1. polite punk

    A friend of mine is unhappy at work, ready for new responsibilities, and interested in looking for a new job. However, she lives in a small city and works in an even smaller professional industry. Recommendations on the best practices for a situation like this are definitely appreciated.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Well the traditional rules of etiquette state that this is your friend’s business and no one elses’s. So she should be able to look for a new job, on her own time of course, without fear that word will get back to her present employer. You don’t have to give a prospective employer permission to talk to your current one and business ethics and etiquette dictate that a prospective new employer should receive applicants in confidence (its not in their best interest to alienate prospective applicants as well). Now she may be asked why she is looking, and this is an important question. Without speaking ill of her current employer, she needs to state with specificity what she is looking for in her new job, the prospective employer may or may not be able to meet her needs. Something to the effect of “I feel I’m ready for and in need of more responsibility.” I would say just to look discretely, and give two weeks notice upon finding a new job.

  2. michelle sandoz

    My husband and I recently had dinner with close friends. As I was placing my order for dinner our friend became very critical about my selection and the way I asked for it to be cooked. He made several comments even after the order was placed. I was completely embarrassed and a bit angry. I would never call someone out on their selection of food or the preparation of it. Am I being over-sensative? How do I handle a situation like this in the future?

    • “Well, John, I guess it’s a good thing that I’m the one eating this steak, and not you.”


      “Have you considered taking up a hobby? Then you might have something else to discuss besides my food choices.”

      The most polite, however, is the tried and true: “How kind of you to take such a keen interest.”

    • Rusty Shackleford

      On the surface, yes, this was exceptionally rude. At first I would suspect your friend was jesting. Was it a comment over temperature? Political correctness (foir gras, veal, etc.? I am notorious among my friends for being an incredible pain when we eat out because I don’t like to eat many vegetables or condiments when I eat out (I can’t stand pickles, lettuce, tomato, you get the idea). I just became accustomed to my friends needling and inquiries when I order. When I’m with just male friends only, in good fun, we may tease someone for ordering their steak too well etc. Or one time I was with a co-worker who I had only seen eat salad, and then, at a burger place, demanded the largest burger on the menu–rare, and I was slightly shocked, and asked out of reflex. But to to the point, that is very juvenile. The only possible excuse I could think of was, if you were at a nice restaurant and everyone was ordering an entree, and someone ordered a sandwich, or a salad/soup. Some people feel like that takes away from the fun of having a nice big meal with friends. In that case, you could explain that you weren’t feeling well but everyone else should please order as they wish. The other, only minor faux pas that may have been involved, is that some fancier restaurants chef’s may take offense to someone who orders their meat well done, because it implies you doubt the chef’s competence. I would generally just give a pleasant response to the effect of “I just really like it this way.” Hopefully your friends will appreciate that this makes you happy and better for everyone to enjoy the meal.

  3. Diane

    What is the proper etiquette for mailing an 80th Birthday Invitation. Should the invitation be mailed to the home address or the professional address?

    • Alicia

      Depends is this a professional or social connection. If you always use professional connection and this is only a coworker employee or client then work address( and then be careful as many people think that age should not be discussed in workplace) . If this is a friend or social connection then mail to home.

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