Northampton Press

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Respectfully Yours: Make new year’s resolutions all year

Friday, January 3, 2020 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I often overhear people discussing what their goals are for the New Year. As it often happens, I will be asked, “What is your New Year’s resolution?” I’m not a big fan of announcing my New Year’s resolutions. How can I politely answer the question?

Dear Reader,

There are two types of resolution makers: people who make their resolutions public and those that keep them private.

If you need social support and want to talk about your goals, go right ahead.

But deciding to remain private about your goals is fine, too.

Respectfully Yours: Ways to avoid unwanted nickname

Wednesday, December 25, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

How can I politely get people to stop using a nickname? My name is Joseph and a very small number of people call me Joe, which I don’t regard as my name. It really bothers me when I am introduced to people as Joe because then others think my name is Joe. What is the politest way to request that someone use my actual name?

Dear Reader,

A lot of people have problems with unwanted nicknames.

Respectfully Yours: Send thank-you card for holiday gift

Friday, December 20, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

During the holidays, I receive a number of gifts and I am wondering if I should be writing thank-you notes. I have never done this in the past. What are your thoughts regarding whether one should send a thank-you note for every Christmas gift received?

Dear Reader,

There is no better time to show your appreciation than around the holidays. It is a polite gesture, but it is not necessary to send a thank-you note to everyone who took the time to give you a Christmas gift.

Respectfully Yours: Moderation best at company office party

Friday, December 13, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

This year I’ll be going to my first company holiday office party. I sometimes drink socially and co-workers have told me there is an open bar at the event. What are the rules for drinking at a company holiday party?

Dear Reader,

Beware: You may think the holidays are the time to eat, drink and be merry. But the holiday office party should be approached with more caution than the rest of the events on your social calendar.

Respectfully Yours: Holiday gift for boss not a good idea

Friday, December 6, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

Should I get my boss a Christmas gift? I would like to acknowledge and show appreciation, but I’m not sure if this is a good idea. Should I skip it altogether?

Dear Reader,

Etiquette is actually quite clear on giving gifts to the boss.

Traditionally, gifts in a workplace should flow downward, not upward. In other words, it’s fine for your boss to give you a gift, but you shouldn’t give gifts to your managers.

Respectfully Yours: Gift card acceptable present for holidays

Friday, November 29, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I’m trying to get a head start on my holiday planning. I’m debating whether or not to give gift cards as holiday presents this year. I would like to know if giving a gift card is too impersonal.

Dear Reader,

Gift certificates have a reputation for being unthoughtful, but they can be great choices because they allow the recipient the freedom to choose his or her own gift. Whenever you give someone a gift card, you thought of that person and were generous enough to consider them at the holidays.

Respectfully Yours: During holidays, the gift is to the giver

Thursday, November 21, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I was embarrassed and caught off-guard during the holidays last year. I received a gift I was not expecting and did not have one to give in return. What should you do when someone buys you a gift and you don’t have a gift for the person?

Dear Reader,

Chances are that the gift-giver just wanted to treat you to something nice without expectations attached.

Naturally, it’s awkward and uncomfortable when you are on the receiving end and you didn’t buy the person anything.

Respectfully Yours: Park emotions waiting for parking spot

Friday, November 15, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

During the holidays, things get fairly crowded and looking for a parking space is difficult. There are times people appear to be leaving but sit in their cars. Is there a polite way to ask another driver in this situation if they will be leaving the spot?

Dear Reader,

It tries our patience to wait for someone to leave a parking spot the person is taking his or her sweet time.

Respectfully Yours: How to be gracious Thanksgiving dinner host

Friday, November 8, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

This year, I host my first Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends. I have my recipes and menu ready, but I am not sure what other details I should consider. Can you please provide tips for being a gracious host?

Dear Reader,

Thanksgiving is one of the biggest family holidays of the year and it can be daunting whether it’s your first time hosting or your 20th time.

Respectfully Yours: Rudeness to server

Friday, November 1, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I have a friend who is rude to the servers whenever we eat out for dinner. I end up trying to counter the rudeness by going over the top to be polite. How should you deal with a friend who is rude to restaurant wait staff?

Dear Reader,

People can and will be disrespectful to any number of people for any number of reasons. One of the times where this occurs the most is in restaurants. Customers are paying not only for the food they eat but also for the experience.