Northampton Press

Monday, February 17, 2020

Respectfully Yours: Lunchtime interview

Saturday, September 14, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I’m nervous about an upcoming lunchtime job interview. Can you please share some tips on how to prepare for a lunch interview?

Dear Reader,

You’ve passed the first phase of the job interview process and, as if that were not stressful enough, enter the lunch interview.

A lunch interview usually means that the interviewer is evaluating your social skills. Not only will you be judged on your qualifications and skills, your table manners will be scrutinized, too.

Respectfully Yours: Bad manners

Friday, September 6, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

Is it ever alright to point out another person’s poor manners?

Dear Reader,

There are several answers to this question.

It depends on whose manners you want to correct. If it is your child, then naturally you should correct their poor manners.

If it is a co-worker or boss, tread carefully.

But if you want to correct a good friend, think twice. Only consider it if you feel it will benefit them, then do it privately and gently.

Generally speaking, pointing out another person’s bad manners is bad manners and simply unwise.

Respectfully Yours: Being rude to friend

Saturday, August 31, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

While I was out with my friend, I said something totally insensitive and rude. I know she’s upset and I feel terrible. What is the best way to apologize and minimize the damage?

Dear Reader,

Occasionally, depending on our mood, we all say or do something that hurts others. Then we come to our senses and realize an apology is in order. It’s best to apologize promptly when you realize you’ve messed up.

Respectfully Yours: The buffet line

Friday, August 23, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I went to an outdoor concert with my mother, three children and husband. There was an after-concert prix-fixe buffet. The children wanted seconds. Should one reuse a plate or get a new plate?

Dear Reader, Even though buffet meals are a fun way to enjoy a casual outing with friends and family, it does not give us carte blanche to behave with no consideration for other diners.

Respectfully Yours: Phone-free wedding

Friday, August 16, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I have attended a number of weddings recently and I am shocked at people’s disregard during the ceremony. So many people were taking pictures with their phones. My wedding is next summer. How does one ask guests to refrain from taking photos during the ceremony?

Dear Reader,

Having an unplugged wedding ceremony and encouraging your guests to put down their devices doesn’t need to be difficult.

As with any request you make of your wedding guests, you simply need to be sensitive and respectful.

Respectfully Yours: Overstaying welcome

Friday, August 9, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

Some weeks ago, my husband and I invited another couple to our home for dinner at 6 p.m. I hadn’t seen them in years and my husband didn’t know them. They got to know each other over a nice dinner. Around 11 p.m., I was starting to get nervous because I had an important meeting in the morning. How does one politely tell a guest that it’s time to leave?

Dear Reader,

One of life’s trickier social situations is when you find yourself sitting across from guests who simply will not leave.

Respectfully Yours: Friend’s criticism

Friday, August 2, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I have a friend I’ve known for a couple of years, who seems to criticize me as much as she can. She says things like “You look tired today” when I’m actually having a good day. She always starts these criticisms with “no offense.” I haven’t confronted her about this but it is really upsetting me. Is there a polite way to handle her criticism?

Dear Reader,

A person who is so critical toward you might be dealing with her own insecurities.

Respectfully Yours: Occupation tact

Friday, July 26, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

When I meet someone new, I always ask what they do for a living. This seems like good conversation starter, but I’m not sure if it’s polite. Is it rude to ask someone you just met what they do for living?

Dear Reader,

It’s not so much that the question in itself is rude as it is a matter of sensitivity of context.

I suggest starting off with an ice-breaking question to set the context so your question doesn’t come out of the blue. It’s better to start with “Tell me a little bit about yourself.”

Respectfully Yours: Loaned item

Friday, July 19, 2019 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

My neighbor borrowed my tree trimmer a while back and he hasn’t returned it. I would like to do some yard work and really need my trimmer. How do you politely ask someone to return something that you let them borrow?

Dear Reader, This happens to most of us. We kindly lend an item to someone, trusting he or she will return it as soon as they are finished.

Time goes by and we forget until we need the item. Now we find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation, embarrassed to ask for the item back.