Manner Monday®: Assumptions

In the world of manners, etiquette and professionalism, we talk a lot about ‘first impressions’.  Right, wrong, or indifferent, a first impression can make or break you.  First impressions can also be wrong.  Have you ever had a bad day?  Have you ever fumbled a first impression?  It happens – and it’s really hard to recover from.  If you think about it, a first impression is really an assumption, an assumption formed of the person in front of you:

  • How are they dressed?  Do they look like a million bucks?  They may have picked up that designer suit at a resale shop.
  • Are they carrying a high-end handbag?  It may have been a gift.
  • Are they driving a luxury car?  It may be an older model that has been paid off for years and is the only reliable thing they have in their life right now.

I’m guilty of it.  I’ve looked at a person, sized them up, and assumed I had a pretty good handle on them from the get go – only to find out I’d made a mistake.

Where you ever taught that trick about separating out the word assume?  If you haven’t, ask around – it’s a fun reminder that we don’t want to fall into the trap of assuming anything!

photo

Special Announcements:

Don’t forget to register now and save $50 with the ‘Summer Special’ rate, which is open through July 31.
Registration is in full swing for our 5-8th grade programs that begin this Fall and classes are fulling up quickly.
And yes, a deposit can still be made to secure their spot!
For more information, visit the registration page on the website:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/registration

etc…
The highest compliment you can give us is a referral to your friends and coworkers. Please share our registration and contact information with any families you think might be interested in participating in our program.

Each year we build on the previous year as we add to the curriculum.  We have many students who continue with us each season, from our Level 5 (5th grade) program through our Passport (High School) Program.  Our goal with the continuous exposure, and gentle reminders, of the courtesies we teach over consecutive years – is to assist you in raising well-mannered young adults.

  • Continued Exposure:  Just as continued exposure to athletics and school homework reaps rewards; continued exposure to the social skills taught in our program will provide lifelong lessons that will benefit your child throughout the classroom and into the boardroom.
  • Benefits and Rewards:  One of the biggest rewards of our students returning year after year, is the virtual ‘light bulb’ that seems to turn on and stay on; the students are really starting to get it and they are very proud of themselves.  Their confidence is building.  We’ve highlighted some of our graduating seniors on my blog at www.CareySueVega.com/?s=senior+spotlight

5-8th Grade Levels:  We encourage you to register early to take advantage of the ‘Summer Special’ discount.  Regular tuition for the 2014-2015 season will be $425.

  • All Families, ‘Summer Special’ $375 by July 31
  • 5-8th Grade registration online via:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/registration

9-12th Grade Levels:  Registration is open and will continue with the Early Bird discount into the fall.  Register early to avoid the waiting list.

  • 9-12th Grade registration online via:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/passport-high-school-registration

 

Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops
Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I’m busy booking projects and working on presentations for clients and am already scheduling well into the Fall!  Thank you so much for your continued support for this part of my business!

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress

 

As always, thanks for reading!
- Carey Sue

No comments | leave a comment
Business Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: The Other Side of Customer Service

During the Customer Service workshops I’ve recently conducted, we always cover ‘how’ to provide Great Customer service.  We talk about what it is, and what it isn’t.  It’s always a fun exercise to discuss how we’ve come to learn what good Customer Service is.  Not too many people have stories from childhood of their parents pointing out great customer service examples and saying, ‘hey, Junior, did you notice that interaction, that was a great example of good customer service’.

And, of course, it always comes up about how badly those providing Great Customer Service unfortunately get mistreated.  From being ignored, to being yelled at, you can imagine – it’s not always pleasant.  So much so, that it’s sometimes not very motivating to continue doing the right thing.

As the Customer, we need to be aware of our actions as well during the interaction with the service provider.

Put away the Cell Phone
Engage with the clerk, smile and give them your full attention…not your cell phone.

Give them a Compliment
I’ll never forget the time we were travelling through an airport and I noticed one of the custodial ladies and was drawn to the fact that her hair looked especially nice, so I looked her in the eye and said, “Your hair looks so nice”.  She stopped, dead in her tracks, and looked at me a bit puzzled (I think she was expecting a complaint or some other rant)… then she realized I had given her a compliment.  Her face lit up and a smile appeared from ear to ear as she said “thank-you”.

It’s amazing – the power of an honest and sincere compliment, and how it can add a bit of pep to someone’s step.

Don’t take out your frustrations on them
There’s a pretty good chance that the person in front of you is not directly responsible for the problem at hand.  If they are, then you need to take the situation to their supervisor, in a professional manner.  Treating the clerk rudely and inappropriately will get you nowhere – fast!  By treating them in a professional and responsible manner, we are showing them respect, and they will in turn, hopefully show us respect and help to resolve the situation quickly.

upset customer

Special Announcements:

Don’t forget to register now and save $50 with the ‘Summer Special’ rate, which is open through July 31.
Registration is in full swing for our 5-8th grade programs that begin this Fall and classes are fulling up quickly.
And yes, a deposit can still be made to secure their spot!
For more information, visit the registration page on the website:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/registration

etc…
The highest compliment you can give us is a referral to your friends and coworkers. Please share our registration and contact information with any families you think might be interested in participating in our program.

