21st Century Etiquette Blunders
Share This!

Although we’re living in a more relaxed world, there are certain rules and conventions that regulate social and professional behavior no matter what century we’re living. The handwritten thank you note, for example, will never go out of style nor will please and thank you.

While the ever-growing advancements of technology has had a powerful influence on the way we communicate, it has also taken a toll on etiquette. So much so that whether you’re the communicator or receiver, it’s often the innocent bystander who ends up with an etiquette headache. And technology aside, there are other etiquette missteps that have encroached on modern-time living.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

Shhh, We Can Hear You – Recently, while getting a manicure and enjoying a moment to myself, I couldn’t help overhearing – and neither could the whole nail salon – the conversation of the women next to me chatting away on her mobile with her ear plugs securely in place. I learned she was behind in her mortgage, had a fight with her husband and, well, couldn’t decide about what to fix for dinner.

Etiquette rule #1: Modulate your voice when on the phone in a public place or take your call outside.

Curlers and Jammies Belong at Home – When inching my way through the airport security line, I noticed a fellow woman traveler who had taken casual dress to a whole new level. She was wearing her jammies and had big, fat rollers in her hair. Not sure if she overslept or just didn’t care.

Etiquette Rule #2: Dress appropriately or dress appropriately.

Ditch the Gum – Sometimes a stick of gum is all you need to freshen your breath especially if you’re heading to a meeting or networking event. It’s when you chomp away exposing the colorful wad for all to see that should make you rethink a simple breath mint may be the better option.

Etiquette Rule #3: Discard the gum before your meeting or event.

Power Off – These days it’s difficult to go anywhere without our smart phone. It’s become our security blanket. Most people wake up with it in the morning and go to bed with it at night. We can’t let it go. We’ve heard the rings in church, movie theaters and even libraries where quiet and respect are appreciated.

Etiquette Rule #4: To prevent the accidental disruption, simply turn the phone off.

Calm Down – There’s nothing more frustrating than being in a hurry and the sales clerk is operating at a snail’s pace or you’re stuck in a long line that’s slow as molasses. But what’s worse is when that person is exhibiting rude behavior, huffing and puffing like a child whose parent won’t buy the toy.

Etiquette Rule #5: Take deep breaths and use self-control.

Your Fork is Not a Shovel, Your Knife is Not a Saw – Learning how to use your fork, knife and spoon properly is an essential skill especially if you’re dining over a job interview. As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Bad table manners leave an unfavorable impression and don’t reinforce the professional, polished, confident image we all want to convey when it comes to our careers.

Etiquette Rule #6: Learn the proper way to use cutlery.

Contact Polished today to fine-tune your business etiquette to enhance career success.

Leave a Reply