

by epi on May 11, 2012

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Country Girl May 11, 2012 at 4:49 am

Hi friends! I had an interesting conversation with a neighbor today. She is somewhat newer to the neighborhood, kitty corner from our house, and apparently moved in a couple months after we did. She came over not really to introduce herself, but rather to inform me that our back yard motion light irritates her and ‘nearly blinds her’ when she goes to take her dog outside at night. I politely introduced myself and informed her that I would take a look to see if it could be adjusted.

It turns out the lights cannot be adjusted. My fiancé and father are adamant that the motion light stay on for safety reasons. (it only of course turns on when motion is detected when we take out or own dog or a neighborhood cat activates it.) It seemed as though this woman was stewing over this issue for a while before deciding to speak to me about it, so I feel bad, but at this point what can be done?

Reply

Jerry May 11, 2012 at 6:19 pm

That was very restrained of you. I would have told her that she should leave through the front door and not the back door.

In any case, if I’m you, I give her a call, tell her that there’s no reasonable way for the light to be adjusted, and that you appreciate her understanding.

Reply

Jody May 11, 2012 at 6:16 am

I’m a bit confused — if her house is kitty-corner from yours, how can your back yard light blind her? (unless her house is kitty-corner from the back of your house).

I do agree that a motion-sensor light is good to have from a safety viewpoint. Can it be redirected so it points more towards your house and not so much outwards?

Reply

Alicia May 11, 2012 at 7:19 am

Ugh I totally get her frustration. It took me a few years before I said anything to my back yard neighbor about their light but it would blind me. If there is any way you can angle it so that the motion sensor part at least only senses motion in your yard not hers then you absolutely should change it. ( this may be seperate then the light part)

But I totally understand how frustrating this can be fronm the neighbors viewpoint. Perhaps think about switching to a fixture that allows the angle of the light to be adjusted?

Reply

County Girl May 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm

What I meant by the light can’t be adjusted is that it cannot be pointed down or in any other direction.And yes she is kitty corner from the back yard, not the front. :) I respectfully disagree about motion lights not being a safety feature. Many safety publications encourage motion lights as a way to deter burglary. I guess although I feel bad, I would feel inclined to go through the trouble and expense of fully changing out the lighting fixture if it were shining in her bedroom, not just in her backyard when she takes her dog out or has a smoke.

Reply

Country Girl May 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Oops I apologize, I read ‘disagree’ instead of ‘do agree’. Seems like I need another cup of coffee. :)

Reply

Pam May 11, 2012 at 11:48 am

How should I handle emails to my work email that I do not want? I work in a public building, so one of my work emails is posted on the website. I do not check this everyday, as I have another email that I hand out to people as I help them in person. I do not want my primary email on the website. Someone who comes in almost everyday has started sending me jokes and expecting responses on the email, as he got it from the website. I only responded once, saying “I’m not sure” in response to a joke question. Now he is asking me to send him jokes, tell him what shows I like, etc. I want to keep this friendly b/c I see him all the time and really don’t need tension or him angry. What should I do?

Reply

Jody May 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I suggest explaining to him that you use that e-mail address for business purposes only. If he keeps sending you things, let him know that you’ll have to start deleting his e-mails unopened because he isn’t keeping messages to business topics. If you’re on a friendly basis with him now, he should be OK with that.

Be prepared for him to ask for an alternate e-mail address for him to use. If you have a Yahoo/Gmail type address that might be a good solution. If he continues to pester you for responses, you can always let him know that you’ve been so busy with work e-mails you haven’t had much chance to deal with your personal e-mail.

Reply

Jerry May 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm

You ignore them. You owe nothing to someone who won’t respect your communication preferences.

Reply

Vanna Keiler May 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Hi Pam. I would simply tell him in a regrettable tone, that this email’s sole purpose is work-related, and you cannot receive joke emails anymore, nor will you respond to them. I think because your emails are posted publicly, it would reflect on your company a little unprofessionally-speaking. If he continues to send the emails, you can let your supervisor be aware of it, so that if it comes back to haunt you at some point, he/she was already made aware of your request to not receive them. Of course we all would like to maintain friendly relations with our co-workers, and I don’t think if he is reasonably-minded your comment should bother him in the least.