Each year we build on the previous year as we add to the curriculum.  We have many students who continue with us each season, from our Level 5 (5th grade) program through our Passport (High School) Program.  Our goal with the continuous exposure, and gentle reminders, of the courtesies we teach over consecutive years – is to assist you in raising well-mannered young adults.

  • Continued Exposure:  Just as continued exposure to athletics and school homework reaps rewards; continued exposure to the social skills taught in our program will provide lifelong lessons that will benefit your child throughout the classroom and into the boardroom.
  • Benefits and Rewards:  One of the biggest rewards of our students returning year after year, is the virtual ‘light bulb’ that seems to turn on and stay on; the students are really starting to get it and they are very proud of themselves.  Their confidence is building.  We’ve highlighted some of our graduating seniors on my blog at www.CareySueVega.com/?s=senior+spotlight

5-8th Grade Levels:  We encourage you to register early to take advantage of the ‘Summer Special’ discount.  Regular tuition for the 2014-2015 season will be $425.

  • All Families, ‘Summer Special’ $375 by July 31
  • 5-8th Grade registration online via:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/registration

9-12th Grade Levels:  Registration is open and will continue with the Early Bird discount into the fall.  Register early to avoid the waiting list.

  • 9-12th Grade registration online via:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/passport-high-school-registration

 

Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops
Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I’m busy booking projects and working on presentations for clients and am already scheduling well into the Fall!  Thank you so much for your continued support for this part of my business!

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress

 

As always, thanks for reading!
- Carey Sue

No comments | leave a comment
Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Sporks, Saltcellars, and Knife Rests, oh my!

As our students are out and about living life, they often stumble across old-fashioned table accessories that make them scratch their heads and ask, what in the world?  Sporks, Salt Cellars, and Knife Rests are all items we’ve received texts, or pictures posted via social media, with the questions of what and why?

So here’s the scoop…

Sporks
A few years ago, one of our students texted me, with a bit of good humor, asking about the plastic ‘spork’ in his KFC to-go order and if it should it be placed on the left or the right when setting the table… much to his surprise, I had a little history to share with him – which turned into a pretty fun text exchange.  I wish I had thought to get a screen shot of our dialogue, it was pretty funny.  Needless to say, he was shocked to learn that KFC didn’t invent the “spork”.  The spork (a spoon and fork hybrid) dates back to the late 1800’s.  The predecessor to our contemporary plastic spork is the ‘terrapin fork’ (yes, you read that correctly) or the ‘ice cream spoon’.  So to answer his question, I tossed it back to him to ask for which course he plans to use the ‘spork’.  That would help me with my suggestion for the placement of it.  If it’s for ‘terrapin’ during the meal, then it would go to the left with the other ‘forks’, if it’s for ice cream, it would be placed to the top of the place setting where the dessert utensils are found.  Or in his case, KFC, it really doesn’t matter where it’s placed, because he’s probably eating in his lap, out of a paper bag.

With his newfound knowledge, he said he’s holding out to win a chocolate bar sometime in the near future – or, if he ever appears on Jeopardy, he’s hopes to say “Sporks for $500 Alex”.

Here are some pictures of different types of ‘sporks’ for your enjoyment.

silver-spork.jpg  sporks.jpg

Saltcellars
A Saltcellar is a lidded or open vessel with a miniature spoon, which is placed on the dining table and used to dispense salt – in lieu of a modern saltshaker.  Use of saltcellars date back as early as Classical Greek and Roman times and continued through the first half of the 20th century.  They started falling out of favor with the introduction of free flowing salt in 1911, and have for the most part become obsolete with the convenience of saltshakers.

At the height of their glory, during the Middle Ages, elaborate master saltcellars evolved.  These works of art were placed at the head table and the large vessel was a sign of status and prosperity and was always prominently displayed.  In addition to the master salt (the big Kahuna), smaller, simpler saltcellars were distributed for diners to share.

The social status of guests could easily be identified by their positions relative to the master’s large salt cellar: high-ranking guests sat above the salt while those of lesser importance sat below the salt.

Here’s a picture of one of the most famous saltcellars made for Francis I of France, 1540-1543:

FrancisIsaltcellar

A modern version from Tiffany:

Tiffany-Co.-Salt-Cellars

Knife Rests
Technically, once you’ve used a utensil and it’s ‘dirty’, you’re not supposed to place it back on the table.  The reasoning was so that diners would not soil the tablecloth with a grimy utensil, hence the job of the knife rest.   Modern knife rests came about in the late 17th or early 18th century, but they originally can be tied to the times of Henry VIII.

Another fun fact about the dinner, or table, knife is the distinguishing feature of a blunt or rounded end. The origin of this, and thus of the table knife itself, dates back to the 1600’s; supposedly to cure dinner guests of the unsavory habit of picking their teeth with their knife-points.  In 1669, King Louis XIV of France banned pointed knives in the street and at his table, insisting on blunt tips, in order to reduce violence.  This history is helpful when setting the table; it’s a fun way to remember that you always place the blade of the knife towards your plate – and not towards your neighbor, think of it as helping to ‘keep the peace’.

photo

 

Special Announcements:

Don’t forget to register now and save $50 with the ‘Summer Special’ rate, which is open through July 31.
Registration is in full swing for our 5-8th grade programs that begin this Fall and classes are fulling up quickly.
And yes, a deposit can still be made to secure their spot!
For more information, visit the registration page on the website:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/registration

etc…
The highest compliment you can give us is a referral to your friends and coworkers. Please share our registration and contact information with any families you think might be interested in participating in our program.

