Expect laughter! Expect learning! Expect lasting ideas!

Archive for the ‘etiquette’ Category

First Class Flying: Is it all that?

Wtad.com /white pages/ 5/18/17

Bobbe White

plane people

Upgrades in my life? About two. It wasn’t horrible. Especially the time when Woody Harrelson sat behind us.  However, first class fare can be quite costly.  Google it sometime. For what, exactly, are they REALLY paying up there?

PRE-BOARDING: that’s nice and all, but they look so unhappy when the rest of us slubs parade down the aisle to economy class. Maybe it’s that I just cracked a guy’s head with my overhead bag. Oopsies! Maybe first classers would be happier boarding last, so they don’t have to look at us. Maybe it’s the…

FREE BOOZE: Personally,  Johnnie Walker scotch doesn’t appeal at 5:55 a.m., which is when I usually depart. The only thing I want straight up, at that hour, is coffee. Besides, the air is bone dry in every section and alcohol just exacerbates dehydration. My skin’s already fossil-like, who needs it?

SEATS/SPACE: there’s more leg room, but if you know how to pick, there are some economy seats offering leg room, too. Reclining is a matter of degrees, unless you’re on a fancy, schmancy international flight where the seats flip into canopy beds.

AMENITIES: blankets, pillows and socks, oh my! I do kind of miss blankies in the back…

LAVATORY: Technically, fewer people = less waiting. Just remember Murphy ’s Law of bathrooms: the worse you have to go, the longer the wait will be.

FOOD: Some say it’s improving, but from any food I’ve ever eaten up there, it’s more institutional, than gourmet. Cinnabun tastes and smells better, by far. That’s why so many carry-on food.

DE-PLANING: Obviously, deplaning is like accounting 101: FIFO (First in, first out), but I ask you, don’t we REALLY get there all at the same time? Exactly.

SAFETY/SECURITY/SURVIVAL: Again, the law of averages would dictate that the fewer the wingnuts in a given area, the less chance of a meltdown. Sorry, that boat doesn’t carry much water for me. As for a crash, they call it, “Nosedive,” for a reason.  ‘Nuf said. We slubs in the waaaaay back might be the last in the big splash.

PEOPLE are people, regardless of class. Some in first class have no class. You know what I’m talking about. Both flight attendants and passengers can be polite, rude, noisy, quiet, helpful, bitchy, loud, smelly or sad. Everyone has a story. My dad always said, “You don’t know what you don’t know. You may never know what you don’t know. And you may not want to know what you don’t know.”  Passengers are a microcosm of the world. As Abercrombie & Fitch advertised once:  “We’re all just passengers flying around and there’s no room for extra baggage.” It’s a lot like life down here, right? People sitting or standing next to you, in every arena, struggle for one reason or another: financially, physically or emotionally.  Sometimes, you can utter three words to make peace with your neighbor, “WHAT A DAY!” It might start a brief –or longer- conversation. Flying at any level in the atmosphere can be trying. Or exhilarating. “WHAT A DAY!”  are three possible words to blurt when you enter your 42D. That’d be my seat number, not my bra size. “WHAT A DAY!” It’s open to interpretation. It can be positive or negative. A door opener. An Ice breaker. Give it a go. Now, go have a nice flight in any cabin of the world or airplane. It’s time for take-off.

airplane food.

Adultiquette: Sniglets for Couth After Youth

WTAD.COM WHITE PAGES 1/26/17

Bobbe White

ADULTIQUETTE- Sniglets for Couth, after Youth

(snig’-lit): n. A word, as defined by Rich Hall, American comedian, that doesn’t appear in the dictionary, but should. During his TV comedy series, Not Necessarily the News (1986-88), Sniglets became so popular, he wrote Sniglets, which has sold over 2 million copies. It’s my favorite.

sniglets

Example: Cinemuck. (cinna’-muk) n. def: Combination of popcorn, candy and soda on movie theater floors, that makes them sticky.  Here’s another: Blogorrhea (bloggo-ree’-uh) n- Compulsive, excessive, and/or meaningless ranting/raving by an individual on a blog. (Help! They won’t stop lately!)

If you’re from around Quincy, Illinois, you’ve heard of Tracy Schlepphorst’s popular children’s book, “Henry and His Manners.” Parents read this book to their children, including Tracy, who visits many classrooms to read. As you know, kids’ brains have a sponge-like quality. Just when you do something you hope goes unnoticed, they’ll call you on it. Everyone’s concerned that adult manners are disappearing from society. If our manners-read kids can’t keep us in line, I’ve created a few Sniglets, for this.  Here’s one, for gym rats, given our new year’s resolutions:

Athletiquette (ath-let-uh-ket) n. Manners for the gym. i.e. wiping sweat droplets off equipment and self, replacing equipment as found, not hogging equipment or butting in, between someone’s sets, picking up your locker room stuff and occasionally washing your gym clothes. I swear, some people are Noseblind. (The inability to smell something everyone else can).

