Newport Manners & Etiquette: Bullies, Rumormongers + Pizza Manners
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Bullied in the workplace
I have a part-time job in a restaurant on weekends as a bus boy. One of the other guys in the kitchen whacked me twice with a wet towel. I need the job to help pay for college and my mom is a single working mother, so I don't want to cause trouble. I don't want to get anyone fired, but I don't know how to work this out. Name withheld, Chariho Regional High School, Wood River Jct.
Guys have been snapping towels at one another forever. It is supposed to be playful. Nonetheless, it is a form of harassment, especially when the other person doesn't engage in the "game" by snapping a wet towel back at the predator. Talk to your supervisor. Ask him for advice. Say you don't want to be a complainer, but the situation is intolerable. Chances are he's bullied others and, unless he's the owner's son, the supervisor has gotten wind of his bad behavior.
As to how to work it out, the next time that wet towel comes at you clasp your hands behind you and step away. That's the signal that you're not fighting back. You're taking a non-confrontational stand. While calmly but sternly saying, "I don't appreciate being snapped at with a wet dishtowel. Please, don't do it again." Keep your hands behind your back and wait for his reply. He'll probably walk away. ~Didi
Squelching a rumor
At a party on Saturday, a 12th grader was making fun of my best friend, trying to ruin her reputation by telling people she's pregnant. I stood up for her and said she wasn't. I said as her best friend I would know if she was. He laughed and said she was. I went outside and texted her. She texted back that she wasn't. I went back and told him. He laughed again. Then I asked my date to get me out of there. What should I have done? Name withheld, Chariho Regional High School, Wood River Jct.
Actually, you did everything possible perfectly. You confronted the upperclassman with his allegation and then confirmed that you were right. You took the drama out of the rumor and left the party. The rumormonger will no doubt be looking for verification of her unborn baby bump. When he doesn't see her looking pregnant, he should apologize. ~Didi
Meeting her parents
I've been invited to my girlfriend's house for pizza to meet her parents. Pizza is so messy. Do I use a knife and fork and cut it into bite size pieces? Or do I fold it over and eat with my hands. I want to make a good impression. Name withheld, Chariho Regional High School, Wood River Jct.
When you arrive at your girlfriend's home introduce yourself so they clearly get your name. Especially if your name, for instance, is Rob and some people think it is Bob, O'Connell when it is O'Donnell. Look them in the eye as you shake their hand, with your right hand vertical and thumb pointing upward. Hold for one second, two seconds, three seconds as you say, "My name is Rob O'Donnell." Let go. Then say, "Thank you for inviting me." When eye contact seems being too familiar, focus on the tip of his nose or chin. He won't know the difference and you'll feel more comfortable.
If the table is set with a fork and knife, cut away. Otherwise grab a couple of napkins and tuck one in under your chin, fold the slice, and bring it to your mouth. Don't put your head in your plate, elevate the pizza to your chin and dig in. A slice of pizza isn't heavy. You only need one hand to maneuver the slice up and down.
Make conversation with the person to your right and then the person to your left between bites when it isn't a group conversation. But don't talk with your mouth full. Ask about sports. Always an icebreaker, even when they don't like sports. Don't forget, out of respect for the women in the family, put the toilet seat back down.
Ask if you can pitch in, "What can I do to help?" Be sure to thank everyone, and you'll be invited again. Exiting: open the door, but leave facing the family to say your goodbye. Never turn your back to anybody, whether you're sitting next to them or leaving the room. ~Didi
Bullies in the mall
What do I do when I'm at the mall and harassed by upperclassmen, who pick a fight or try to argue some stupid point? Name withheld, Chariho Regional High School, Wood River Jct.
Whether in the mall or the halls at school, agree to disagree. Say, "Let's agree that we can see things differently. Let's agree it is OK to disagree." Again, with your hands clasped behind your back, make "Eye contact" on his chinny-chin-chin as he walks away. ~Didi
Do you have a question for Didi? Visit her at NewportManners.com. We can withhold your name and location. Didi researches etiquette and all matters of manners for her book,"Newport Etiquette." Previous weekly GoLocalWorcester.com columns may be found by typing in Didi Lorillard in the above righthand search. Or scroll down for a list of topics below.