Each year we build on the previous year as we add to the curriculum.  We have many students who continue with us each season, from our Level 5 (5th grade) program through our Passport (High School) Program.  Our goal with the continuous exposure, and gentle reminders, of the courtesies we teach over consecutive years – is to assist you in raising well-mannered young adults.

  • Continued Exposure:  Just as continued exposure to athletics and school homework reaps rewards; continued exposure to the social skills taught in our program will provide lifelong lessons that will benefit your child throughout the classroom and into the boardroom.
  • Benefits and Rewards:  One of the biggest rewards of our students returning year after year, is the virtual ‘light bulb’ that seems to turn on and stay on; the students are really starting to get it and they are very proud of themselves.  Their confidence is building.  We’ve highlighted some of our graduating seniors on my blog at www.CareySueVega.com/?s=senior+spotlight

5-8th Grade Levels:  We encourage you to register early to take advantage of the ‘Summer Special’ discount.  Regular tuition for the 2014-2015 season will be $425.

  • All Families, ‘Summer Special’ $375 by July 31
  • 5-8th Grade registration online via:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/registration

9-12th Grade Levels:  Registration is open and will continue with the Early Bird discount into the fall.  Register early to avoid the waiting list.

  • 9-12th Grade registration online via:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/passport-high-school-registration

 

Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops
Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I’m busy booking projects and working on presentations for clients and am already scheduling well into the Fall!  Thank you so much for your continued support for this part of my business!

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress

 

As always, thanks for reading!
- Carey Sue

No comments | leave a comment
Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Family, Family Dinner, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Airplane and Travel Etiquette

Many families are heading out on summer vacation.  For many, that means hitting the airport.

For the frequent flyer, they know the rules of Airplane and Travel Etiquette inside and out!  But for families who don’t fly on a regular basis, airline travel can be a bit overwhelming and it can add undo stress to the family vacation.  Don’t let the stress override your end goal of relaxing and having fun.

Look at this also as a great opportunity to teach your kids how to be gracious travelers.  Point out the good, the bad, and the ugly and have conversations.  One of these days they’ll be travelling on their own and you want to make sure they have the tools to be good travelers… not ‘tacky tourists’.

Here are a few of the things you may encounter during your trip and some tips to help you navigate them comfortable and confidently.

Escalators and Moving Sidewalks
Think of moving sidewalks and escalators as a highway. Slower traffic (standing) in the right lane, faster traffic (walking) in the left lane. When driving on a highway, if you stop in the middle of the rode, you create a traffic jam, or worse, an accident… same thing happens on people movers. Add to the mix, people pulling luggage, pushing small children in strollers, the elderly who may be feeling unstable… you get the picture. When you step off the escalator or moving sidewalk, if you need to get your bearings before moving on, make sure you step aside completely clear of traffic to alleviate an accident.

Also, it’s always a good idea to “hold on”, you’d hate to lose your balance and create the domino effect down the escalator.

Trams
Just like an elevator, you need to wait for those exiting to clear the doorways before you start to enter.  Everyone is in a hurry, and everyone wants to be the first off – but everyone also needs to get onto the tram.  As you enter, move towards the back to make way for the others.  Once you find your spot, “hold on”.  Not only will you need to hold on to the pole to secure yourself, but you also need to hold on to your personal effects, those little trams can fly… sending your carryon on a little journey of its own!

Carry On Bags
If you’re carrying on your luggage and have more than one bag, take time BEFORE you board the plane to organize your bags.  Determine which one will be your ‘below bag’ and which will be your ‘above bag’.  The below bag should contain items you’ll need during the flight such as water, technology, medicine, etc.  The above bag contains everything else that’s not needed during the flight.

Don’t be a ‘bin hog’.  Keep your bag to a manageable size.  Don’t overstuff it – you know how big (or should I say little) those bins are!!! (If you’re traveling for the first time and do not know the size – you can look at the requirements on the airlines website.)

Who gets the armrest?
Technically the person in middle seat gets the short end of the stick all the way around, so let’s at least gives them the arm rests!  If we look at it logically, the outer seats both have the outside armrests and space to lean into.  Again, the person in the middle seat is stuck with no place to go – so let’s cut them some slack.  Look at it as the consolation prize for being stuck in the middle.

Sleeping Seatmates
There’s not getting around them – literally.  If you try, you’ll find yourself in a very awkward position mid-straddle when then wake up!  Gently nudge them and say ‘excuse me’.  They’ll understand – it’s part of travelling.

Chatty Cathy
If you’re not in the mood to talk, put on the ear buds and plug in.  Or open a book and read.  If your seatmate keeps trying to talk to you, you can gently say something like ‘I would love to visit, but I’m in the middle of this book and am trying to finish it during this flight’.

And who knows, everything is meant for a reason, maybe you need to engage in the conversation, you may learn something, or meet someone new and it might be well worth the ‘interruption’.

Dress Code
Gone are the days of dressing up to travel, but some travelers have taken dressing down to a whole new level.  Please leave the pajamas and house shoes at home.  You can still be comfortable and look respectable.  And if you feel like kicking off your shoes in flight – make sure you’re wearing clean socks that are ‘odor free’.  One time on an overseas flight, I had to endure a seatmate who not only kicked off her shoes, but proceeded to prop her bare (stinky) feet up on the headrest in front of her.  Needless to say, I lost my appetite during that flight!

Kids and travel
Having a child myself, I know traveling can be a bit of a nightmare when they’re toddlers: and as a parent, we do just about anything possible to keep the little tykes entertained, so they don’t “entertain” the other travelers.  Unfortunately though, we get so caught up in keeping Junior occupied, that we sometimes forget we may be “occupying” our neighbor’s space as well.  If you take along technology, don’t forget the headsets/ear buds.  If they’re playing games and don’t have their ear buds in – turn the sound off.

I recently stumbled across a great little accessory we use when traveling, it’s a “splitter” attachment to allow access for two sets of headphones to be plugged into one device.  This little gadget has worked wonders on long trips as we can watch a movie, or listen to music, together and it helps to keep us from “disturbing the peace”.

It’s all in the ‘tude
Keep a positive attitude!  Things happen, fights get delayed, and people get cranky.  If you keep a positive attitude – you’ll get much farther.  The old saying ‘you catch more flies with honey’ is a great rule of thumb to remember when the situation gets sticky!  Being nice may be the difference of getting on that overbooked flight vs. being stuck in the airport with the other sourballs that were yelling at the gate agents!

A friend who frequently travels for business shared this commercial.  As he mentioned in the post, ‘this about sums it all up perfectly for me….Its not about the advertisement – just what’s going on around her.’

If you are traveling through airports this summer, have a great vacation!

No comments | leave a comment
Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Family, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Formal Food Service – from the ‘Left’ or ‘Right’?

Don’t you love typos?  Especially after you proofread, reread, and reread once more before pulling the proverbial trigger.  THEN, after you’ve sent your message, or email newsletter, do you see the typo, ‘bigger than Dallas’!!!  Yep, that happened to me last week.  It wasn’t until after I sent the Manner Monday newsletter about Bread and Butter, that I saw the typo.  So here is the mistake: ‘When they clear your plate from the Left…’.  It should have read, ‘clear your plate from the Right’.

An easy way to remember which way food will be coming and going is ‘L = L’, Leave it from the Left.  And ‘R = R’, Remove it from the Right.  But it’s still not as clear-cut as Left and Right.  American style service has followed this general rule of thumb for quite some time and stems from the days of butler service.  The Butler would showcase a large tray of food choices to the guest.  The platter would be presented to the Left of the guest and the guest would either remove the items of choice, or the butler would place the selected item on the guest’s plate.

Times change and so does the level of formality with food service.  Some camps believe that when the food is already plated and prepared, there is no need for the formal platter presentation – the food is ready to go and should both be served and removed from the right.

‘Leave it from the Right’ Camp
When service is a la Russe, where the food item is prepared in full by the Chef in the kitchen. The food then should delivered, in its entirety to the guest, from the Right.

The ‘Right’ camp believes the diner should only be approached from the Left for three purposes:

  1. To present a platter of food from which the waiter will serve, or the diner will choose.
  2. To place side dishes such as ‘bread and butter’, vegetables, etc.
  3. To clear side dishes that are placed on the left, such as ‘bread and butter’.

Leave it from the Left’ Camp
When multiple drinks are present, water, wine, cordials, coffee, etc., it can get a bit crowded on the right.  A strong argument for continuing to serve from the left and remove from the right is fewer opportunities for a mishap between the plate and stemware, which is placed on the right.

Needless to say both camps deem their way is best.  You, as a diner, know that both ways are universally acceptable and can follow suit based on how your waiter presents your food.  Either way – everyone agrees, ‘Remove it from the Right’.

Here’s a picture from Downton Abbey with a great example of how confusing it can be when deciding leave it from the ‘Left’ or ‘Right’:

serving from left

 

Special Announcements:

Registration is in full swing for our 5-8th grade programs that begin this Fall and classes are fulling up quickly.
Don’t forget to register now and save $50 with the ‘Summer Special’ rate.
And yes, a deposit can still be made to secure their spot!
For more information, visit the registration page on the website:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/registration

etc…
The highest compliment you can give us is a referral to your friends and coworkers. Please share our registration and contact information with any families you think might be interested in participating in our program.

Each year we build on the previous year as we add to the curriculum.  We have many students who continue with us each season, from our Level 5 (5th grade) program through our Passport (High School) Program.  Our goal with the continuous exposure, and gentle reminders, of the courtesies we teach over consecutive years – is to assist you in raising well-mannered young adults.

