Saturday, April 26, 2008

Salon & Spa Etiquette

Don't leave your manners at home when you visit a spa or salon.

Spa and salon visits should be a time of relaxation. But if you should find yourself in a situation you don't know how to handle, stress levels quickly rise and suddenly you need a massage to calm you down from your massage. Matters such as tipping, arrival times, cell phone use and eating might be completely understood in other service industries, but become muddled when steam rooms and curling irons are involved.

To clear up any confusion, we've assembled a brief spa and salon etiquette guide. You'll find a variety of categories in which there may be a slew of expectations. Note, we've solicited advice from both casino and non-casino establishments. Keep these tips in mind for your next facial or blow out.

Brannon, owner of Brannon Salon at Hard Rock Hotel

Whatever you do, don't: Talk s*** about the gossip you read in the smut magazines. One of the celebrities could be in the salon.

Cancellation notice: Anything before the same day. Same days really p*** stylists off.

Tip the shampoo person? Yes, $5 and $10 if a different person blows you out.

How much do I tip my stylist? Between $20 and $40 (no matter the cost). You are paying for the service and tipping for the time.

Cell phones: Not if I'm in the middle of a cut. No way. I can't see how the hair's falling.

OK to bring in magazine pics? Only if the picture is of you or if it's an up-do or bangs. Anything else isn't your face shape or skin tone.

Food: Absolutely, we have a menu of finger foods we offer.

If I'm sick: Stay home.

Kids: Leave the kids at home.

How late is too late to arrive? 10 minutes is too late. I cut on the half hour and you'll mess up my next appointment.

Alexandra Maloney, Moxie Hair Studio salon director

Whatever you do, don't: Do anything that will contradict the salon environment. It's meant to improve yourself.

Cancellation notice: 24 hours.

Tip the shampoo girl? Understand that stylists are sharing their tips with their assistants.

How much do I tip the stylist? It's a service industry, 10 percent to upwards of 25 percent.

Cell phones: We'll ask you politely to keep it down.

OK to bring in magazine pics? Sometimes they're helpful but we try to cater all designs around the individual.

Food: We try to discourage it but it's touch and go.

If I'm sick: We ask you not to come or your stylist could get sick and people take it personally when their stylist is gone.

Kids: The salon is reserved for adults.

How late is too late to arrive? When you're pushing the 17-minute mark.

Jennifer Lynn, spa director of Qua at Caesars

Arrival time: 30 minutes allows for a leisurely check in

How late is too late? You can come as late as you like. We'll do our best to accommodate the full service.

Please don't: Use cell phones. Not even to text.

Gender preference: We ask before the service and confirm it upon their arrival (so the guest doesn't have to fret about it).

How much cancellation notice: We request 24 hours but you have until closing time the day before. Anything after that we charge them for.

Exceptions: If your flight is delayed, we'll do our best to reschedule.

How much do I tip? It's discretionary but we usually say 15 percent to 20 percent or $20 to $25 an hour.

Who gets overlooked on tips? Our bath attendants. Depending on how long you're there, they should get $5 to $10.

Socializing: It's encouraged in our Roman Baths. Everywhere else, use a low "spa voice."

Lee Allen, Euphoria salon and spa manager

Arrival time: We suggest 10 to 15 minutes early.

How late is too late? Anymore than 10 minutes and you're gonna miss part of your treatment.

Please don't: Bring children to treatments longer than 15 minutes.

Gender preference: We have all female therapists.

How much cancellation notice: Four-hour cancellation notice is appreciated.

Exceptions: If you're coming down with a cold.

How much do I tip? Up to the client's discretion. When a client inquires we suggest they tip similar to restaurant tipping: 15 percent to 20 percent.

Who gets overlooked on tips? We don't have a crowd of attendants like at a resort spa. Everyone is taken care of on the final tip.

Socializing: Talk in a quiet voice or a loud whisper.

