Selfie Etiquette   2 comments




Selfies have come a long way since the one of Thelma and Louise from the movie by the same name. And as in everything else that comes into our lives, taking selfies requires some etiquette guidelines. It also requires a sense of what is in good taste and bad taste. Now, I know taste can be subjective, but there are some things that just seem wrong when it comes to taking selfies.

Here is my list of situations that I consider to be in bad taste when and where “selfies” are taken:

Don’t take photos at funerals or other religious ceremonies. Pulling out your cell phone at a funeral or in the middle of any other solemn service is disrespectful.

Don’t take a selfie at a wedding ceremony. It isn’t your story to tell.

Don’t take photos in areas that are considered hallowed ground. For instance, cemeteries or other places that are preserved to remember people who have died or suffered a tragic situation.

Don’t take pictures of yourself or others in the hospital. It can just be too much information. If you wouldn’t discuss your recent ailments in a networking situation don’t take a picture of yourself and then share it on social media.

Don’t take pictures that capitalize on other people’s tragedies. For instance, at accident scenes or of people who are in compromised situations.

Don’t take selfies of yourself in intimate situations. Those things can come back to haunt you and become a real liability.

Don’t take photos of yourself driving. Not only is it dangerous, it is just plain stupid.

Don’t over do the selfie on social media. After awhile, it can look a little narcissistic.

So, if you wouldn’t want your mother or boss to see it, don’t post it. And even better, don’t even take the picture.

If others are in a picture get their permission before taking the photo and posting it.

Posted August 5, 2014 by karenhickman in Uncategorized

The Perfect Introduction   2 comments

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Are you one of those people who gets nervous when having to make introductions? Do you get sweaty palms worrying that you’ll forget someone’s name? Well, don’t be too hard on yourself, many people have anxiety about making “proper” introductions. But here are some simple formulas for introductions that can ease your anxiety

Introducing yourself is how you make yourself known to others. The best way to introduce yourself is to say, “Hello, I’m____________.” Be sure and give your first and last name. You want people to remember you.

In response to an introduction, saying “hi” or “hello” is not enough. Repeat the person’s name along with saying, “hello.”

Here are some more tips that can help you get comfortable with introductions:

  • It is your responsibility to introduce yourself at any function, if no one introduces you.
  • It is okay to say, “please help me with your name” if you have forgotten someone’s name. Don’t say “you don’t remember me do you.”
  • Don’t give yourself an honorific when introducing yourself to others such as Mr., Ms., Dr., etc.
  • In formal introductions the most important person’s name is said first regardless of gender. For instance,Mr. Greater Authority, I would like to introduce “to you” Ms. Lesser Authority.
  • If you say “you to” you have reversed the order. Keep in mind that “U2” is an Irish rock band and it is incorrect.
  • May I present to you” is used in very formal situations.
  • Less formal situations, “Ms. Smith I’d like to introduce Mr. Jones.
  • Do balance Introductions. If one person is introduced with an honorific, the other person should be, too.
  • Don’t tack on the term “my friend” to one of the names when introducing two people. It implies that the other person is not your friend.

If you are responsible for making introductions, do your homework and practice ahead of time, especially if it is a big event with distinguished guests.


Posted July 15, 2014 by karenhickman in Uncategorized

Sunglasses Etiquette   2 comments


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images (10)Sunglasses are more popular than ever and are a big fashion statement for many. Remember those large dark glasses Jacqueline Kennedy made famous? How about Audrey Hepburn in the movie, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s?” And then there were those iconic aviator style glasses that Tom Cruise wore in the movie, “Top Gun.”

Sunglasses can be something people hide behind if they don’t want to be noticed and they can also offer an air of mystery about who’s behind those glasses.

Sunglasses also provide eye protection from harmful UV rays. These days, it is even recommended that children wear them.

However, there are some rules of courtesy that should be observed as to when not to wear them.

Don’t wear them at night. For one, it can reduce your ability to see, but it also can make you look like you are hiding something.

