From the category archives:


Q: My boss always refers to female employees as ‘ladies.’ I find it condescending. Am I being too sensitive, or is it proper to use another term such as ‘women?’ A: It is not inappropriate to refer to women as ‘ladies.’ Although you might feel this term is condescending, it would be better to assume […]


Q: How do you explain to a co-worker how rude it is to correct another person’s faux pas in a meeting without being just as rude? A: If you are the person the co-worker is correcting, you could tell the person in private and tactfully that you would appreciate him or her not correcting your […]

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Q: When a sympathy card is being sent from an office, is it appropriate for all staff members to sign the card, or should it just be signed from the staff at whatever company you are sending it from? A: Either was is appropriate especially if it is from a small office and co-workers would […]


Q: My husband is friendly with his boss. Is it ever appropriate for us to take him and his wife to dinner? A: No, you would not issue the first invitation to them to dinner. If they invite you to an occasion you way reciprocate, but you would not be the ones to initiate a […]


Q: Is it appropriate to send a thank-you note after a phone interview for employment? A: Yes, it would be appropriate to send a thank-you note for an interview conducted by telephone, and is always recommended after any interview.


Q: Our Director of Sales has been with us for about 3 weeks. It’s time to send out the Holiday cards to our clients but he doesn’t really know them yet and some may not even know we have a new Director of Sales. Is it appropriate to enclose his business card in the Christmas […]


Gifting Your Boss: How much is too much?

by epi on November 26, 2013

Q: In regards to business gift giving, is it appropriate as a group to give the boss an impressive Christmas gift ($150-$200) each year? The boss always takes these 8 people out for a holiday lunch, which is nice. But the gift to the boss seems excessive and feels awkward. A: In an office, individuals […]


Q: When meeting in a business environment, should a woman extend her hand first to shake hands, should the man be the one to extend his hand first, or does it make no difference? A: Traditionally speaking, when a woman and man were introduced, it was up to the woman to extend her hand first, […]


Cards for Co-workers: Generic or personal?

by epi on November 14, 2013

Q: Is it okay to send a photo greeting card of our family (my husband and I, and our two dogs) to people I work with or should I send a generic card? I have worked at this company for 4 years and have personal relationships with most of my co-workers. It is standard practice […]


Q: I am in the process of reverting back to my maiden name. At work, should I alert people ahead of time that my name will be changing? If so, what is the proper thing to do – send out an email to the people I interact with the most and let them know? A: […]