Telephone Etiquette

Everybody knows how to use the telephone, but very few people know how to use it to their best advantage.
When you speak to someone on the telephone, vocal quality counts for 70 percent of the initial impression you make, and the words spoken count for 30 percent. Listeners base their opinions of you not only on what you say but also how you say it and the tone of your voice.
Speak unto others as you would have them speak unto you. It’s up to you, the speaker, to make sure that the listener gets the message loud (but not too loud) and clear. The person on the other end shouldn’t have to work hard to hear you and understand what you are saying.
When using the telephone, use your mouth for speaking only. Eschew chewing, eating, or drinking.

Smoking Etiquette

It must seem to smokers as if the only place where it’s not illegal or improper to smoke is the dark side of the moon. Smoking, once seen as a sign of sophistication, is now seen by many as offensive and even dangerous to nonsmokers and smokers alike. Although it’s not polite to rebuke smokers in public, it’s acceptable to ask them to stop smoking or to smoke elsewhere.
In general, if you don’t see an ashtray, don’t smoke. Don’t say, “Do you mind if I smoke?” The other person may say he doesn’t mind and still be secretly resentful. It is okay to smoke in your office if the company permits, but it will leave a smell that others may find disagreeable.
If hosting a lunch, it’s polite to ask for a table in the smoking section if your guest is a smoker, whether you smoke or not—provided you aren’t allergic to smoke. If you smoke, never light up during the meal. Wait until after everyone has finished eating and coffee is served.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Find the proper way to steer a friend away from embarrassment

The incident happened in high school -- where self-image is worth one's weight in gold.

The day started off normally, but he had to blow his nose in the restroom.

Later that day, his friend told him he had something on his white T-shirt, which he had noticed throughout the entire day.

Apparently, some of Escalante's "nose blockage" fell onto his shirt in a place where he couldn't see it looking down.

Talk about embarrassment.

"It was the whole feeling that after the whole day has gone, you realize the number of people who could've seen that," the 25-year-old said. "I could do nothing about it because school was over."

If someone would have nicely pointed out his not-so-indiscreet social mishap, he could have been spared that moment of silent humiliation.

But pointing out potentially embarrassing situations is not the easiest thing to do for most people.

What do you say to your best friend who's grinning from ear to ear with a piece of broccoli stuck between her teeth?

Or that guy over there who is hitting on a girl while his fly is open?

The truth is no one wants to be embarrassed, and every day we jump through hoops to save face or at least salvage our dignity.

In Escalante's case, his friend thought it would be easier to leave him exposed and tell him about it later.

Cynthia Lett, the director and CEO of the Lett Group and executive director of the International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals, said the proper way to approach these situations is to let someone know regardless of the potential awkwardness.

"If somebody has something stuck in their teeth, first of all you have to say something -- otherwise you are leaving them out there to suffer the indignity," she said.

The process does not have to be awkward.

For bits of food stuck in teeth or on the face, Lett said make eye contact and point to yourself to show where the food is, and the other person will mimic you because that's what human beings do.

The same rule applies to a woman whose button is undone on her blouse.

"Using body language makes it a lot less obtrusive -- it's quick and to the point," she said.

There are some situations where eye contact should be avoided.

For men who have their flies open, she recommends putting yourself in a position where you don't embarrass them.

Then walk behind them and whisper in their ear, "Your fly is open." Then keep walking and do not make eye contact with them and don't mention it again.

The same rule applies to toilet paper stuck on the shoe.

As seen in Escalante's case, timing can be a tricky in these situations.

Lafayette resident Mark Baker often misses the opportunity.

"I usually miss that window where you can tell someone," the 24-year-old said. "If I wait until the end of the conversation, it would be embarrassing for the both of us."

Nursing student Brandy Green said it's easier to just not say anything.

"It's awkward having to talk to someone you don't know, " the 28-year-old said. "To tell them they are doing something embarrassing on top of that is like triple awkward."

She would rather avoid the situation and hope someone would return the favor.

"I'd rather not know who saw me," she said. "You don't have to accept the fact that people saw you."

Another nursing student, Lindsay Palmer said she usually plays it off to avoid the potential awkwardness of the moment.

