Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Maybe they’re too busy hanging onto their jobs. Maybe they don’t have the time (lame excuse). Maybe they just don’t have manners (good excuse). The employed don’t seem to be employing manners these days.

What should you do when you’ve called and/or emailed several times about a job without any response? You could send one more email explaining that you don’t want to become a pest and if they could let you know if the job isn’t available, you won’t bother them anymore. This seems to get some reaction because you have become a pest of sorts but nice enough to make it easy for them to let you know they won’t be employing you anytime soon.

“I didn’t like the air of dismissiveness during the whole process,” said one friend who is now happily employed. “I found, when I was looking, that there was a lack of compassion and civility.”

Then there are the rare ones. The employers who had no job to offer you but picked up the phone or emailed back and without giving false hope, they gave you something to hope for and showed you that there is compassion out there. Most likely they were in your position once upon a time.

So, if you’re fortunate to have a 9 to 5, take your manners with you, they come in handy 24/7, we hope not, but you may see what we mean one day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


A funny thing happened on the way to an early morning appointment the other day, a woman on the bus took out her little makeup bag and pulled out her mascara and proceeded to lengthen and thicken right there in her seat. Then, she went digging into her bag and took out a brush and compact. A stop and half later her cheeks had some color to them but not after she used a germ laden hand to even out the application. And so it goes, yet another boundary has been torn down - running late and didn’t get to your make-up? Don’t worry about it, run out of the house and do it on the bus, train or even in your car at the first stop light. 
While putting on makeup isn’t as gross as flossing in public places, (we’ve seen that too, recently at a doctor’s office) it’s still gauche. A toilette should be done in the toilet (aka bathroom) or any other area of your choosing in your home.

Freshening up lipstick at a table or in public seems to be pretty common a friend noted, “But it’s still weird.”

For those of us who suffer from dry skin and can’t stand the sight of ashy hands it seems natural for many to lotion up in public. This is where Yvette and I don’t agree. Yvette doesn’t find it offensive, I don’t either but I do believe it has a tacky factor. I think it should be done discreetly, preferably in a restroom or behind a closed door. Not long ago, I was at the theater and a woman took out a medium sized bottle of lotion and after soothing her dry skin, she offered it to other women who gratefully accepted the bottle. It didn’t look right. What if their legs were ashy? Where does the creamfest stop?

When you see people eating in public and we’re not talking about street fairs and block parties we’re talking about tuna sandwiches on bus and train trips, also slices of pizza, smelly corn and cheese chips and even a gyro while standing on line in the post office, maybe a harried woman says to herself, “What’s a little bit of mascara amongst strangers?”

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

When A Contrarian Takes The Floor

Beware of the contrarian in the room. As soon as a conversation takes off, he or she will turn into the CONVERSATIONATOR and obliterate any spoken word with endless disagreements and contradictions. They’ll oppose when there’s nothing to oppose.

For example:

You: I wish it would stop raining.
The Conversationator: Be glad you woke up healthy this morning.

What? You make a comment about the weather and the next thing you’re being scolded for not being grateful that you woke up. This is all about control. To have it, the conversationator has to change the subject. Don’t try to figure it out, don’t go on the defensive and don’t bring up the rain again - just be happy you woke up healthy this morning and be quiet.

As much as you would like to avoid them, it’s not so easy. The fact is contrarians are in our lives in business or through close relationships.

One way to handle them is no matter what you’re discussing, make it about them and their opinion. They rarely disagree with themselves. As they go on and on, every now and then, throw in, “You’re right.” You can dare to open the discussion by asking, “I just want to make sure that I understand, you think that…” This may not the most intellectually stimulating conversation but at least it’ll be somewhat pleasant if not a little dull.

If you do get caught up in a heated discussion, end it by saying, “Well, I guess we’ve agreed to disagree.” This is usually a very effective way to shut down the conversationator.

Some contrarians can drive you nuts. Not, Yvette, she thinks they’re too much work and they should be avoided. I think they deserve a chance and should be confronted. They should be told how difficult it is to have a conversation. Tell them how much you care about them and would like to talk to them without always sparring. If they don’t get it, leave it alone and be glad you woke up healthy today.

*Please note, during the month of August we'll be running previous postings. Enjoy! We'll be back in the fall.