  • Continued Exposure:  Just as continued exposure to athletics and school homework reaps rewards; continued exposure to the social skills taught in our program will provide lifelong lessons that will benefit your child throughout the classroom and into the boardroom.
  • Benefits and Rewards:  One of the biggest rewards of our students returning year after year, is the virtual ‘light bulb’ that seems to turn on and stay on; the students are really starting to get it and they are very proud of themselves.  Their confidence is building.  We’ve highlighted some of our graduating seniors on my blog at www.CareySueVega.com/?s=senior+spotlight

5-8th Grade Levels:  We encourage you to register early to take advantage of the ‘Summer Special’ discount.  Regular tuition for the 2014-2015 season will be $425.

  • All Families, ‘Summer Special’ $375 by July 31
  • 5-8th Grade registration online via:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/registration

9-12th Grade Levels:  Registration is open and will continue with the Early Bird discount into the fall.  Register early to avoid the waiting list.

  • 9-12th Grade registration online via:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/passport-high-school-registration

 

Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops
Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I’m busy booking projects and working on presentations for clients and am already scheduling well into the Fall!  Thank you so much for your continued support for this part of my business!

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress

 

As always, thanks for reading!
- Carey Sue

 

No comments | leave a comment
Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Family, Family Dinner, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Bread and Butter

A friend recently asked me about bread and butter at formal events.  She mentioned how when at home, she loves to spread butter all over her roll letting the butter melt and get all gooey and soak in.  I was shaking my head in unison, salivating, wondering where the closest bakery was to pick up a loaf on the way home to devour that evening.  I think it’s safe to say, when we eat at home, we tend to be a bit more casual.  Sometimes we need to brush up on some of our more ‘formal’ manners before heading out to a big event.

Bread - For formal events, and at nicer restaurants, wait staff may serve the bread where it would be placed directly onto your bread plate.  Or it may be placed in a basket on the table to be passed family style.  Either way, if you have a bread plate, the plate should remain in its position throughout the meal until the wait staff removes it.  In case you’re drawing a blank on where your bread plate should be stationed, you can refer to the fun ‘b’ and ‘d’ trick, or the ‘BMW’ analogy.  As much as we love our bread, you don’t get to bring it down, front and center – it’s an accessory to the meal not the main course.

If you don’t have an individual bread plate at your place setting, you can rest your roll on the edge of your dinner plate.

Butter - The Butter may be preset on your personal bread and butter plate, on a communal plate to be passed for sharing, or individual foil packets may be placed in a container on the table.  If you’re faced with butter in foil packets, gently open your packet, gently scoop your serving of butter onto your plate, and gently fold your foil trash and place it in your virtual trashcan.

Your Virtual Trashcan - To find your virtual trashcan, picture a clock on your dinner plate.  Where the five falls on the clock, your trashcan will be on the table just under the right lip of your dinner plate.  This is helpful to the wait staff.  When they clear your plate from the right, they can easily empty your trash instead of having to reach all of the way in to the middle of the table.  Your trashcan can be used for sweetener packets and any other small pieces of ‘trash’.

Butter knife - If you have an individual butter knife, it stays at home resting on it’s own plate in between workouts.  Its sole purpose is to get the butter onto the bread – one bite at a time.  No working overtime on any other item.  If you do not have a butter knife, your dinner knife will work a double shift and step pinch hit for the job.  Either way, just don’t lick it spotless – you can gently wipe it on your piece of bread to clean it if need be.

One Bite at a time - When you’re ready for a bite of bread, take your fingers and tear a small piece away from your roll and butter that one individual portion.  We don’t get to cut our roll in half and slather butter all over it when we’re at a formal event and high-end restaurant, save that for home with close family.

Dipping and Sopping - If you have olive oil, gravy, or soup, you can ‘gently’ dip or sop with your individual bite size piece of bread.  Refrain from using the piece of bread as a shovel to clean your plate, and be extra careful to keep anything from dripping onto your shirt.

Now pass the bread basket please – all this talk about bread, I’m starving!

Bread Roll Plate

 

Special Announcements:

Registration is in full swing for our 5-8th grade programs that begin this Fall and classes are fulling up quickly.
Don’t forget to register now and save $50 with the ‘Summer Special’ rate.
And yes, a deposit can still be made to secure their spot!
For more information, visit the registration page on the website:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/registration

etc…
The highest compliment you can give us is a referral to your friends and coworkers. Please share our registration and contact information with any families you think might be interested in participating in our program.

Each year we build on the previous year as we add to the curriculum.  We have many students who continue with us each season, from our Level 5 (5th grade) program through our Passport (High School) Program.  Our goal with the continuous exposure, and gentle reminders, of the courtesies we teach over consecutive years – is to assist you in raising well-mannered young adults.

  • Continued Exposure:  Just as continued exposure to athletics and school homework reaps rewards; continued exposure to the social skills taught in our program will provide lifelong lessons that will benefit your child throughout the classroom and into the boardroom.
  • Benefits and Rewards:  One of the biggest rewards of our students returning year after year, is the virtual ‘light bulb’ that seems to turn on and stay on; the students are really starting to get it and they are very proud of themselves.  Their confidence is building.  We’ve highlighted some of our graduating seniors on my blog at www.CareySueVega.com/?s=senior+spotlight

5-8th Grade Levels:  We encourage you to register early to take advantage of the ‘Summer Special’ discount.  Regular tuition for the 2014-2015 season will be $425.