Take them off when you are indoors. Unless you have just had your eyes dilated or have another vision issue, sunglasses should come off when you go indoors. If you do have an eye issue, offer an apology for not removing your sunglasses if you are speaking with someone indoors. Wearing sunglasses indoors can be perceived as rude and disrespectful.

Remove them when you are conducting business. Eye contact is an important component to doing business. People want to see your eyes when they talk with you. If you are conducting business outside with a client, try moving into a shady area so you won’t be too bothered by the sun.

Take them off when being introduced to people outdoors. If you are being introduced to someone at a sporting event or outdoors anytime, do remove your glasses during the introductions. Eye contact is a courtesy and is an important nonverbal form of communication when meeting and greeting people. It also leaves a much better first impression.

Choose your style wisely. Choose your style of sunglasses to match what you do, especially if you wear them in professional settings. Save the outrageous and fancy styles for your time on the beach or by the pool.

Take them off for photos. Be sure to remove sunglasses when being photographed or if you are taking selfies.

Remove them if on TV. On the slim chance that you may be on TV some day, be sure to remove them. leaving them on will take away from your “celebrity” status.

So, as in so many other situations, when in doubt, err on the side of courtesy and take them off.


American Flag Etiquette   Leave a comment

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With the Fourth of July coming up in two days, here is a little American Flag etiquette for you from the U.S. State Department website.

Guidelines for Display of the Flag

Public Law 94-344, known as the Federal Flag Code, contains rules for handling and displaying the
U.S. flag. While the federal code contains no penalties for misusing the flag, states have their own
flag codes and may impose penalties. The language of the federal code makes clear that the flag is
a living symbol.
In response to a Supreme Court decision which held that a state law prohibiting flag burning was
unconstitutional, Congress enacted the Flag Protection Act in 1989. It provides that anyone who
knowingly desecrates the flag may be fined and/or imprisoned for up to one year. However, this law
was challenged by the Supreme Court in a 1990 decision that the Flag Protection Act violates the
First Amendment free speech protections.
Important Things to Remember
Traditional guidelines call for displaying the flag in public only from sunrise to sunset. However, the
flag may be displayed at all times if it’s illuminated during darkness. The flag should not be subject
to weather damage, so it should not be displayed during rain, snow and wind storms unless it is an
all-weather flag.
It should be displayed often, but especially on national and state holidays and special occasions.
The flag should be displayed on or near the main building of public institutions, schools during
school days, and polling places on election days. It should be hoisted briskly and lowered

The flag should never be draped or drawn back in folds. Draped red, white and blue bunting should be used
for decoration, with the blue at the top and red at the bottom.
The flag may be flown at half-staff to honor a newly deceased federal or state government official by order of
the president or the governor, respectively. On Memorial Day, the flag should be displayed at half-staff until

Other Things Not to Do with the Flag
Out of respect for the U.S. flag, never:

  • dip it for any person or thing, even though state flags, regimental colors and other flags may be dipped as a mark of honor.
  • display it with the union down, except as a signal of distress.
  • let the flag touch anything beneath it: ground, floor, water, merchandise.
  • carry it horizontally, but always aloft.
  • fasten or display it in a way that will permit it to be damaged or soiled.
  • place anything on the flag, including letters, insignia, or designs of any kind.
  • use it for holding anything.
  • use it as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery. It should not be used on a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be attached to the uniform of patriotic organizations,
  • military personnel, police officers and firefighters.
  • use the flag for advertising or promotion purposes or print it on paper napkins, boxes or anything else intended for temporary use and discard.

During the hoisting or lowering of the flag or when it passes in parade or review, Americans should
stand at attention facing the flag and place their right hand over the heart. Uniformed military
members render the military salute. Men not in uniform should remove any headdress and hold it
with their right hand at their left shoulder, the hand resting over the heart. Those who are not U.S.
citizens should stand at attention.

When the flag is worn out or otherwise no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be destroyed
in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

For more information regarding the American Flag go to:!portal/1012/article/5002/The-American-Flag-and-its-Protocol

Keeping Cool While Staying Professional   3 comments

When summer temperatures soar most of us scale down our clothing in an effort to stay cool. And going to work in traditional business attire can be a challenge on hot days. However, getting too skimpy with your clothing can be a real liability in how you are perceived as a professional.