Reply

Abby May 13, 2012 at 2:27 am

Okay, my roommate is getting married at the end of June, and I’m the maid of honor. We go to school in SoCal, but the wedding and all her other bridesmaids are in NorCal. As such there will be two bridal showers, one here, one there; I’m only responsible for the SoCal one. Still, none of the NorCal bridesmaids can make it down here.
My question is, is it ever appropriate to ask friends who are not bridesmaids or otherwise part of the wedding party (but of course invited to the wedding) to help plan/finance the shower? If so, how would I go about it tactfully?
I know I should’ve done all this ages ago, but it kind of snuck up on me and it was a short engagement to begin with.

Reply

Alicia May 14, 2012 at 8:18 am

Well have you even started planning a shower? you are under no obligation to plan one if you have not started. Getting co hostesses should have been when the planning first began so that they are able to actually influence the cost via size, location, theme, ect. Nobody is required to throw a shoer but only those invited to the wedding may be invited to teh showers so as long as local friends want to help and are invited to the wedding you can ask for their help. But if everything is already planned by you and what you really want to someone else to pay that is unkind.

Reply

Abby May 15, 2012 at 2:20 am

Well, given the circumstances (they are a young couple who could use the things they would receive at the shower), I really feel that throwing a shower is the right thing to do. Plus, I think it’s what her friends kind of expect and they’ll be disappointed if there isn’t one. The woman who would have been my co-hostess (and also a fellow bridesmaid) has a new baby, so it seems kind of unreasonable to ask her for much, especially since the infant is why she won’t be in the wedding, though I believe she does plan to attend. It’s more help with things like food prep I’m concerned about; if need be I can probably manage to foot the bill.

Reply

Elizabeth May 15, 2012 at 10:37 am

Abby, if you want to throw a shower, then by all means do it! You can easily host something at home, and it is certainly fine to ask other friends of the bride for help, especially if you’re just asking for some help with food prep or clean-up. If you are careful about when you host it (in between lunch and dinner, for example), then you can get away with lighter refreshments (fruit and cake and coffee/tea) – I think the gesture is lovely, and people will love an efficient shower. Elaborate meals, games and prizes – all of that is gravy and not necessary for a shower. All you need is the guest of honor, her friends, and a bit of help. Best of luck!

Reply

Alicia May 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Throwing a shower is great and a wonderful thing but throw the shower you can manage. If others offer to help or cohostess do accept the offers but it is not nice to ask it of them and thus put them in the position of wanting to say no but feeling guilty about it.

Reply

Julia May 13, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Two years ago I painted a picture for a friend and bought a moderately priced frame ($20-25) for the painting — the gift was well received. Last week, I received a framed photo from the same person and realized it was the same frame I had given him — it seems he got rid of the matte on the painting I gave him and wanted to now get a smaller frame. I was not told this gift was the frame I gotten him until I noticed the painting without frame on his work table. I was very upset by this and asked my friend to explain — he then told me the truth but kind of brushed it off. I would like to return the frame but don’t want to seem spiteful or rude — what are your thoughts? I had never had anyone, to my knowledge, alter a painting I had done before either…wasn’t sure what to make of that…:(

Reply

Alicia May 14, 2012 at 8:16 am

It was a gift once the gift recipient has said thank you it is none of your buisness what they do with the gift. Removing the mat is not the same thing as not likeing the picture anyway. Yes he should not have regifted the frame back to you but that was his only error. The mistake was allowing you to know not in wanting to refram an art peice.

Reply

Zakafury May 14, 2012 at 9:07 am

I will reinforce Julia’s position here. Regifting things which don’t suit us is perfectly acceptable, but giving them back to the original giver is not. Even that sounds forgivable in this case, since you didn’t realize this was the same frame when you received it.

The mistake was allowing you to see the painting sitting on his worktable, instead of on display. If you take him at his word about reframing, then there is no reason to be offended.

Reply

Zakafury May 14, 2012 at 9:08 am

Pardon, I meant reinforce Alicia’s position. Although understand Julia’s gut reaction as well.

Reply

Kaila92 June 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Hello there, just became alert to your forum through Google, and found that it’s really interesting. I’m gonna watch for more posts. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of people will enjoy this. Cheers!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: