Etiquette and the modern day

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Sam
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Etiquette and the modern day

Post by Sam » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:47 pm

I am a member over at The Fedora Lounge and from time to time, men ask whether a hat should be removed from one's head in certain occasions. Is the vestibule outside a courtroom a public area where one generally can wear their hat, or is the fact it is a courthouse somehow make it elevated to the status of a church wherein one would generally remove the hat when he crosses into the actual building, whether in the sanctuary itself or not.

This one thread caught my interest as it seems to cover society and its evolution, and how hat-wearing is now not as prevalent.

http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthre ... -etiquette

So, for example, does it matter to you if a fellow diner takes a cellphone call at a meal, and if it does, then do you differentiate between taking a call at home, or taking a call at Wendy's versus taking a call at a more expensive place, like Outback and then even more expensive, Ruth's Chris or Mortons?

Very few restaurants being everyone's meal at the same time. Some are able, for smaller parties, to bring it all out on one tray, but even then, there are times that due to varying times in cooking, one can get served an entree and then the other patron is told that "yours is still cooking". Do you send yours back and ask them to keep it warm and be served at the same time, or do you let it sit there and not know how long a delay it will be, even if the other in your party tells you to go ahead?

I don't think twice in seeing ballcaps at Wendy's or even Outback, but should I be even mindful at say Ruth's Chris, when I don't always wear a sports coat? I mean, heavy winter, Saturday night, I might wear dress slacks, a nice shirt with a cashmere V-neck sweater over it and consider myself dressed up. Then again, I see nice starched jeans, black shoes and some sort of Robert Graham shirt, with the contrasting shirt sleeves rolled up and then untucked.

The bigger point, rather than what your view as appropriate or not, is one of the posters at the Fedora Lounge talking about society setting the normative values and if society does not view something as rude, then why would we so view it as rude? I do not see many men, even older than my 53 years, always stand up when a lady enters a room or when she departs, and I am talking Judges, other attorneys, pastors, and elected officials. Has society either dummed me down into thinking we don't do this anymore, and if I believed that, am I just justifying my own inattention to a manner of conduct that I should subscribe to, or is it somehow passed into political correctness that to do so would somehow 'demean' the fairer sex, and am I demeaning them now for saying fairer.

It just got me to thinking, as I am experiencing an upheaval in a personal situation, distressing me greatly, and I am reflecting on if I have been such a cad all these years, or did I even do the best I can, or did I mistreat the one I thought I loved better than that.

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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by drmoss_ca » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:48 pm

Hats are not worn indoors. I had this conversation today - my receptionist wanted my views on hats in church, and I could only speak for the C of E of my childhood (males never, women mandatory). I pointed out to her that I still take the ballcaps off the head of any male daft enough to sit in the patient's chair and not remove it themselves. They don't seem to take offense as there must be some vestigial remnant of manners they dimly recall.

But I can top all that. Some folks come in talking on their phones and leave me waiting for them to finish their call, or text distractedly throughout the consultation. I have even done pap smears on texting patients. This is irritating and shows a lack of basic civility.

Sam, fashions come and go. I don't think we can do better than to act as we were taught is desirable - even if some actions are considered old-fashioned, they should be judged on the intent of the person carrying them out. If I open a door and let someone else through it first it does not mean I regard them as weak, inferior or having any other denigratory attribute. It means I respect them enough to give them precedence. Nothing more and nothing less. If I do this and find a somewhat naive feminist wanting to put me down as a patriarch I take that as saying more about her knowledge of manners than about my attitudes towards women.

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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by Squire » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:53 pm

Sam, from your posts over the years and our telephone conversations I believe that by nature, upbringing or both you are the sort of man who recognizes the right thing to do under the circumstances and instinctively will do it which is pretty much the opposite of caddish behavior.
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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by jww » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:54 pm

Squire wrote:Sam, from your posts over the years and our telephone conversations I believe that by nature, upbringing or both you are the sort of man who recognizes the right thing to do under the circumstances and instinctively will do it which is pretty much the opposite of caddish behavior.
+1. Doing the right thing is always in style. Behaving in a rude manner is never in style.
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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by ThePossum » Fri Jul 19, 2013 3:34 am

This is a subject that I have harped about for quite a few years. Just ask my wife. :) I have to wear a hat. Bald head and some previous skin cancers. Idea is to keep the sun off head and face and in the winter keep my head warm. So I keep it on all the time, except when I am indoors. Like at restaurants, offices, peoples homes etc.

That is the way I was taught as a child and a young man. But it is the restaurant thing that really gets to me. I take my hat off even at place like McDonald's, Wendy's and KFC. Can take others wearing hats in places like this simply because of the fast food thing.

But when it comes to a nice family place meaning an Applebees, TGI Fridays, or even a fancy place like Ruth's Chris of a fancy local restaurant the hat should come off and it ticks me off so bad when I see a guy wearing a hat in such places. One experience I had several years ago was at a fancy local restaurant that is owned by good friend. My wife and I had a special table that we regularly used up on one of the two balconies in the restaurant. As we sat at our table talking a bit to the wife/owner a couple with an elementary school age kid were seated across the balcony in direct line of sight. Now the guy was a big guy, really big, tall, well muscled you know what I mean. He had a nicely trimmed beard and a Charlie Daniels hat. When he sat down the hat stayed on his head, you could hardly see his face for the darn hat. My first thought was to go over and just grab the thing off his head and put it in his lap and teach him a lesson in manners. But I thought better as I didn't think I could take the 20 ft fall to the first floor very well.

Even today, I see men may age (65) and older in family style restaurants dressed nicely sitting at the table with their ballcap sitting on their heads and not in the hat rack or on the back of their chair. One would think that they would have been taught manner by their dads. Such a shame.

Sorry for the rant guys, but men wearing hats indoors just really ticks me off.
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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by gsgo » Fri Jul 19, 2013 4:55 am

Hats off indoors, please gentlemen and boys.
Good shaving,

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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by Kyle76 » Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:38 pm

Chris, you hit the nail on the head: nearly every aspect of etiquette has its root in respect. You respect a woman by rising when she enters a room or approaches your table (I do the same for men worthy of my respect). You respect the dignity of a restaurant and your fellow patrons by removing your hat. You respect the rights of others to quietude by not carrying on a cell phone conversation in a restaurant or waiting room. You respect those at your table by not taking a call, checking the stock quotes or texting someone else. Hats are bad enough, but I'm afraid that cell phones will be the absolute death of any vestige of etiquette.
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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by JayTrek » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:52 pm

Had a situation regarding the food delivery a few nights ago at an O' Charley's. There were four men (including myself) sitting at a table. At one point three of the four of us had received our meals, and we were all awkwardly waiting for the fourth to get his meal. This went on for some 7-10 minutes before the fourth guy insisted that we eat. Even though he gave us permission...I felt awkward about eating in that situation.
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Jason

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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by Kyle76 » Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:06 am

I'll wait indefinitely, unless I'm having fish. I can eat a cool steak, but cool fish is ruined. Generally, I'll give it a couple of minutes, but with fish you either eat it or send it back. I've never had a situation where my unserved companions did not insist the others begin their meal, as do I when it's me who's waiting.
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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by brothers » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:41 am

Hats, off indoors. Women, I'll stand up. Phones, mine is off unless I'm not engaged with any other people, other than spontaneously. The serving of food is a good question. I've been at business lunches where there are more than just a few of us are being served. I see some people just "digging in" and giving no thought to anybody else's situation, other times, the person who's not getting served yet just urges everyone to go ahead and start. Especially when the place is crowded and we're there because we have to be there and then leave because of time restraints. So that one is still up for debate. I generally am willing to wait unless it turns out I'm the only one who's not eating too. Sometimes it's just not practical for the wait staff to hold off on serving until the chef/cook has all of the dishes ready to take out. Also, it might depend on who's at the dinner. Close family? Children? Elderly? Not a lot of rules at those times. Strictly business? Dignitaries? Better to let the "ceremony" control it all, making sure not to act impulsively and draw the ire of the graybeards and/or their spouses glare and whisper, or even snicker when I lose my concentration and do something out of synch with the big show that's going on down at the other end of the table. :lol:
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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by jww » Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:01 pm

I too am quite traditional in my etiquette. If it worked form,y dad, and his dad, I can't see why it's till won't work for me. I am seeing my sons following the same patterns as well. Our legacy is what we leave, and I hope I leave good memories of myself with others.
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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by JRTASTER » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:08 pm

Some good points raised here. In my "twilight years" it seems I am more aware of "etiquette" as I lucky enough
to be in the company of several young nephews whose behavior is easily and often observed.
For many years I worked in a gigantic office building in Manhattan and often wore a hat. My rule was hat OK in
the building, but it came off in the elevator as soon as a female entered; otherwise it came off when my office
floor was reached.
As to food etiquette, I was taught that in a banquet environment, where lots of people were served at once, it
was ok to begin eating as soon as the persons on both sides of you were served; my corollary though was I
waited until my female companion was served should she not be seated by my side.
In today's restaurant dining environment, I find it totally unacceptable that not all diners are served together;
no one should have to wait for their food . It's a sign of shoddy management to have food served in shifts.
If I am the host, I ask that the wait staff remove the food til all of us can be served together.
Likewise, to me it's intrusive when wait staff/busboys attempt to clear plates while even one person is still
enjoying his/her food. Again, as host, I firmly, but politely as I can, ask them to return. Those who resist will
find the gratuity adjusted accordingly.
Cellphones are a damnable necessity. Mine is off in a restaurant or other formal setting. I will not allow a conver-
sation to be interrupted should someone insist on answering a call in that setting; they should get the hint and
either end the call promptly or leave the area if it needs to be prolonged..
As Chris and others have suggested, following certain basic rules of etiquette is above all a sign of concern and
mutual respect. Instinct, in the form of wanting to do the "right thing" can often lead us to what's courteous even
when Miss Manners isn't there to guide.
jr/John

p.s. One of the most admirable things about SMF is the courteous tone which characterizes the discussions here!
Enjoying wet shaving, again.
jr/John

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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by Squire » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:29 am

That we are John, oh, hold on a minute . . . I have a call.
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Squire

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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by JRTASTER » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:07 am

[quote="Squire"]That we are John, oh, hold on a minute . . . I have a call

Oh, Squire: take the call...it's Amy Vanderbilt (who remembers her??) with today's etiquette tip!
Nice comeback!!

jr/John
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jr/John

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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by Gareth » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:20 pm

Well the Royal Air Force taught me hats off indoors, so that's what a I do. I don't wear a hat except when in uniform anyway, but it's a shame to see basic manners like this go the way of the dinosaur.

On another note, I was very surprised last week when visiting a mess at RAF Coningsby how many servicemen were texting and making calls while eating their meal. Of all places, I just didn't expect it in a military mess.

Standards in both military and civilian life have definitely changed in the past few years....

Gareth

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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by jthomas60506 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:28 pm

About a year ago, I took my son to get a haircut, and the fellow in the barber chair talked on his cell phone through the entire haircut. The barber kept rolling his eyes and shaking his head, and those of us waiting in line wanted to bounce the guy out on his ear. . .

As a college professor, I have come pretty astute at telling which students are taking notes on their laptops and which are shopping on ebay. What's ironic is that most of my students are teachers, and the kind of classroom etiquette some of them display in class reflects the exact behaviors they would never tolerate from their own students. . . hats pulled down over the eyes, sunglasses, texting, etc. As much as I hate doing it, I begin every semester with a short statement about what is appropriate for pre-service teachers.

jt

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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by btafan » Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:44 pm

You all are just intolerant! Shame on you! /sarcasm. But seriously, there seems to be a correlation between all this hipster crap and current "do whatever you want and be different" attitude that's really chipped away at any kind of expectations of manners. Now, the standards seem to be set very low at just "be nice, be friendly, but be yourself and if you're too busy to be courteous and have good manners don't worry about it." I'm starting to wear a hat out of convenience, but trying to figure out when and where it's ok is impossible because I've been trying to research what everyone else does but I realized people wear hats everywhere and without a system--and I didn't even notice until I actively started to try to notice!
-Andy

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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by jww » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:32 am

Even my soon-to-be-30 yr old son has noted how etiquette ain't what it used to be ....... He's a class kid, in a hip sort of way. Always opens the door for his mom, defers to the back seat whenever we are passengers in his gf's car, etc.
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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by JRTASTER » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:54 am

Wendell,
sometimes it amazes us to see that the kids have learned something after all from our guidance and examples.
good on your son...good on you!
jr/John
Enjoying wet shaving, again.
jr/John

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Re: Etiquette and the modern day

Post by Squire » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:28 pm

The department head complemented my son on his good posture around the office (apparently some of the student assistants are slouches) and my kid said it was my damn fault.
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