Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Have Americans Misplaced Our Manners on the Red Carpet?

Today, I was in a bookstore placing an order. I handed the clerk my business card with my information. Delighted, she said: "Oh, you teach etiquette and manners. I collect old etiquette books. I have an Emily Post book from 1933." Then she posed the question: "What are your thoughts about modern manners and their place in our American society today?" My answer to her was previously thought out and may seem surprising to some, but not totally out of sorts.
Let's face it, once deficits are realized, inflation sets in, interest rates go up and taxes go back up to their 1978 levels, Americans may again remember what is important in life. With all our success, American manners have gotten off track during the last few decades and generations.
Yes, having money will afford you opportunities and may take you places, but good manners will open all doors for you and take you everywhere. Treating other people as you would wish to be treated opens your soul and heart to those little miracles in life that occur every day. "Making the other person feel special always", should still be the golden rule of behavior. Just watch a few old black and white movies from "The Greatest Generation."
America has not lost its' soul. They have just misplaced it somewhere on the "Red Carpet." Maybe we will go back to having 3 generations living in the same house as did my grand-parents and great-grandparents. Much can be learned from the older, wiser generations. We do not really want to all live like the editor of a fashion magazine, and we should not need frightfully expensive designer bags and sunglasses to feel important, needed and loved.
Practice good manners and surprisingly, the results will have nothing to do with a fancy purse or a fashion runway.

Success in Business

Just heard an old expression from a 1941 movie:

Success in business is 50% hard work and 50% what type of cigar you smoke.

This saying still holds true today, n'est-ce pas? The unspoken and unwritten are still important.

Remember, this is why when interviewing, in addition to the company you are interviewing with liking you, more importantly, you must like them.