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Modern Manners + Etiquette: Baby Etiquette, Facebook Firing + More

Thursday, April 19, 2012

 

We can't all be Kourtney Kardashian, with one over-the-top baby shower after another, but some find it tempting.

This has been a rough week on NewportManners.com for questions concerning shifts in etiquette. Fired before your first day—the boss has regrets, baby etiquette and second baby shower presents, wedding dress code inquiries for a vineyard wedding and wearing black to a Memorial Day weekend wedding.

Dear Didi,
Can you give our company a good onboard tactic for letting new employees know our social media policy from the time they're hired? We recently hired a young man who we fired before his first day of work. After receiving our offer letter he told the world on Facebook that he had been hired by us. Due to the long Easter weekend, we had not had a chance to notify the other employees in that department that we had hired a new man. Monday morning the head of the department was asked by a member of his team if the Facebook posting was true. Because there were bad feeling about this, we hired the runner-up for the position and fired the new employee. Going forward what would you have done?  A.G., Providence

Dear A.G.,
Members of Generation Y live by a whole different set of rules when it comes to communicating. They announce their marriages, breakups, operations, firing, hiring, birthing and even their dog's death via social media. They out cheaters, squealers, dealers, squawkers and embezzlers. By 2014, fifty percent of your employees will be part of Generation Y. You should make sure that all job offer letters have a separate paragraph spelling out your company's social media policy.

"Out of respect for all the employees of the Bank of Provolony, this offer will be rescinded should you announce that we've hired you before we've had a chance to inform your new colleagues. Your confidentiality is a mandatory part of this job offer."

Private information between an employer and a newly hired employee in an offer letter is privileged information. The clearest way to have resolved this problem would have been to have discussed the situation with him and asked him how he thought he should be reprimanded. Since this was a first minor infraction, the punishment didn't fit the crime. Docking his salary, taking away a vacation day, having him work overtime—any of these would have been more fair. By bringing him into the conversation, you would have been asking him to take responsibility for posting his good news on Facebook before his first day on the job. You could have asked him how he thought in a future situation the person should be held accountable?  ~Didi

Dear Didi,
We're all grumbling about having to buy second, and even third, baby shower presents. I polled my mother and aunts at Easter brunch and they said that nobody ever had second, let alone third, showers. And that they would have never expected anyone to give anything after the first child, unless it was secondhand—such as a highchair or stroller. My grandmother was horrified at the thought and said, "Who are these people?" Where do we draw the line? It has a snowball effect, if we go to one second shower then the precedent is set. How do we set a boundary and say, we love you and all your babies—how about a used stroller in good condition?   E.W., Cumberland


Dear E.W.,
Nobody says you have to attend the second baby shower, but camaraderie is good for us all. Look at this way, if you were Kourtney Kardashian who's being given a second over-the-top shower hot on the tails of the first one, wouldn't you want a second shower, too? No, those Kardashian women don't need to have baby showers to fill their nursery bureau drawers and toy chests, but what an excuse to party!  For the rest of us, we can show more compassion in remembering that all new babies deserve fresh bed and bath linens, stuffed toys and books that haven't already been gnawed on by their big brothers. What you might be fearing is expense, so set limits and talk about limits by saying, "I'm giving the baby a couple of books I found on sale at Barnes & Noble, all babies love books."  ~Didi

Dear Didi,
I have been invited to a wedding on Memorial Day Weekend. The wedding is @ 3pm, reception @ 5:30 @ a country club.  I am over 50 years of age and do not have nice legs. I am wearing a black dress with shades of teal below the knee. Also black shoes—do I wear black stockings or nude stockings?  Anonymous,  Barrington


Dear Anonymous,
As you know, a three o'clock wedding is not formal, so your dress wouldn't fall more than an inch or two below your knee. Black legwear would be too dark for Memorial Day weekend. You want to wear legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone that has a bit of shine to it. You don't want your legs to look heavier by wearing bronze toned matte legwear. Wedding legwear that is sheer and shimmery will dress them up. Don't worry about your legs. Really good quality legwear shapes the legs to look their best. Go online to the Wolford.com Web site for examples of how quality shapewear and legwear will truly flatter your legs.  ~Didi

Dear Didi,
An invitation we received for a May wedding at 4:00 on a Saturday at Greenvale Vineyard doesn't have a dress code. What do my boyfriend and I wear? To be safe, does he rent a tuxedo and I wear a long dress? Please, let me know?  Christie, Middletown


Dear Christie,
When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can safely assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Therefore, you would wear a really nice knee length dress with beautiful ballerina flats, because at a vineyard wedding you don't want those four inch stilettos piercing the turf and causing you to lose your balance before the champagne's poured. Carry a small pretty clutch for your lipgloss. A vineyard wedding is the perfect occasion to wear a lovely hat, which you can always take off when the dancing begins. Your boyfriend shouldn't wear a tux, but he will need to wear a jacket with a collared long sleeved shirt and a handsome tie and dress khaki pants. The jacket can be a good sports jacket or a navy blue blazer, although if he has a lightweight dark suit, he can wear that instead. Tell him dark loafer-style shoes with matching socks are fine. Rubber-soled boat shoes can be difficult to dance in because they don't slide.  ~Didi

Didi Lorillard researches shifting manners, etiquette, and dress codes at NewportManners.com and looks forward to answering your questions about weddings and relationships. You can also find Didi on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest, after you've read her GoLocalProv columns, some of which are listed below.

 

 

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