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Top 3 Etiquette Horror Stories of Summer

With Labor Day behind us, we bid farewell to summer, but that doesn't mean we can't discuss all the reader horrror stories I heard over the past few months.

By
Richie Frieman
6-minute read
Episode #402

Understand that being a manners guru, I fancy myself a romantic. With that, I will say I don’t always get it right yet, being a romantic is all about practice. However, many people try and take the “over the top idea” rather than reality and fail miserably. Why is this? If you ask me, I blame the movies. Sure, the movies can give you good ideas, but don’t be convinced that what works for Ryan Gosling will work for you as well. I’m not sure if Charlotte’s suitor binge-watched some bad romance movies on Netflix, but I will say that taking your love to someone’s office is highly improper. As well, trying to spill your heart out in public to someone you just meant might be a bit much. OK,  it definitely is a bit much. Bottom line: never go to someone’s workplace and pull stunts like her guy did. Yes, it’s flattering to have someone boldly show their affection, but when it’s in public, there are way too many outliers that could make the person you’re trying to impress not enjoy the process. And like I said, if you just started dating, going public with an overzealous expression of your love will surely scare someone away.

Tip #3: The Bad Haircut

This story came from Anna in Cincinnati, who after a rather bad haircut had a hard time tipping the stylist for her work. We’ve all been in this situation and the level of “badness” that occurred for the haircut is different for everyone. However, here Anna had four inches chopped off, rather than two. That’s a big deal! Especially for a woman. I mean, if I get butchered at the local Hair Cuttery it will make me crazy-upset, but guys can get away with shorter hair for the two weeks it takes to fill out. Many women spend a lot more time and money on maintaining their hair than men do. So if someone cuts off double the amount, I firmly believe they should kiss their tip goodbye. Is this too harsh? Not at all.

As I said in Tipping Conundrums: Should You Tip More at an Upscale Restaurant?, many people beat themselves up over how much to tip and when. There are two sides to this argument, however. First, you can say, “I’m paying for service, and I’ll only tip if it’s up to my standards,” while others think, “Well …even if it’s not the best service, I’ll still give something because it's the social norm.” In a way, they are both correct … however, tipping is a case by case issue and based solely around service. Like Anna, for example, who had the complete opposite of what she wanted. It’s like ordering a bacon cheeseburger and getting a salad. So, if you are shelling out your hard-earned money, why should you feel obligated to tip graciously when the service wasn’t met? I recommend doing what Anna did; she tipped “something” rather than nothing, and nowhere near what she would have. I applaud her because it showed class. She had the proper mindset to at least give them something for their time but made sure they were aware they just lost a good customer. As well, don’t be afraid to let them know you’re not happy and why. Don’t be snippy about it, but make sure they get it. You owe it to them and the next person.

As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at manners@quickanddirtytips.com. Follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips for a more polite life.

Do you have any recent graduates in your circle, or perhaps someone who is looking to start a new career, check out my new book, Reply All…And Other Ways to Tank Your Career for great tips and advice on job success. It's available now!

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