If someone tells her she has something in her teeth, her reply is, "I know, I was waiting for someone to tell me, it's a test," the 28-year-old said.

Lett said that most people avoid addressing these situations and some people laugh.

However, mature adults try to fix it because they put themselves in the other person's position, she said.

"I've seen people whisper and giggle and share it with someone else," she said. "It discourages me when people do that 'cause it's really mean."

She said typically people who giggle and whisper are younger than 25.

"They don't have the frame of reference to think this could happen to me or they haven't been taught proper etiquette," she said.

Bookseller Sharon Capporelli doesn't have a problem tucking tags or ridding shoes of toilet paper.

"Most of us do the mirror thing, it's subtle and not in your face," the 51-year-old said. "If you rub your nose or touch your face, the other person will mimic you, whether it's conscious or not."

She even has advice for the toilet-paper-on-the-shoe dilemma.

"The least embarrassing thing is to walk behind them, step on it and let them pick it up," she said. "By and large most of these things are pretty petty anyway."

How to Deal With Elevators?

Yes, even an elevator calls for a certain amount of etiquette:
  • Do not dodge or delay so that somebody can be the first to get on or off.
  • If you are nearest the door, you get on the elevator first; then hold the door until everyone else has entered.
  • If you are near the control panel, ask the others what floor they need and select those buttons for them. You can also hold the Open button to keep the doors open until everyone has had a chance to get on or off.
  • If you are nearest the door, step out to let the people behind you get off; then, reboard.
  • If you are among the first to enter and first to exit, stand to the side near the door rather than in the back. This way, you won’t have to push through others to get off.
  • Men should keep their hats on in a crowded elevator. The only thing to say about escalators is that whoever arrives first gets on first and gets off first. Don’t crowd the top of the stairs waiting for someone.

How to Deal with Doors?

For such simple things, doors can cause a lot of confusion. Let’s simplify matters.
  • If you reach a door first, regardless of gender, you should open it, go through it, and hold it to ensure that it doesn’t hit the person following. Men no longer hold doors for women just because they are women.
  • If you are in the company of a senior executive, it is a good idea to allow him or her to reach the door and go through it first.
  • If someone’s arms are laden, hold the door regardless of the person’s gender or status.
These rules are set aside when you are hosting others, in which case you open the door for your guests and motion for them to precede you. For a revolving door, you go first and wait for the others to come through after you. In any case, always thank a person who holds a door for you.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Etiquette when meeting Pope

(Rochester, N.Y.) - Hundreds of people from our area going to Washington and New York City-- to see the pope in person. If you get a chance to meet him, how should you act?

Helpful tips from the experts at National Public Radio include:
  1. If you are going to an event, it’s the time to put on your best.
  2. But if you are going to the stadium masses, casual dress is fine.
  3. When the pope enters, you should stand and applaud.
  4. If you are approached by the pope, bend at the knee.
  5. Should you kiss the ring? Yes, if you are Catholic and if the pope offers his hand.
  6. You should address him as,” “Your Holiness,” or “Holy Father.”
  7. At the end of the event when the pope gets up to leave, you should also stand up. Wait for him to leave before turning your attention to anything else.

Lady Antebellum Addresses Bus Etiquette

April 16, 2008 - One of the often-overlooked truths of travelling in a band is that the smallest details about people's habits can become major obstacles. That's particularly true of grooming habits, which became a point of contention for Lady Antebellum when the group started touring together.

Hilary Scott is the only female member of the band and crew, which travels with nine people on one bus. And that means there are some issues about the vehicle's restroom.

"The first weekend we were out with Martina McBride was the first time we ever had a tour bus," Hilary told the national radio show GAC Nights: Live From Nashville. "After being out for like two days, I think — maybe it was just one night — I was like, 'I have to call a band meeting' that 'I'm the only girl all the time, and the least you can do is keep the toilet seat down.' I said, 'Everything else, I'm good. I'm not gonna nag you, but keep the toilet seat down, because it helps with ... my sanity.'"