Others from the “A, B, C and D” sections:

Achootiquette (ah-chu’-tuh-ket) Sneezing away from food and other humans, with a Kleenex, or arm, if possible.

Achootitootiquette (ah-chu’-ti-toot’-uh-ket) The act of sneezing out your front side, which simultaneously forces a particularly resonant toot, at Mach 3 speed and force, out your back side.  It happens; just say, “Oops…excuse me!” and move on. Or giggle. Whichever…

Batcheloretiquette (bach-el-or’-et-tuh-ket) Suppressing the urge to ask single women if they (a) have a boyfriend, (b)are engaged yet or (c) if they’re getting married or (d)whose wife are you? Just don’t. (Does Merlot match your outfit?)

Burpetiquette (birp-et-uh-ket) Owning and apologizing for a disruptive and voluminous belch, either expected, or unexpected.

Crackettiquette (krak’-ett-uh-ket)(See also: Plumbetiquette)The courtesy of buying your britches and a belt, in the correct sizes, so we don’t get the urge to throw a piece of ice down your backside when exposed to the light of day (or night.)

Discotetiquette (dis-co-tet’-uh-ket) Repressing the craving to croon every oldies song heard in public places. Sorry, but no one wants to hear your rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody or American Pie.

I won’t bore you with manners Sniglets, for the entire alphabet, (Yep, I did the whhhhhhole thing!), but I don’t want to catch blogorrhea.

Rich Hall, please, please, please create current Sniglets for America. There surely are things happening here that must be Sniglet worthy. In the meantime, if you’re still accepting Snigtributions (Contributions of Sniglets), here are mine, Rich, and I have more!

Readers: create and send your own Sniglets to me; I’ll include them next week!

Why Do We Live Here?

scrape-windshield

Written by Bobbe White for “The White Pages”  WTAD.COM

Why Do We Live Here?

Frankly on weekends like the last one, I do not know.  It was simply too cold and icy to justify; too treacherous to visit family, stay upright while attempting to walk into work or do anything, really. All of this on the weekend before Christmas! What rotten luck for us procrastinators.

It all started Friday after work. Here we were: coats zipped, gloves on and remote start buttons activated. Unless you’re like me, without remote start. We had a windshield scraping fest instead. But, it was as if Santa’s elves – with and without remote start- had descended upon our parking lot!  Even though it meant the remote starter people would have had to stay late, they did! It was the coolest thing ever. No, actually, it was cold as H-E-Double Hockey Sticks! And hockey players are the only ones who would’ve found our parking lot remotely enjoyable. Anyway, everyone helped everyone else get the icy buildup cracked enough to drive away safely. It was heartwarming and almost great fun. Almost.

Saturday was colder and windier. Ice drizzled on our cars. I chose to use floor mats on the windshield, to minimize scraping after work. It worked well on the left side, but the wind swooped in and took the right side mat, which found me executing a double-twist, triple Salchow* jump on the iced parking lot, to retrieve it.

*Salchow (sal’– kau): a figure skating jump with a takeoff from the back inside edge of one skate followed by one or more full turns in the air and (ideally) landing on the back outside edge of the opposite skate.

I wanted to go home. Customers had been sparse during work and Broadway was ghostly quiet, but while I was out, I went to the cleaners, the liquor store and the mall. Fortunately, I’d dressed warmly in my down-filled parka. I became uber toasty inside the mall. Then the zipper broke. In order to take it off, I struggled to slide it over my hips. Forced is closer. WD-40 anybody?  And I thought the Salchow was difficult!  When it was time to go outside and wiggle back into my coat, it was exhausting. A woman watched me curiously. I made eye contact with her and said-as if I always put my coat on over my hips, “My zipper broke, okay?” She smiled and edged away from me.

Sunday, was more of the same: icy roads, frigid temps, and the addition of a few inches of snow. A winter trifecta! I stayed home. The end.

Wait! I need to answer the first question: why do we live here? We live here because when the temperature rises to 23 degrees, everyone loosens their woolen scarves a bit and remarks, “It’s nice out today?”  And they mean it.

Happy frantic shopping week! Stay warm and safe.