  • All Families, ‘Summer Special’ $375 by July 31
  • 5-8th Grade registration online via:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/registration

9-12th Grade Levels:  Registration is open and will continue with the Early Bird discount into the fall.  Register early to avoid the waiting list.

  • 9-12th Grade registration online via:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/passport-high-school-registration

 

Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops
Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I’m busy booking projects and working on presentations for clients and am already scheduling well into the Fall!  Thank you so much for your continued support for this part of my business!

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress

 

As always, thanks for reading!
- Carey Sue

No comments | leave a comment
Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Family, Family Dinner, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Spitting

Yes, spitting.

In the past week, I’ve witnessed way too many episodes of spat being hurled purposefully – in VERY public places.

  • A young 4th grade boy at my son’s school, during field day, I assume he was spitting to appear ‘cool’.  But it came REALLY close to my foot.  Not cool.
  • A young adult, not certain how old, but old enough to know better, spitting just outside the entrance (directly in front of the doors) at the grocery store.
  • Another young adult, an employee at a local hardware store, in uniform, spitting in front of the store while tending to the seasonal plants on display.
  • And I won’t go into detail about the young man who pulled a ‘Cowboy Kleenex’ outside the entrance to Petsmart… let’s just say it even ‘creeped out’ our 8 year old son!

What in the world is going on?

I’m pretty easy going, and am all about being flexible, times and cultures changing, and the rules of etiquette changing – but all of these recent episodes have left me feeling like that mature relative reliving the ‘olden days’ of walking uphill both ways in the snow to school… lamenting about the demise of manners – and spit.

Is it too much to ask – if you must spit, save it for someplace not so public?  And definitely…
don't spit on the sidewalk

Thanks for letting me rant.

I’d love to hear from you.  Am I being a curmudgeon?  Do you remember the bricks like in the picture above?  Hop over to our Facebook page to share your thoughts.

 

 

Special Announcements:

For families who missed the Early Bird rate, please let them know they can still save $50 with the ‘Summer Special’ rate.
And yes, a deposit can still be made to secure their spot!
For more information, visit the registration page on the website:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/registration

etc…
The highest compliment you can give us is a referral to your friends and coworkers. Please share our registration and contact information with any families you think might be interested in participating in our program.

Each year we build on the previous year as we add to the curriculum.  We have many students who continue with us each season, from our Level 5 (5th grade) program through our Passport (High School) Program.  Our goal with the continuous exposure, and gentle reminders, of the courtesies we teach over consecutive years – is to assist you in raising well-mannered young adults.

  • Continued Exposure:  Just as continued exposure to athletics and school homework reaps rewards; continued exposure to the social skills taught in our program will provide lifelong lessons that will benefit your child throughout the classroom and into the boardroom.
  • Benefits and Rewards:  One of the biggest rewards of our students returning year after year, is the virtual ‘light bulb’ that seems to turn on and stay on; the students are really starting to get it and they are very proud of themselves.  Their confidence is building.  We’ve highlighted some of our graduating seniors on my blog at www.CareySueVega.com/?s=senior+spotlight

5-8th Grade Levels:  We encourage you to register early to take advantage of the ‘Summer Special’ discount.  Regular tuition for the 2014-2015 season will be $425.

  • All Families, ‘Summer Special’ $375 by July 31
  • 5-8th Grade registration online via:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/registration

9-12th Grade Levels:  Registration is open and will continue with the Early Bird discount into the fall.  Register early to avoid the waiting list.

  • 9-12th Grade registration online via:  https://www.expeditionsinetiquette.com/passport-high-school-registration

 

Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops
Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I’m busy booking projects and working on presentations for clients and am already scheduling well into the Fall!  Thank you so much for your continued support for this part of my business!

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or CareySue@CareySueVega.com

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress

 

 

As always, thanks for reading!
- Carey Sue

No comments | leave a comment
Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Family, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Napkin Etiquette

I was always taught to put my napkin neatly on the table when I excuse myself, either to go to the restroom, or when I was finished eating but still chatting at the table.  Recently a friend mentioned that putting your napkin on the table is actually rude?  I do know that in better restaurants the waiter will pick it up and drape it over the chair until the diner returns.  So just what is the correct napkin etiquette?   Thank you! - Kathleen

First off, many people may not know the intricacies of Silverware Sign Language TM.  Not to mention that different Etiquette Experts have different opinions on the topic (Emily Post and Letitia Baldridge, are two of the most famous who don’t agree), so I wouldn’t say placing your napkin on the table is rude.  And unless it was a REALLY good friend who pointed this out – they’d actually be the one to fall under the ‘rude’ category for bringing it up and making you feel uncomfortable.  Manners and Etiquette is more about making people feel at ease than focusing on the rules.

