Manner Monday: What Would George Say?

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Every Monday Blogging4Jobs invites our resident Etiquette Expert, CareySue Vega (@Etiquette101), to share tips when it comes to etiquette in the workplace during our own Manner Monday segment. This segment is for the practitioner who is focused on creating a more etiquette-friendly environment. 

Happy President’s Day!

I’ve always been intrigued with the fact that George Washington, at the age of 16, penned 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.  I’m not sure about you… but at age 16, I was more concerned with cute clothes, cars and boys.  Yes, some of his “rules” seem quite funny and olf-fashioned in today’s fast-paced world, but others… well, they are still pretty spot-on!

For example, #18:  “Read no Letters, Books, or Papers in Company but when there is a Necessity for the doing of it you must ask leave: come not near the Books or Writings of Another so as to read them unless desired or give your opinion of them unasked also look not nigh when another is writing a Letter.”

Today: Take the same phrase and insert “technology device”, aka “cell phone”…wow. George knew what he was talking about.

Here’s another one, Rule #90: “Being set at meat scratch not neither spit, cough, or blow your nose, except there’s a necessity for it.”

Today: In other words; sometimes it happens and a bodily function accidentally slips up on you in the presence of others.  If you’re at the dinner table, do your best to cover your mouth with your napkin and not draw attention to it and politely say ‘excuse me’ to your neighbor who may have heard you; at some point I’m sure it has happened to them and they completely understand. If you feel a sneeze coming on and are not able to make a quick enough getaway: sneeze into your shoulder, turning your head and body away from your neighbor.  Make sure to catch the sneeze in your shoulder so you don’t share it with the table behind you. And if the bodily function is something completely within your control, such as blowing your nose, excuse yourself to the restroom where you can take care of things privately.  You tablemates will be eternally grateful.

I wonder if George knew how hip and relevant his ‘rules’ would still be in 2015???

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