Etiquette: the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official lifeEtiquette. 2018. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved September 3, 2021, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/etiquette
I’m not talking about extending the pinky finger when sipping on your drink, although mine automatically sticks out, though I’ve never been taught to do so.
What causes my brows to raise or ‘skwoosh,’ are the times I’m going through ordinary life activities and come face to face with situations that feel awkward and inappropriate. Then, I think to myself, why do people not know better, that I didn’t attend a special class to know some of the basic interactions. In fact, some of these things seem to be common sense and behaviors that promote much smoother transactions.
For example, I receive many phone calls that begin at the other end with, “Is this Yasmin?” So, I usually respond, “May I ask who’s calling?” Whatever happened to, “Hello, my name is Mary and I’m calling from Dr. Smith’s office. May I please speak to Leslie Jones?” Then, I can respond with, “This is Leslie, how may I help you?” Calling someone and using their first name right off the bat seems both inappropriately familiar and presumptuous and appears, in my opinion, unprofessional.
Then, there’s the ending of the phone conversation where there’s not a full closing of the communication with at least a ‘Bye’ but instead you hear ‘click.’ To me, that ‘click’ sounds rude.
Another faux pas occurs when the caller says, “In order for me to verify your account, would you please provide me with your date of birth or address?” I find this order of conversation suspicious as I’m thinking, well you called me from Dr. Smith’s office, why do I need to verify who I am, you obviously have that information, because you called me. But I’m open minded; perhaps, someone other than me could have answered my phone. Oh, bah humbug!
On the other hand, if I’m calling in to Dr. Smith’s office, it would be appropriate for me to provide my identity in order for them to legally (HIPPA) protect my information.
Then, there are the children whose parents allow them to address me by my first name. When they holler my first name across the way, it just sounds wrong. I feel that young children should be taught that it’s more respectful to call an older person Mr. or Ms. (Yasmin). And, I’m proud of my age and I embrace the privileges of being older. I guess that’s why I have older cousins that I call Auntie Mona or in my home country of Trinidad & Tobago, it is Tanty Mona.
I’m not altering my expectations. Proper etiquette has it’s role in society, and without exhibiting it, I feel that we place ourselves at a slight disadvantage in terms of the complete and polished persona we project into our world. But, I’m open minded; I remember when I lived in New York City and some people attributed the use of ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am’ as terms that are condescending and a bitter reminder of the way Blacks were expected to address their slave masters.
After living in New York City, Florida, New Orleans, Hawaii, and now Virginia, if I do not address my patients as Mr. or Ms. the next respectful and expected title I use is ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am’ to everyone, regardless of their race or ethnicity. When I’m out and about, the same seems to be expected and embraced as well.
I wish basic proper etiquette would be learned, valued and demonstrated by more folks in our society or at least in my zip code!
I’ll be reviewing the above sites with you as well, in order to become my best Me! Combine these tips herein, and with the guidance of your Mentor, actuate the best You in your personal and professional lives!!
More to come…