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®: July 4th

I hope your gearing up for a fun-filled long weekend with family and friends to celebrate the Fourth of July!

During the weekend, take some time to unplug and focus on good old-fashioned ‘face time’.  During this time together, be ‘plugged in’ directly to the people around you.  Look for opportunities to have a conversation with someone.  Ask them how they’re doing – and mean it, focus on their answers.  I know I’m looking forward to this part of our time together – in addition to the fireworks!  And keep an eye open for  someone doing a kind deed.

Then after weekend, drop an old-fashioned hand-written note in the mail.  Share with someone, how much you enjoyed your time together and thank them for something specific they did or said that made a positive impact on you.  I promise, it will be time well spent.

If plan to fly your flag over the weekend, click here for some tips on Flag Etiquette

 

 

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, which is open through July 31.
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
Etiquette, Family, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday: The Power of Postcards

We’re (the Hub, Cub and I) wrapping up a family vacation where we road tripped to Michigan for my nephew’s wedding this past weekend. Last year I asked my friend, and fellow etiquette expert, Mindy Lockard, aka The Gracious Girl, to share her tips on the Power of Postcards.  Her post was such a big hit, I thought it was a perfect topic and fun reminder for us to take a few minutes during our trip to put the pen to paper.  Thanks Mindy for your great advice!!!

There is so much power in social media, no? From the ability to share our every meal to to play-by-play pictures from our travels it’s easy to feel connected. However, with the power of this immediate information it’s easy dismiss the value of staying in touch through the handwritten word.

After a recent trip to the East Coast where my ten-year-old daughter communicated to friends and family through the tradition of sending postcards, I realized there is still power in the postcard. This was most telling when we returned home and every person we sent a card to had the tail of our journey posted on their refrigerator or memo board. What was missing alongside our postcards was a print off of the many pictures I shared on facebook, twitter and instagram. After all, who prints off pictures or messages from their newsfeed? Nobody that I know.

That said, while our adventure is now old news in the social media newsfeed, it continues to be front and center for those we shared our adventures with. This my friends, shows that the handwritten note, while seemingly old fashioned, still is appreciated and valued.

Not to mention, receiving postcards is fun and one of the best ways to teach children how fun it can be to receive mail.

So this summer before you jet off or hit the road how about planning ahead to send a postcard or two?

Here are a few simple tips for sending postcards:

  1. Pack well, don’t forget addresses, stamps and a great pen
  2. On the airplane or from the road, make a list of those that you want to share your journey!
  3. When you arrive, find the nearest souvenir shop and purchase your postcards. Our suggestion is to purchase a few more than the number on your list. We always think of others as we go.
  4. As you travel, share your adventures through writing. We also find that when we are out to dinner visiting friends or have times when we might be tempted to hand our children a technological device, we hand them a postcard instead. It keeps them occupied and is a great life lesson.
  5. Find the nearest mailbox or Post Office and pop them in the mail! Don’t worry about them arriving after your return date. It’s the thought that counts.

Postcards

No comments | leave a comment
Family, Guest Blogger, 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®: Being a Houseguest or Being a House Host – takes a little planning

Summer is such a great time of the year!  Children are out of school and families are taking vacations.  Many of us will be hosting houseguests or we, in turn, will BE houseguests.  Being a hospitable host, and a gracious guest, takes just a little bit of extra effort – and that extra effort goes a long, long way in making sure everyone enjoys their time together.

Tips for the Houseguest:

  • As a houseguest, plan to take a hostess gift.  This can be anything from a plant, flowers, chocolates, wine, to a good book you know your host and hostess will enjoy – and it starts your stay off on such a nice note.
  • If you’ve been invited as a houseguest to a vacation or lake home – offer to help with additional expenses such as gas for the boat, or to purchase the food to grill.
  • Be courteous and try to respect your hosts’ boundaries.  For example, if they have small children who take naps, be aware of the noise you make during naptime.
  • It’s always appreciated if you try to pick up after yourself and keep your areas tidy.  Pick up your shoes from the living room and offer to help with the dishes.
  • If you’re staying of a few days, offer to take your hosts out for dinner one night.  It can be a bit of an overload on your host if they end up playing short-order-cook your entire stay.
  • Upon “checking out”, offer to take the sheets of the bed to expedite the preparation for the next guests.  More than likely your host will say ‘Oh, please don’t worry about it; I will take care of it.’  But offering to help out speaks volumes.
  • In addition to obviously verbally thanking your hosts upon your departure – follow up with an old-fashioned hand-written note, thanking them again.  It’s an archaic act that is truly appreciated.

Tips for the House Host/ess:

  • Do you best to make your guests area (bedroom, playroom, whatever space will be ‘theirs’ during their stay) inviting and relaxing.  Your guests will need space for their belongings, so make sure the closet, or dresser, is not overflowing with your children’s toys or Holiday decorations.
  • Make sure you have clean guest towels ready to go and in place.
  • Do a pre-check of the bathroom space your guests will be using and make sure there is plenty of TP, Kleenex and other toiletries on hand and backups ready for easy replacement in the cabinets.
  • Other conveniences and niceties that add a special touch to their stay include placing bottles of water on the nightstand or in the bathroom along with some travel sized amenities that can serve them in a pinch in case they forgot their shampoo, tooth brush or razor.
  • Wi-fi access?  More than likely your guests will have technology that they want to connect.  Place a note in their room with the Network name and password so they can connect at their leisure.
  • For guests who may be trying to ‘unplug’ during their visit, you may want to place a few books or magazines in their space so if they would like to spend some alone time, they have plenty of things to peruse.
  • If your guests will be coming and going during their stay, have a key made for them and be ready to share any special instructions about security systems or anything else they will need to gain access to your home.
  • Fresh flowers always make people feel special, just make sure they’re not too fragrant; you don’t want to trigger any allergies.

Having company, or being company can be exhausting – but it can also be very enjoyable.  If everyone does his or her part, it can make for a very memorable stay.

photo

 

 

 

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
Etiquette, Family, Manner Monday, Manners

Manner Monday®: Flag Etiquette

Happy Memorial Day!

Many of us will celebrate Memorial Day by displaying a United States Flag so I thought it would be helpful to share some tips on Flag Etiquette.  In my research, I stumbled upon a very detailed and helpful resource http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagcode.htm

Here are some highlights:

“It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.”

If utilizing a flagpole, when flying your flag on Memorial Day, it should be at half-staff until noon.

“When the flag of the United States is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff. When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.”

“The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.”

“The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

If you do have a flag that has seen better days and is ready to be replaced. Please let me know, our son is a Cub Scout and would be happy to dispose of it properly at our next official scouting ‘Flag Retirement’ ceremony.

Flags-on-houses_2.jpg

 

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
Etiquette, Family, Manner Monday, Manners