When I sit down to write these etiquette posts, I often consult my giant Etiquette volume which I love! Sometimes I am spurred on by client or reader questions and other times, there is divine inspiration or downright annoyance in my own life or that of a friend, that prompts a topic. Today may just be a combination of the latter two. Etiquette is really the act of responding to specific situations in gracious ways and many times it is much more subtle than figuring out which side of the plate the shrimp fork goes on or how to address an invitation to a recently divorced woman (although both can be important and should be understood).
Respect is the cornerstone of etiquette and nothing is less gracious than having no respect for someone's time. We see this happen all the time and even I don't always take offense or notice it right away. But anytime we are late, reschedule at the last minute or make someone wait unnecessarily for information, we are saying "We don't think your time is as important as ours," or " I don't respect your schedule or what you have going on." Money and time are in high demand and short supply. For most people, time is money and it is precious. So next time someone disrespects your time or you wait until the last minute and it affects someone else, think about how valuable time is to them and to you and make a point to be gracious and respectful.
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