With all the technology available these days, it’s hard to know what’s considered good manners and what isn’t. So we’re going to answer a couple of questions for you, with the help of the researchers at Woman’s Day magazine.
- Situation #1: You’re enjoying dinner with friends, coworkers or a date – but you’re waiting for an important call. When the phone rings – should you answer?. Cynthia Grosso is the founder of the Charleston School of Protocol and Etiquette. And she says for starters, switch your ringer to vibrate so you’ll be alerted to the call without disturbing anyone. If you absolutely MUST take the call, excuse yourself and speak in a low voice as you make your way outside. OR – let the call go to voicemail and immediately call back once you’re outside. NEVER answer the phone at the table. If you’re at the movies or a play, don’t answer the call until you’re out of the theatre. And when you’re in line at the grocery store or the bank, always finish the call before you reach the cashier or the teller. It’s rude not to give the person helping you your full attention.
- And situation #2: Can you email a thank you note? Grosso says sending an email is better than not sending a note at all, but make it more formal than you would the average email. That means don’t use Web abbreviations such as LOL for “laughing out loud” or BTW for “by the way”. And always sign off with a nice closing and your name: “Best wishes” “Sincerely” or “Warm regards, John Tesh”. But this being said, don’t use it as an excuse to get lazy. Sending a hand-written thank-you note is always the classier move.