POST-THANKSGIVING QUIZ

Bobbe White, The White Pages, 11/29/16
Written for wtad.com
We’re a few days post-Thanksgiving and my recent memories keep going to a multiple choice quiz to describe it. Answers below:
1. Our fridge is (still) full of food, which indicates
(a) I bought too much
(b) we’ll have leftovers for days and days and days and days
(c) nobody liked the item anyway
(d) all of the above.
2. I’m happy to report that we had an enjoyable Thanksgiving, with
(a) crying
(b) fighting
(c) pouting or
(d) none of the above!
3. With two black labs in the house, it seemed like:
(a) we need a bigger house
(b) Lily White, age 10, has little patience with Molly White, age 1 ½.
(c) I wish I had a Dyson
(d) all of the above.
4. When visiting my mother for Thanksgiving Noon lunch, I wished I could have been,
(a) visiting my dad too
(b) been at my Mother and Father-in-law’s at Noon, seeing as one of us (me) thought dinner was at 5:00pm. Oops.
(c) home tending to my own roasting turkey, which was done at 1:00, but since I forget Thanksgiving was at noon, I wouldn’t be home at 1:00, and I didn’t have time to run home to turn it off, or we’d have been even later, so I had to call my neighbors, Jill and Terry, to turn off my turkey, who, thankfully, were delayed in their own dinner, by two hours, due to traveling family arrivals.
(d) See? It all works out.
5. As our thoughts turn to Christmas,
(a) I’m thankful not one person reminded me at work on Friday, 11/25, what was happening just ONE MONTH FROM TODAY!
(b) wished I’d shoved the Christmas tree back in the box better, so Nick could’ve taken it home to St. Louis intact
(c) wished the 4th leg and base to the tree hadn’t fallen out of the box in our basement
(d) all of the above.
6. When back in St. Louis, Nick and Korey tried to erect the tree and realized the 4th leg and base were missing from the box. Nick considered creating a base with
(a) bucket of concrete
(b) bucket of dirt
(c) a late night trip to Target in pajamas, to buy a new tree, which of course, Mom will offer to buy, since she packed the current one so poorly
(d) the 4th leg and base were recovered back at home (e) all of the above.
Here’s hoping you had multiple reasons to be full of good food and thankful for many blessings.
full-fridge
Answers: 1(d), 2(d) 3(d) 4(d) 5(d) 6(d)

MAKE AMERICA POLITE AGAIN

11/10/16 Can we make America polite again?  PLEASE? Another campaign is underway. Not THAT kind of campaign. (You can thank me later for avoiding that OTHER campaign here. You’re welcome.)  This campaign involves no pollsters, badges, billboards, bumper stickers, debates or bashing.  This one’ been on the DL* (*cool-speak for under the radar). The term, study or project, may be more accurate. The project occurs Monday to Friday at my workplace, grocery; even traveling. I’m referring to “basic greetings”.  It’s just one sliver of our overall manners set, but it’s a biggy. My desk position is key here, seeing as it’s the first desk on the right, when entering State Street Bank’s main lobby. We strive for friendliness. Staff also acknowledges lobby visitors as a security procedure. (I.e. we see you!)

Many humanoids have a tendency to look to the right, my way, upon entering. They used to look left, but that was because she was blonder, younger and prettier than I was. I digress. When people enter, we say certain words. You know these: hello, welcome, good morning, hey, how are you, Hi, Ho, hi-ho, the Derry oh… When people leave, there’s a similar greeting.  You know them:  good-bye, see ya, see you later, thanks for coming in, have a good __________ (afternoon, evening, week-end, and holiday), bye-bye-bye. Honestly, we sound a lot like the Wal-Mart greeters of the banking world…or *NSYNC.

Frankly, I’m amazed at the people who don’t return the greeting. They give me nothing. Not even a grunt.  Oh, they heard it; some even make eye contact. Then…….silence, but not one word. Well, that’s not entirely true. Sometimes I get three words, “Where’s the bathroom.”  Not kidding.  Non-response is awkward and seems to happen more often. Maybe they’re deaf? Could be. Didn’t see me? Doubtful.  Rude? Ding-ding-ding.

At the grocery or airport concourse, I sample data encountered in public spaces.  I even like to smile at people abroad. Not AT broads, abroad, as in Paris. It’s not as acceptable there. As I anticipated visiting my daughter, she cautioned me against smiling. It’s cultural. That was tough, because I realized that even when I squint in the sun, I appear to be smiling. My apologies for looking pleasant. As impolite as the French seem, I find similar behavior from downtown Des Moines to DFW to Midway airports. People won’t smile back. I recently spent some time in the Carolinas. Now, THOSE people smile. And they greet. It’s lovely, really, quite polite.

Back to France, y’all. In spite of the smile deficit, the French have one encouraging custom. Every shopkeeper or market vendor says, “Bonjour!” (Hello) and “Merci, Au Revoir!” (Thank you… goodbye) ALWAYS.  It may not be smiled when said, but it’s guaranteed.

This week, try greetings as you come move about: home, school, work, shopping. And when passing my desk. Please? Thank-you! (More on please/thank-you another time.) If I’m with a customer, in person or by phone, I’ll give a wave, wink or that quick head jerk-nod thing that cool dudes give exchange. All I ask is that you do the same. And in my next life, I’d hope to return as a Southern Belle, y’all. Bye-bye, now!