Manner Monday: Does the ship generate its own electricity?

During the 10 years I worked on cruise ships, I heard many “interesting” questions such as:

“Do these stairs go up or down?”

“Which elevator takes me to the front of the ship?”

“Does the ship generate its own electricity?”

Yes, I really did…. And yes, they always made me chuckle a bit internally.

I was reminded of these questions the other day when I was speaking to a group of students who are participating in a dropout prevention program.  We were talking about first impressions, handshakes, posture, and how important manners and etiquette are in our every day lives.

The students had so many questions about everything.  They were so eager and hungry to learn and they were taking in every bit of information possible.  They had questions about my recreation degree and how in the world a girl from Oklahoma ended up working on a cruise ship.  It was so much fun sharing information with them and talking about all of the possibilities available to them.

We talked about all of the different people who work on a ship; the fact that the ship is a floating city had never really been on their radar.  The ship needs electricians, engineers, wait staff, chefs, hair stylists, massage therapists, room stewards, nurses, doctors, entertainers, and the list went on.  We were talking about the accountants, the IT department, computers and cash registers when one of the students said “hey, wait a minute, how does the ship get electricity?”

That single question -which I used to always think of as comical- immediately brought the big picture into focus for me.  Remember your audience; remember who you are speaking to and remember to keep it relevant and in terms your audience will understand.  So often we live in our “world” and become accustomed to what we are used to and forget how big of a world it really is.

What do you take for granted as understood in “your world”?  Please share, I would love to know…

On another note:  Are you low on personalized stationery?  We’ve made it easy for you to order more.  Please visit: we have hundreds of styles and designs from which to choose.  We also have darling place mats that help the little ones in your life get a jump start on their table manners and make dining more fun.

Please visit my post ‘What is Manner Monday?’ to learn more about how to make the most of Manner Monday. Do you have a ‘manner’ you would like to see covered on Manner Monday?  Feel free to send me your thoughts.

And, of course, please share ‘Manner Monday’ with your friends and colleagues. If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter and receive ‘Manner Monday’ in your inbox, please enter your email address in the ‘Subscribe to Newsletter’ box on the right.

Thank you for reading Manner Monday!

2 comments | leave a comment
Manner Monday

Manner Monday: Thank you

Thank you.
Learn to say ‘Thank you’ in a new language to someone you interact with this week.

While working on Cruise Ships, I have to admit that I was not completely fluent in any language other than ‘Oklahoman’. But I did make it a point to learn a few key phrases, such as ‘Thank you’ in many other languages. Trust me, it goes a long way if you make the effort.
Here are a few:

  • Tusen Takk: Norwegian
  • Spasiba: Russian
  • Mauliate: Philippino
  • Sagol: Turkish/Cyprus
  • Grazzi: Maltese
  • Dank schön: German
  • Merci beaucoup: French
  • Cheers: England
  • No Problem: Jamaican… ok, so it’s really ‘Thank you’… but it seems as though in Jamaica, ‘No Problem’ is what you hear most :-)

Have fun…and remember, trying is half the battle!

Do you have a ‘manner’ you would like to see covered on Manner Monday?  Feel free to send me your thoughts.  And, of course, please share ‘Manner Monday’ with your friends and colleagues.

‘Thank you’!

No comments | leave a comment
Manner Monday

The Beginning

How did it begin?

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is, ‘how did you become an etiquette expert?’  Well, that’s a great question, but not such an easy answer.  I guess it started with all of the women in my family, my Mother, Granny, Grandmother, Great Aunts, Aunts, etc.  I have fond memories of using the ‘real stuff’.  We always used ‘real’ plates, ‘real’ napkins, and ‘real’ silverware.  They always had an effortless way of making you feel special when you were in their homes.  Nothing was ‘put away’ in closets.  Things were always out and ready to be admired, loved and put to use.

It even goes back to the men in my family, my Dad, Grandad, Grandpa, and many Uncles.  My Dad always takes off, or at least tips, his cowboy hat when meeting a lady.  He takes his hat off when we walk into a restaurant.  He always expected the boys to come all of the way up to the door and get us, no honking from the driveway was even contemplated by our suitors.

The many lessons my parents and extended family taught me during my adolescent years actually paid off!  I remember the first opportunity I had to ‘teach etiquette’.  It was during my Recreation Internship at South Seas Plantation on Captiva Island, Florida.  Part of the internship program was designing and implementing programs for the Recreation department.  One of my programs was “Manners Madness”.  We had a fun evening of food and games for the kiddos.  They came dressed in their vacation ‘finest’ and we served chicken fingers and other yummy goodies while addressing the very basics of appropriate behavior.  The parents loved it, the kids loved it, and I loved it because it because my supervisor was happy with the results!

The next phase in my ‘training’ came while working on cruise ships.  One of the most fun individuals I had the opportunity to work with was Ray Williams, an English Butler turned ship concierge.  As a Cruise Director, I was in charge of all of the onboard activities.  So, Ray and I tag teamed for an afternoon activity titled “Table Manners and Party How-to’s with your Cruise Director and Ray the Butler”.  We had SO much fun.  Over the course of numerous weeks of presenting with Ray, he taught me many of his butler tricks-of-the-trade.  (I know Ray will be the topic of future blogs…too much information to share in any single setting!)

The official ‘Etiquette Expert’ training came once I made the transition to ‘land’.  We moved to Oklahoma City and met Suzanne Pointer.  She had started the local chapter of The National League of Junior Cotillions.  Upon meeting Suzanne, she invited us to become partners with her, as she knew our background would be a perfect fit.  Soooo, off we headed to Charlotte, North Carolina.  We went through the official training course to become certified directors for NLJC and here we are.

I guess I have to say though….It all began at home.

No comments | leave a comment