So now to answer your question, here’s my take on the topic:  When leaving the table during the meal, place your napkin on your chair (on the seat, over the arm, or over the back), this signals ‘I’ll be back’.  My theory is that your neighbors don’t want to look at a dirty napkin while they’re still enjoying their meal.   And yes, in finer restaurants, many waiters will pick up the napkin (no matter where you’ve left it), gently fold it and reposition it to their preferential waiting place.  Once you are completely finished with your meal, placing your napkin on the table signals, ‘I’m finished’.  A general rule is to gently fold your napkin keeping the soiled spots out of sight, instead of just wading it up into and tossing it in a jumbled pile. If your plate has been removed, you can place the napkin in the center where the plate was.  If your plate is still in position, gently place your napkin to the ‘left’ of your plate.  An easy way to remember going to the left, if you have a coffee cup it would be on the right – so there would be ‘no room in the inn’ for your napkin.

A few other napkin tips:

  • Place your napkin in your lap as soon as you are seated.  The custom of waiting for the hostess is reserved for formal affairs.
  • If you’re wearing dark colored pants or skirt, it is perfectly acceptable to ask if the restaurant has a dark napkin. Often a white napkin will leave lint marks on your clothing.  Some of the finer restaurants will be proactive in making this happen before you have a chance to ask.
  • Your napkin should be placed on your lap, not tucked into your shirt collar or tied around your neck (unless you’re a toddler and mom forgot the bib).
  • If you have a large dinner sized napkin, leave it folded in half, with the fold at your waist.  Much less material to deal with and it makes it so much easier to manage.
  • Ladies with lipstick, be consistent when picking up your napkin and dab with the same spot, this helps to keep lipstick stains corralled in the same area and keeps your napkin from looking like something found at the scene of a crime.
  • If your napkin falls on the floor, leave it.  Not only is the floor extremely filthy, but if you bend down to retrieve it, your head gets precariously near your neighbors lap – and all I’m going to say is ‘awkward’.  The waiter will happily bring you a new napkin.
  • If you accidentally make a big spill on the table – hopefully the waiter is near by to help save the day.  But if not, you can easily put a ‘bandaid’ on the spill by moving your plate, glassware, etc., and then placing your napkin over the mess.  Reset your place setting, apologize, and then move on.  Don’t keep bringing up the accident.  Trust me – it happens to everyone at some point and time… move on and try to forget about it.

In the grand scheme of things… just make sure to use a napkin!  And along those lines, Emily Post said it best, “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”

napkin-toddler

Special Announcements:

Cupcakes and Coffee
Will you help spread the word? … in April, we have scheduled two ‘Cupcakes and Coffee’ informational meetings.  Please share with your friends that these meetings are not mandatory for new parents, but serve as an opportunity for parents to gather information about the program in addition to the information included on our website.  If they have any questions, they are more than welcome to call or email.  I would love to visit with them.

And we would love to have you join us as well is you’re available!

  • Tuesday, April 15, 6:30-7:30pm, at The Nigh University Center (Campus of UCO), 2nd Street and Garland Godfrey, Edmond
  • Thursday, April 17, 6:30-7:30pm, at the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association (COHBA) Event Center, 420 East Britton Road, Oklahoma City

Early Bird Registration for 5-8th Grade Programs
The highest compliment you can give us is a referral to your friends and coworkers. Please share our registration and contact information with any families you think might be interested in participating in our program.

Each year we build on the previous year as we add to the curriculum.  We have many students who continue with us each season, from our Level 5 (5th grade) program through our Passport (High School) Program.  Our goal with the continuous exposure, and gentle reminders, of the courtesies we teach over consecutive years – is to assist you in raising well-mannered young adults.

  • Continued Exposure:  Just as continued exposure to athletics and school homework reaps rewards; continued exposure to the social skills taught in our program will provide lifelong lessons that will benefit your child throughout the classroom and into the boardroom.
  • Benefits and Rewards:  One of the biggest rewards of our students returning year after year, is the virtual ‘light bulb’ that seems to turn on and stay on; the students are really starting to get it and they are very proud of themselves.  Their confidence is building.  We’ve highlighted some of our graduating seniors on my blog atwww.CareySueVega.com/?s=senior+spotlight

5-8th Grade Levels:  We encourage you to register early to take advantage of the ‘early bird’ discount.  Regular tuition for the 2014-2015 season will be $425.

9-12th Grade Levels:  Registration is open and will continue with the Early Bird discount into the fall.  Register early to avoid the waiting list.

As always, thanks for reading!
- Carey Sue

 

 

No comments | leave a comment
Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Family, Family Dinner, Manners

Manner Monday®: ‘Fast Casual’ dining and lunch meeting Etiquette

“A friend invited me to a higher end ‘Fast Casual’ restaurant for lunch the other day.  I arrived at the restaurant; stood inside the front by the door, and waited for her. After 10 minutes, I started to worry, thinking I had made a mistake and she went to one of their other locations.  I texted her to confirm  - no response.  I waited a bit longer, texted again.  Still, no response and it’s now been 20 minutes. At this point I decided to go ahead and order thinking she got tied up or forgot.  I went to the back of the restaurant to get water from the drink machine … and there she was – sitting at a table by herself, saving a table, waiting on me.  I about died!  Then I started kicking myself for not checking the restaurant to see if she was already there.  I just ‘assumed’ she would meet me at the front.  What a mess!  Help, what is the etiquette for ‘Fast Casual’ restaurants and lunch meetings?”