Related Slideshow: 10 Great Activities for $20 or Less
Located in the heart of Worcester, The Palladium Nightclub is a historic concert venue which welcomes many local and well known bands. There are numerous events taking place at The Palladium Nightclub every week and you can see may performers for $20 or less. Check out their website for a list of performers and to order tickets.
The Palladium Nightclub: 261 Main Street, Worcester, MA, 01608
Sky Zone is an indoor trampoline park that allows you to have hours of fun while exercising in a unique way. The trampolines reach from one edge of the floor to the other and angled trampolines allow you to literally bounce of walls. Prices range from $9 for a thirty minute jump pass to $20 for 120 minutes. For more information, click here.
Sky Zone: 290 Turnpike Road (Route 9), Westborough, MA, 01581
Tower Hill Botanic Garden
The Tower Hill Botanic Garden is headquarters to the third oldest active horticultural society in the United States. Home to a number of gardens, there is plenty to explore at this botanic garden including a daffodil field, 350 different species of trees, a wildlife refuge pond and much more. Admission is only $12 for adults and $7 for kids. For more information, click here.
Tower Hill Botanic Garden: 11 French Drive, Bolyston, MA, 01505
Feeling artsy? Get your creative juices flowing at Claytime, Worcester’s largest and most experienced studio. There is no need for an appointment, just stop in and start painting. There are hundreds of different ceramics to choose from. For more information, click here.
Claytime: 124 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury, MA, 01545
Elm Draught House Cinema
A new way to enjoy going to the movies, Elm Draught House Cinema is a cinema pub serving beer, wine and soft drinks. Movies tickets are only $5, and in addition to movies the cinema also shows sporting events for free, and houses comedy shows for $15 when tickets are purchased in advance. For more information, click here.
Elm Draught House Cinema: 35 Elm Street. Millbury, MA, 01527
Ball Square Fine Wines
Every Friday night Ball Square Fine Wines offers free wine and beer tastings. This long-standing tradition allows you to taste and learn about their latest finds. The tasting runs from 4:30 until 7:30 and is a great way to spend a night out with your friends or with a date. For more information, click here.
Ball Square Fine Wines: 716 Broadway, Somerville, MA, 02144
The Institute of Contemporary Art
Located on Boston’s waterfront, not only is this institute home to extraordinary art, but the surrounding view is beautiful as well. The collections at The Institute of Contemporary Art represent the best of the modern art world and the institute is a cultural center for the city of Boston. Come check out their kaleidoscope color exhibition, the world of glass exhibit and much more. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. For more information, http://www.icaboston.org/" target="_blank">click here.
The Institute of Contemporary Art: 100 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA, 02210
Not only are the swan boats a Boston tradition, but a ride is only $3 for adults and $1.50 for children (ages 2-15) making the boats a perfect activity for those on budget. Rides take place on the waters of the Boston Public Garden and mark the beginning of spring. Rides are available seven days a week weather permitting. For more information, click here.
Swan Boats: 4 Charles Street, Boston, MA, 02116
Open year round, Brookfield Orchards is the perfect place to go apple picking, enjoy apple dumplings at their snack bar, and order fresh pies. Brookfield Orchards is a great place to spend a spring day with the family and admission is always free. For more information, click here.
Brookfield Orchards: 12 Lincoln Road, North Brookfield, MA, 01525
American Antiquarian Society
The American Antiquarian Society library is home to the largest collection of printed materials relating to early United States History. This collection covers everything from colonial and early American culture, history, and literature making this one of the most historical spots in all of Worcester. Don’t miss out on their free public tours every Wednesday at 3pm. For more information, click here.
American Antiquarian Society: 185 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA, 01609
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