Your job, position and work environment should dictate the level of formality needed in your attire. If you are in a serious business, like finance, law or other highly professional fields, it is very important not to get too casual.
Here are some of my dos and don’ts to maintain a professional image on hot summer days:
• Don’t expose too much skin. Sleeveless, low cut tops are not appropriate in traditional work settings.
• Don’t flip and flop with your shoes. Slides, flip flops and sandals are not as professional as closed toe shoes or closed toe sling backs.
• Don’t get too high with your heels. Anything over two inches can be perceived as “sexy”
• Don’t get too short with your skirts… one –two inches above the knee should be the limit, regardless of how great your legs are.
• Don’t reveal all of your assets. Cleavage on either end is too much information. Be careful not to expose your bare midriff when raising your arms.
• Don’t wear tight tee shirts, tanks or sheer tops. No one wants to tell the temperature of the room by what a woman has on. Layering or a lined bra can help avoid this faux pas.
• Don’t wear capris or long shorts or cargo pants. Light weight long pants are a better choice.
• Do wear lighter weight wrinkle resistant fabrics.
• Do lose the tie and wear an open collar if ties are not required.
• Do remove your jacket, but keep one handy if something pops up during your day that might require one.
• Do go bare legged if hose are not required.
• Do wear lighter weight skirts if long pants are too hot.
If you question if something is appropriate for work…it probably isn’t. If you find yourself apologizing for what you have on…it’s wrong.

Dining Etiquette for Business…Beyond the Fork   Leave a comment


A reminder of the importance of good table manners.

Originally posted on Official Blog of Professional Courtesy LLC:

Believe it or not, your dining etiquette skills, or lack of them, say a great deal about you. They can be an indicator of many things; where you came from, how you make decisions,whether you are respectful of all people and possibly,whether you get a job or not.

Many people think “dining etiquette” is all about the fork, but in truth, it is way beyond the fork. Here is a list of some dining etiquette skills and what message they send if you ignore them:

  • Wait until everyone is seated  before picking up your napkin and placing it on your lap. The host should pick up their napkin first to signify the start of the meal.  (This step shows that you are aware and considerate of everyone at the table.)
  • Don’t start eating until everyone is served. (Launching into your meal before others are served is rude and can be perceived as “self-centered”)
  • Taste your food before adding…

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Summer Jobs Do’s and Don’ts   2 comments


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I co-owned a beautiful, high-end gift store for 10 years and enjoyed the experience very much. We had a great staff and people waiting in line wanting to work for us. Most of the staff was composed of mature women who just wanted a little time away from their usual routines and loved and appreciated beautiful things. However, in the summer months we often supplemented our staff with well-chosen, college students.

We had an active bridal registry and spent hours with our brides helping them choose just the right china, crystal, linens and more. So, to work for us required some knowledge or the willingness to learn, in detail, about the very beautiful things we sold.

Today, as we start the summer months I am reminded of those days and the number of young people who would come in the door wanting to know if we were hiring. Some of those young people looked great, impressed us with their maturity and looked like they might fit in. Those were the names I kept in a special file with detailed comments, in case we had an opening in the future for them.

Then, there were the young people who came in, with their friends, dressed in cut off jeans, chewing a wad of bubble gum, proceeding to ask if we had any openings. Needless to say, we did not. The way those young people presented themselves never got them past the front door, as far as we were concerned.

So, if you are seeking summer employment and popping into to businesses, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t take your friends along if you are going into businesses and asking for a job.

  • Make sure you are well-groomed and dressed appropriately.

  • No cut-offs

  • No chewing gum

  • No sweat pants or exercise clothes

  • No low-cut or skimpy tops

  • No too short skirts

  • No shorts

  • No flip flops

  • No tank tops or bare midriff

If you get the job, be available and willing to work when asked. If you are always asking for time off or can only work a short period of time, maybe a summer job is not going to work out.

Many summer jobs can turn into great opportunities later on. Take advantage of working with people who can teach you a few things.

Happy job hunting!



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