Believe it or not, this same thing has happened to me before!  And yes, it was a mess.  After this happened, it reminded me of one of the most important things one needs to do before heading out for a lunch meeting:

  • Confirm with your guest the day before, or the morning of, the meeting.  It’s a nice gesture (hey – who hasn’t forgot to put something on their calendar) and a perfect opportunity to verify the date, time and location (especially if there are multiple locations!)

Fast Casual Restaurants usually have a big lunch crowd and are very fast paced.

The best and most conducive flow for the restaurant is for customers to stand in line, place their order, and then get a table.  This is an organic flow to their system and helps to make their process work and remain efficient.  So wait until your party has arrived, place your order, THEN get your table.  If you have a party of 3 or more and someone is running late, text or call them and ask if you can place their order to help move things along.  This is a nice gesture for those who arrived on time and also helps to keep from clogging up the entry.

photo

 

Special Announcements:

Cupcakes and Coffee
Will you help spread the word? … in April, we have scheduled two ‘Cupcakes and Coffee’ informational meetings.  Please share with your friends that these meetings are not mandatory for new parents, but serve as an opportunity for parents to gather information about the program in addition to the information included on our website.  If they have any questions, they are more than welcome to call or email.  I would love to visit with them.

And we would love to have you join us as well is you’re available!

  • Tuesday, April 15, 6:30-7:30pm, at The Nigh University Center (Campus of UCP), 2nd Street and Garland Godfrey, Edmond
  • Thursday, April 17, 6:30-7:30pm, at the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association (COHBA) Event Center, 420 East Britton Road, Oklahoma City

Early Bird Registration for 5-8th Grade Programs
The highest compliment you can give us is a referral to your friends and coworkers. Please share our registration and contact information with any families you think might be interested in participating in our program.

Each year we build on the previous year as we add to the curriculum.  We have many students who continue with us each season, from our Level 5 (5th grade) program through our Passport (High School) Program.  Our goal with the continuous exposure, and gentle reminders, of the courtesies we teach over consecutive years – is to assist you in raising well-mannered young adults.

  • Continued Exposure:  Just as continued exposure to athletics and school homework reaps rewards; continued exposure to the social skills taught in our program will provide lifelong lessons that will benefit your child throughout the classroom and into the boardroom.
  • Benefits and Rewards:  One of the biggest rewards of our students returning year after year, is the virtual ‘light bulb’ that seems to turn on and stay on; the students are really starting to get it and they are very proud of themselves.  Their confidence is building.  We’ve highlighted some of our graduating seniors on my blog atwww.CareySueVega.com/?s=senior+spotlight

5-8th Grade Levels:  We encourage you to register early to take advantage of the ‘early bird’ discount.  Regular tuition for the 2014-2015 season will be $425.

9-12th Grade Levels:  Registration is open and will continue with the Early Bird discount into the fall.  Register early to avoid the waiting list.

As always, thanks for reading!
- Carey Sue

 

No comments | leave a comment
Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Fondue Etiquette

One of our Student Ambassadors recently posted a picture from her outing to The Melting Pot, asking about silverware placement for the ‘pokers’, which prompted the idea for a post on Fondue Etiquette.  Thanks Masen!

Here are a few tips to keep you from a Fondue fail:

  • Setting the table – to answer her question, my initial thought is that it’s part of the ‘fork’ family, so it would go to the ‘left’ of the place setting with the other forks. Once you’ve started the process of the fondue, in between actively using the fork, it would lay in ‘resting’ position on your plate. It would be placed in ‘finished position’ for it’s final debut.
  • Pick your poker - Remember which fork is yours.  The forks have color-coded markers or handles, make a mental note of yours and stick with it so as to not pilfer someone else’s poker.
  • No Double Dipping - Ever.  This goes for the salsa at a Mexican restaurant, and it goes for whatever is on your fork at the fondue restaurant.  The cooking/dipping pot is communal – your germs aren’t.
  • Don’t eat straight from the poker - This goes back to double dipping.  Transfer the morsel from the stick to your plate.  Let it cool for a bit, then use your traditional fork to transport the item to your mouth.  If no service plate is provided for a landing pad, and you find yourself needing to eat from the poker, do not touch your teeth or lips to your fork.  Use your teeth to gently remove the item without making direct contact with your fork.
  • Cheese or Chocolate fondue - Dip, stir and twirl. Dip, then stir a couple of times and make your exit.  By stirring, you’re doing your part to ‘stir the pot’, keeping the temperature even throughout.  Once you remove your item from the pot, hold it over and give a gentle twirl to keep drips and drizzles back to your plate to a minimum.
  • Fun Folklore – Tradition says that if a gentleman loses his bread in the pot, he buys drinks for the table.  If it’s a woman who loses her bread, she must kiss her neighbors.
  • Fire - And of course keep in mind there is an open flame – so safety is important.  Keep long sleeves and other flammable objects away.

Most importantly, have fun and enjoy!  Eating fondue is a unique way to break bread with friends and spend quality time together.

photo

No comments | leave a comment
Business Etiquette, Etiquette, Family, Manner Monday, Manners