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Fall is here and so is the holiday season. Be prepared to be a terrific host or house guest. In either case, proper etiquette will keep your families and friends close.
Can you hear me?
Cell Phone
Cell phones have revolutionized our ability to connect. They are smart and invaluable. They are irreplaceable in our daily lives. As great as cell phones are they have their place. There is an etiquette regarding the use of cell phones. Cell phones must be used responsibly and respectfully. Below are some guidelines to make sure you use your cell phone responsibly. 
  • Your cell phone should never be placed on someone's desk or a dining table.
  • During business events and meetings your cell phone should be in the airplane mode.It is not enough for it not to ring.  It should not be heard or seen.
  • Remember, texting is using your cell phone.  It can be just as rude.  
  • If you are expecting a life or death call please excuse yourself from the table.  Do not use your phone in common areas.  Go outside.
  • Be mindful of group texts.  No one wants to get caught in a never ending loop.
  • Don't use your phone in close quarters.  Elevators, checkout lines, the restroom.
  • Don't yell into your phone. 
  • Ring tone
    Your ring tone should be generic.  It should not disturb or offend others
  • Voice mail
    Leaving a voice mail longer than one minute is intrusive.  Also keep your personal greeting short.  Everyone understands the purpose of voice mail.  Repeating instructions is unnecessary.
  • Recording
    Recording live concerts can be a distraction to others.  While you are filming for posterity they are trying to enjoy the current live show.
Cell phone use should never come before those present.  Everyone should be able to disconnect to socialize and conduct business.  Poor cell phone etiquette can damage your personal and professional lives.
Be A Wonderful House Guest
The holidays are approaching and overnight visits with family and friends can be a lot of fun.  There is an etiquette to being a good houseguest.  Below are some tips to make you the guest that gets invited back.

Wait to be invited.
Inviting yourself should be reserved for very close family and friends. Always clear the dates with your hosts prior to your visit. If you are delayed, phone as soon as possible. Don't show with extra unannounced guests. This includes children. Arrive when you say you will, and leave when you say you will. Unless, there is an emergency, you should not arrive earlier of stay later than your host expects.
Host gift
Take your host a gift. You should not arrive empty-handed. A nice candle, bottle of wine or tablecloth may make an appropriate host gift. If you feel comfortable enough to sleep in someone's home, choosing a gift should be easy.
Go shopping
If you are going to be a guest for longer than overnight, you should go shopping. Don't expect your host to provide your brand of coffee, or the snacks you like. Always include something the host can enjoy.
Good house guests don't expect their host to provide every meal. If you are allowed prepare some meals for yourself, cook for your host, or take them to dinner.
Have your own transportation
If you are staying longer than overnight as a convenience for yourself and not a destination visit, you should provide your own transportation. Expecting your host to drive you to events that do not include them, is poor house guest behavior.
Leave Fido at home
Unless Fido is specifically invited, he should be considered unwelcomed. 
Entertain yourself
House guests are expected to give their host some alone time. Guests who know when to retreat are treasured by hosts. Take a nap, a walk, or entertain the children.  Hosts need time to recharge when having overnight guests.
Keep your space tidy
Houseguest should keep their sleeping quarters and the bathroom presentable at all times.
Wash your dishes, keep up with your belongings. 
Pack a robe
Dashing through your host's home half-dressed is a no-no.   Your robe should provide adequate coverage.  It should not be short or sheer.  Always err on the side of modesty.
Follow the rules
Pay attention.  Are your hosts removing their shoes, before entering their home?  Do they only eat in the kitchen?  Be considerate of the management of the household.
Keep quiet
If you have complaints about your room, the food, their children or neighborhood, keep quiet.  Your host should not be made aware of your minor discomforts.
Your linen
When your visit is complete, strip your bed and put your linens in a pillowcase at the foot of the bed.  Any bath towels should be placed there as well.  Neatly, replace the comforter or bedspread.
Thank you
As soon as you arrive home, send a thank you note. Let your host know that you appreciated their hospitality. A reciprocal invitation is a wonderful way to show your gratitude.
Following these simple tips will ensure that your visit will leave good memories.

Your Napkin
Your napkin, whether it is cloth or paper is the most important tool on the dining table.  It should not be ignored.  Your napkin has five uses.  They are all listed below.  Remember your napkin, is to help you stay clean and neat.
  • Signals start of meal
    When dining in a formal setting or someone's home you should wait until the host places his napkin in his lap.  You should do the same. When dining at a business event or banquet your napkin should be placed in your lap as soon as you are seated. Do not wave your napkin around when you place it in your lap.  A dinner napkin should be folded in half with the fold next to your waist. A luncheon napkin and paper napkin should be fully opened.
  • Keeps clothes clean
    Accidents may occur while dining. Drips of sauces and dressings may fall from your fork.  The napkin keeps your lap clean. It should never be laid across your chest tucked in your belt or collar.
  • Keeps mouth and hands clean
    Your napkin should be used to blot your mouth and lips. It should never touch your face. The napkin should never be used to remove lipstick, wipe perspiration or to blow your nose.
  • Shield cough or sneeze
    If you must sneeze or cough while dining turn your head to your left shoulder and use your napkin as a shield. If you experience continued coughing or sneezing, excuse yourself.
  • Signals end of meal
    When dining formally the host signals the end of the meal by placing his napkin on the table. You should do the same even if you have not finished eating.
Silent service are cues that signal to the wait staff your intentions.  If you must leave the table while dining, place your napkin in your chair.  When you have finished eating your napkin should be loosely folded and placed to the left. 
Following good dining etiquette will show attention to detail and the comfort of others.
We learned a great deal from having Etiquette Coach Wisetta Dolsey, coach our members on current business etiquette.  Displaying proper business etiquette does not always come naturally. She showed the members how to wear their name tags correctly and demonstrated the proper way to pass a business card.  Giving our members the opportunity to improve their business skills was well received.  We would definitely bring Mrs. Dolsey back for round two!

-Tanya Markos-Vanna
Trick or Treat!
Halloween is made more fun for everyone when some simple guidelines are followed.  Though the popularity of trick or treating has been on a steady decline for decades, many communities still celebrate Halloween with trick or treating.  Listed below are some tips to make your treating safe and fun for years to come.
  • Turn on your porch light. Universally, porch lights on signal that trick or treaters are welcome.
  • Be sure to clear your walkway, porch of any obstacles. Safety is the goal for homeowners and trick or treaters.
  • Secure your animals. 
  • No homemade treats. In today's world no responsible parent would allow their child to eat a treat that is unwrapped or homemade. This includes apples.
  • Treat the older children. Halloween is one of the last vestiges of childhood.  Humor them especially those in costume.
  • Turn off the lights. In most communities trick or treating is over by 9:00pm.  You are free to stop at any time. Simply turn off your lights, close the blinds, and enjoy the leftovers.

Our etiquette classes can help you improve your workplace etiquette, guide your children in learning good manners, and help you refresh your etiquette skills for formal events. We can also customize a program to your unique needs.


Wisetta  Dolsey
Call to book an appointment - 248-238-1993

Five Star School of Etiquette
 wisetta@michiganmanners.com  |  http://www.MichiganManners.com


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