My last newsletter dealt with political correctness (of course, now we say Happy Chinese New Year because that’s what the Chinese celebrate) but oh, not Merry Christmas at Christmas time.

My penultimate newsletter dealt with random acts of kindness and I had so many comments for both – I would like to share them with you now.

I am also letting you know about my upcoming teen (March 5) and adult (March 19) etiquette workshops in case you feel you are ready for a refresher.


Upcoming Seminars

Teen Etiquette
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Includes three course lunch
and an 8-page workbook
$140; refresher $70

Adult Etiquette
Saturday, June 4, 2016
Includes three course lunch and quiz
and an 11-page workbook
$295, $450 for two persons
Refresher $150

Saturday, June 12, 2016


What People are Saying

Comments from Christmas Newsletter

I’ve read through your newsletter – love, love it!!- I think we’ve become “too sensitive”, politically correct – call it what you will – but it seems like we’re afraid to extend good wishes to others, no matter the words that are most fitting at the time, just so we do not risk offending anyone. Some dear friends of ours with whom we exchange Christmas gatherings at our homes – one year, as they walked in, I greeted them with Happy Holidays. The husband looked at me very seriously and said, “it’s Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays.” We laughed about it, but it goes to show just how conditioned we can become to keeping things neutral.
– Preciosa Leal
Alliance Business Solutions

Thank you once again for a wise, thoughtful newsletter.
p.s. I agree with your choices/suggestions for gift-giving suggestions!
– Agnes Gazso

Thank you Adeodata,
I was just pondering the same question yesterday when I wrote a notice for my condo and decided that so long as Christmas Day is a statutory holiday nobody can fault me for wishing everyone Merry Christmas!
– Marie Agay
Home/Life Victory Realty Inc.

Great words of wisdom and said with conviction.
– Catherine deAngelis

I totally agree!
– Marilyn Field

You really hit the nail on the head. I refuse to say Happy Holidays. We celebrate the birth of Christ so it is Merry or Happy Christmas.
– Dawn Clarke

Absolutely agree with you.
Merry Christmas to you and your family.
– Rina Gottesman

Well said! You may get a lot of responses to this newsletter and many will agree.
– Nina Menezes
InterDream Designs

i fully agree on your views of merry Christmas
i always say merry Christmas
lots of happiness merry Christmas to you and family
– love ruqi patel

Comments from Random Act of Kindness Newsletter

I loved the topic of your newsletter — doing something nice for someone else is so simple but it has such an impact.
– Jodi Blackwood
Etiquette consultant, Vancouver, USA

Couldn’t agree with you more! “Life is an echo. What you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others exists in you.” ~ Unknown
Barbara Onyskow

Koszonom. Mint mindig, jo a jora valo emlekeztetes.
– Maria Balatoni
A & M Catering Service

I always like seeing your nuggets of wisdom and read them immediately.
Keep up the good work! I believe manners make us better as a species.
– Marla Klassen, B. Comm (Hons)
Associate Broker
Seniors R.E. Specialist

I have been extremely busy but never too busy to reply to your Business of Manners emails.
I am a strong believer in always doing the little things like holding the door open for people, especially the elderly or helping them carry a parcel or even just a kind Hello, how are you doing today?
We were out for dinner one evening and my son held the door for a lady while she came in the restaurant with her walker, she said to my wife and me: my your son is such a nice young man for holding the door open for me. My wife replied thank you, we taught our kids from a young age to hold the door open for people and always say please and thank you!
– Rick Hurst
Sysco Vancouver

Thank you for your newsletter. I was thinking of you just yesterday as I was having a heated conversation with a friend of mine about the topic of Millennials, also known as Generation Y.

These are the new generation of young adults who have been raised in the new world of instant gratification of available electronic information, as well as communication & social interaction without traditional human contact.

My story was this:
A few weeks ago I posted an item for sale on kijiji.
To my surprise, one very young sounding individual actually took the time to pick up the phone to call me. The voice on the other end said “Hey, do you still have the lawnmower?” Despite this tactless introduction, I was thrilled at the idea of having an opportunity to actually speak with him. I replied “Yes, it is currently still available, would like to come by to have a look?” I continued by saying “it is well maintained and in great condition”. He replied with a somber but insistent tone “I’ve seen the same model for half the price. I’ll give ya half?” I responded in a humorous tone “No, unfortunately I cannot consider that because — and suddenly the line went dead. That’s curious, I thought. I was on my mobile (as was he), so I assumed the signal must have dropped. I called back the number on my call display without a second thought. The same voice picked up “Yeah?” “I was just speaking with you about the Lawnmower” I said, “It appears I lost the signal and . . . he then abruptly cut me off with “Yeah, never mind” and hung up. Only then did I realize that I did not initially loose the signal but rather this young arrogant person actually hung up on me the very second he had his initial question answered!

Adeodata, I would normally have just disregarded this experience as an isolated incident of questionable behavior, except for the fact it is NOT! I personally have had other experiences just like this, and in speaking with friends and colleagues (all middle age +), so have they.

Despite that this behavior goes SOOO against any professional nature, especially for those of us with a strong belief in business manners & etiquette, it appears this is quite common among Millennials who have been raised in our new technological world of instant information and unfortunately are so socially desensitized to traditional human contact. It is therefore understandably their need to be virtually connected on their devices 24/7 in order to process what most of us would consider information overload.
With regards to doing business, getting just the facts with no time for formalities seems to be an accurate way of describing most (perhaps not all) of this new generation.

The fact is Millennials are a huge part of our economy as they are approximately now 30% of our population (according to Business Insider). Being technologically more savvy, they have already effected the coarse of global commerce and how the world is changing with regards to conducting business; more efficiently and as cheep as possible. Change is understandably a natural evolution, however, are Millennials about to also re-define a whole new set of rules for what will be accepted as professional behavior?

It would be interesting to know your thoughts and perhaps the opinions of your readers.
Kind regards
– Hartmut Dietrich
GPM Inc. / Academia Press

My response was:
Dear Hartmut:
Talking with people in New York, for example, if they at any point decide that they are not interested, they just plain hang up. It’s like “What?” for me, but for them it’s a waste of four seconds to say: “thank you, but I have changed my mind”, or “thank you, but this is not for me”.
Quite sad, actually.