Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Free Giveaway!

We are honored to offer a FREE GIVEAWAY of “Gridiron Belles: A Guide to Saturdays in Dixie,” by Christie Leigh Mueller, a business etiquette consultant living in Austin, TX and Louisville, KY. Mueller’s book is not only a guide to football and tailgating—it’s a “a romance novel, a fashion guide, an etiquette handbook, an advice column, and a rulebook all rolled into one pretty package,” she says. 

Christie Leigh Mueller

It’s the perfect time to give this book as a gift or just enjoy it for yourself—tailgating season is fast upon us!

For your chance to win, leave us a comment (one per person) in this post, telling us your favorite college football team, before 8 a.m. EST Wednesday, Sept. 5. We will announce the winner (selected via Random Number Generator) shortly after on this blog.

Watch this space for an upcoming interview with Mueller—in the meantime, comment away!

UPDATE! Comments are now closed! The winner is:

"I love the Georgia Bulldogs! And I love Perfectly Polished!"
Posted by: Lee Thornton, August 29, 2012 10:06 AM


Friday, August 17, 2012

Invites & Answers

We love a good party and bet you do, too. Let's talk about RSVPing — something everyone should do once an invitation arrives, whether it's paper or online.

Think of the host, trying to figure out food, drinks, possibly seating. Head counts can be critical! It's also the thoughtful thing to do. 

How to RSVP
If you get an invitation online, your answer is usually as easy as clicking a button. If you respond "maybe," be sure to change your response "yes" or "no" before the party. No need for a follow-up e-mail.

If your invite is by mail, use the phone number or e-mail provided. For formal events, use the notes that are usually enclosed in the envelope (think wedding invitations).

If an invitation says "Regrets Only," respond only if you are unable to attend.

When is it too late to RSVP?
Technically, after the party! But make your host's life easier and give an answer well in advance. Some invites include a helpful deadline. In any case, let them know whether you're coming at least a week in advance.

What if I need to change my answer?
No worries—cancel if you must, but let the host know as soon as possible. No need to go into elaborate details, but do thank the host for inviting you in the first place.

If you discover that you can attend a party after you've said you can't, consider the kind of party before you call or e-mail. If it's a formal party with exact seating arrangements, and you discover you can attend at the last minute, leave well enough alone and sit this one out. If the party is less formal, ask the host whether you can still attend before just showing up.

What if I'm invited but my friend isn't?
In short, keep the party information to yourself unless you are 100% sure your friend is also invited. And don't ask if they've been invited.

What if my friend is invited but I'm not?
Try to be gracious and happy for your friend. If it seems like a glaring oversight — invite lost in the mail? E-mail acting weird? Absent-minded, well-meaning host?—you still have to wait until the host mentions something about it, which means you may never get to address the issue. This is one of those things you might just have to let go. Remember: there are a lot more parties in your future, anyway.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Acting accordingly

Today’s blog post comes from Cindy! Take it away, Cindy...

“All persons shall conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the intended use of the premises.”

That sign, in the lobby of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, is a fabulous example of how our manners should adapt to the environment.  As someone who has studied and taught these rules for a career, I would be the first to say there are some manners that are always consistent. For example, being respectful is always important just as being a great listener.

But there are moments when proper etiquette might be rather unusual—even counterintuitive—but still befitting the circumstances. Let me explain. 

Earlier this year, famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma presented a solo concert at Hodgson Hall on the campus of the University of Georgia. He was dressed in a beautifully tailored suit playing a one-of-a-kind antique cello.  The audience was spellbound as he played.

After the intermission, he arrived on stage with his suit jacket off wearing a red UGA sweatshirt!  And, the crowd went crazy, yelling “Go Dawgs!” and even woof-woof-woofing! 

After the concert, a friend saw me and expressed her dismay that people would start yelling in the concert hall.  I agreed that for one second I thought I was at a football game, but very quickly added how wonderful it was that a professional cellist at the top of his game could share his expertise and get a rousing response from the audience when he chose to identify with their home team and home town!  I would equal it to someone bringing me a favorite bottle of wine when they were invited to my home for dinner.  After this exchange, my friend was accepting and even thoughtful about what she had experienced. 

So, back to that sign in the hotel lobby. We should all think about where we are and how we should act accordingly! Even yelling in a concert hall has its place. BRAVO!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back to school!

It’s time to go back to school! Which means that a lot of young children (and their parents!) are nervous about the first day.

First of all, your child will be fine, and you’ll be fine. Take some deep breaths, meditate…if that didn’t work, follow our tips for a smooth transition back to class!

Be prepared. Find out what’s expected in terms of backpacks, dress codes, and school supplies (this information should be available on your school’s website). Attend the back-to-school open houses for both parents and students—these events are great opportunities to not only socialize, but also check in with your child’s teacher, who might have a supply wish list different from the school’s.

Visit, but thoughtfully. Some parents may want to walk their child back to their classroom on the first day and maybe even take a photo. That’s fine, but be aware that a lot of other parents want to do that, too, so make sure you aren’t blocking any hallways or doorways.

Introduce yourself. Both adults and children, no matter their age, can introduce themselves to the teacher (remember to smile and make eye contact as you shake hands).

Keep in touch. Teachers love involved parents, so make sure when is the best way and time to get in touch if you need to make plans or discuss issues. Find out whether they prefer calling or e-mail, and what hours they are free to talk.

Be on time! This counts for drop-offs, pick-ups, and parent-teacher meetings. Teachers are busier than ever these days. Let’s make their lives of packed meetings a little easier so they can focus on their vocation—educating the most precious people in your life!