Hilary says the band and crew have done "pretty well" at complying. Tonight their bus is likely parked in Los Angeles as they make their debut on the Sunset Strip, performing at the Key Club. Their self-titled debut album arrived in stores yesterday.

Visiting someone else’s office

Your role, when visiting someone else’s office, is that of a guest, whether it is within your company or without. Don’t walk in and settle down as if you were entering your own office. Here are some guidelines:
  • Don’t be late. If you are, apologize and explain.
  • When you tell the receptionist your name and mission, also present your business card if you have one.
  • Ask where you can hang your coat, if you have one.
  • In the office, wait to be told where to sit. If there are a number of chairs, ask which one you should use.
  • Don’t remain standing if your host is seated.
  • Don’t lay papers or documents on the desk or the floor.
  • Put your briefcase or handbag on the floor beside you.
  • Don’t fiddle with or touch anything on the desk.
  • Leave promptly when your business is completed.
  • Send a thank-you note for the meeting within 24 hours.
Try to make the thankyou note not look like a generic, one-size-fits-all product. Here’s an example of a good note:
Dear Helen: Thank you for making time yesterday to help me out with the Anderson projections. Your insights are very much appreciated. Best regards, Tom Walker.

Dealing with Office Visitors

When you receive a visitor in your office, remember that you are the host and act accordingly. Greet your visitor cordially, which means that you or your secretary should go out to the reception area to meet the guest. Shake hands, make whatever introductions are necessary, and escort the visitor to the office. If you stay in your office to receive the visitor, be sure to come out from behind your desk to greet him or her, or better still, meet the person at the door, usher him in, and show him where to sit.

Understanding Your Superiors

Top management sets the tone of the workplace and the relationships therein, including such things as how people dress and how they address each other. This protocol probably won’t be written anywhere. You will have to learn by observing those around you.
Address your superiors as Mr. or Ms., followed by a surname, not as sir or madam.
Don’t use first names unless and until you are specifically invited to do so. And even then, be careful. Just because you have been invited to use the boss’s first name or have had lunch or a golf game with her, don’t assume that an intimate or even good pal relationship exists between you. Remember that relationships in the American business world are based on rank, and rank should always be observed and acknowledged.

Understanding Your Coworkers

You must know how to establish cordial and respectful relationships with your support staff. Not only do you work closely with them every day, but they are also the foundation of your effectiveness. Boss and bossy are not synonymous. Decide up front how secretaries or assistants will address you—as Tom or Mr. Smith, for example—and let them know your preference with courtesy. Always acknowledge their presence and keep greetings cordial. If you are introducing a secretary to a client or an associate, make the introduction according to the way those involved will later address one another. If you expect your secretary to address your client as Mr. Foster, introduce him that way and use your secretary’s surname as well, even if you normally use your secretary’s first name.
If you are sharing a secretary, consult with your associate about the workload to avoid overburdening the secretary. Never ask someone else’s secretary to do work for you without first clearing it with the secretary’s supervisor. As a rule of thumb, never ask a secretary to perform a task you’d be unwilling to do yourself. Watch those labels and nicknames. Never call anyone above the age of puberty a boy or a girl. The words honey, dear, and hunk have no place in the vocabulary of the workplace.

The Role of Titles

Because so much of the corporate culture is based on rank and status, titles are vitally important. You can’t refer to a senior vice president as a vice president or to the chief operating officer as the chief executive officer.
In the company of others, especially with people outside your firm, show your boss respect by addressing him or her formally as Mr. or Ms. Smith. Ms. is the appropriate address for a woman in business regardless of what she calls herself in her private life. Mrs. and Miss imply social, marital, and sexual distinctions that have no place in the business arena.
Of course, if a woman tells you directly that she wants to be addressed as Mrs. or Miss, it is best to comply. However, when using Mrs. in a business context, use the woman’s first name rather than her husband’s—for example, Mrs. Sally Kelly.
Career-conscious people entering the business world must be aware of more rules of behavior than they could expect to encounter in most social situations. You need to be aware of the sort of behavior that is expected in the world of work so that you can move within that world with confidence and ease.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Coming Up Blank

