bullet On a business flight, you should not applaud the pilot when the plane has landed. It may be acceptable to applaud on a charter flight, but only if your destination is a holiday resort in the sun or snow - and not a major city. (Did you clap because you did not believe the plane will make it?) [I have not experienced this behavior lately. Perhaps it is out of fashion.]
bulletA hat. Do not wear one in my classroom and take it off before entering my office, unless you came to discuss with me the Torah.
bullet Bless yourself, no others. Do not assume that everyone wants to be blessed by your god.
bulletThe best seats on a plane are the aisle seats. The principle here is quite the opposite to that of a restaurant where tables next to a window are usually the most popular. Sitting next to the aisle means you can stretch your legs and move around the cabin without having to apologize to your neighbors when getting up from your seat. Of course, if you are small and have good control of the bladder, the window seat will give you an outside view and relative freedom from the fat bullies who go to the loo all the time. The seats in the first and second rows are considered to be the best of all, chiefly because they afford you more room and a speedy entrance to and exit from the plane. In the unlikely case when the plane needs to be evacuated and you are stuck by the window, you are of course more stuck.
bulletTelephone: If you call someone, introduce yourself first. You initiated the call, you have no right to remain anonymous. If you reach the wrong number, say you are sorry.
bulletTalking to answering machines: There is so much unwanted telephone traffic that some people screen the calls. It may be a good idea to leave a message rather than hang up.
bulletUsing answering machine. The voice announcement should be appropriate for the expected callers; it should be also brief. If you want me to return your call about some class problem, do not assume I will be thrilled to listen to a minute of rap music. Children are cute, but mostly only to their own parents and pedophiles. Do not let your child to tape the announcement.
bullet"Isn't she lovely?" Not a fair question. It expects affirmative answer and puts under duress those people who may not consider your child, pet mar.jpg (5730 bytes), niece or other pesky dependent, lovely at all.
bullet"If people don't dote on my daughter-they aren't worth my friendship!" This is an actual statement by a mother of an infant. Etiquette is not about friendship, it is about manners. In professional setting you are treated as a person, not as a mother. Parents with small children may need occasional break, but this is a courtesy coming from the others, not an entitlement. Breast feeding in "public" is fine, but so is some attendant discretion. Noisy children do not belong where noise does not belong.
bulletMen socks: You come for a professional visit, sit in the guest chair, cross your legs, the pant leg rides up and the sock shows. Red? Blue? White? Under dress slacks? The color of the sock follows the color of the shoe.
bulletBelt. Some slacks (jeans) look just fine without a belt. Some just do not (otherwise excellent J. Crew chinos). Belt should be worn with dress slacks, although under a jacket it may not show. Military code may be very specific, e.g., a belt with combat boot, no belt with the weekend shoes.
bulletEating in public: Things have changed, but it what is done now still does not make it always acceptable. Do not eat where you could leave mess. City public transport is such a place. It is not polite to each while other give an organized talk. Brown bag lunches, in fact, go contrary to this and, in my view, are abomination. Do not eat or drink in the class.
bulletChewing gum in public. Things change. Where teachers used to admonish their students not to chew in class now use gum to reward good work. Of course, the same teachers used to give an A in chemistry for performance and now they give the A for attendance. And we did not need metal detectors in schools. Still, although some may say that chewing gum in public is absolutely fine, you may look to some as a ruminant chewing the cud, possibly with associated negative feeling. And think where all the used gum goes. Have you ever wandered where all the dark spots on sidewalks are from?
bulletNo food or drink in a library is very good rule: Crumbs and morsels, even smells, attract vermin that eventually attacks books as well. Where there is food, rats, mice, cockroachescockroach4.gif (488 bytes), and silverfish will follow. These pests literally chew up books, and their feces can pose a very significant health hazard to library users and staff. Rodent feces have been identified as a carrier of Hantavirus, which has caused a number of deaths in the western United States within the last few years.
Food and drink are accidents waiting to happen. Spills cause ineradicable stains, and the moisture is a breeding ground for molds and mildews. Fungal growth is highly contagious; one wet book can seed mildew growth through an entire collection in a short period of time, and the clean-up costs are horrendous. Mold and mildew can have permanent, sometimes life-threatening, effects on the health of anyone handling the books.
bulletWant to read more? Good hints on dressing up by John T. Molloy's: New Dress for Success.


Inception: 28 December 1998 
Last revised: 08 September 2013 18:52
© Petr Vanýsek

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