It happens to everybody. If you’re the one making introductions and you forget the name of the person you’re introducing, you can say something like “I remember our chat at the C├ęzanne reception, but I’ve forgotten your name for the moment” or “Please tell me your name again. I’m having a temporary memory lapse.” Get the name and go right ahead with the introduction. Don’t make a big deal out of it by apologizing more than once. Everybody has experienced mental vapor lock from time to time and will understand your predicament. When you’re introduced to someone, say the person’s name and repeat it during the conversation to imprint it in your memory.
If you’re the one being introduced and the introducer seems to have forgotten your name, jump right in, extend your hand, smile, and offer your name

The Name Game

People wince inwardly when you mispronounce their names. It is a serious breach of business etiquette. If you don’t know the correct pronunciation of someone’s name, ask! If you are still in doubt, ask apologetically for the person to repeat it. Jokes or wisecracks about a person’s name are not funny and are offensive. If your own name is difficult to pronounce, help the person who is trying to pronounce it—and botching the job. You can smile and say: “It’s a tough one, isn’t it?” Pronounce it clearly without making a big deal about it. That just calls too much attention to the fact that the other person has made an error.

Hugs and Kisses

In general, hugs and kisses are inappropriate in any business environment. In fact, touching others in the workplace, whether they are of the same gender or not, is impolite even if you feel that the other person is your pal. This stricture includes patting someone on the back, putting your arm around someone, or putting your hand on his or her shoulder.
It is acceptable at a business/social function to kiss your spouse, if you happen to be getting along that day. Even then, keep it casual and cursory.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tips on Handshake

A handshake leaves a very definite and often lasting impression, and in the business world a handshake is the only truly appropriate physical contact for both men and women.
The proper shake …
  • Involves eye contact
  • Is firm but painless
  • Lasts about three seconds
  • Takes only two or three pumps
  • Starts and stops crisply
  • Doesn’t continue through the entire introduction
Keep your fingers together and your thumb up. Slide the web of your hand all the way to the web of the other person’s hand. Otherwise, he or she ends up shaking hands with your fingers. Also, shaking web to web effectively prevents the other person, no matter how strong, from crunching your knuckles.

Begin with your fingers
together and your thumb

Shake hands web to web,
with a firm but not crushing

Never offer only your fingertips,
causing a weak,
limp handshake.

You shake when …
  • Someone offers his/her hand to you
  • First meeting someone
  • Greeting guests
  • Greeting your host/hostess
  • Renewing an acquaintance
  • Saying goodbye

How to Respond to an Introductions?

How you respond to being introduced by others is just as important as how you make an introduction.
If it’s an informal introduction, you can simply respond with “Hello,” or you can add a bit of information, such as “I heard you speak at the seminar.” In any case keep your response brief and friendly.
“How do you do?” followed by the person’s name is the best way to respond to a formal introduction. With this type of introduction, don’t use the person’s first name until he or she invites you to do so.

How to Introduce Yourself?

It is helpful to others and important for you to introduce yourself promptly and appropriately. First, here’s a bit of advice about actually entering a room. Most people make the horizontal approach to a room. That is, instead of walking to the center of the room, they freeze in the doorway and then head sideways to the bar or refreshments. Once there, they lock onto someone they know and remain joined at the hip for the rest of the occasion. This strategy is a big mistake because they never give themselves a chance to advance their own agenda, which is the reason they came in the first place.
If you are at a business social function or with just a few people and you are not introduced, you should introduce yourself just as promptly as is decently appropriate. If it looks as if the person who should introduce you isn’t going to do so (he or she may have forgotten your name), you have to take over. Just smile, offer to shake hands with the nearest person, and say: “Hello. I’m Tom Engles. Jim and I are responsible for the Technec account.” In some situations, describing yourself in terms of what you do rather than by your title promotes conversation. However, don’t interject endless details, such as how long you have been with the company or where you live.